2020 Customer Awards: Anaplan - Best-in-Class: Community

2020 Customer Awards: Anaplan - Best-in-Class: Community

Company: Anaplan

Company background: At Anaplan, our mission is to make all planning for all people a reality. We believe our world is better when we connect communities of people with data to enhance decision-making in dynamic environments. It’s the Connected Planning way.

Contact: Stan Gromer

Title: Technology Manager, Community

Related URLs:

Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community

1. Describe your community(s) and how you decided to start a community or grow/change it? (user request, Khoros suggestion, internal idea, etc.).

The Anaplan Community was launched long ago, but in 2017 moved into Lithium/Khoros with Community becoming a critical focus within our company. Towards the end of our third year with Khoros, we made the strategic decision to rebuild the vast majority of our Community from the ground up, utilizing all we have learned to improve the experience for our users.

Our Community team actually sits outside the rest of the organization, reporting up through our Chief Planning Officer. Instead of existing in and/or supporting a specific department, we support the entire organization through dozens of different programs. This is why having an extremely flexible platform is key, as we are constantly going into multiple directions at the same time.

Our Community team consists of 10 people today:

  • Community Technology (Stan, Miran), Community Content (Kayne, Yelana, Holly, Jamieson), Community Experience (Emily, Aaron, Hannah), The Boss (Fran)

  • We also are supported by our engineering team (Matt Kuehn, John Cherba, Cody Gravdahl) who help build all the neat things we do, while also having an amazing UX resource who has designed everything in our Community (Joungkong Yang).


2. Tell us about how you made it happen? Did you stage it first? Who got an early look? How did you drive adoption? Did you get executive buy-in? Did you have any key iterations?

As noted above, we’re sitting outside the core organization which allows us to take a more holistic approach to building and maintaining our Community. We treat Community much like a product, so we work with all of our internal and external stakeholders as we look to change and grow. Our team maintains Jira (technology) and Trello (content) backlogs, build out user stories, and prioritize the work based on business/user demands.

We drive adoption of our Community through a variety of ways, but also in many ways this happens organically due to so much living inside Community already. From user onboarding to product release notes, to ongoing AMA’s, groups, and live events, Community acts as the hub for knowledge and learning. As Anaplan holds events *(well… Pre-covid anyways) we would host a Community booth and encourage users to sign up for User Groups and/or look into hosting their own.


We’ve also been going big on video, from creating our live events to short helpful videos, we’re trying to do it all. With that, we have created some fun/playful videos to help spread the word of Community, such as our Halloween or Christmas specials:

3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business. Please include metrics if possible.

Here's our CEO just this week doing a call with NYSE where he highlights the work our Community has been doing!

The results have been unbelievable. With the flexibility we built and utilizing very agile work streams, we have been able to continue to innovate at a rapid pace over the past 9-12 months. Among some of our most successful projects during this time:

User Groups Relaunch with Group Hubs & Bevy integration

  • 40+ User Groups

  • Integrated Bevy fairly seamlessly into our Community

    • My Events / Upcoming Events

    • Upcoming Events / Explore User Groups

    • 4.png
  • User Directory

    • Launched our user directory

    • Displays users based on certain roles

    • When Covid hit, we built out an opt-in process for those looking for work due to so many being impacted globally.

  • OKTA Integration

    • We launched OKTA as our single sign-on provider

    • Introduced SSO experience across Community, Learning, Usergroups, and Salesforce Case Portal

      • Launched two customers who are bringing their own SSO (Login) to our Community!

  • Anaplan Helps

    • Launched to help with Covid19 efforts - Anaplan models specific to helping with the response. We were able to utilize our Master Anaplanner user group to help us quickly pull together a hackathon that results in dozens of apps that were able to help.

  • Anaplan Live

    • In late 2019, we started hosting live events within Community, utilizing tools like Vimeo for the streaming/embedding.

    • Have quickly become some of the largest events our company has hosted to-date

  • Talent Builder

    • Until just recently, we had no ability in our company to give out free trials. We fixed that! We have launched an entire training program within our Community, so that literally anybody can visit our Community, sign up to become a model builder, perform training at your own pace, and become a Certified Anaplan Model Builder.

Some key metrics/wins we have seen over the past year, engagement metrics have exceeded our traffic gains, showing our existing users are becoming more sticky, interacting more, etc.

  • 141% Forum topic growth

    • 198% replies growth

  • 213% accepted solution view growth

  • 159% decrease in time to first reply

  • 227% increase in kudos

  • 47% increase in badges

  • 88% increase in Comments