What’s a Certified Master Anaplanner?

July 27, 2022

Anaplan has recently released a blog on June 16th, 2022, to describe a new level of Anaplan certification available. 

Consultants who currently hold an Anaplan Solution Architect certification can aspire to seek an even more advanced certification of Certified Master Anaplanner.

To become a Certified Master Anaplanner, you first need to be a Certified Solution Architect as a prerequisite. The process of becoming a Certified Solution Architect does not come across as easy for casual finance or business professionals to complete from the program’s description. 

The Anaplan Certified Solution Architect is defined by their ‘technical competence’ as per the below description. 

“An Anaplan Certified Solution Architect is an individual who has shown technical competence….” 

When you hear ‘technical competence’ and ‘certification’ put together, you don’t usually think of finance or business people. You think of...Technical Professionals. 

The Certified Master Anaplanner is also described by its ‘technical expertise.’ This should not come as a surprise since it's the next level certification to an already technical certification. 

Could someone with a traditional FP&A background undergo this certification process? Probably many do, but they need to already be or become technical along the way if we follow the certification description. 

Deeper certifications at this level are designed to create a career path. These consultants can command higher compensation based on this level of Anaplan Certification. 

Job postings that include salary ranges for Anaplan Solution Architects are between $110,000 to $170,000 per year. Here is one example

“Certified Master Anaplanners wear many hats and drive immense impact back to the Anaplan ecosystem through their thought leadership, technical expertise, and Connected Planning evangelism. “ 

For clients of CPM (Corporate Performance Management) Platforms of the last few decades, including Oracle Hyperion, SAP BPC, and IBM TM1, this approach of needing certified technical consultants to support these platforms on an ongoing basis should come as no surprise. 

These are examples of expensive financial planning software platforms launched in a previous generation. Clients who adopt these platforms often share the need for costly and ongoing support from certified (‘technical’) consultants either externally or as Full Time Employees. 

If you read Anaplan’s latest 10-K released on March 23rd, 2022, there is no secret that its goal is to drive massive recurring revenue contracts with the world’s largest enterprises.

They released impressive industry-leading financial results as highlighted in this 10-K:

  • Their top 25 clients spend a staggering average of $5M annually 
  • 29% of their entire client base spends over $250,000 annually

How about the implementation cost for Anaplan?

For these software projects, the implementation cost can be between 1x to 3x the annual licensing cost as a rule of thumb. In some cases, it could be less, such as 80% for more simplified installations and 4x to 5x for very complex installations. 

For CFOs of global enterprises who need to solve the world’s most complex planning challenges, costs even in the millions are negligible based on the size of their operation. For some of these organizations, there’s practically no difference in their global IT budget between zero and $2M. Some CFOs will not even evaluate a new software platform unless the investment is in the millions. It does not warrant their participation if it's not a material item in their sizable budget. 

Not every organization has the same propensity to spend on high technology at these levels. Many CFOs of large enterprises do not want to spend this much on a single platform. It's not simply just a question of the company being enterprise or not. 

What about their other technology needs? They also need BI, ERP, Procurement, POS, and a host of other financial systems depending on their industry. Many can’t justify spending at these levels for a single system.  

What about Mid-market operations pushing things to the limit and experiencing data and process challenges on par with larger enterprises? Many CFOs at the helm of these companies are also not willing to spend this much on a planning platform. Many end up relying on disconnected spreadsheets, which present a host of limitations and drive an immense amount of manual effort. With spreadsheets, much money is wasted in labor to perform manual and redundant activities, resulting in a very inefficient back office operation. That is also a losing proposition. 

Which systems can these companies turn to? 

Many evaluate lower-cost solutions and quickly realize most of those solutions would trap them into prepackaged planning models. In today’s dynamic environment, even many smaller companies can’t afford to be restricted within an SMB-focused planning solution. They all need flexibility and performance. 

A next-generation FP&A platform like FinLogic.io is an alternative option for companies seeking high performance, low ownership cost, and high modeling flexibility. 

The database powering FinLogic.io is one of the most powerful cloud databases for business applications in the market today. Arguably it is more powerful than Anaplan’s proprietary database. The database powering FinLogic.io is offered by a pure-play database provider with a market cap twice the size of Anaplan as of the writing of this article. 

Some Anaplan clients will input and view data from within Google Sheets. This is because Anaplan is now integrated with Google Sheets. For clients who don’t want to spend a fortune to have a modern and powerful planning platform connected to Google Sheets, check out FinLogic.io.