Every Cloud fanatic knows about Bluewolf. Distinctly positioned between classic management consultants and breakthrough agile technical designers, they are a leading source with an A class portfolio.
As a Marketing manager for a Saas company with SalesForce implementation, I decided to reach out and speak with Corey Fitzgerald Central Region Account Director at Bluewolf and get some answers to my often pressing questions.
The results are as followed…
Interview with Corey Fitzgerald Central Region Account Director at Bluewolf:
Chicago born & raised, I always loved working with people and had an interest in technology. CRM is the crossroads of people & technology.
Checking up on Bluewolf a few months ago I noticed that you found that the majority of customers expect to maintain or increase their budgets for ongoing Salesforce innovation through 2013. What key areas for innovation are they looking for?
Marketing Automation – Between Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud and Oracle’s acquisition of Eloqua, we see this is a key strategic area of focus for the players who are looking to capture market share in a $2.8 billion dollar space which is expected to double in size over the next 3 years. Companies are still searching for solutions to standardize creative design, approval processes and campaign budgeting.
Mobility – Employees are demanding mobility tools that can deliver a high-quality user experience and that are designed to fully exploit the powerful capabilities of their devices. What they find is that it’s critical to select a vendor who can integrate all your enterprise systems and content in a single app that is completely native to devices used by a mobile sales force and customizable to your specific business drivers.
Business Intelligence – We all know that Salesforce has reporting limitations including the ability to report on a parent object with multiple child objects, trends over time, exception reporting to name a few. Enterprises clients are looking for tighter integration with BI applications such as: Apsona, Conga Queries, Crystal Reports, Apsona, GoodData, and Birst to help them leverage and make sense of an increasing amount of data.
Many companies are moving towards becoming a social organization by integrating their customer service applications with Salesforce. I am interested to know why you feel that there are companies who DON’T want or afraid to move in that direction?
It’s a corporate culture issue; These organizations believe there is too much risk involved vs. perceived value. These companies have traditionally succeeded in very silo’d structures and do not see a reason to change. I have talked with several organizations that simply do not trust their employees to be able to manage a paradigm shift in a customer service environment. Many times they do not trust their own organization to manage that change, train or drive end-use adoption.
What is your explanation to the finding that companies are increasingly utilizing resources that can be “turned on” as needed, rather than hiring or training full-time staff (an “elastic workforce”)?
It’s all about scalability. Macro IT spending is increasing year over year but internal competition for those budget dollars is tougher than ever. These organizations are looking to be flexible in how they accommodate internal demand. One way to accomplish this is utilizing resources with very finite/specific skills sets only when needed. If you hire these resources full time but only need their skill sets on a fractional basis, you are over-invested into one resource and have handcuffed your flexibility to meet demand. This is not a new concept; Companies do this in other functional areas such as data virtualization, HR outsourcing or SaaS spending.
Your consultancy says that to gain optimal value from the cloud and social, organizations need to transition to a new, people-centered way of work. Can you explain and elaborate more about that “people-centered way of work”?
I think this speaks to how organizations view there innovation road map. It’s important to remember that innovation is not just about technology. It’s about blending the right technology to enable & empower your people. This is especially true when talking about cloud and social technologies. These areas innovate very fast and have a high rate of change; if you are not continuously supporting your people through that evolution you will see very little adoption of these systems and thus realize very little value from them.
How many hours (on average) does it take you bring an employee to full Salesforce competence?
Trick question! Competence relies on many individual factors; especially considering most enterprises having custom configurations. To perform standard day to day tasks in SFDC, an average user can be competent after a few hours of real world use.
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