Bottom line: Defining salesforce integration strategies from the customers’ perspective that streamline every aspect of their relationship with your company drives greater revenue, earns trust and creates upsell and cross-sell opportunities in the future.
In the most competitive selling situations the company that has exceptional insights into what matters most to prospects and customers win the most deals. It’s not enough to just have a CRM system that is hard-wired into the core customer-facing processes of a business. To win more sales cycles companies are getting the most from every system they have available. From SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to legacy pricing, operations, services, pricing, and CRM systems, companies winning more deals today can use Salesforce integration as a catalyst for driving more revenue.
Five Strategies For Improving Customer Relationships Using Salesforce Integration
- Making the Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) process more efficient for customers and prospects by integrating ERP data into every quote. Today speed is a feature every system must have to stay competitive. Being able to create quotes that include the date the proposed configuration will ship and coordinate with services and programs delivery while providing order status from ERP systems is winning deals today. The tighter the ERP system integration, the better the quote accuracy in a CPQ system and the higher the chance of winning a sale. The following table shows the many benefits of having a well-integrated CPQ process.
- Creating an omni-channel experience for customers needs to start with ERP, legacy, 3rd party and Salesforce integration that sets the foundation to exceed customer experiences daily. Providing a unified experience across every channel is challenging yet attainable, with market leaders using a series of integration strategies to provide this level of insight so customers’ expectations are exceeded in every single interaction. Only by integrating CRM systems including Salesforce with SAP ERP systems can any company hope to deliver a consistent, excellent series of experiences across all channels, all the time.
- Set up sales teams for exceptional performance with tightly integrated mobile apps that accelerate sales cycles. By using mobile apps that integrate SAP ERP systems, Salesforce CRM, and legacy systems into simplified, highly efficient workflows, sales teams can close more deals without having to come back to their offices. Senior management teams can get more done using mobile apps that are an extension of their SAP ERP systems as well. Mobile apps are revolutionizing productivity thanks to SAP and Salesforce integration.
- Attaining high product quality levels that exceed customer expectations by providing every manufacturing department real-time visibility into quality inspections and inventory control. By integrating inbound inspection, inventory control, and quality management data across manufacturing, Bunn can deliver products that exceed customer expectations. Bunn’s product quality inspectors can perform and record results right at the machines being tested. The warehouse management system can scan and record inventory counts in real time to SAP. Maintaining high levels of product quality are what make Bunn’s beverage equipment machines a market standard globally today.
- Making new product launches more successful by having a tightly integrated approach to selling, producing and servicing new products that are in step with customers’ changing needs. From apparel to high-tech and financial services, customers are rapidly redefining which channels they choose to purchase through, how they choose to customize products, and which services they prefer to bundle in. Integrating Salesforce, e-commerce and ERP systems into a single, unified workflow that is designed to provide customers exactly what they need is essential for enabling new product launches to succeed. With an integrated system across Salesforce, ERP, distribution and pricing systems, new product launches can scale globally quicker and still allow for personalization to customers’ unique preferences. Salesforce integration is essential for successful new product introductions as the entire launch process gains speed, scale, and simplicity as a result.
Originally published on the enosiX blog, Five Strategies For Improving Customer Relationships Using Salesforce Integration.
Evangelizing development on any cloud computing or enterprise platform is challenging, costly and takes a unique skill set that can educate, persuade, sell and serve developers at the same time.
The companies who excel at this exude technical prowess and as a result earn and keep trust. For Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform providers, getting developers, both at partner companies and at enterprise customers to build applications, is a critical catalyst for future growth.
Assessing Cloud Infrastructure as a Service Providers with Inquiry Analytics
Using the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, 2012 published October 18, 2012 as the baseline and shown above from Rueven Cohen’s excellent post last year, the five leaders were compared using the Inquiry Analytics Statistics: Topic and Vendor Mind Share for Software, 4Q12 published March 13th of this year. Analyzing the five leaders in the Magic Quadrant using Inquiry Analytics shows that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was 57.1% of inquiry share worldwide for application development during the 4th quarter of 2012.
From 4th quarter 2011 to 4th quarter 2012, Amazon Web Services showed just over 10% inquiry gain against the other vendors listed as leaders in the quadrant. Only five vendors can be compared at once using the Gartner Inquiry Analytics tool so the leaders were included in the comparison first.
A second pass through the Inquiry Analytics was done comparing Amazon Web Services to the other vendors in the quadrant. AWS had 63.6% of inquiries in the application development category during the 4th quarter of 2012 compared to non-leader vendors in the quadrant who were listed in the Inquiry Analytics database. It was surprising to find that a few of the vendors listed in the Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant don’t have data available in the Inquiry Analytics Statistics: Topic and Vendor Mind Share for Software, 4Q12 indicating inquiries. During this pass, Rackspace share of inquiries between the 4th quarter of 2011 to the 4th quarter of 2012 declined just over 5% and Dell declines approximately 2%.
Bottom line: The land grab for developers is accelerating on IaaS and will be a major factor in who establishes a long-term cloud platform for years to come.
O’Reilly Media’s Strata, Making Data Work Conference held February 1rst – 3rd, 2011 in Santa Clara, California was one of the most interesting and multifaceted events of the year. Included were presentations on data science, real-time data processing and analytics, data acquisition and crowdsourcing, visualization, in addition to many other topics. You can find the complete list of speaker slides and videos for the event at this link, Strata 2011 Speaker Slides & Videos.
What enriches this conference is the quality of the case studies presented. Be sure to check out the presentation from DJ Patil of LinkedIn on Innovating Data Teams. His discussion illustrates just how critical big data is to LinkedIn and how their approach to managing it enriches the user experience, and is transforming LinkedIn functionality at the same time.
One of the best overall presentations features Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com titled Data Without Limits. The video is provided below and provides a glimpse into how pervasive AWS is becoming as a foundation for accessing, aggregating and transforming data in real time.
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Amazon Web Services has released the following video that provides a fascinating look at how straightforward it is to create, launch and monitor high performance cluster instances.
CPU utilization, disk I/O and network utilization are tracked as part of the metrics, and guidance on how to define hardware virtualization (HVM) is also defined. Creating an 8-node, 64 core, ad hoc cluster is defined in the steps in this video with the intent of running a molecular dynamics simulation.
What is interesting about this video is how Amazon Web Services continues to show the practicality of its broad spectrum of server capacities on the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). This is the first in a series of videos Amazon Web Services will be releasing on creating high performance clusters. It’s worth checking out as the walk-through of steps shows how rapidly EC2 is maturing as an enterprise platform.
Implications for the Enterprise
EC2 has language-agnostic Web Services APIs that show potential for integrating legacy systems, databases, master data management (MDM), CRM and enterprise systems. For enterprises that have data-centric operations and business models, EC2 could become the foundation of contextual search and role-based access of their legacy data. Decades of data accessed via contextual search would provide insights that aren’t possible today using existing methods of data access, integration and analysis.
Bottom line: Creating high performance clusters in AWS EC2 shows potential to increase the accuracy and precision of business intelligence and analytics, and potentially solve the most complex data-driven challenges of social CRM.
Flickr attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vitroids/2586785504/
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Adrian Cockcroft, Cloud Architect at Netflix recently published a summary slide deck of a presentation he will be giving on November 3rd at QConSF. It is a fascinating look into how Netflix chose AWS and the lessons learned. Adrian discusses the presentation on his blog here.
It is going to be very interesting to see the entire slide deck after QConSF, which is when Adrian plans to upload it per a note on his blog.
Jinesh Varia of Amazon Web Services (AWS) authored the following presentation, which is an excellent overview of the AWS Services and basic terminology used on this specific cloud platform. This presentation describes the lessons learned by AWS in terms of scalability, cloud architectural trade-offs and also provides guidance of which storage option to choose.