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New Hire Spotlight: Feeling Good About My Team

 

By Shannon Bachar | Social Media & Content Specialist

The moment I arrived for my first day, I knew that Akili was a company that truly cared about its employees and their success.

After a friendly greeting, I was taken to a desk set up to fit my needs. There, I was welcomed with Akili swag and photos of some of the “finest badasses in all of the universe” that I’d be working alongside. As you know, first day impressions are crucial.

And to me, Akili nailed it.

The weeks following have continued to affirm my initial impression that Akili is a company that, of course, wants to drive results but ultimately, promotes the importance of employee satisfaction (because happy employees equals increased performance and productivity).

Here are some things I’ve learned since that first day:

You don’t have to be a one-trick pony

So, far I’ve dipped my feet into other facets of marketing where I previously haven’t had the chance and therefore, my days have been anything but monotonous. That’s a great thing about Akili: we’re bright as individuals but outstanding as a team. Stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something different is encouraged. Everyone gets to contribute and is equipped with whatever they need to reach that level of success.

Which brings me to my next experience.

Your contribution matters

I’ve been given feedback for essentially everything I do, so I always know where I stand and what I need to do to improve. At the same time, I am never micromanaged because the most important thing is that I get my work done.

This company treats you like the adult that you are. You’re not another face to replace, but an individual with the tools and power to make a difference.

You’ll work hard, but will play hard, too

One of the first emails I read was an invitation to an office putt-putt tournament and happy hour.

Is this a real thing? Can’t say I’ve ever heard of that at an office.

At Akili I’ve noticed that this team works hard and excels at what they do. But not without a little fun along the way. Don’t be surprised if you see someone gliding down the aisles on a hoverboard or a competitive ping-pong match taking place in the hall. Work life balance is key here, because if you don’t have fun, you won’t succeed.

You can openly communicate

The open-door policy here is something I’ve come to enjoy. No more calling someone a couple desks away for a simple question. In addition, the meetings feel more inclusive because everyone is an active participant.

Have a comment for CEO Shiek Shah? Walk right over to his office and strike up a conversation. At Akili, our leader isn’t a face we only see on the company website.

The weeks are flying by, and with everything I’ve experienced so far, I can say with confidence that Akili is truly a company built upon knowledge, passion and culture.

And with that kind of focus, I think I’ll stick around.

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Akili Core Values Series: Fun

 

By Angela Budagher | Office Manager & Executive Assistant to CEO

If you don’t have fun doing something, you will never excel at it.

(well, we don’t just Excel … we Anaplan too!)

Providing and encouraging work break fun and company events are key components to maintaining our strong company culture. At Akili we are surrounded by smart people who truly live the “work hard, play hard” mentality. We are serious about our work and our play. “Compete like never before” does not stop with client projects. We have trophies for all of our events, and there is never a dull moment for the summer parties, happy hours and in-office tournaments (like putt-putt, ping pong, office Olympics and costume contests). At our company events, the entire office is filled with laughter, smells of spicy snacks and whatever flavor of beer we have on tap. These are fun days that keep us laughing well after the event.

Having fun with what you do in work or life can be about the crazy shenanigans happening at the office, but sometimes it’s all about perspective: choosing your attitude on what you do and how you do it. Like most organizations, everything starts from the top. Our CEO Shiek Shah has a great perspective about everything Akili. He is transparent in having passion for what he does and building a legacy that not only continues to grow, but evolve. Having passion for what we do is driving the essential pivots for company growth.

Promoting fun around the office is also about being human. It’s the acceptance of falling flat on your face and the ability to laugh at it. Getting right back up and using the passion for what we do propels us forward. It’s the perfect recipe for balancing the “work hard, play hard” attitude. Company culture is now more competitive than ever, and at Akili, we strive to drive a culture that supports the humanism of our employees and ignites their passion for work. We want employees to not only come to work, but to be passionate about getting to work (and driving results). Even in the “fun” department, we “Compete like never before.”

Now, let’s grab a beer and get back to work!

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May You Live in Interesting Times

 

By Shiek Shah | CEO

 

Interesting times indeed – Whether you get your news from the daily papers, TV or from social media, you cannot escape the news of the tremendous amount of disruption that is going on in the business world caused by changes in consumer behavior.  It started with online shopping for books at Amazon and has now progressed to just about everything imaginable done online. You can buy diamonds (Blue Nile), groceries (Amazon Fresh), and automobiles (Tesla), deposit a check online, consume music and entertainment on demand and so on and so forth.

This massive disruption has caused ALL incumbent industries to shake in their boots. Walmart, the biggest company in the world, acquired Jet.com (an unprofitable startup) for $3.2 billion last year to compete with Amazon. Bebe closed all of its stores because it could not compete with Amazon. Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears, Michael Kors and a bunch of other retailers are shutting a large number of their stores as consumers become increasingly comfortable with online shopping. Banks will continue to close branch offices as most banking can now be done online. Grocery stores are not immune either. Amazon just announced that they are buying Whole Foods – wait, what? I suspect Amazon will use Whole Foods to improve Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go.

The effects of technology on industries that are a century old are swift and deep. Take the auto industry – the combustible engine was developed over 150 years ago and while we have made great improvements over that time, the basic principles have not changed. The battery technology is changing all of that. Electric cars are here to stay. Autonomous driving technology is developing rapidly. Ride sharing is gaining popularity. So if you are a 100-year-old Ford Motor Company that manufactures gasoline cars, you should feel threatened. The future isn’t bright. Ride sharing means less cars to manufacture. If you make less cars, there are less car loans to grant and therefore less drivers to insure. Electric cars means fewer parts to repair. So if you are an auto loan company, an auto insurance company, or an auto repair company, take heed – changes are coming.

Pick any industry and I will show you how technology is rapidly disrupting it. If you are an intermediary (think stock brokers, real estate agents, insurance agents, and bank tellers) – worry! Technology will replace you – it’s just a question of when! The cascading effects are astounding and the rate of change is accelerating.

So, what do you do if you are a company in an incumbent industry? My recommendation is to first become nimble and agile. You have to make sure your company can react quickly to changing trends. Most of the time, the legacy IT systems are dead weight on companies trying to become nimble and agile. As you refresh your technologies, think about how you can retool, so you can pivot on a dime. If the functionality that you are refreshing is the basic foundation for any enterprise (think payroll processing, AP, AR for example), look at cloud solutions, outsourcing solutions and best of breed solutions so you can not only refresh faster, but expand and contract as necessary. Then innovate, innovate, innovate. What was true 5, 10, 20 years ago is most likely not true today. So hire bright, young people that may not know much about your industry, but do know the trends for their generation. Companies who make decisions based on data have started hiring anthropologists to help mine their data in a holistic way. They ask questions that your typical data analysts do not and in doing so, may uncover trends earlier and then react more quickly than fellow competitors. Bottom line – become the disruptor or risk being disrupted!

Interesting times indeed! – Should you be excited or worried? It all depends on your perspective …

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Akili Core Values Series: Loyalty

 

By Max Gough | Senior Account Executive

The reason we do things is more important than the things we do.

Within the first week of joining Akili, the first thing that struck me was the cast of characters around the office and the culture of individual empowerment.  Obviously, friends and family have asked “so, what are the people/culture like at Akili?”, etc. In all candor, I was struggling for the right phrase that captured this entourage…then it hit me! “Band of Brothers.” 

Similar to the acclaimed movie Band of Brothers, the plot soon had little to do with the Normandy invasion but quickly evolved into a mission of passion; an unsuspecting group, bonded by a higher purpose, not simply to survive the day.

Similar to the first principle in the book Good to Great, “First Who, Then What,” beginning in 1992, Akili’s CEO, Shiek Shah has carefully crafted a group of people who share two very similar DNA traits; a passion for ethical reasoning and raw analytical talent. Focused more on the reason they do things rather than the things that they do, this Band of Brothers (and sisters!) has for 20 years, experienced record growth and unquestionable customer loyalty.

Here at our Headquarters in Las Colinas, I often wonder if our fellow tenants ponder about the cast of characters dressed in everything from business attire to shorts and flip-flops (okay, it’s about 90% shorts and flip-flops) and wonder “what the hell is Akili all about?!” Don’t let the hoverboards, loud laughter and casual environment fool you, my friend. Because behind those doors are some of the most highly respected and sought-after SAP and Anaplan professionals in North America. When it comes to disciplined thought and disciplined action that’s driven by a unified passion of “why” not “what,” “Band of Brothers” perfectly describes this entourage called Akili. I hope one day to call it home. ­­

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Webcast Replay: Learn the Advantages of Akili’s SAP Consolidations Quick-start Solution

Watch Akili’s SAP Consolidations Demonstration Webcast Replay

Akili’s SAP Consolidations Quick-start solution can be implemented in as little as 8 weeks — A quicker implementation = less business disruption and lower cost.

Watch Akili demonstrate a month-end close in SAP BPC. With Akili’s SAP Consolidations Quick-start solution, companies get a highly automated system that makes closing the books faster and simpler.

Included in our quick-start solution are standardized reports to meet regulatory requirements, as well as management reporting to help drive key business decisions.

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Webcast Replay: Experience SAP S/4 HANA Cloud with Akili

Watch Akili’s SAP S/4 HANA Cloud Enterprise Management Demonstration

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is SAP’s next generation ERP suite designed for in-memory computing that allows companies to “Run Live” by gaining instant access to detailed, real-time information, and execute with confidence gained from unique insights across the entire enterprise.

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud delivers the power of a digital core with the key benefits expected from a cloud solution, including the scalability, ease of management, and the security businesses need to excel in today’s fast-paced digital economy.

Watch Akili demonstrate SAP S/4HANA Cloud’s simplicity for big data and enterprise agility. With the SAP Fiori user experience and less complex data model it is designed to run simple, and in parallel reduces the data footprint of your company.

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Need flexible, cost effective functional or technical support services help?

Why Akili’s SAP Support Services?

Akili has flexible, cost effective, near shore remote Support Services to help you!

Functional Support Areas:

  • Sales & Distribution
  • Purchasing
  • Production
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Budgeting & Planning
  • Business Intelligence
  • PRA for Oil & Gas

Technical Support Areas:

  • Data Integration
  • HANA Data Warehouse & Business Warehouse
  • ABAP & PI
  • HANA Cloud Platform
  • Basis with HANA &/or any Database
  • BI Optimization

A few questions to consider:

  • Do you have the necessary skills to ensure proper response to your business requirements?
  • Do you have the necessary staff to cover projects, support, vacations, or employee turnover?
  • Do you have the expertise in all of the functional areas to gain the most value from your SAP environment?
  • Are you preparing your business and support teams for S/4HANA, HANA Cloud Platform, and other Cloud based systems?

 

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The SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud Solution

Companies like yours must evolve quickly to succeed and grow in today’s real-time, digitally-driven world, and transforming the finance organization can be the key to jumpstarting that evolution company wide.

Effective finance transformation using the right cloud technology can deliver richer insight and more accurate forecasting, so you can make better decisions when it comes to investments and new innovation.

So what cloud technology can help you establish a leaner, faster, and more strategic finance operation to lead your business?

The SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud Solution: It’s Finance Reimagined

  • Reimagine strategy with intelligent finance: Support intelligent, timely business decisions with robust planning and simulation functionality and real-time costing information embedded directly into business processes
  • Empower finance teams to configure and personalize their own reports, drill down to line items for root-cause analysis, and aggregate and segment data across multiple dimensions
  • Integrate business planning across operations from production and cost planning to sales and profitability planning

Reimagine business performance with immediate finance:

  • Deliver real-time financial information to business teams across your company using a single in-memory financial data source supporting both transactions and analytics
  • Gain a complete and accurate picture of financials at any point in time without waiting for end-of-period close and run batch jobs at any time to consolidate and reconcile finance data
  • Eliminate manual work and improve insight into daily cash operations using automated, real-time cash management that tracks current and expected accounts receivables and payables

Reimagine efficiency with integrated finance:

  • Get instant insight across finance functions with a single, consolidated data source that eliminates reconciliation tasks and simplifies data modeling and analysis
  • Integrate finance processes with other operations including procurement, production, sales, and human resources

Break financial information silos across your company by connecting on-premise and subsidiary systems and data sources to the cloud. Learn more about how SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud can help you dramatically shorten financial close cycles and reconciliation, securely automate compliance and reporting, and reduce operating cost and effort.

Download the reportfrom Constellation Research Behind the Innovations in SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud.

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DISH Network Supply Chain Success Story: A Journey to Collaborative Planning

 

Akili customer DISH Network shares their Supply Chain Success Story

As the market for digital television became increasingly saturated and competition for customers intensified, companies such as DISH Network moved to a technology-driven business model that would enable an agile supply chain. Partnering with Anaplan, DISH re-engineered its supply chain to meet growth objectives and satisfy consumer demand for an ever-greater variety of products and services.

Anaplan offers a solution that can reduce end-to-end supply chain costs and profitably align your supply chain to market opportunities.

View the Slideshare presentation below on how DISH Network is planning to boost profits and reduce the cost of holding inventory by eliminating manual, spreadsheet-driven processes.

Contact Akili for additional information about Anaplan’s Supply Chain capabilities for your company at info@akili.com

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How Anaplan Simplified the Monthly Capital Spend Forecasting Process at Tribune Media

 

Akili customer Tribune Media shares their Financial Planning and Analysis success story

With Anaplan for Finance you can plan, forecast, consolidate, analyze, and report – at scale and across your entire enterprise, with less effort, and more accuracy. Anaplan takes you beyond basic budgeting—linking advanced drivers and models to operational and financial plans across Finance, Sales, Operations, and HR.

Learn more about how Anaplan can help you build financial plans and orchestrate performance with speed, precision, and true collaboration.

View the Slideshare below to see how Tribune Media used Anaplan to simplify their capital spending monthly forecasting process.

Capital Spend Forecasting in Anaplan from rnaramore

To find out more about how Akili can help you realize the benefits of the Anaplan platform, please contact us at info@akili.com