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Interview w Laura Monni and Raynald Garnier from Geoconcept (Opti-Time Cloud – Geolocation)

Danny serves as Vice President of Business Development at ThreeWill. His primary responsibilities are to make sure that we are building partnerships with the right clients and getting out the message about how we can help clients.

 

Danny:                  Hello and welcome to the AppExchange Podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan, and I’ve got some wonderful guests with me here today, two folks. They’re actually calling in from just outside of Paris. It’s Laura Monni and Raynald Garnier.

Laura:                    Hey Danny.

Raynald:               Hi Danny.

Danny:                  Hey guys thank you so much for joining.

Raynald:               Thanks for welcoming us. It’s wonderful.

Danny:                  Absolutely. absolutely. Well we are really excited to learn more about your app and just to find out more about what you guys are up too and I appreciate you guys taking some of the time to do this and having a conversation with me about that.

Raynald:               Yeah right.

Laura:                    Yes thank you for giving us the opportunity to demo our product here.

Danny:                  Absolutely. Absolutely. So let’s just off sort of at a high level. Tell me more about your app is and just sort of for someone who might not be familiar with it. Just hit it at a real high level for me.

Laura:                    Okay, sure. So Opti-Time Cloud is a geo-optimization app. It integrates geographic intelligence within sales and it helps mobile optimizing their moments. The goal of this app is to make people spend less time on the road and more with their customers. Actually what we call the geo-optimization. That’s exactly what Opti-Time cloud do. It uses the geography to help people optimizing their mobile activities, their schedules, their everyday journey while they’re on the road to meet their customers.

Everywhere in the world everyday thousands have sales reps, technicians, experts, and even delivery men improve their geographic preferences thanks to geo-concept. We are achieving a maximum number of appointments while minimizing the distance coverage and so we optimize their modems so they can be more efficient. They can make great productivity gains. By reducing their mileage they limit their impact on the environment and of course it’s a great challenge too.

Danny:                  Absolutely. It sounds like there’s a couple of used cases that this really helps out with. One is that sales person trying to … this is really a sales productivity app where they’re able to get the most out of their day because there going and meeting up with the right customers and optimizing their travel time and really getting more out of their day to day things.

Laura:                    Yes.

Danny:                  Then it sounds like also for field services for a lot of people who are sort of out on the road as well …

Laura:                    Absolutely.

Danny:                  For maybe field service folks it helps them as well.

Laura:                    Yes, that’s it.

Danny:                  Awesome! Very good. Tell me a little bit. That’s a great overview. Tell me where the app came from. Where you … how did it sort of come to the app exchange? Where you working on this before you were doing things with Salesforce? Just give me a little about the context of the app.

Laura:                    Okay so just a few words about geo-concept. In order to understand our activities. We are a French software publisher. Our core activity is GIS technology. For more than 15 years now we have developed a strong expertise in scheduling solution and more precisely exactly as we were talking about in First Service Management Applications. We have a non-premise solution called “Opti-Time” which is used by a lot of famous and big companies all around the world.

Two years ago, some of our customers “Coca Cola” for instance ask us to make a direct connection possible between Opti-Time and their CRM that was Salesforce. First we have developed a dedicated connectors. Our customers were very appeased because the two solutions perfectly communicate with each other. From our side, it was a great opportunity to discover the world of Salesforce.

Very quickly we have decided to make our first tapes in the Cloud with Salesforce. That’s how Opti-Time Cloud was born. We have taken our optimization engine and we have directly integrated it into Salesforce. Opti-Time Cloud now enables decision-makers and operational staff to access to our powerful geo-optimization features directly within their Salesforce environment.

Danny:                  That’s great. You mentioned … Coke’s a great … you know where I’m calling you from is … from the home of Coke Atlanta. I’m sipping on a Coke Zero so as you were saying that I was sipping on my Coke. It’s a very pertinent example. That’s great. This was an app that you had before … this is an extension that you’re putting out “The Cloud” hence the name, something you decided to put on to the app exchange. Probably because you saw a lot of customers there and they were requesting to have it for Salesforce.

Laura:                    That’s it.

Danny:                  Very good.

Raynald:               It’s not just only a connector to our external application. We had the ID here. We wanted really to integrate inside the safe for the application and to develop an app that can be well … the user experience is inside Salesforce. You don’t have to switch from an app to another one.

Laura:                    Yes.

Danny:                  I assume this works with … you know the Saleforce1 components so its the mobile stuff or …

Raynald:               Yes.

Danny:                  Very good.

Raynald:               Yes. You can work from Salesforce and also from Salesforce1 while you’re on the go and you want to see your customers on an app and so and do a proximity search of okay I’m here on the map and I just want to see my customers in proximity. I have 30 minute free and I want to see someone in the area so it can be useful in the real time when you are on the go.

Danny:                  Very nice. We’ve talked about a couple of common scenarios with the Sales Person trying to maximize their time and efficiency. We’ve talked a little bit about sort of the field rep that’s out there and using it for similar purposes. Any good stories that you might have where somebody’s using the app that’s sort of surprised you? Maybe using geo-location for something that you hadn’t really built it for but maybe something that people were using it for.

Laura:                    Surprise not really or at least not for the moment. What I can tell you is that Opti-time Cloud as I told you is used by huge companies as such as said “Coca Cola” better so Total the Petroleum company or even the second largest banking group in France. In a position to this large team, we also help very little French eye care company to optimize its visits to Optical centers. What I will like to point at with this example is that nowadays every company whatever its size has to consider its geography if it wants to efficient and competitive.

Danny:                  Absolutely. Even with the … I’m down to a smaller company and we primarily do work in the Atlanta area. Knowing where the different companies are and planning out my time is really important so it is regardless of the size of the company. You want to use geo-location to your advantage.

Laura:                    That’s it.

Raynald:               As Laura says, today we are optimizing roots from one person to a 5,000 in mobile person in the same company. It can be a quite different needs but we answer all the needs for different type and size of companies.

Danny:                  Nice. Very wonderful. What are some of the … through the years … as you’ve put this out and maybe even more recently as you came up with the Cloud based solution. Anything you’ve learned or anything you’d like to share with folks as far as key lessons you’ve learned through putting out your product?

Laura:                    Yes building the Salesforce. Salesforce was a great way to enter in the universe of the Cloud. We learned about the importance of the Cloud computing for companies and about the instruments of the Cloud nowadays. IT decision and practices and maybe you’re in now you want share something about it.

Raynald:               Yes it really helped us in changing the way we are developing because of the way you develop from the Cloud is not really the same. The frequency of the updates of … the upgrades is not the same. It was a great opportunity for us to modernize the way develop products and it was also an occasion to test some modern techniques of product management like Lean starter with very short cycles and based on the agile and movements which is now in the everyday usage.

Danny:                  Yeah.

Raynald:               Help us so to reimagine the user experience to be and the design to stick to the Opti-Time, the Salesforce experience. Even with Lightening Experience currently we have to some babies to the Lightening Experience but we are doing it currently, yes.

Danny:                  That’s great. It sounds like it’s moving to the Cloud. It ended up influencing some of the way you develop software in a more agile … we use some … internally we use scrums so we have that two weeks sprints. With the Cloud, what you’re seeing is … at the minimum you’re staying up to date with Salesforce has three major releases a year. You’re having to think about your product and how is it rolling out with those releases and …

Raynald:               Yes it’s really cool for us now because it’s possible now with everything available with Salesforce to upgrade. Very frequently our apps even once a month, every two weeks if we need it. It’s quite interesting because we have to deliver the maximum value very often to our customers.

Danny:                  That’s great. Now I will ask you to do the impossible which is try to minimize … I’ll give you 10 minutes or so … maybe just show if someone was new to your app. Some of the features that you would point out and feel free to … I know there’s a couple of different versions or additions of it. Just give us an overview of the app and maybe a quick demo would be wonderful.

Laura:                    Sure.

Raynald:               Yes so how we do that. How we do geo-optimization with Salesforce inside Salesforce. You will see in this control demo sometimes we can be considered … use the app as a manager and sometimes as a sales person who wants optimize his own calender, his own planning for a week, for a couple of days, for one day and see it in a map.

First with, the first version of Opti-Time which is Opti-Time geo we can localize every type of cellphone object in the map based on object like customers, contacts or you can also work with custom objects. After mapping them every mapping and with them every field in the application. For one customer or for a group of customers you can geo-locate … geo-code them. The first step of the job is that you can geo-code an address.

It can be done from the phone of one customer or a contact or you can also do it as a batch process on the selection of objects. It can also be a started or ultimately every night for instance for a new account. For a new account every night if needed so it can also be automatic. It’s just the first part of the job. Then we are able to see a ma of every located Salesforce object. This map is really helpful. Each time is necessary.

You see here, we are in the phone of one customer. You can customize the map and see here properly and can be useful to use it inside Salesforce. This just the first level. After that, sometimes you know that from specifically, right? From example, a customer where you already have schedules a meeting you need to locate the other customer’s nearby.

Let’s go to the Opti-Time tab and we are just searching for specific account. For instance, this one is just a code. Okay. We see this customer on the map and from this location we are able to do a proximity search. In order to search all accounts within a limit of 10 kilometers for instance, you also have advanced search parameters. We are searching the 10 nearest accounts around my current position.

Okay. Once I will have the seen my first customer you will see here on the map I can zoom in and see the 10 nearest customers accounts around this position. In order to prepare for instance a visit and to have a meeting for business event from the … directly from the map so I create an event or you can see also a link to a Google.

You want to prepare my schedule one by one. That’s the first level to prepare are based on the map. The schedule for one day and by selecting some important accounts. You see that you are different colors in the map for the pins. It means that you can customize depending on the statutes or the importance of each account and you can easily select the one which is quite important and we also base all this stuff with the … from … by using different views from Salesforce that can be a part of the selection.

That’s the first part of the job, just using the geography to better integrate the proximity between different customers and to schedule manually one day or a couple of meetings. The second part is … would be to start optimizing a whole day or a whole week or also for instance several day for different people.

In this second part of the demo I will play manager but I could also be an anonymous user managing my schedule on my own and I will go back to the geo-scheduling tab of Opti-Time Cloud. You will see that you will have access to every important geo-scheduling features in order to manage one or many schedules one or many days. Define and check the most important countries. So what about the countries first … sorry I forgot something in my demo. I forgot to show you a little bit of what can be done on each account and on each account you need to optimize when you are managing a team for instance.

So for just the customer you see that you can set a group of geo-scheduling options by defining for an account a time windows, priorities, frequency for the visit, the visitation of course, the day of the last visit if you have a frequency forge visit. I need to visit my customer every week or every month. Once, twice a week or twice a month for instance. You can also favorite days. In order to have better intelligence inside the optimization that we’ll use next.

Danny:                  That’s great. That’s used for the optimization purposes like the priority …

Raynald:               Yes, yes. You can do here … a relationship between the importance of your business and the reality of the optimization that you will need to execute.

Danny:                  Gotcha.

Raynald:               The second part is to focus on the human resources so if you are working with a team and you are a manager. For each member of the team you will be able to set the schedule for that week. For each sales person, if needed you can set all or forbid tonight always if you have a great distance from one customer to another one. You can settle so, the minimum travel duration to take a night away into consideration during the optimization process.

It means that you can now so manage multi-day routes and optimize a multi-day … a whole week for instance for a person. That’s for a very high level of what can be set before optimizing so just here you see that we have prepared a better knowledge for the optimization engine of the different constraints of my customers and for my team.

The next step will be to go back at last to the geo-scheduling tab and let me show just how we very in a few clicks … just here I need to optimize three days for three different sales person. I just select them. I just choose the period. For next week I need to optimize between Wednesday and Friday. By using different views I can select an easy way. The set of … the least of my customer I need to visit. You see here you just see the selection of my customer I want to visit and I see of course them as usual on the map.

Then you have the most important version which is the optimized version. When you optimize, it just means that you will send the optimization process through a server. You will just have for instance for one week for a person just have to wait a couple of minutes. I started this optimization process when I were I go before I were meeting so I just want to go faster and show you the results. The summary of my optimization.

At the end of the optimization process you will be able to see here the summary and view the results of the optimization. Once you select the summary of your finished optimization process. You see here, three people, three different days, eight, seven, six, travels per day. A number of visit of nearly seven because each meeting last about one hour. I know the distance of travel and several information.

Once I’ve done it, here you have a just summary of my optimization. If I accept the optimization I will be able here to fill the planning of each resource and that way it will allow me to … sorry … to display before refreshing I did in fact accept my optimization so you see here this day is empty. The next one is full and just after refreshing and after I’ve accepted the optimization process I can see here my schedule for three different person’s but the planning of the agenda is one way to see the schedule for a person.

I’ve got another possibility. Just go back … sorry … to the schedule and let’s select next Wednesday in the schedule and I will change just the resource and select one of them. Okay. Let’s select Laura. Okay you can see for one people that as you can see these turned out Salesforce agenda can be good and interesting. You are working with it everyday.

If we go back to the Opti-Time tab, we’ll be able to see by importing from the calender, the root of Laura for these day. We will see its directly in the map so lets import it in the application and you will see here that we are currently …

Danny:                  Wow.

Raynald:               … displaying the whole journey for the whole day. For my results and I can … if I need because you don’t have to accept everything about the optimization imaging. You can create new meetings from one if it’s necessary. You can add new addresses. You can reorder manually if needed the sequence of the meetings. You are free to modify and change anything in this schedule after optimization. The optimization proposes here the best solution. The lowest cost, lower mileage and the productivity is in between 10 and 30 percent.

It depends of the constraints you have in your model. Then you just … after changing anything in the application you just can see … sorry. You just have to … at the end to save and it will also update the events. For this person you just edit so I can do it my own if I prepare my everyday route by my own. My manager can also execute and optimize for a couple of days for a week and for several person and display the optimization for a bigger quantity of meetings.

That’s the purpose of the app.

Danny:                  That’s great. I think that’s really … it’s nice how you showed that you’re using the optimization software to come up with a suggestion and then you can tweak and I could … because I think that’s the typical work flow which is you want to have an optimized schedule but then you also need the capabilities of that human intervention of tweaking that or maybe making some small modifications as well.

Raynald:               Even if you have a …at the last … just before starting your …

Danny:                  Yeah.

Raynald:               … your journey. You have somebody calls you and they’re “Okay would be great if you come here today”. Okay in a few clicks you have the customer in the maps. You are in route and you can also re-optimize after selecting it and adding him in the current route …

Danny:                  That’s great.

Raynald:               You can change anything when needed in real time.

Danny:                  That’s awesome. Great demo Raynald. I appreciate it. That’s was really a wonderful job and by the way your English is much better than my French so … I went my …

Raynald:               Say it in French the next time.

Danny:                  I went to … so sorry off a personal tangent here but I went to … my honeymoon I went with my wife to Paris. We had a wonderful time. I think the extent of my French was my … gen … I’m going to forget it now. ” je ne parle le francais” I could say “I don’t speak French”.

Raynald:               Okay, okay. I understand you Danny.

Danny:                  I kept on messing up saying “Hello” when I wanted to say “Goodbye”. It was a bit of a mess that was a great … that was a really great demo. I appreciate you doing that. For folks who want to see this great demo you can go to “www.appexchangepodcast.com” and you’ll see video there and we’re also have a transcript and … the best way for people to learn more about your app is to go the app exchange and download it and do a trial there or any tips that you would offer to people about that?

Laura:                    Yes, they can go directly to the appexhange and try the trial version. There is also a dedicated website OptiTimeCloud.geoconcept.com Feel free to visit and contact us for the information.

Danny:                  Wonderful. Raynald and Laura, thank you so much for taking the time to so this and our … I know our thoughts and prayers with the people of Paris as well and we hope everything … is that your friends and family are okay. Just thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Thank you for … I’m sure you’re bust so thank you for doing this.

Raynald:               Thanks a lot. We do appreciate this you brought world wide people.

Laura:                    Thank you.

Danny:                  Absolutely, absolutely. Thank you everybody for listening and have a wonderful day. Take care now. Bye, bye.


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