IBM Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS

IBM Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS
IBM Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS

Written by Mike Bernaiche, January 18th, 2024

IBM recently introduced a new partnership and offering for Planning Analytics.  Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS brings together impressive planning and forecasting software with the power of AWS.  While this offering is available to anyone, I would suggest the sweet spot is for those who have smaller teams and have AWS credits that can be utilized. Below I will expand on the offering and why I think this is an incredible opportunity for clients.

What is Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS?

IBM Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS refers to the deployment of IBM Planning Analytics, a performance management and business analytics solution, in a cloud environment hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This deployment model allows organizations to leverage the benefits of cloud computing for their planning, budgeting, forecasting, and analytical needs.

Key Features of Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS

Just as you would come to expect with Planning Analytics on-premise or SaaS (IBM cloud) you get the following with Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS.

  • Interactive web experience - Workspace, the IBM Planning Analytics interactive and customizable web interface, provides a single, self-service experience for business users.
  • Native Microsoft Excel interface- Continue to use the Excel interface to leverage and automate existing spreadsheets while connected to the Planning Analytics solution.
  • Real-time decision-making ability - Support unlimited data volumes and users, providing real-time aggregation and calculation–without compromising on performance.
  • Secured, Governed, and Compliant - Rest assured that your critical financial and operational analytical data is properly secured and governed.
  • Highly Visual Analysis and Reporting - Don’t export data to external tools. Easily produce a variety of graphical charts within multi-tab displays to provide deep analysis.
  • Powerful Modeling - Move from conventional to advanced scenario modeling including “what-if” analysis. Run calculations and analyze large data sets quickly and easily.

3 Offers for Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS

  • Essentials – Perfect for small teams who want to create faster, more accurate plans and forecasts. Uncover deep insights and adjust plans in real-time without having to export data to other tools.
  • Standard – Tailored for companies that want to harness AI to plan smarter, pivot quickly, and feel confident with trusted insights. Anticipate outcomes and adapt to changing demands at the speed of business.
  • Premium - Designed for large enterprises that want to integrate business planning across every part of the organization.
    Prepare for tomorrow with an AI-powered planning solution that can handle your business's complexities.

What is included?

What is Included in Planning Analytics on AWS

As you can see there is a plan for everyone!  Unless you have a large finance and accounting team, the standard will be great for most.  Essentials provided a great entry point with a minimum of 5 users.

The good news, as you grow you move from essentials, to standard or standard to premium.  Scalability is easy and seamless.

The cost of entry is very reasonable, better than you will find with any competing planning solution for what you get with IBM Planning Analytics as a Service on AWS.

Summary

There you have it!  An excellent solution at a great price providing awesome planning and forecasting features.  Maybe you own planning analytics and are looking to move to software as a service on the cloud.  Perhaps you do not own a planning solution today or are in the process of exploring.  If so, reach out to us today at sales@lodestarsolutions.com.  We can provide all the information you need to make an informed decision.  To learn more about the latest version of Planning analytics check out these blogs:

Edit Dimensions and Others Greyed Out in Planning Analytics Architect

edit dimensions
edit dimensions
September 20, 2019
The problem - Edit Dimensions and Others are Grey

We get this question from time to time , "Why is edit dimensions and others greyed out in Planning Analytics Architect?" The answer is typically a simple one, your security has not been set correctly, or based on your role you do not have access to certain things like edit dimensions.  If you are supposed to have access the fix is an easy one.  Below I will explain the fix and a number of other things that are important when changing someones security.

How do I Get Access to Edit Dimensions?

Maybe you are a new employee and one of your job duties it upkeep on your dimension structure in Planning Analytics.  You have been granted access through your active directory set up.  Next, you log in and all you can basically do is open a cube or dimension. Uh oh, don't see any process or chores and you might not even see any PA/TM1 servers available. This is a result of your initial log into to Planning Analytics Architect for the first time. Now that you have logged in, your PA/TM1 administrator can provide you with the proper security.  

Here is the really important information. You will need to ensure that your company has the proper licensing for you to be added as an admin to the system.  As you can see below there are a number of different security options within PA/TM1.  Basically, there are 3 types of users in PA/TM1,  Admins, Users and Explorers. Please see this great blog from Heather that details the different types of users and answers to 13 Common PA/TM1 License Questions.

To understand the differences in the below user types please check out this link to IBM explaining the differences. 

edit dimensions
Why is it important to understand your license mix?

 IBM routinely audits customers. It is on each customer to ensure they are in compliance. It is easy to just add someone to the admin group who needs that type of access. However, you will not be given a message saying you do not have a license, like Microsoft or other software. You can see how this could get out of control and then, BOOM, IBM sends the notice that you are being audited. Here is another great blog by Heather that spells out everything you need to know before you are audited. (What To Know Before You're Audited). This blog also contains great information on the ILMT tool, which the majority of Planning Analytics clients will need to make sure is installed for their system. One exception is Planning Analytics Express. Do yourself a favor and read this blog! It may save you lots of money in the long run!

What if our PA/TM1 Admin is No Longer with the Company?

Recently we had a client in this exact situation mentioned above. They were new, logged in and were unable to edit dimensions. Their admin was not available and they needed access to edit dimensions, update process and rebuild cubes, ASAP.  How do you get around this situation?  

Going to preface this with a disclaimer.  Make sure you are following your company policies on access and security. The below solution is an easy solution but you want to make sure you stay in compliance with company regulations.  

In short, you need to change the security mode on the TM1s.cfg file to 1. This sets the security to the default and allows you to log in as admin to the model. Below are the steps to accomplish.

Steps to Accomplish
  • Stop PA/TM1 services on model
  • Open TM1s.cfg file in question with notepad or something like it.
  • Change IntegratedSecurityMode=1 (remember the current setting), see sample file below, yours may not look exactly like this.
  • Save
  • Start PA/TM1 services on model
  • Go back to Architect and log into the model using admin for the user name and no password (this is standard for PA/TM1)
  • If that doesn't work use admin for the username and apple for the password.
  • You should be able to right click on Model/TM1 server name and go to security.
  • Find your active directory login and click the appropriate admin or user group.
  • Save and exit out.
  • Next, stop PA/TM1 services on model
  • Go back to TM1s.cfg file and set your security to original level.
  • Save
  • Finally, Start PA/TM1 services on model
  • Log back into Architect model. You should be all set.
  • edit dimensions
    Success!

    Now that you have access you can edit dimensions, build cubes, run processes, etc. Again, make sure that your licensing supports your level of security.  If you have any questions regarding licensing levels, access or anything else, please contact us services@lodestarsolutions.com

    Data and AI Forum

    Lastly, IBM Data and AI Forum is coming up soon!  It is a great conference to network and learn all sorts of awesome things about Cognos Analytics and Planning Analytics.  See this blog for everything you need to know.  Hope to see you down there!  ​IBM Data and AI Forum​​​

    X