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: https://community.anaplan.com/t5/Anaplan-Helps/tkb-p/AnaplanHelps
Kudos Category: Keep Calm and Carry On
1. How did your team shift your existing strategy to better engage customers during a crisis?
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, not only did our company want to find ways to help, but so did our end users and partners. Within a matter of weeks, we were able to bring together dozens of contributors internally and externally to look at how Anaplan could help. This eventually became known as Anaplan Helps.
We were able to utilize our Master Anaplanner program (Our absolutely best users on our platform) to work together within Community to create models that directly supported hospitals, government agencies, emergency personnel, and more. We were able to offer these models directly through Community.
On top of this, we launched updates to our User Directory - Like many, there were impacts to companies causing those in our ecosystem to be looking for new employers. We were able to quickly build out a method to allow users to opt-in to showing up in the directory to signal they are open to jobs/roles.
We’re also in the process of helping move our yearly conference to being virtual after having already moved many of our Community events to being virtual - We’re also looking at how we’ll be able to utilize new tools like content syndication to share content between our properties for this critical event (in September).
2. What operational processes did you create or change to respond in a time of crisis?
Folks dropped a lot of work in flight to quickly get this project done due to the importance it had. Simply through the fact so many people wanted to help though, it came together quickly and was painless. We did have some challenges though, which allowed us to have some fun in how we went about solving problems. For example, some of our partners are weary to give away applications to their own competitors. As such, we quickly built out an approval process by hacking this on top of group hubs - We hid the download URL beyond a closed group, which would only become exposed once the group owner (A partner) would approve your access. We ripped all other group hub functionality from these sections, it just became a way for us to quickly gate the download URL.
Similarly, we had no way for users to opt into our user directory - This was something we previously managed via roles. As a quick solve/hack, we again leveraged the new Group Hub functionality in a way it was never meant to be used - By joining the ‘Group Hub’, it would act as the flag to say you should show up on our user directory. If you leave the group, you’ll stop showing up in the directory. We built out all of the Anaplan Helps section in the span of a week, including a few new components to support the apps.
3. What success metrics did you use to determine if your shifts in strategy and process had the desired outcomes? What were those quantifiable outcomes?
Our CEO was on a interview this week where he actually provided a recap on a lot of this work.
The part that we can’t measure is that we were able to do something, anything, to help. When Covid-19 hit, a lot of folks wanted to do something, and this allowed them. We were able to allow our end users to have a hand in working on models to help hospitals on trying to understand ICU bed availability, govt agencies understand where to put resources, etc. Supply chain and workforce management were huge changes globally, and our software and models built by the Community were able to help.
Beyond that though, we had more models (apps) downloaded than at anytime in the past 3 years. This section has grown to represent over 5% of our traffic in a matter of months. It’s been a great success that we continue to update as our end users, customers, partners are finding actual value out of it which helps them, and long-term of course it helps us.
These programs got call-outs by our CEO in our last earnings call;
Over the last two months, our community of experts certified Master Anaplanners quickly responded by creating 17 production-ready models that can be downloaded and deployed at no cost by any Anaplan customer. These models address COVID-19 specific use cases; like hospital bed planning, PPE redistribution and FEMA-type expense tracking.
We also launched a 90-day free trial and met with various non-profit organizations, governments and customers to help them address their urgent challenges related to COVID-19. We've seen increased interest in our platform with a number of app downloads up about 80% higher than the monthly average. The most visited page on our website in April was Deloitte's Dynamic Clinical Staffing Model built on the Anaplan platform.
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