Cloud Computing. Made Simple.

ForceBrain.com has helped hundreds of companies adopt mobile and cloud CRM technology. We manage a team of certified consultants, administrators, force.com developers, and technical architects. As a B-Corporation since 2010, each year we donate over 10% of our revenues to our non-profit clients. Since 2008, we’ve been a Salesforce cloud alliance partner.

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Oakland, CA
headquarters
  • 333 Hegenberger Rd.
    Oakland, CA 94621
    United States
other locations
  • New Delhi 110012
    India
  • Noida, UP 110096
    India

Portfolio

Key clients: 

iCiX, Japonesque, Actian, Appfolio,

Reviews

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Risk Management Firm Transition to Salesforce

"ForceBrain was active, effective, and efficient."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
June - Nov. 2012
Project summary: 

ForceBrain.com migrated a high-transaction CRM system from Oracle to Salesforce, increasing licenses from 25 to 75. The team used Jitterbit to create custom fields and formulas and integrate 20,000 accounts.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
San Francisco, California
Vice President, Commerce Network Services
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

ForceBrain.com completed the project 30% under budget and ahead of schedule, implementing both the internal and enterprise sales teams. The team delivered high levels of expertise, quickness, and responsiveness, created helpful user documents, and were transparent in documentation.

BACKGROUND

Please provide a brief description of what your company does for background information?

I work in the supplier risk and performance management space. We’re a cloud provider that helps buyers and suppliers to kind of collect information, collaborate, and share information. But, ultimately, it’s for buyers to evaluate the risk and performance of the suppliers.

What city do you operate primarily in?

South San Francisco.

What is your position within the company?

I’m a vice president of network services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What was your company’s business goals or reasons for undertaking the project with ForceBrain?

When I joined the company, they were using Oracle CRM fairly poorly across the organization and pretty quickly got a review of all the constituencies. They, like, everybody wanted Salesforce, but no one was willing to make the decision. So, I brought Salesforce in as I had done at previous companies. I can do a lot of stuff myself, and I had a colleague, who’s the director of inside sales, who could do the work fairly well. But, I wanted an expert implementation of best practices. I wanted to use a service provider to help with that. Essentially, the brains, expertise, knowledge, but not necessarily the business process, because I think business process we could provide ourselves.

Initially, we were implementing for inside sales. It’s a high transaction organization, and we had leads, opportunities, and accounts. We had never done direct interface with our system. That was the initial goals to get them going. ForceBrain was brought in by Salesforce as a potential service provider. Then we did a quick evaluation of two or three options, and we ended up going with ForceBrain.

Why did you decide to build on Salesforce instead of some other platform?

Primarily because it’s the leader. It is huge and application rich. You know the AppExchange, the ability to get additional apps that would interface pretty quickly. It’s configurable. It doesn’t require a lot of development. It’s familiar to almost everybody that we hired. Quite frankly, they’re the leader.

So, we knew that the user adoption would be easy. We knew that getting some of the additional functionalities that we wanted like interface between our systems would be easy. In addition, like subscription management, that they’ll be able to purchase the subscription management system that cannot only work for our backend, but also work directly within Salesforce.

SOLUTION

Can you provide a little more about the scope of the project?

We initially wanted to get 25 licenses, grow to 50, and then grow to 75. That’s what we did. For the first 25, it was primarily my inside sales Team that had a director, and had a team of about 15 people at the time. I wanted to implement an object, customize the opportunities and the lead flows specific to our subscription services and D-types, the additional custom-fields. In addition, I want to bring everything we knew about the 20,000 people on our network into Salesforce as accounts, so that we could quickly reference the information within Salesforce.

Previously, the team had been using Google Workbooks, Excel spreadsheets and had been essentially just living inside of our network looking at specific customer records. Then, even when they would do the subscription pricing, they would have to reference Excel, talk to each other and have various solutions. It was very unautomated, and very difficult to manage. Everybody had their own Excel spreadsheets. Closing the quarter and giving out sales commissions was next to be impossible because everybody’s claiming the same opportunities. As soon as you distribute the Excel spreadsheet, someone would call in, and they would add that to their Excel spreadsheet. Then, at the end of the month, three people were pulling the same opportunity due to this nature. So, it was essentially the inside sales team, which was the subscription team that was doing roughly 1,500 transactions a month.

What technologies were used, specifically for this Salesforce project?

We’ve worked with CRM before. We didn’t do any programming whatsoever. The Salesforce application, at this point, it’s fairly mature when it comes to opportunities and leads. We did use Jitterbit as a technology to interface the tables inside of our application and to bring it into Salesforce. Jitterbit application worked really well for us. That was the only major piece of technology. Other than that, most of it was creating custom fields, a couple of triggers, a couple of formulas, but we did no coding whatsoever, no Visual changes. It’s all drag and drop.

I would say that’s another reason why I wanted to use an implementation partner. I knew it was going to be easy, but I wanted to find somebody that could actually do it very quickly under expert direction.

In essence, I have managed a previous company, Salesforce automation teams and sales operations, and so I’m used to dealing with the admins directly. I just really wanted an expert admin that could do this stuff for me. I didn’t need very highly specialized skills, other than the Jitterbit stuff, which was a little bit trickier.

Can you provide the size of the initiative in dollar terms?

It’s around $25,000 to $35,000. It was in that range. It’s a pretty small implementation. We had a very little budget.

When was the project finished?

I think it initially started around June. I want to say it went on for a couple of months. Essentially, they got the project done well under budget and really quickly. They continued to work with us – we probably stopped in around November. We finished the implementation of the next thing, which was the enterprise sales team. We upgraded from professional to enterprise with Salesforce in the fall, and then that enabled us to have two record types, one for enterprise sales, and one for the inside sales team. We did use them a little bit to finish off our contract.

For the systems, I’ve implemented the rest of the application, all the service systems we’re using now. We’ve gone from 25 to 75 users on the system.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Do you have any stats or metrics that you can share about the results of the project?

The one thing that I really liked about them was their level of expertise in the quickness and the responsiveness. We never saw them resolve. They stayed at their desk and we worked remotely. So that worked out really well. I would say they were everything I expected. There weren’t any surprises. Once things were tricky, they were clear when things were clear and when things were tricky. I should say that we built like two or three custom objects for some tricky situations. Those custom objects worked really well. We since then have developed a couple additional custom objects.

Since building on Salesforce, how do you feel about its performance and you feel you made the right decision?

Yes, absolutely. Adoption was fast and furious, going from Google Docs and Excel spreadsheets and being able to close commissions in a couple of clicks and having no fights anymore was a big success. The whole company now has adopted Salesforce. Since then, I also got the company to buy Zuora. So, we have implemented Zuora for our subscription management system. That’s proven to be very effective. We bought a couple additional apps as well. ClearSlide, we use for integration or tracking. We’re doing integration with it that’s standard as well. Yes, it was the right decision at the right time. It was quickly and effectively picked up by the users.

The other thing I’ll say that was really helpful that ForceBrain did a fantastic job at documenting not only the technical aspects of things and how it was done. They also put user documents together that we continue to use today. Whether on the data loader, adding custom fields beta, or adding reports on the dashboards, it’s really been great. Their augmentation of bit information has been pretty good.

We don’t really have a need for them at this point. We would use them again. We’re a pretty knowledgeable user, and we had a pretty great lead. My biggest need was I needed it done very quickly. That was accomplished.

Can you talk just a little bit more about the performance? Do you feel like their deliverables were on time and within budget?

Yes, definitely. For me, they were under budget, and they were in front of schedule. It’s because my ability to give them the project, the timeline, and expertise to make decisions on the fly in an authoritative way. I would say for guys like myself, they were fantastic, and they came way under budget.

When I tried to introduce them to the enterprise sales team, which is really just the vice president for sales, who’s unfamiliar with Salesforce, its paradigm, and its use to interface with directly with ForceBrain as we had and the developers we had. They didn’t find ForceBrain to be that useful which, as I found out right afterward, it was primarily because they were asking the wrong questions and they needed basic education and that’s not really why we chose ForceBrain.

They came under the budget and closed the project down really quickly. I had 30 percent of the budget still available when I was done. That’s why I used them for some support stuff for the enterprise team.

Did you find anything unique about them in comparison to others that you may have worked with in the past?

They were really flexible and nimble. I’ve dealt some with the other guys. They weren’t real sales oriented. They were really just nuts and bolts, more like a services team, and I’m talking about their sales. ForceBrain was active, effective, and efficient. They didn’t try to sell me. So, I found it refreshing because I knew what I wanted. I knew that I could do things fairly inexpensively. I just wanted them to hand over a couple of really quality system admins to work with.

We did, for example, one thing we needed their expertise on is we had no idea how to do the interphase between our application and Salesforce. But, we expected them to give us a solution and to evaluate the solutions out there, and give us one that would be the lowest cost and give us the right bang for the buck. And you know what? They were very quick at coming up with Jitterbit and two other alternatives. We selected Jitterbit. So. I was really pleased when I pushed them to come up with the solution, so we didn’t have to do the research.

Do you think there was anything that they could have improved on or that you would like to see them do differently?

Yeah, I think the thing that they could improve on was recognizing the different audiences they’re talking to. As I would say, their implementation consultant, when they would talk to me was extremely quick, bright, fun, and energetic. But, when he would talk to a sales executive in our company who’s very unfamiliar with Salesforce, I just don’t think the level of communication was strong. But again, it wasn’t my expectation. If the person who made the decision and brought them in, but when I did come over to another team, I published it, and they’d evolved. Of course, I’m an executive as well. So, it’s based upon another executive

Please continue.

It does on a certain level. Because I think when people present themselves in sales as saying, I know Salesforce really well. I’ve been using it for eight years. What you find is that they don’t really use Salesforce, and they have an account for years, but they only go occasionally into it. There’s a difference in knowledge when somebody says they’ve been using it and they know it. When I say I know it and I’ve been using it, I actually implemented custom objects. I have actually rolled it out to multiple teams where in the case of our V.P. of sales, he didn’t do any of that. I know him personally. He just had other people do all that. He just saw the results. So, I usually look into that nuance. I mean, it’s OK. It’s a minor knit, I would say. On a scale from one to ten, what I’ll give ForceBrain for what they needed to have done, I needed have done, I’ll give them nine out of 10.

Thank you, do you have any further comments about ForceBrain?

I would say that I chose ForceBrain to augment from knowledge, experience, and to bring to bear the technical skill set. They delivered on all fronts associated with that. I also wanted them to be low cost and to be highly flexible, and to be able to deploy very quickly. They delivered on that as well. I’m extremely pleased.

5.0
Overall Score Very knowledgeable in what I needed them to do for me.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Yes.