Digital Transformation: What is It Why is It Needed?
People adopt new digital technologies to meet their ever-changing needs and habits; reshaping markets along with them. To stay agile and effective, companies must digitally transform by utilizing the technologies as well.
Recognized as a world-leading technology platform for driving sales growth, Salesforce.com evolved from an enterprise CRM application to an interconnected network of cloud modules able to concentrate and manage customer data, operations, and several business processes in a powerful, unified environment.
However, you may face limitations and difficult challenges if you focus your deployment on a large and complex Salesforce.com deployment without comprehensive upfront planning. While you start out with easy quick “wins”, your “wins” become neither easy nor quick as your implementation and adaptation grows, resulting in a more rigid and inflexible environment.
Still, digitally transforming your operations to Salesforce can help you reduce your risks and face these challenges, provided you properly optimize it.
The scope of a Saleforce.com digital transformation is to achieve better performance on both your internal and external customer related processes. Primarily, it is for your sales and marketing efforts followed by your operations. It implies continuous business model adjustments and process modifications with the necessary technology resources.
Digital transformation does not change how your company uses technology, it just changes how you effectively do business with technology. According to studies of manufacturing companies, technology expertise or the lack of technology tools are very rarely the primary obstacles in a Salesforce.com digital transformation.
More than any other project, senior management commitment to digital transformation is a key factor, as the use of Salesforce.com requires more agility and effectiveness:
Salesforce digital transformation is not a one-time project. It is a continuous “journey”. While it may start with small, quick accomplishments, it quickly requires adjusting your entire company according to the technological evolution. Because of this, you should perform it in a consistent manner, governed by an overall strategic plan.
Salesforce.com provides strong collaboration tools that create transparency throughout your entire business processes. Furthermore, your employees may work from anywhere, with any device, at any time. The digital transformation journey continuously adjusts your business with easy and effective workflow modelling tools.
Improving cross-functional collaboration and motivating employees to dynamically adjust their workflows with drag and drop tools are of the main goals -and challenges- on a Salesforce.com digital transformation project.
Since Salesforce.com provides core digital transformation tools, having the available technology is not the primary challenge. Instead, the major challenges are selecting and using the right technology architecture.
Integration is the key to a successful digital transformation. Legacy applications may run on different platforms with different technologies and data. Integration should turn them into a composite Salesforce.com application that can reference the superset of data.
In an integrated environment, Salesforce.com serves as the “master” application, containing and governing the superset of data and services. Because of this, it should be aware of all customer related information, regardless of the source, providing all the tools required to virtualize and manage the data. This may require an initial data migration with subsequent update flows.
Integration should be significant part in your overall architecture design. Consider a new legacy -on premises- application that should be incorporated. How will this be achieved? By custom development? By searching Salesforce.com AppExchange for a substitute module and then migrating? Or by integration?
While the first two options are all-in-one place approaches, integration may have more benefits overall.
Not all companies require the same elements in a digital transformation project. Additionally, not all companies start from the same point and have the same financial resources. Prioritizing while considering your financial terms and technology maturity is a challenge. Fortunately, Salesforce.com offers several easily-incorporated modules.
Managing easy-to-use and deploy solutions from Appexchange and/or the low-code custom development Salesforce.com offers is also a major challenge. As new digital demands arise, both Appexchange and custom development provide quick and effective solutions, but an over-customized solution with several modules may create management issues and increased support costs.
In general, when a new demand arises:
Sales and marketing functions always pioneer in the adoption of new technologies, because more than 70% of customers pressure companies to adopt to the new technologies. Currently, technology realities help your marketing and sales teams improve their customer experience.
Since Salesforce.com focuses on sales and marketing processes, one might think that it has nothing to do with your additional operations. This is not the case for many industries (such as retail industry) as the following table describes:
For integrating with 3rd systems and applications, Salesforce.com currently offers an industry standard SOAP/REST Web service API that enables integration with most middleware supporting ESB architecture. Additionally, cloud-based, middleware solutions, based on enterprise service bus architecture, can govern and manage this application and data integration, providing low code development, monitoring, and ease of adjustments.
Whatever the method used, Cetrix Cloud Services, along with cloud based tools such as Dell Boomi or WS02, offer professional services in Salesforce.com integration projects.
Hubspot.com and Salesforce.com (Cetrix Cloud Services partners) provide ease of development and implementation solutions, along with cross-channel functionalities and other content management capabilities.
Agilepoint (integrated with Salesforce.com, strategic partner of Cetrix Cloud Services) provides frameworks for monitoring, managing, and evaluating processes based on their interfaces and running systems, along with end user intervention such as approvals.
Analytics should adequately interpret user intent and subsequently pass the results to advanced marketing tools. Analytics modules require consolidated and clean master data. Advanced decision supporting systems, such as scorecard and dashboards, provide high picture information with KPI figures.
Artificial intelligence systems, such as chatbots, may provide enhanced and fast 1st level support to end users, or may accelerate the production process by automating tasks. Machine learning modules exploit big data innovations to apply statistical models to a set of data. Advanced marketing techniques, such as predictive lead scoring and account-based marketing, then use these models are their sources. Salesforce.com Einstein provides an environment for modeling and implementing such scenarios.
Today, most companies acknowledge that they must digitally transform to survive, and that they should initiate a relevant project in the short term. Companies also need application and data integration, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence, along with strongly committed management, to achieve the optimum ROI and to ensure the success of their digital transformation project. Cetrix Cloud Services is a proven, effective, and reliable solution service provider for enhancing customer experience and boosting sales & marketing performance using Salesforce.com. Strong partnerships with digital transformation industry leaders, along with cloud orientation and effective project management, provides the necessary guarantees for successful project completion.