What was your company’s business goals or reasons for undertaking the project with Configero?
Person 1: I’ve been using them since I started about two years and eight months ago. They helped us do the original needs assessment and rollout for the Professional version of Salesforce. They helped us do the training, build out the dashboard and figure out the next steps. We upgraded to the Enterprise version based on their recommendation.
They helped us customize our major sales groups. We have one group in Philadelphia that represents about thirty percent of our gross revenue. We did a lot of customization for them. We added a lot of fields into the contract section of Salesforce, which we hadn’t been using. That work helped us set up a custom object in registration that we could use to amend information from the PGIM registration platform into Salesforce.
The changes allowed us to consolidate a lot of reports that had been in multiple places in Word documents, PDFs and Excel files. Our CEO was getting into the business and wanted to understand it a lot better.
The model we were using was the PGIM open market. It was a model where we would have an obligation to sell megawatts to PGIM at a specific price for a JLDA. They would have specific numbers of megawatts. I make the analogy that it was like having seven different buckets. If you fill the bucket exactly to the top, that’s where you want it to be. You get the maximum amount of revenue out of that situation. If you under-fill the bucket, you didn’t get paid as much as you should. If you over-fill the bucket, you received all the money you should but you’ve increased your cost of sales and potentially made it less profitable than it could have been.
Alex [Configero Principle] taught us how to use Visualforce and made a slick application. It was a visual that showed a picture for each of the different delivery areas. It was a comparison bar chart showing one bar chart where the obligation is. It showed what our company was supposed to sell to PGIM. Next to it, was a stacked bar chart that pulled together some disparate information, closed opportunities from the prior season. It also included renewals and new business. It was all in a stacked bar chart.
You could see the status of everything, under or over. It helped our management group because Configero built a cool product that gave us exact numbers. The numbers were laid out in a very organized fashion.
I was able to use that and cut and paste it into PowerPoint for presentations. This really helped the executive management of that function, including the CEO and senior sales team to view the product status.
We also had another function in finance where they were able to go in and take a look at some of these areas where we had more obligation than we had the ability to fulfill. Our team can now go into incremental auction with PGIM and reduce our positions and actually cash out a fair amount of profit. At the same time, we avoided risk that we couldn’t avoid previously.
The CFO was using some of this same information to talk to private equity firms and we ultimately were sold. We were at risk of not being an ongoing concern at some point if we didn’t get an infusion of capital. This helped the management determine where they needed to be and where they needed to avoid risk and sell it off.
We’ve also continued to use Configero. They’ve done a couple of other projects for us. Since then, we’ve set up a team in South Africa with Configero. They figured out what they needed to do in terms of customization for currencies. Configero knows that their business process and products were a little different. Since we were in the Enterprise version, they could customize it so it looked more similar to the language that team uses.
Person 2: We were in desperate need of a project-tracking type of application. We decided to move forward with the Milestones PM module with Salesforce. It was not exactly what we needed. I had the process basically worked out when I meet with Configero. Configero put the whole thing together with templates, rules, processes, documentation and some tweaking at the end.
Can you describe what applications were used?
Person 2: We needed to be able to track projects. We have five different organizations that need to communicate closely to complete any integration project.
Integration means the installation of hardware, control, and metering flash control hardware at customer locations. They’re all over the country. With different project managers, there’s a different sets of rules for each group. We had project management and account management. At our network operations center, we have administrative functions that have to occur. We also have engineering functions that must function properly.
Each of the different organizations has a role in every project that we do. Before, we had problems with communications between groups. We also had trouble with how people were notified of new projects. We had problems with tracking the equipment ordered, site surveying and notification of project start dates. Configero and our team work together to lay out the process for the workflow. They built the template and the notifications that we’re using Chatter. At that time, that was quite an undertaking for us. We use Chatter to do all the notifications between all the groups. The information flows from opportunities into the milestones. The templates were set up. They also created dashboards for us.
Person 2 (Person 1): How does your mobile app work?
Person 1: We also did something new with the Conga apps because we had things like site surveys and hardware configuration sheets. We had these documents that we wanted to pull from Salesforce with all the fields filled in and get rid of some of the work duplication. It is typically a walking exercise to do site surveys on iPads. We were able to implement that with iPads and it’s working very well.
Configero added a button on the project page that basically allows us to create a form with that customer information. Typically, the customer in the region gives the contact info. We duplicate all of that on these forms. We press the button on the iPad. It allowed us to fill out the rest of the form on the iPad and then email it back onto the Chatter link. It comes into Chatter in the notes and attachments on that project. It also comes out in the Chatter feed for everybody in the Chatter group. They also did this in a way that allowed us to set up opportunity roles and have those opportunity roles automatically roll into the templates showing who has what task. That opportunity role also created its own chatter group for each project.
The nice thing about Chatter is it’s not like email because anybody can go on Chatter. Anybody that has a pet project and senior management that wants to follow a specific link can follow that project with all the Chatter feed notifications. All of the notifications are automated based on task completion and milestone completion. The notifications also have the next task to do. This has been completed. Some are concurrent, some are end to end. It’s fairly complex but the system came out very well.