Posts Tagged 'customer success'

Customer Video: The ROI of Salesforce Integration

Here’s a new Informatica Cloud customer success video:

A Cloud is Not an Island

I like what Eli Kohn, operations manager at BDB Payroll Service, has to say about the importance of cloud integration in this case study:

“From my perspective, you can’t derive maximum value from salesforce.com unless you also have Informatica Cloud. The combination of the two solutions has helped us up-level our customer service performance from a level two to a resounding level 10. Having salesforce.com without integration is like having a beautiful house on an island, but no way to get there. By leveraging Informatica Cloud to put our customer data under a single umbrella, we’re saving significant headcount, enabling our departments to better collaborate and accelerating our timeframe of getting things done in an effective and professional manner.”

You can read the full story here.

Cloud Computing Case Study – Informatica Cloud

I recently participated in the  Cloudcon virtual conference, which focused on cloud integration. Here are a few case studies I presented:

The Importance of AppExchange to Salesforce Customer Success

I was digging around the AppExchange today and noticed that there are now “962 Apps and counting.” I suspect we’ll see an announcement soon for app #1000.

In a recent interview with an IT executive about their salesforce.com implementation, the importance of the AppExchange to Salesforce success was put this way:

“A key differentiator for us was the AppExchange. The fact that there is an ecosystem of surrounding applications that can help us deliver immediate ROI was huge. Now, if new functionality is needed, we can go out to the AppExchange and try it before we buy it. We can test it in our sandbox and see how it goes before plugging it into the production environment.  The ability to quickly deploy tools to our sales team that increase productivity has a direct connection to revenue, and it gives us the flexibility to not have to make big investments before we know they will work.”

That’s a solid endorsement! Congratulations to my friends on the AppExchange team.

I also noticed that Informatica’s free Data Loader is the most popular app of all time on the AppExchange, followed by a calendar sync app from Appirio, SalesView from InsideView, VerticalResponse, and a Force.com project management app.

popular appexchange app

Sounds like bi-directional cloud data integration is both the on-ramp to the cloud and essential to making cloud applications stick.

Competing on Customer Success in the Cloud

Earlier this week I wrote about two Doug Henschen articles that highlighted the old data integration battle between Batch and Real Time as it relates to cloud computing.  Each article included unfounded claims by vendors who had hoped that they would go unchecked. They did not. On Wednesday Doug followed up with a post that every software product marketer should take the time to read.  It was originally entitled:  Sifting through Claims, Conjecture and Outright Lies but was later softened somewhat to:  Sifting Through Competitive Claims & Conjecture.

The post reminded me of a recent post by Dave Kellogg on PR, which highlighted the differences between Tiger Woods and Evan Lysacek:  PR Lessons from Sports This Week: Tiger F, Lysacek A+. The Kellblog post summarizes a great exchange between Bob Costas and Lysacek with this excerpt and commentary:

Lysacek, continuing:  “the truth is that he’s been a force to be reckoned with in men’s skating for the last decade and has been a great role model for me …  [he] did something that no one thought was possible, [took time off,] came back, and got his third Olympic medal — two silvers and a gold — and that’s not something to be taken lightly.” Wow.  Call the guy who’s attacking you a role model and then cite his accomplishments in a clear and precise way.   This guy is good.

Wow.  Call the guy who’s attacking you a role model and then cite his accomplishments in a clear and precise way.   This guy is good.

I wouldn’t call myself a PR expert by any stretch, so I did a quick Google search and found this article:  Common Mistakes When Talking to the Press. The top two points on the list of Interview Don’ts is worth reviewing:

“Remember the golden rule “If you don’t want it printed – don’t say it in the first place”.”
“You should never knock the competition, whilst trying to promote your own product.”
The Do List talks about knowing your facts and reinforcing your points with proof.  Nice.
To this day, my favorite article on software marketing is the “I Know Marketing” Forbes.com interview with Marc Benioff. While he’s no stranger to aggressive competition, he highlights the importance of getting your metaphor right and he mentions customers no less than 1o times in the short interview. As Benioff states in this Behind the Cloud interview:
“It’s all about customer success. As they continue to see the benefits of the reduced risks and costs of this model as well as the revolutionary tools that can change the way they run their business and innovate, we will continue to see rapid adoption.”
In the era of cloud computing, and more specifically software as a service (SaaS), customer success should truly become the primary differentiator. When asked tough questions about your competitors, why not let customers who did a fair evaluation of both provide your answers? And when you’re launching new features or making claims about differentiated functionality (that doesn’t involve consulting), be sure you can back it up with customer proof. The beauty of the SaaS model is that vendors actually know how their products are being used. And the subscription model means that actually usage is critical to renewals.
It’s never been easier to get to know your customers. So as a product marketer, instead of simply trying to compete on data sheet feature, function, benefits why not take the high ground and compete on actual customer success?

Informatica Analyst Coverage on Twitter

Today I’m at the Informatica Analyst event in Palo Alto. You can follow the discussion at #infaanalyst.

Here are a few of my favorite “tweets” so far:

  • “Anything that allows for configuration vs. code drives LOB transparency, visibility. more mashups!”
  • “Another customer is using Informatica Cloud Services: ” It is as easy to use as an online email tool. Quite straightforward.””
  • Informatica Marketplace – crowd sourced innovation!”

There was also a great customer panel. Here’s one of the Informatica Cloud customers talking about his implementation:

Cloud Integration: Helping to Deliver Your Morning Paper

Here’s an Informatica Cloud customer video illustrating a data replication use case from Salesforce.com to a database hosted on Amazon’s Cloud. Now that’s mission critical data integration as a service!


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