Posts Tagged 'Salesforce.com'

Talking Cloud Integration at #DF13

Here’s a quick interview I did with Matt Childs from Vidcaster on the show floor at Dreamforce 2013:

Last week I interviewed Jeff Kaplan from THINKstrategies to get his views on the conference and what was announced. Some of the highlights are here. The slides we reviewed are below.

Are you ready for Dreamforce?

If you aren’t feeling the excitement yet, just check out #df13 to get fired up by the Salesforce community. (While you’re at it, check out #batkid - what an amazing story!)

Here are my predictions heading into the conference. It remains to be seen if @Benioff has joined the Movember movement, but I have seen an impressive mustache initiative from Salesforce Platform evangelist Reid Carlberg.

In this post I summarized why it’s important to go beyond the simple requirements of the Salesforce Data Loader – Don’t Just Get Loaded at #DF13.

Here are a few predictions for the week from Appirio that are worth reviewing. We’re clearly going to hear a lot about mobile and the Internet of Things…that Chatter.

Earlier this week I participated in a webinar focused on Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) and the important role application and data integration plays in the success of  each initiative. The slides are posted below. Have a fantastic Dreamforce!

The Nuts and Bolts of Being SaaSy

Last week I wrote about Zuora’s subscription manifesto and the differences between a technology vendor selling an on-premises solutions vs. a company that delivers a true SaaS solution (which I still believe must be multitenant). Today I read a great series called the SaaS Manifesto, written by Peter Levine, General Partner at Andreeson Horowitz. Part one is on Rethinking the Business of Enterprise Computing. Part two is on Focusing of Building a Real Sales Team.  The series draws from extensive first-hand experience and outlines what it takes to truly become a best-in-class software as a service (SaaS) solution provider. Traditional enterprise software company executives should read it as they prepare for their future and SaaS company executives should review it as checklist.

I’ve been fortunate in my career to work with some real SaaS pioneers.  I’ve seen companies struggle and fail to truly embrace the SaaS model and others execute against what seemed like impossible odds. The first paper I read about “being SaaSy” was by Mark Trang, when he was at salesforce.com. The paper was called, “7 Habits of Highly Effective SaaS Companies.” I couldn’t find the paper, but here’s a great presentation from a 2008 Salesforce ISV event. In 2011 Matt Holleran, now founder and managing director at Cloud Apps Management, delivered a great Dreamforce presentation on the same topic. Some of this early knowledge sharing clearly had a positive impact on the so-called “Salesforce Mafia” –  check out this summary of Salesforce employees who have gone on to start companies. The Start-Up Cloud indeed!

Here are some of the best articles I’ve read over the years on best-in-class SaaS (in no particular order):

  1. Bessemer’s 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS
  2. 9 Worst Practices in SaaS Metrics
  3. SaaS Metrics 2.0: A Guide to Measuring and Improving What Matters
  4. My Top 10 Year One SaaS Mistakes. Save Yourself Some Pain & Just Don’t Make Them Yourself
  5. Should Your Startup Go Freemium?
  6. Marketing SaaS Solutions to Enterprises: Seven Hazards to Avoid
  7. SaaS in the Enterprise and the need for social selling
  8. HubSpot’s Best Practices for Managing SaaS Inside Sales
  9. SaaS Marketing: 21 Growth Hacks to Test Today
  10. How SaaS Changes an ISV’s Business Model 

Thanks to the authors for sharing their SaaS insights.  Of course I should also give a shout out to Behind the Cloud, by Marc Benioff.  And if you’re still working at an enterprise software company that has not yet begun the inevitable shift to the cloud and the subscription economy, I’m sure there’s not a day that goes by without somebody mentioning Clayton Christensen and the Innovator’s DilemmaEscape Velocity by Geoffrey Moore is also excellent.

What’s missing? Got any more “Best in SaaS” articles or best practices to share?

Marc Benioff Speaks at Disrupt SF 2013

Michael Arrington talks business strategy with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. Good discussion about technology disruption and the impact of cloud, social and mobile on the industry.

Megavendors, Cloud Judo, and The Innovator’s Dilemma

dcunni:

Back in 2007 Ken Rudin, CEO of the early stage SaaS BI start-up called LucidEra (and former Siebel employee) was asked about the cloud announcement from Business Objects (before they were acquired by SAP).  He made a number of observations about the challenges enterprise software companies face when it comes to transitioning to the cloud. Here’s the interview.

Today, Dave Kellogg wrote a great post about Oracle’s series of cloud announcements this week. I’ve re-blogged it here.

Originally posted on Kellblog:

It’s an interesting time in cloud evolution.

  • Oracle missed their fourth quarter targets, for the third time in seven quarters, with many observers worried that cloud missteps were a root cause.  Buying Sun when the world was going cloud was a rare Oracle zig when the market zagged. To take Wall Street’s eyes off the 4Q miss, Ellison promised some startling announcements in the coming week, a great diversion if there ever was one.
  • Oracle then announced a nine-year strategic partnership whereby Salesforce will continue to run its technical operations on Oracle’s database, purchase Financial/ERP and HCM software from Oracle (presumably dropping its existing Workday implementation), and the two companies…

View original 1,405 more words

Organizing your Salesforce Orgs

Does this sound familiar? You’re moving from an independent instance (or org) of Salesforce CRM to the consolidated corporate org.  While there will definitely be business benefits in terms of visibility, reporting, customer/prospect communication, support, responsiveness, enablement and general leverage of corporate resources, it still represents a potential loss of autonomy. But it’s the right strategy for your business. Or is it?

Whether you ended up with multiple Salesforce orgs through mergers and acquisitions, separate brands or divisions, or through organic growth: at some point your organization is going to need to determine what is the right approach to multi-org consolidation. Here is an overview of 3 approaches to consider.

The Benefits of a Single Customer View

social crm dissertation wordle

social crm dissertation wordle (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

The promise of a single customer view is nothing new to CRM. But is there a comprehensive list of the benefits that such a promise might be able to deliver? Today on the Informatica Perspectives blog, Dina Elsokari took a crack at not 10, but 12 benefits.  It’s also notable that she talked about single customer view benefits without once mentioning cloud master data management or any associated technology for that matter. Well done!

Here’s her list:

  1. Increase upsell and cross sell opportunities
  2. Identify your most valuable customers
  3. Higher customer retention
  4. More targeted product development
  5. Clearer targets for your marketing initiatives
  6. Increased ROI on marketing campaigns
  7. Credible forecasts
  8. Respected reporting
  9. Supporting data for a possible merger or acquisition
  10. A sales culture, not a data gathering and cleansing culture
  11. An increased adoption of Salesforce
  12. Controlled risk

Be sure to check out the entire post and provide your feedback here.

Cloud Data Management in the Spotlight

This week I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar featuring two great subject matter experts on the topic of cloud data management in the era of hybrid IT:

Mike West outlined why “hybrid” (or highly interwoven) deployments are the new normal for enterprise IT. He reviewed how the coud is radically changing the role of enterprise IT and why data management must be a part of an overall cloud strategy. He identified 7 trends of the so-called Boundary Free Enterprise and pointed to these 5 best practices:

  1. Commit to (Cloud) Data Management
  2. Manage the Organizational Issues
  3. Partner with a Data Management Provider
  4. Manage Both Control and Access
  5. Approach Data Management as Value Creation

Andrew Bartels shared the story of how he led the transition at his company to “cloud first” and drove Salesforce adoption from a peripheral system to a key driver of business performance and success. Andrew spoke passionately about the need to treat data as an asseet and concluded with the following words of advice:

  • Communication is key
  • Focus on real needs not just philosophy
  • Establish a Data Committee
  • Become a partner & not an obstacle
  • Integration & accessibility is key
  • Be prepared for a long road

I’ve embedded the video below and posted the slides on Slideshare. There’s some great insight here. I hope you find the discussion interesting and useful – I sure did!

Congratulations to the 2012 Best of AppExchange Award Winners

English: salesforce.com Deutsch: salesforce.co...

Every year Salesforce announces the top partners by AppExchange category based on the quantity and quality of reviews. Today they blogged the winners. Congratulations to these partners who continue to demonstrate such a high degree of cloud customer adoption and success.

Sales: There are multiple winners in this category based on functional area.

Overall winner: Adobe EchoSign (They have now won 7 years in a row!  I actually thought the award had only been around for 5 years. Hmmm…. They have an astounding 2040 reviews for their electronic signature application.)

  • Reports and Dashboards: Hoopla Scoreboard by Hoopla Software (we have the big screens running in our office!)
  • Methodologies: Opportunity Management Optimizer by Sales Optimizer
  • Geolocation: Geopointe by Arrowpointe
  • Quotes and Orders: Configurator by Big Machines
  • Compensation: Xactly Incent by Xactly

Customer Service: Clicktools Surveys and Scripts by Clicktools

IT and Administration: Informatica Cloud Integration for Salesforce (Informatica has been recognized 5 years in a row as the top cloud integration solution!)

Marketing: Marketo (Big win over Eloqua in a very competitive category – congrats!)

Human Resources (HR): Jobscience for Professional Recruiting by Jobscience

ERP: Ascent by Precisio Business Solutions (I’m interested in feedback on this app. Thought you’d see Financial Force here.)

Collaboration: SpringCM Free Content Management from SpringCM

Analytics: Sales Pipeline Visualization by SalesClic (First I’ve heard of this app – looks interesting.)

Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks to the Salesforce users who took the time to post their reviews!

 

Related Articles:

From SaaS Spree to SaaS Sprawl to SaaS Sanity?

I wrote earlier in the week that cloud integration suddenly seems cool. A few articles this week  reminded me that it’s not just about cloud integration, it’s about cloud data management. And in many cases, it’s about the need for Cloud Master Data Management.

  • Cloud Services Becoming Foundational: “Through 2016, a hybrid model (cloud and captive systems) will become the platform of choice, a transitional platform en route to a future dominated by public and private clouds. By 2016, 75 percent or more of new enterprise spending will be cloud-based or hybrid according to Saugatuck’s research.”
  • Geoffrey Moore: The Next Decade Will Be About Systems of Engagement: “Moore forecasts the emergence of an enterprise-focused tech industry that will offer workplace versions of consumer technologies that people actually will like to use. He imagines there will be enterprise versions of Facebook, Facetime, Twitter, etc.”
  • And bringing it back to Cloud Master Data Management, Mike Vizard wrote about the concept of “Two-Tier MDM” noting:  “as integration issues become more pressing in the cloud, IT organizations are once again going to discover many of the same MDM issues that have plagued their internal operations for so many years — only this time it will involve a lot more applications that they have less control over than ever.”

It seems we have we gone from a “SaaS spree” toSaaS sprawl” and now finally to “SaaS sanity”?

Here are three brief videos that explain at a high-level how the key capabilities of a cloud master data management (MDM) solution can help deliver SaaS sanity:

 


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