2020: the year agile business planning takes centre stage

2019 has certainly been a year of political and economic uncertainty. Whether it’s Brexit in the UK, protests in Chile and Hong Kong, trade wars between the US and China or even extreme weather affecting countries from the UK to India, businesses have been constantly reminded of the need to stay agile and respond effectively to unexpected events. This is alongside rapidly changing consumer preferences such as reducing plastic waste, eating less meat and an increase in the popularity of electric vehicles; all of which is shaking up multiple industries from consumer packaged goods to manufacturing and transport.

2020 has to be the year that business models evolve more than ever to keep pace with our changing world.

So, what is the answer? Agile business planning has to take centre stage in helping businesses stay one step ahead. But many would be forgiven for not knowing where to start. It comes down to balancing the rapid deployment of new planning applications against longer term digital transformation strategies.

With much disruption on the horizon, organisations must break any existing barriers down and connect all areas of the business to see where money is being spent, track sales performance and monitor the movement of products.

Businesses need to ensure that they are planning for every scenario and have every angle covered in 2020 and beyond. Only then can you jump on new opportunities and steal a march on rivals big and small.

With this in mind, what are our predictions for agile planning in the year ahead?

Larger planning teams will become more popular, including the rise of the Chief Planning Officer

While planning is not a new function, it is only set to evolve as business needs become ever more complex. 

In 2020, planning teams can further embed themselves into functions such as HR and finance to ensure that effective planning is becoming a daily task, not just an ‘add on’ to be carried out on occasion or for special projects.

To ensure that this is the case, organisations should consider the need for a new planning leader in 2020, one that spans the organisation and is the champion for all planning, analytics and decision-making – the Chief Planning Officer (CPO).

Organisations will be planning for international expansion

From trying to reduce economical impacts, through to responding to an increase in competition from new markets and meeting customer demands for new products and services, we can expect to see greater international expansion in 2020. In fact, research from Vuealta earlier this year revealed that 74% of global businesses were looking to expand into new markets.

While this will open further revenue opportunities, it will make planning more complex, including the need to integrate new market data into business plans quickly and effectively.

Integrated, cloud-based planning technology will be critical in providing the insight and agility needed for successful international expansion

Digital transformation – including connected planning and the rise of pre-configured apps – will continue to be a priority

With so much disruption and change within the marketplace, organisations need to be able to make changes to their planning based on market insight almost instantaneously. But research earlier this year from Anaplan showed that 75% of organisations take weeks or months to update plans with market changes. This is largely due to a reliance on traditional planning techniques involving historic trend analysis and human judgement, rather than current data, and largely based on manual, legacy systems

Therefore, digital transformation will be a key focus for business planning in 2020, focusing specifically on the ability to use technology to connect data, people, and processes across an entire enterprise.

By moving planning processes away from spreadsheets and other manual processes, to cloud-based technology, businesses can also automate and streamline tedious processes, which reduces human error, improves productivity, and provides stakeholders with increased visibility into performance

At this point, there’s so much technology out there, that businesses are struggling to see the wood for the trees. Much of the technology on the market now is so advanced and complicated that it’s hard to cut through the jargon and understand how to get the most out of it – even for those that are more technically minded.

Companies in 2020 and beyond need to seek out expert consultancy to advise them on how to make the most of it. Someone who can understand what business problems they need to solve and how that can be tackled with the right technology. For example, we expect to see a rise in demand for preconfigured applications, which can be deployed rapidly into planning operations, and deliver immediate results across businesses this year. However, specialist advice will still be needed to ensure that organisations’ balance the rapid deployment of planning applications against longer term, digital transformation strategies.

Intelligent planning and the use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, will grow rapidly in 2020

Intelligent planning – the application of Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence (AI) to business forecasting and planning processes – is the next exciting step which some organisations will soon begin to take in their digital transformation journey, to enable businesses to exploit much more advanced analytics. In fact, 94% of organisations believe it will impact the future of planning.

Intelligent planning will provide the opportunity to consume, exploit and create actions based upon much larger volumes of data and identify patterns within it that would otherwise be impossible.

Based on data from both within and the outside the business, intelligent planning will be used by organisations to automate, predict and prescribe the right course of action for any business process, from forecasting and scoring, to optimisation and categorisation.

The potential for AI to transform business decision making is unprecedented. Big data, machine learning, and deep learning will be able to automate decisions and provide powerful insights into demand forecasting, promotions optimisation, procurement strategy and a host of other business processes.

2020 for many brings the prospect of more uncertainty. Will government leaders around the world rise up to the climate change crisis? Will the continual rise of AI start to really affect the labour market like commentators say it will? There may be no crystal ball which provides clear answers to these questions, but one thing businesses can do for certain is ensure that agile planning is in place, to future proof their operations for years to come

Planning for an intelligent future

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has firmly taken root in our everyday lives and in many instances, such as the smart speakers we find in our homes, this AI is apparent and relatively simple. But when you use that same speaker to make an online purchase, you may be less aware of the complex AI that is involved in the process of picking and packing that item in a warehouse and routing it for delivery to your doorstep. 

The world of business is full of similar use cases for complex AI, where the technology is transforming business performance. However, something that underpins all of these processes is the need for planning. For example, how did the aforementioned supplier know what the demand for their product was going to be in the first instance? This is where ‘intelligent planning’ – the application of AI to business forecasting and planning processes – comes in; another example of complex AI. Traditional planning techniques would have involved historic trend analysis and human judgement, but with intelligent planning, the supplier could have exploited much more advanced predictive analytics. 

Intelligent planning provides the opportunity to consume, exploit and create actions based upon much larger volumes of data and identify patterns within it that would otherwise be impossible. It can also remove the bias inherent in rules which have been defined and coded by humans. Based on the data it is fed, intelligent planning can then be used by organisations to automate, predict and prescribe the right course of action for any business process, from forecasting and scoring, to optimisation and categorisation.

But implementing any kind of AI technology isn’t a straightforward process and there are a number of considerations to take into account beforehand.

Understanding the opportunity for intelligent planning

Compared to current planning activities, which invariably work on pre-defined cycles such as weekly or monthly processes, intelligent planning can be considered to have more of an ‘always-on’ approach. Large volumes of unstructured data can be analysed in real-time to identify patterns that can be used to make decisions or simply recommend the appropriate course of action. As such, any business that has access to data that exceeds the volume that humans can analyse and understand, will need intelligent planning to remain competitive. 

For example, a large retail organisation can harvest data from millions of daily transactions to make better buying, customer engagement, and operational decisions. But they don’t need to stop at short-term future actions; instead they should consider using social media sentiment and detailed demographics to make longer term, strategic decisions around areas such as range, store locations and customer experience. 

Financial services is another prime candidate for intelligent planning, particularly where understanding and influencing consumer behaviour is involved, for anything from calculating the probability of a customer renewing their insurance policy; the likelihood of a loan holder defaulting on their payments; or the future spending profile of credit card customers.    

Intelligent planning will enable these types of businesses to produce increasingly accurate forecasts and allow them to apply more lateral thinking to the planning process.

Approaching planning in a strategic manner

With the opportunity for implementing intelligent planning being significant and broad, there is a risk that businesses could approach it in a ‘gung-ho’ fashion. Worse still, they could fall into the trap of looking for problems for a new solution to solve, even where those problems don’t exist. Businesses need to wait for the normal business challenges or opportunities for automation to naturally bubble to the surface, but when they do, they shouldn’t be tackled on a piecemeal basis.

Implementing intelligent technology can involve significant investment for companies of any size, so it’s important to approach it in a considered manner. Businesses, along with their IT and data experts, are still finding their feet when it comes to approaching and implementing AI technology.  They lack the experience born out of decades of more mainstream technology enabled change implementations. So, to try and overcome these challenges, the obvious approach to adopt is to pilot intelligent planning solutions in the first instance and if it comes to it, fail-fast.

Ensuring senior buy-in from the beginning

Smart business leaders start with a vision for AI and an up-front understanding of what it can do for the business. Given the potentially wide reaching impact of intelligent planning, the fact that it typically won’t sit in functional silos, that it is still extremely novel and that it can be hugely disruptive to any business, the decision can ultimately only come from the top. The C-suite therefore plays a huge role in sponsoring the introduction of the technology.

For these same reasons though, management can be hesitant to make any final decisions without having access to concrete evidence that proves it is worth the investment. But as the technology is still in development and emerging, this kind of evidence is next to non-existent. Added to this a gap in understanding of the technology that has only recently started to be filled, and people are only just beginning to appreciate AI as a real-life solution, as opposed to something from a sci-fi film.

Eventually, AI technology will become a more mainstream solution, but in the meantime, companies are going to come across an abundance of challenges to tackle before any solution can be implemented successfully. What’s more, it’s far too big a leap to take at once, so businesses need to make the transition to intelligent planning in stages. And on the journey from traditional siloed planning through to intelligent planning sits Connected Planning.

Connected Planning entails joining up planning activities across all business functions so that forward looking decisions ripple through the entire organisation, allowing the full impact of any single decision to be assessed holistically. Over the course of time, intelligent planning can and will be woven into a businesses Connected Planning ecosystem.

Vuealta mentioned in Times Raconteur’s report

In The Times Raconteur’s report Managing the Unpredictable, Vuealta’s VP of Applications Antony Lovell discusses how businesses should handle uncertainty by implementing an advanced planning system. Also included in the report are key findings from Vuealta’s own research: The Future of the Supply Chain.

Download The Times Raconteur’s report

Vuealta expands senior leadership team with two new key hires

Nick Nesbitt and Mark Laughton join Vuealta to support growing customer base and company expansion.

We are pleased to announce that Nick Nesbitt has joined the Vuealta team as Managing Director, UK & Ireland, responsible for continuing to increase revenue for applications built on the Anaplan platform and related services.

Mark Laughton also joins as Group Chief Financial Officer, overseeing Vuealta’s finance, operations, legal and HR activities on a global basis.

As the new Managing Director of UK & Ireland, Nick Nesbitt brings more than 19 years’ experience in corporate management performance (CPM) to Vuealta. Nick’s career so far has seen him managing large CPM technology practices in independent software organizations, with a particular specialism in Cognos, Hyperion and Tagetik. His work has involved selling and delivering solutions across a wide range of industry sectors – a skill which will complement the delivery of Vuealta and Anaplan products.

Mark Laughton is joining the Vuealta global team as the new Chief Financial Officer with more than 15 years’ experience in senior finance leadership roles in the UK and internationally, having previously worked at GE, Lloyds Bank, Visa, RSA Insurance and NewDay Cards.

Ian Stone, CEO of Vuealta comments: “We are delighted to welcome Nick and Mark to our fast growing team. We have an enormous opportunity to expand our customer footprint through the provision of Anaplan powered applications for business modeling and planning and related global support for Anaplan customers across the world. We are also proud to be a Premier Sponsor of Anaplan’s CPX event, offering our customers a fantastic opportunity to meet the newest members of our team.”

Uncertainty Can Generate Opportunity – Given the Right Planning and Insight

Brexit, regulation and cybersecurity – three words you would not have expected to be headlining a list of major concerns facing financial services companies a decade ago.

Yet, according to our latest research, The Future of Financial Services: Planning for Every Eventuality, these are now expected to be the biggest challenges facing business decision makers in financial services over the next five years.

Regulation and compliance issues continue to be a major disruptor, with the recent implementation of GDPR leading to an increasing number of companies that are struggling to meet requirements. And, with a decision over Brexit looming, the political implications only add to the uncertainty faced by financial services companies. This is supported by our research, which revealed that over half of UK decision makers highlighted the impact of political changes as the biggest challenge that their businesses will face over the next five years. Much of this anxiety is likely to be due to the chaos surrounding Brexit.

When you factor in other challenges highlighted by those UK respondents: namely data management and privacy (30%); planning and uncertainty in the market (18%); as well as disruption from technology (16%), companies are facing a perfect storm of threats to mitigate, external factors to manage and new developments to facilitate. This all adds up to a testing ecosystem – full of economic and political uncertainty – but one that is also brimming with opportunity for those businesses that navigate the period well and understand the environment that surrounds them. Now more than ever, businesses need to face the music with a fluid plan that covers all eventualities and possibilities, so they can manage uncertainty, adapt to change and transform business processes quickly.

Remaining calm in rising uncertainty

The industry is as unsettled as it has been in a decade, with the true implications of our divorce from Europe remaining unclear. As a result, it’s no surprise that UK decision makers see political change as a major challenge, with uncertainty clouding their every move. This hesitation brings its influence to bear right across the sector, from small players to market leaders – potentially impacting every area of business. And while many firms will decide to remain in London post-Brexit, over a third of the UK’s largest financial services firms have announced they will be moving to other European cities, with Paris set to become Europe’s post-Brexit trading hub. Dublin is another popular choice with Barclays recently announcing it’s moving £166bn of assets due to Brexit fears.

It can be hard not to panic against this backdrop. But however disconcerting, it’s crucial to remain calm as customers, employees and trading partners are relying on companies to make the right decisions – preserving as close to ‘business-as-normal’ as possible. That doesn’t mean sitting around and pretending everything is fine, like a 2019 Canute; it means putting in place plans that cover all the possibilities and eventualities. In other words, knowing the ‘what ifs’ and having a measured, effective response for any scenario. Do that, and businesses can steal a march on less organised competitors.

Greater transparency needed for compliance

Regulation and compliance has also taken its toll on the financial services industry and continues to be a struggle for many, despite the risk of heavy penalties. Recently, we saw Google fined £44m by the French data regulator for a breach of the EU’s data protection rules. Our research further demonstrated this struggle with 45% of UK respondents seeing this as the largest potential disruptor to their business over the next five years.

Focusing on greater transparency and data protection, this is exactly where technology and data has the power to transform – helping to tackle much of the complexity involved in achieving compliance whilst delivering instant access to the precise information needed to plan effectively. With the right systems in place, organizations can quickly connect and verify different data sources, whilst breaking down the silos to gain a much clearer view of what lies ahead.

But as emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and digital payments disrupt traditional processes, there’s also a heightened threat from cybercrime to contend with. In fact, our research shows that UK business leaders feel this threat to be their second greatest challenge (44%) and potential disruptor (44%) over the next few years (behind ‘political changes’ and ‘regulation & compliance’ respectively). Business identity theft, for example, was up 46% year on year in 2017, and mobile cyber-attacks grew by 40% in that year alone.

Planning for every eventuality

But it’s not just cybersecurity and regulatory or political uncertainty causing sleepless nights for financial services as lower barriers to entry have given the green light to a host of new upstarts across the industry. From fintech companies providing loans and payments, to completely new high street banks – Atom and Metro are just two examples in the banking sector, plus the tech-behemoths of Amazon and Apple. Everyone fighting for market-share and challenging the long-held stronghold of traditional Industry players.

Confronted by these dynamics, it’s surprising that concern over competition isn’t more acute – with our research finding just 11% of UK business decision makers feel worried about the challenge from start-ups over the next five years. Organizations must ensure they don’t get complacent and take their eyes off the ball. Disruption can come from anywhere and the speed at which new start-ups can grab market share can be disconcerting. Companies need to ensure they are planning for every scenario, with all angles covered. Only then will they be ready to jump on new opportunities and steal a march on rivals.

Organizations should continuously be asking themselves if they’re truly getting the most out of their data. With effective planning and solid forecasting, businesses can unlock opportunities, get closer to customers and inform better decision making – from new appointments to investments. Having a connected approach to planning and forecasting, right across the business, will provide the insight to face the challenges and disruptions that shape the financial services industry.

It’s all about being able to move fast, and having access to critical data will reduce the impact of uncertainty and build realistic, actionable responses to all the ‘what ifs’.

Vuealta is Anaplan’s Channel Partner of the Year for 2019

Award presented to the Vuealta team at Anaplan’s 2019 Kick Off Event in San Francisco

We are delighted to announce that Vuealta has been awarded the Channel Partner of the Year Award for 2019.  Vuealta was recognised by Anaplan for leading significant business transactions across European and Asia-Pacific markets, while significantly growing its Anaplan practice, including a launch into the Americas market.

“Anaplan’s world-class partner ecosystem is one of the key driving forces behind the emergence of Connected Planning as an enterprise cloud category,” said David Tharp, Vice President, Global Partner Organization, Anaplan. “I’m thrilled to be with our partners from around the world to celebrate our annual partner award winners and discuss ways to capitalize on joint programs to engage customers, drive growth, and further pioneer the Connected Planning category.”

“The Vuealta team are extremely proud to receive this award in recognition of the new customers we have introduced to Anaplan over the last 12 months and the global support services we offer,” said Ian Stone, CEO, Vuealta.  “As an exclusive Anaplan partner, we are fully committed to our purpose of enabling organizations to accelerate decision making with Connected Planning on both local and international scales. I would like to congratulate the entire Vuealta team whose Anaplan expertise and customer first approach has contributed towards Vuealta achieving this accolade.”

The full press release can be read here

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Financial services businesses are not prepared for technology disruption

Leadership teams in financial services organizations “do not appreciate the potential impact of technology disruption” – that’s according to more than half (52%) of the business decision makers in the sector.

New research released today from connected planning specialist, Vuealta – The Future of Financial Services: Planning for Every Eventuality – reveals the array of challenges and disruptors that the industry will face over the next five years.

When asked what the biggest challenges their business would face over the next five years, respondents replied:

  1. Cybersecurity – 42%
  2. Political changes – 39%
  3. Regulation and compliance – 36%
  4. Data management and privacy – 31%
  5. Planning and uncertainty in the market – 20%

Ian Stone, CEO of Vuealta, commented: “Now, more than a decade on from the events of 2008, the finance industry is far from settled. It’s chaos at the speed of the digital era. In fact, the next five years are set to be just as dynamic as the previous ten – filled with challenges and disruption but equally, presenting opportunities for those that navigate the period well. To do so, it is crucial that businesses remain calm, proactive and pragmatic. Control what you can control and make sure you can react quickly to the things you can’t.

Amid the chaos, perhaps the most dynamic event in the industry in recent years has been the FinTech explosion. It saw global investment of $57.9bn in the first half of 2018 – more than it did in the entirety of the year before – and this looks set to continue. When asked what will be most disruptive to their business over the next five years, the respondents focussed on key technologies:

  1. Regulation and compliance – 45%
  2. Cybersecurity – 43%
  3. Artificial intelligence and machine learning – 31%
  4. Payments technology – 27%
  5. Cryptocurrencies – 25%
  6. Blockchain – 18%
  7. Big data – 14%

There are myriad challenges and disruptors for financial services organizations around the world. The key is planning – planning effectively, at speed, and with instant access to the precise information you need. However, The Future of Financial Services: Planning for Every Eventuality report also revealed that a large proportion of organizations are trying to run their business with inadequate planning tools and processes: only 50% of respondents claim to plan with “all departments working from one tool which is updated in real time”; more than a third (35%) keep planning siloed within departments; 38% use multiple documents for different departments which are then used to try and create one plan for the business; nearly a quarter (24%) share one spreadsheet across business units.

Ian Stone, CEO of Vuealta, concluded: “The temptation for many businesses can be to take a wait-and-see approach. Organizations need to understand the environment that surrounds them, have a clear view of what is approaching on the horizon and then connect that to their own business information – enabling them to plot a route to success. Through this connected planning approach, you can reduce the impact of uncertainty and build realistic, actionable responses to all potential ‘what ifs’. Only then can you be armed with the insight you need, at the speed you require to face the challenges and disruptions that will shape the financial services industry in the years to come.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About Vuealta

Vuealta is an international company providing tailored advisory, implementation and ongoing support services exclusively for Anaplan, a leading planning platform provider. A trusted advisor in business process and transformation, we work with global organizations to take a more unified and collaborative approach to planning – connecting people, plans and data to enable faster decision making. Vuealta has offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

NewDay partners with Vuealta

NewDay, a leading UK consumer finance provider, has partnered with connected planning specialist, Vuealta to improve its business planning, budgeting and forecasting via the Anaplan platform.

Paul Sheriff, CFO at NewDay, commented, “The business has achieved significant growth in the last few years, whilst also expanding its portfolio of products and partnerships. We needed a planning platform that was more agile, and could connect the dots across the rapidly evolving business.”

“The Vuealta team helped us deliver a solution that maximised the benefits of the technology, with a fully connected financial model of the business. We are delighted with the impact it has had for the most recent budgeting cycle.” Following this success, NewDay is expanding the scope of the Anaplan platform into other areas beyond budgeting and forecasting.

Adam Bimson, Director and Co-founder of Vuealta said, “For NewDay, this was about bringing agility to a business trying to grow at great pace. By connecting their planning in the Anaplan platform and tailoring that solution to NewDay, we have been able to provide the scale and flexibility they need to continue to grow in their challenging industry. We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with this industry pioneer and working together to achieve its business goals.”


About NewDay

NewDay is a leading UK consumer finance provider, specialising in the near-prime and co-brands sectors of the UK credit card market. As at 31 December 2017, NewDay had approximately 5.4 million customers. Of these, 4.2 million customers hold co-brand credit and store cards offered in partnership with a number of the UK’s established retailers (including Amazon, Arcadia Group, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Laura Ashley, and TUI).  1.2 million customers hold own-brand credit cards, operating across the aqua, Fluid, marbles and opus brands. NewDay utilises its extensive customer knowledge of the near-prime and co-brand sectors to develop products and services that evolve in line with customers’ needs and promote long-term customer relationships.

About Vuealta

Vuealta is an international company providing tailored advisory, implementation and ongoing support services for Anaplan, a leading planning platform provider. A trusted advisor in business process and transformation, we work with global organizations to take a more unified and collaborative approach to planning – connecting people, plans and data to enable faster decision making. Vuealta has offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and USA. To learn more, visit vuealta.com.

Vuealta expands into Americas with New York office and Managing Director hire

Irfan Ozaltin joins the international advisory partner to further its global connected planning proposition

Connected planning specialist, Vuealta, has today announced that it has opened a New York office – it’s first in the Americas. In conjunction with this, the business has hired Irfan Ozaltin as Managing Director & GM of Americas, to spearhead its operations and expansion in the continent.

Over two thirds of Vuealta’s existing client base has global operations and this latest expansion comes in response to the demand from its customers for global support from one connected partner. This new USA presence builds on the recent acquisition of Executit in May 2018 which brought the business’ capabilities to the wider European and Asia Pacific markets. Vuealta’s strong pedigree in financial services will be an excellent spring board into this latest financial hub – New York.

Ozaltin commented “Given the maturity curve in cloud innovation and scalability, the world of finance and technology is going through a rapid and turbulent transformation. True connected planning has never been more important to survival. I am thrilled to be joining the Vuealta family, to build our brand in the Americas, and explore the market opportunity of helping businesses navigate this data revolution. As a global consulting firm, we will be well positioned to deliver real change and best-in-breed advisory services for our clients worldwide.”

“As with any venture into a new market our primary tasks will be talent acquisition and market penetration. I look forward to sharing Vuealta’s unique proposition with our prospects and building a talented team of consultants to continue the business’ pedigree and success, in this new market,” Ozaltin continued.

Prior to joining Vuealta, Ozaltin held roles including Managing Director with Impetus Consulting Group, leading the firm’s strategic direction and business within the USA-East region, as well as Director at Peloton Group, overseeing client services and go-to-market strategy for the New York and Mid-Atlantic markets.

Ian Stone, CEO of Vuealta added, “We’re delighted to welcome Irfan Ozaltin to Vuealta as we embark on this next exciting step in our company’s journey. Expanding into the Americas will cement our global offering and New York is the perfect base from which to launch this. With the right consultancy partner in place, businesses can realise the true power of connected planning.”

The future of Fintech is a connected one

Between 2010 and 2015, the financial services industry changed drastically. In just those five years, four of today’s most successful fintech companies were launched; namely Stripe, Revolut, Starling Bank and Monzo. These launches all had one thing in common; putting the customer at the centre of the operation, untied to legacy or history. Fast forward and the fintech industry is coming of age, with the UK’s fintech sector alone attracting £1.34 billion of venture capital funding in 2017, and new companies launching into market every day.

This success means that the challenge these companies now face is one of scale. To keep moving forward, they need to be able to expand and scale up quickly and easily to support their growing customer bases. They need to do this at the same time as maintaining the flawless, fully-digitised customer service that they have become synonymous for. No easy feat.

How they play this growth period is therefore vital. They need to be fast in making decisions and flexible enough to adapt to the constant changes that are now part and parcel of today’s market. That means arming themselves with the tools and information that will help them achieve that.

The key is in the planning. As digital companies, fintechs already benefit from high levels of flexibility and adaptability. These traits must also be reflected in how they approach their business planning if they stand a chance of still being relevant five years down the road. A recent survey by Ernst & Young revealed that a third of UK fintech companies believe that they’re likely to IPO in that timeframe – a clear demonstration of the rewards that can be reaped from staying successful. What will set the successes apart from the failures is connectivity. A more connected company with a more connected approach to how it plans will be more successful.

By connecting their people, processes and data, fintech companies will be able to more accurately forecast their revenue, costs and liquidity on a monthly if not weekly or daily basis. They’ll be able to model and digest significant variations in activity and resources, as well as changes in operating models and growth scenarios. For those looking to scale up their operations, both from a size and geography point of view, these insights are invaluable. Expansion is an expensive business, so using the company’s data and connecting it to make more informed, accurate decisions will help ensure that they don’t burn through valuable capital.

It will also help them stay nimble. This is a period of significant change, with new regulations, political fluctuations affecting currency rates, access to skills and trade deals, amongst other things. The future is unclear so staying nimble means having a clear view and plan for what multiple futures could look like. That is only possible with a real-time overview of the business and the ability to quickly understand the impact of any market changes.

This is a critical point for fintech companies. The competition is growing and although the larger banks will never be able to match them in terms of agility, they have experience, big customer bases and money on their side. Taking a more connected approach to how they plan will be key to success. Only with a clear view of how the business is performing and scenarios for when that performance is jeopardised, will fintech companies cement their place in the future of finance.

Vuealta acquires Executit, building on its global Anaplan offering

Vuealta extends offering in Northern Europe and the Asia Pacific region, sponsors Connected Planning industry event

Connected planning specialist, Vuealta, has today announced the acquisition of Executit. This is the company’s first acquisition, since its founding in 2017 by former-Anaplan employees, Ian Stone and Adam Bimson. The acquisition will further extend Vuealta’s Anaplan practice into Northern Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Both companies work exclusively with Anaplan, the leader in Connected Planning, that provides software and services to create the connected plans essential for businesses competing today. Vuealta and Executit were both recently recognized with Anaplan Partner Awards for driving successful adoption, expansion, and return on investment for customers. Jointly, the two companies have an impressive customer portfolio and a huge range of experience across a variety of different use cases and many years of collective Anaplan expertise.

Ian Stone, CEO of Vuealta, said, “Technology has allowed businesses of all sizes to more easily establish a global footprint and they need an international partner to work with them to connect planning processes across their network. Bringing Executit, a highly respected and experienced partner that specializes in Anaplan services, into the Vuealta fold will allow us to expand our offering into Europe as well as gain a crucial foothold in the booming Asian marketplace. We deliver a global service to Anaplan’s international customers and this acquisition puts us in an even better position to do that at scale.

Jonas Nordquist, Founder of Executit commented, “We are excited to be joining forces with Vuealta, furthering our work with customers to realise the best of the Anaplan Connected Planning platform. Drawing on Vuealta’s additional capabilities, we will continue on our mission to tackle business challenges and transform uncertainties into opportunities.

Anaplan is committed to delivering success for our customers, and our partner ecosystem is critical to achieving this,” said David Tharp, Anaplan Vice President of Global Alliances. “Vuelta and Executit are valued members of the Anaplan partner community, and their alignment will create a multi-regional approach important to many of our global customers.

Vuealta is a gold sponsor at Anaplan’s Hub Comes to You, a Connected Planning industry conference, taking place on May 15 at 8:00 AM at the Central Hall Westminster Storey’s Gate, Westminster London SW1H 9NH, UK. To learn more about the event, visit https://www.hubcomestoyou.com/london/.

About Vuealta

Vuealta is an international company providing tailored advisory, implementation and ongoing support services for Anaplan, a leading planning platform provider. A trusted advisor in business process and transformation, we work with global organizations to take a more unified and colloborative approach to planning – connecting people, plans and data to enable faster decision making. Vuealta has offices in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Vuealta partners with Lloyds of London to modernise its Finance function

A more connected approach to planning at Lloyd’s of London puts the finance team at the strategic heart of the business

When Jim Islam, Head of Group Finance at Lloyd’s of London joined the Corporation, he inherited a traditional accounting function. He saw an opportunity to modernise and change the perception and role that the finance team played within the wider organization, putting it at the heart of strategic decision making.

Specifically, he realised that by streamlining and connecting the Corporation’s budgeting and planning processes, he could make the finance function an effective and strategic business partner, whilst also improving and accelerating the organization’s ability to make better decisions. To do that, he chose to partner with Vuealta to introduce the Anaplan platform; replacing Lloyd’s of London’s numerous, processes and approaches with one consistent plan.

This couldn’t have come at a better time. Lloyd’s is introducing a number of modernisation programmes to enhance efficiency and provide better value for money services. To do that, it needs a clear, accurate and real-time view of financial performance and the ability to forecast for future scenarios.

Jim Islam explains: “We were good at reporting the numbers but not exploring them to provide actionable insights to the business. We needed to put finance at the heart of strategic decision making by introducing a standardised approach. That meant getting rid of the disparate system applications that we were relying on and introducing a consistent global template.

The change needed to happen quickly. Working with Vuealta, Jim and his team implemented the Anaplan platform across all of their business regions in just four months – endlessly flexible and scalable, it can be used across the business to connect data, processes and people. The platform gives the finance team and others within the business a much bigger picture view of its finances.

Jim continues: “The Anaplan platform provides us with a clear view on targets, data, any changes that have been made and how they’re being managed, which is indispensable for our audit trails and risk monitoring. This is particularly important considering increasing demands on the finance team to be agile and provide insightful information with a single version of the truth for financial data. It has enabled us to focus on developing talent and enhancing management information to drive decision-making.

The shift from processing numbers to spending more time on analysis and value-added work has also made the finance team’s jobs much more interesting and they have become true partners to the business. To support them in this new role, Lloyd’s has spent a lot of time on training and re-designing the team, putting in place a new organizational structure and creating centres of excellence. “

Ian Stone, CEO of Vuealta: “Fast and agile decision making is what sets successful companies apart. By renewing its approach to planning in the finance department, Lloyd’s of London has put itself on the front foot when dealing with changes in the market, whether that’s regulations, market pressures or competition from FinTech. Other parts of the business have been impressed with the benefits of the new planning approach and are also now engaging in further rollouts of the Anaplan platform.

Karen Clarke, Vice President, Northern Europe at Anaplan: “Collaboration and alignment will be key to companies as they navigate today’s turbulent economic and political landscape. A more connected approach to planning allows information to flow more freely across a business to provide increased agility and better insights. The finance team is a hugely important driver of this change – using data and information to help the business make more informed and quicker decisions. Lloyd’s of London is a fantastic example of how this new approach can have a real difference to the organization as a whole in just a short space of time.

Vuealta and Reportwise announce partnership to deliver IFRS16 Compliant Lease Contracts Management Solution

As of January 2019, the IFRS16 Standard imposes a single lessee accounting model; requiring lessees to ensure a permanent lease inventory, recognise assets and liabilities in their balance sheet and publish additional disclosures.

Addressing this statutory requirement, Reportwise Consulting, a specialist performance management company, have created an IFRS16 compliant solution powered by Anaplan, for data collection, calculations, reporting and disclosures of lease contracts.

Forming a new partnership, Reportwise and Vuealta are committed to helping UK businesses meet the needs of the requirements of IFRS16, through the deployment of the new App.

The clock is ticking for these organizations, who need to have a solution in place by 1 January 2019,” said Ian Stone, CEO, Vuealta. “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Reportwise whose Anaplan App we can deliver to companies across the UK in a short amount of time, carrying out implementations during the first half of 2018 in order to meet the statutory deadline.

The team at Vuealta are in a prime position to take our solution to market,” said Michel Morel, Anaplan Practice Lead at Reportwise. “Their Anaplan expertise and skills, combined with their existing customer relationships, means that we can expect to see successful deployments across relevant organizations, supporting this element of their IFRS16 compliancy.

Vuealta launches in Asia Pacific region with new office in Sydney

Vuealta, a leading European-based Anaplan partner, announced its launch in the Asia Pacific region today, with the opening of an office in Sydney, Australia.  Led by Jason Crage, formerly of Solution Minds, the Vuealta APAC team brings to the region over 20 years of experience within Enterprise Performance Management sales and consultancy services.

With global demand for Anaplan continuing to grow, aligning our business to support multi-national customers based within regional offices with a localised service is an important priority for us,” says Ian Stone, CEO at Vuealta. “We are pleased to be able to strengthen our relationship with Anaplan by continuing to support its growing customer base with this new office opening.

Jason Crage, Managing Director at Vuealta APAC, comments “We are looking forward to delivering our best-in-class consultancy services to organizations across the APAC region.  Our team has deep product expertise and knowledge and this is a logical step to strengthen Vuealta’s position amongst the Anaplan partner ecosystem.

Get in touch with the Vuealta APAC Team:

40 Mount Street Level 17.
North Sydney NSW 20160.

E: hello@vuealta.com
T: 00 61 405 709 351