Tag Archives: Salesforce

Salesforce Gets Granular

If you need an example of digital disruption, you can’t do better than the retail banking industry. A byzantine collection of rules and regulations plus the overhang of many legacy systems have conspired to prevent banks from becoming more involved with their customers.

Even innovations like the ATM, which entered the scene several decades ago, only serve to distance banks from their customers. This leaves plenty of opportunity for upstart technology vendors to disrupt the applecart.

Combine this with a generation of potential customers who were raised on digital products and services, and the result is that an important demographic is now up for grabs, setting the stage for disruption.

Making It Easy

Not long ago, Salesforce recognized those dynamics in play and moved to develop vertical applications for selected industries — including banking, where large institutions need to address the requirements of large customer bases. It came up with the Financial Services Cloud for Retail Banking, announced last week.

Some of what Salesforce delivers in its Financial Services Cloud will seem revolutionary to many bankers: things like a rich assortment of applications for all phases of banking, from loan origination to customer management.

However, a good chunk of the benefit comes directly from being a cloud solution with easy onboarding and updates scheduled three times per year.

Partnering Up

Where the Salesforce Financial Services Cloud differs from many banking products is in the way it brings together banking products resident in its AppExchange to deliver concerted solutions.

For example, nCino tells a powerful story of reducing loan origination time by orders of magnitude — not by building a closed system but by integrating other platform products.

Another example is Vlocity, also a partner with strong banking apps based on the cloud platform. It provides intelligent agent and omnichannel services for financial services and insurance.

In these and other relationships, you can see the Salesforce go-to-market approach solidifying. Partners bring expertise, which can be as big as loan origination or as specific as document signature capture. All of it goes into a solution that customers can craft for their specific industry needs.

Adding Specificity

As I’ve noted many times before, when companies get to the multibillion-dollar revenue level, they can’t expect to sell the same products in the same ways they did when their businesses were much smaller.

To show growth, a business needs help — and that means acquiring other complementary businesses and selling in concert with partners that can add specificity to the core product.

Salesforce has done both, and I look forward to hearing more about vertical strategies at Dreamforce.
end enn Salesforce Gets Granular

Denis%20Pombriant Salesforce Gets GranularDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there. He can be reached at

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3 Things a Well-Architected Salesforce Integration Can Do for Your Organization

rsz bigstock missing jigsaw puzzle piece wi 88882046 3 Things a Well Architected Salesforce Integration Can Do for Your Organization

Did you know that with a great Salesforce integration you can automate business processes, cut down on human error, and get a full view of your customers? All you need is a well integrated Salesforce system that enables data sharing across your entire network.  

The reality is, not all integration approaches are created equal. Some only enable data to be moved in one direction between systems. Some appear easy at the onset, but require considerable coding. Others only offer point-to-point integration and can only tie one system to another. And still others don’t act as a platform where data can be easily shared across the organization.

Businesses that choose the right integration solution will be rewarded with speedier, cost-effective integrations that can create unique competitive advantages to put them ahead of the curve. In our new whitepaper “Nine Strategies for a Successful Salesforce Integration”, we’ll walk you through how to pick the best integration solution for your company.

The great thing is, you don’t have to be a technical expert to understand and execute Salesforce integration. As long as you can grasp the concept of information moving from one system to another, you’ve got it.

In today’s digital world, customers, employees, and partners expect anytime, anywhere communications, instant responses, and up-to-date/real-time information. The battle for business will be won by being able to support business requests faster and better. To surpass the competition, enable your systems to work together at top speed. Read our paper to get started today.

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The TIBCO Blog

Salesforce Parallelism

For several years now, Salesforce has built distinct product lines that all work off the same platform and can integrate in interesting ways. There are product lines for the enterprise, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), business-to-business (B2B) firms and business-to-consumer (B2C) operations — and probably some others that I haven’t considered. For instance, the AppExchange contains a wealth of apps for very specialized types of front-office business, as well as some back-office apps, like accounting.

salesforce Salesforce Parallelism

We’ve recently seen product announcements for account-based marketing (ABM), partner relationship management (PRM), e-commerce, and a variety of analytics implementations. While supplying its core customer relationship management market, Salesforce also has been evolving as a provider of more generic products and tools that any business can use to develop unique solutions to its business processes.

The rationale for all of these new products is simple. Salesforce has advised my financial analyst friends that it is on track to generate more than US$ 10 billion in revenue from its SaaS business in its current fiscal year. That’s $ 10 billion of recurring revenue, which is quite an accomplishment. However, in doing this, the company bumps up against the same constraints that conventional companies encounter.

Broadening the Footprint

All companies need to extend product lines and attract ever-larger populations of customers. A conventional company brings out a lower-cost product for downstream markets that are more price sensitive, along with higher-priced solutions for customers who might require more handholding or glitz.

Product companies do it with form factors, features and even colors. If you’re a Software as a Service company, though, many of those avenues are blocked by the very democratization of the product that made subscriptions so appealing in the first place. Subscription products come pretty much in one flavor — there’s no B-grade.

That leaves other approaches to broadening the footprint that often are more useful than common line extensions. That’s one reason Salesforce continues to add specificity to its solution set. For instance, at one point not too long ago, it was enough to offer tools for building websites running on the platform.

Today, a website isn’t enough. The site has to be able to take an order and offer multiple ways to deliver products and services, up to and including connecting the brick-and-mortar store with the site and the catalog, AND connect to the billing system. That’s e-commerce in a nutshell.

Similarly, vanilla CRM once was enough to excite anyone carrying a bag and trying to ride herd on a lot of customer data — but no more. As the indirect channel shows, selling is multilevel, and the tools needed by original equipment manufacturers to sell and service distributors are qualitatively different from the tools used in direct sales by the channel associated with a distributor.

Nonetheless, everybody wants a view into the data so that each can better manage its part of the universe. So it becomes essential for CRM to inform PRM of field activity, just as it’s important for PRM to inform the field about features, functions and special opportunities. In between, the OEMs need to deal with distributors over market development funds, deal registration, discounts and commissions. The result is the modern PRM-CRM hookup.

Account-Based Marketing

Of course, that’s not all. Selling and servicing end customers is qualitatively different from servicing business customers, which is not unlike an indirect channel set-up — but the business processes are totally different.

In a B2B setting, one company might serve as a component supplier to another, and the indirect channel aspects of the relationship may be completely lacking. If you sell components like electric motors, plumbing fittings or chemical reagents, your customer isn’t so much adding value to your stuff (as in an indirect channel) as it is simply outsourcing a part of its business process that could, if needed, be done in-house.

Your job is to do the work better, faster, with fewer errors — and of course, cheaper. Into this milieu, Salesforce last week introduced enhanced account-based marketing.

If you are marketing to enterprises, you might gear up for a long sales cycle with a purchase decision by committee. If you’re selling to end consumers, just the opposite might be true. You might need to tightly script the customer journey — decisions can be made in a flash, and one mistake can cost you the business.

Consequently, there’s a raft of what at first might seem like overlapping marketing apps, but when you begin to tease apart the target business processes, you realize one tool set is more appropriate than another. It’s the difference between marketing and account-based marketing.

Chaos Reduction

We haven’t even looked at how developers for all of these different approaches to markets deal with modifying the underlying apps — but there’s a whole story there too. While the technology might be the same under the skins, there’s still a lot of process understanding to be done before it all makes sense.

Of course, Salesforce Trailhead is there to help with self-paced training — and with more than 100 badges to earn, there’s a lot of differentiation to consider.

So it goes. Salesforce is not the only vendor doing all of this, but it seems like the one most oriented to dealing with end-to-end process automation in a variety of instances. As I said at the beginning, it has had to find ways to increase the addressable market, and it has. The result has been more order and less chaos, which you sometimes can find in an extended product set. Good enough.
end enn Salesforce Parallelism

Denis%20Pombriant Salesforce ParallelismDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there. He can be reached at

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Salesforce Offers Alternative to Old-School Partner Portals

Salesforce on Wednesday announced the Sales Cloud Lightning Partner Relationship Management app as a replacement for partner portals and electronic data interchanges that lack modern features such as built-in mobile, social analytics and AI capabilities.

The PRM app has an interactive Guided Setup Wizard that lets channel managers configure, customize and deploy the app in days. It manages lead distribution, deal registration and marketing development funds, and it automatically assigns partners into meaningful tiers for targeted promotions and customized content. It also has AppExchange Components such as Xactly and NetExam.

Among Sales Cloud Lightning PRM’s Features:

  • Lightning CMS Connect, which lets channel managers drag and drop existing website content, graphics and videos to keep branded partner experiences up to date;
  • Einstein Content Recommendations, which use machine learning to recommend files such as logo graphics, product placement instructions, and pricing documentation for a new product; and
  • Channel Marketing Automation, which lets companies build, track and analyze email campaigns using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, to deliver 1:1 customer journeys on any device.

“Sales Cloud PRM is all about making your partners an extended part of your sales team and giving them the tools and information needed to accelerate deals,” said Greg Gsell, senior director of Salesforce sales cloud product marketing.

It’s “a turnkey app … built entirely on the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform, which includes Service Cloud,” he told CRM Buyer. Service Cloud “helps companies globally … deliver intelligent, conversational customer service.”

Partners account for one third of the average company’s revenue, and more than two-thirds of revenues for companies in high-tech, manufacturing and telecom, Salesforce has found.

Salesforce’s Rationale

“PRM is not new,” noted Rebecca Wettemann, VP of Nucleus Research.

“What’s new is Salesforce’s approach, which brings a modern UI and AI capabilities to PRM,” she told CRM Buyer.

The app “gives customers the advantages of Salesforce’s workflow automation and other tools for partner management, not just community collaboration,” Wettemann said.

It will improve partner stickiness for users, because “in a cloud world, partners can switch alliances more easily and quickly,” she pointed out. “Providing them with modern tools and more ready access to support will make switching less attractive.”

Partner relationship management “used to just be lead distribution, but now companies must deeply engage with partners to drive channel success,” noted Gsell. “You need PRM blended with CRM to deliver a great experience.”

Manufacturing companies are placing increasing emphasis on customer relationships, customer service, and new technologies such as AI, because technology makes it easier for customers to switch, said Salesforce.

Einstein “can help partners with content recommendations, and I can see it progressing to suggest optimum product and solution bundles,” observed Cindy Zhou, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

Target Market

The PRM app “is for any company or industry … looking to increase partner engagement and deal velocity within their channel sales organizations,” Gsell said.

Manufacturing, high-tech and telecoms “have the highest amount of revenue coming from indirect channels such as resellers, distributors and partners,” Constellation’s Zhou told CRM Buyer.

The PRM app “simplifies the setup process and minimizes the need for IT support for companies to help their partners get up and running fast,” she said.

Accessing the latest information on products or solutions, marketing materials and sales team training via mobile devices is becoming increasingly critical, Zhou noted, and the PRM app’s one-stop-shop solution “can lead to increased sales and faster deal cycles.”

The app’s strengths are mobile engagement for partners, a clean UI, and integration with CMS, learning management systems and compensation, Zhou said.

However, at US$ 25 per member per month, “it could be challenging for companies with broad networks of partners, resellers, distributors and dealers to enable,” she cautioned.

Other companies, such as Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM and Zoho, have partner enablement portals that “are due for a refresh,” Zhou pointed out. “There will be more announcements to come.”
end enn Salesforce Offers Alternative to Old School Partner Portals

Richard%20Adhikari Salesforce Offers Alternative to Old School Partner PortalsRichard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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Helpshift Integrates With Salesforce

Mobile technology has delivered a lot of useful functionality that enables vendors and their customers to be on the same page more frequently. However, the screen size has an inherent drawback: It shows a very narrow slice of a reality — typically one idea at a time. The problem is especially acute in the key areas of sales and service.

A mobile “help” app should deliver help the customer values. One that misunderstands the customer’s situation or its role in responding to it can be a source of pain, frustration or even customer churn. We’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t see that problem.

Good AI and machine learning tools have done a lot to ensure that the sales offers vendors place on customers’ small screens are the ones customers actually value.

The same need exists in customer service — putting the right information before a customer — but AI might not be necessary. However, because the mobile screen will support only one idea at a time, it’s critical that the help is, well, helpful.

There’s less to wonder about in a help situation and therefore less need for analytics. What is needed is simply step-by-step help as a customer traverses a process.

The Helpshift Approach

Helpshift, an emerging company in the customer service space, has been supporting service processes with an innovative approach to placing help at every step in a service process. This approach ensures the app’s help keeps up with the customer’s need.

Helpshift did something really cool this week, when it announced integration with the Salesforce Service Cloud and made the integration available on the AppExchange. Importantly, Helpshift FAQs are mapped to and managed by the Salesforce knowledge base, making it possible to manage Helpshift from the Salesforce dashboard.

When a mobile user initiates a chat in a Helpshift-powered mobile app, it automatically creates a Salesforce case. The case contains all of the metadata and data from the user’s phone, saving time and increasing accuracy and time to resolution.

It’s not hard to create a first-level integration with Salesforce, and many vendors do this. What’s interesting about Helpshift’s approach is that it has created an integration that not only satisfies the end user in the moment, but also goes on to work within Salesforce to enable knowledge base updating over the life of the mobile app.

From that point, you can imagine more functionality being added over time. For instance, how long before natural language processing becomes part of the interface?

Empowering Customers

Customer self-service once was thought to be the peak of customer empowerment, but we soon discovered that self-service systems were, in some cases, the same support systems used by agents — but possibly with nicer front-ends.

That didn’t work — at least in part because there’s a lot of knowledge capital that agents have as employees that customers, by definition, don’t. So customer self-service had a rocky start, and customers who used those systems easily could be discouraged.

Today’s self-help, exemplified by Helpshift, does away with old style self-service while really empowering customers. If an issue needs escalation, that’s a standard part of the solution. Conventional indirect service channels have been highly successful, with better than 80 percent of customers checking them before calling a service center.

That has resulted in fewer calls, but the ones that get through often are more complex and require the help of a real person. So, don’t expect this or any service automation to replace the agent.

The real benefits of the Helpshift integration will be twofold: For customers, it will provide fast answers in a channel that might have lacked them before. For vendors, it might be another way to limit the high costs of customer service. Given people’s propensity to solve their own problems, this should be a benefit to all parties.
end enn Helpshift Integrates With Salesforce

Denis%20Pombriant Helpshift Integrates With SalesforceDenis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry researcher, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can’t Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there. He can be reached at

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10 Reasons Microsoft Dynamics 365 wins out over Salesforce

CRM Blog 10 Reasons Microsoft Dynamics 365 wins out over Salesforce

When choosing a Customer Engagement solution for your organization, the options are more and more focused on two choices – Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Salesforce. Both are mature solutions and recognized market and feature leaders. Having assisted dozens of clients make the migration from Salesforce to Dynamics 365 CRM we have compiled a list of what drove these clients to their decision to switch. For us at enCloud9 these reasons point to the conclusion that Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM is the superior choice over Salesforce in Customer Engagement solutions. In this post, we will explore ten reasons Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM is the better option.

To read the 10 reasons Microsoft Dynamics 365 wins out over Salesforce click here.

After reading, if you feel that Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM is for you and are interested in getting started with Dynamics 365, contact us at enCloud9.  We have helped many businesses to implement Dynamics CRM and to migrate to Dynamics CRM from Salesforce.  We’d love to talk with you and learn about your company, their needs, and how we can help you increase your company’s productivity and efficiency. We can be contacted at our webform or call us today at 1-844-264-0729.

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CRM Software Blog | Dynamics 365

Salesforce Rejiggers Enterprise Apps Partner Plan

Salesforce on Tuesday launched the AppExchange Partner Program, or APP, for developers, independent software vendors and startups, as a replacement for its current ISV Partner Program.

salesforce Salesforce Rejiggers Enterprise Apps Partner Plan

The APP will cost much less. Its baseline percent-net-revenue (PNR) model for all new APP partners has been slashed from 25 percent to 15 percent.

Current partners will be eligible for the new PNR terms on contract renewal. Partner tiers will be eliminated.

The APP provides enablement and support based on the partner’s AppExchange Trailblazer Score, a new point-based system. The following criteria determine the score:

  • Customer success, based on AppExchange review and ratings;
  • Product success, based on security review status and adoption of the latest Salesforce technology;
  • Team readiness, calculated via Trailhead trails completed and certifications gained; and
  • Giving back through participation in Salesforce’s Pledge 1 percent program.

The new system will take effect in March 2018, Salesforce said, but existing partners will be able to view their AppExchange Trailblazer Scores by Q4, and “will begin the opportunity to increase that score leading up to March 1.”

New partners began earning points toward their score from May 1. They also will be able to view their score in Q4.

“Partnership is a two-way street, and we want to give ISVs a clear sense of how we measure success across the board,” Salesforce said in a statement provided to CRM Buyer by company rep Jessica Bryant. “We understand there are things beyond revenue that make a company successful.”

Among those things are customer success and community engagement, the company said.

New Tools for Partners

The APP includes these new on-boarding tools:

  • an onboarding wizard with automated guides and checklists, which reduces automated manual data entry to a few simple click-through screens;
  • support in payment tools for Single Euro Payments and Automatic Clearing House (ACH) in addition to credit cards;
  • API support for its Channel Order App so partners can connect their payment systems directly to Salesforce and automate their order submission process; and
  • a new AppExchange Partner Program dashboard providing real-time access to partners’ AppExchange Trailblazer Score and on-boarding checklist progress.

In addition, the APP provides partners with the latest technology tools:

  • Salesforce DX, which has features designed to help developers deliver innovative apps faster, including scratch environments, an improved integrated development environment and seamless GitHub integration; and
  • Free Heroku access, so developers, ISVs and startups can build apps in the language of their choice. Partners get a free developer org and Heroku credits that they can use towards purchasing dynos — the basic unit of scale on Heroku — and add-on services.

Fending Off the Competition

The decision to replace the ISV Partner Program with the APP resulted from Salesforce listening closely to the needs of its partner ecosystem, the company said, which consists of thousands of ISVs, more than 3,000 solutions, and more than 4 million app installs.

Lowering the PNR terms “is no small thing,” said Chris Kanaracus, managing editor of Constellation Insights at Constellation Research.

“I’ve seen reports suggesting Salesforce did this due to ‘feedback from partners’ — which, to me, is a nice way of saying that the partners were screaming for mercy,” he told CRM Buyer.

Salesforce “may have also experienced mounting resistance from would-be partners, particularly startups short on cash but eager to innovate,” Kanaracus suggested.

Salesforce is facing competition for partners as more cloud platform providers have entered the scene,” said Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus Research.

“Many Salesforce partners have also now built solutions for Microsoft and others,” she told CRM Buyer.

Historically, companies used to enter a partnership ecosystem for the long haul, Wettemann said, but “in a cloud environment such relationships are less sticky. Here Salesforce has introduced some significant glue.”

Salesforce Ventures, Salesforce’s corporate investment group, also announced the US$ 100 million Salesforce Platform Fund, which will invest in entrepreneurs and companies building intelligent, transformative apps and components on the Salesforce Platform.

end enn Salesforce Rejiggers Enterprise Apps Partner Plan

Richard%20Adhikari Salesforce Rejiggers Enterprise Apps Partner PlanRichard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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Salesforce, QuintilesIMS Team to Push New Therapies to Market

Salesforce has entered an alliance with
QuintilesIMS’ aimed at helping life sciences companies move treatments from clinical phases to commercial applications more effectively.

QuintilesIMS, formed last year through the merger of healthcare data provider IMS Health and medical research firm Quintiles Transnational, is one of the world’s largest integrated healthcare services companies. The combined entity has 50,000 employees in 100 different countries.

QuintilesIMS plans to use the Salesforce Platform’s cloud, mobile, social and artificial intelligence capabilities to build new solutions to bring therapies to market.

Clinical Trials

Quintiles initially plans to use Salesforce to help manage clinical trials, patient recruitment, marketing and other functions, according to Quintiles spokesperson Tor Constantino.

For example, the companies will work together on ways to improve the feasibility of clinical trials, improve patient enrollment and communications, and help mitigate delays, he told CRM Buyer.

Over the long term, Quintiles plans to work with Salesforce on items like digital health, patient engagement and precision management, according to Constantino.

Salesforce has worked with Quintiles for more than a decade, dating back to 2004, when it inked a deal to provide CRM software for more than 2,000 users at Quintiles Transnational.

The alliance will help QuintilesIMS “create solutions that empower life sciences firms to collaborate with providers and patients in smarter and more predictive ways throughout the clinical life cycle,” said Salesforce COO Keith Block.

The deal represents “transformative potential for the life sciences industry, as it will better equip and enable our customers to meet the clinical and commercial challenges they face as they move healthcare forward,” noted Kevin Knightly, QuintilesIMS president, information and technology solutions.

The agreement represents a clear validation of Salesforce’s efforts to build its health cloud business, observed Jeff Kaplan, managing director at ThinkStrategies.

It shows how Salesforce’s cloud solutions can be leveraged with healthcare service providers like QuintelesIMS, he told CRM Buyer.

Mega Merger

The Salesforce deal is significant for QuintilesIMS, as it is one of the company’s first major announcements since the 2016 merger between Quintiles Transnational and IMS Health Holdings was announced nearly a year ago.

The goal of the merger was to help transform the clinical trial process while creating a database of anonymous patient information that could be used to drive new efficiencies in the pharmaceutical and patient care industries.

When announcing the merger, the companies anticipated the deal would create an annual run-rate in cost savings of US$ 100 million by year three. The combined companies reported revenue of $ 7.78 billion for 2016, an increase of more than 7.4 percent, and issued a full-year forecast of between $ 8.1 and $ 8.2 billion — between $ 4.40 and $ 4.55 a share.

The Salesforce deal is important because “partnership strategy is key,” said Sheryl Kingstone, research director at 451 Research.

“Salesforce looks to vertical partners such as QunitilesIMS to build upon the Salesforce platform for its customers,” she told CRM Buyer.

“While Salesforce has made headway into a few key verticals, it relies very heavily on its partners,” Kingstone pointed out. “Life Sciences and Healthcare are critical vertical markets that are undergoing digital transformation, with 32 percent in the planning stages and 24 percent in formal strategies.”

Salesforce last month entered an agreement to integrate the Veeva CRM and Salesforce Marketing Cloud to deliver a more coordinated and consistent experience for healthcare professionals.

Veeva is a worldwide provider of CRM for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and the companies have more than 250 combined customers.
end enn Salesforce, QuintilesIMS Team to Push New Therapies to Market

David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.

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OpenSymmetry Replaces Salesforce, FinancialForce with NetSuite for ERP, PSA and CRM

websitelogo OpenSymmetry Replaces Salesforce, FinancialForce with NetSuite for ERP, PSA and CRM

Posted by Terry Melnik, PSA Product Marketing Director, Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit

As it grew, OpenSymmetry, a management consulting and system integrator focused on sales performance management, knew it needed to reevaluate some of its processes and add new software to support it. Yet, when it began evaluating new systems, it found that integrating them with its existing FinancialForce solution would be problematic.

That’s why the 200-person company made the decision to move to NetSuite OneWorld for global financials and NetSuite OpenAir for PSA. It’s also replacing Salesforce.com with NetSuite CRM.

With plans to go live this year, OpenSymmetry will save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in licensing fees for FinancialForce and Salesforce. Moreover, the 12-year-old company is confident that NetSuite’s fully integrated ERP, CRM and PSA software will provide superior visibility and control in financial reporting, resource utilization, and project and sales management amid strong double-digit annual growth in recent years.

In the video below OpenSymmetry leaders discuss how they made the decision to move from FinancialForce and Salesforce to NetSuite’s unified cloud-based ERP and PSA system to support their business across reporting, forecasting, resource utilization, planning, visibility, project delivery, customer service, and all other aspects of its bid-to-bill cycle.

For more on OpenSymmetry’s experience, see the NetSuite customer testimonial.

Posted on Mon, April 3, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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The NetSuite Blog

Salesforce Offers AI-Powered CRM for Financial Advisors

Salesforce this week announced Financial Services Cloud Einstein, an artificial intelligence-based CRM tool for financial advisors.

Financial Services Cloud Einstein gives users a holistic view of each client’s household and wealth ecosystem and lets them leverage Salesforce’s AI technology to seek out new business opportunities.

Feature Lineup

  • Einstein Opportunity lets users uncover opportunities based on clients’ sentiments, competitor mentions, and overall engagement. For example, it automatically alerts the advisor if a client mentions a competitor in an email. If communications from the client fall off, the system sends a reminder to the advisor to reach out and nurture the relationship;
  • Relationship Builder lets advisors connect information about clients and their households, store it in one place, and edit existing roles and activities. For example, an advisor can update the record when a client takes on a new role such as being named to the board of a company;
  • Relationship Groups let advisers link clients to multiple households, trusts, and business groups to get holistic views of clients’ wealth across all accounts and relationships. For example, advisors can track when clients take on new responsibilities within other households, such as assuming power of attorney for a family member. The advisors then can proactively reach out with personalized advice;
  • Relationship Map lets advisors visualize a client’s family wealth ecosystem and financial accounts in a single snapshot and drill down to see fresh business opportunities. For example, an advisor can discover that a client has become the beneficiary of a trust that’s in need of estate planning services.

Relationship Builder, Relation Groups and Relationship Map are available generally now, and they are free for all Financial Services Cloud users.

Einstein Opportunity Insights costs US$ 50 per user per month for Financial Service Cloud users of Enterprise Edition and above.

“This could prove a game changer for financial advisors since it will enable a more targeted marketing approach to selling such services,” observed Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

Not Without Risks

Einstein’s integration into Salesforce’s Financial Services Cloud “is designed to help financial advisors manage customer relationships better and more effectively, [but] customer relations are very much about human-to-human interaction,” said Andreas Scherer, managing partner at Salto Partners.

“The risk of introducing AI in this area was experienced by Microsoft last year when they had to pull their chatbot Tay off the market,” he told CRM Buyer.

took Tay offline after Twitter trolls induced it to deny the Holocaust, send out racist tweets, and advocate 9/11 conspiracy theories and genocide, among other things.

The addition of Einstein to the Financial Services Cloud lets Salesforce provide deep insights into target markets, “but only customers likely to be interested in a particular offer will be contacted, [which] will reduce the irritation associated with getting cold call offers,” Frost’s Jude told CRM Buyer.

However, there’s “strong potential for some customers perceiving this as a violation of privacy, especially if there’s deep insights into their private affairs,” he cautioned.

Other AI Systems

Pefin offers an AI financial advisor that it claims costs one-twentieth of a human financial advisor’s fees. Its full release is set for April.

Pefin’s AI algorithm works only for the United States market now, but the company will extend it to global markets later.

Hedgeable offers a platform with a feature called “Tax Samurai” — run by an AI bot named “Katana” — which targets the high-net-worth market.

Whether Einstein will take off is an open question, but it seems clear that the next generation of AI in wealth management will use rules or models crafted by data scientists with master’s or doctoral degrees.

“For now, Einstein is a great marketing concept that sets Salesforce apart,” Salto’s Scherer said. “The true business value has yet to be seen.”
end enn Salesforce Offers AI Powered CRM for Financial Advisors

Richard%20Adhikari Salesforce Offers AI Powered CRM for Financial AdvisorsRichard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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