Dreamforce brings together thought leaders, industry pioneers, and thousands of your peers for four high-energy days of fun, inspiration, networking, and giving back. With over 2,000 sessions and thousands of live solutions from the world’s largest cloud ecosystem, Dreamforce has tailored content specific to your industry, role, and company size. Whether you’re a company of five or a Fortune 500, you’re going to see a boom in success by coming to Dreamforce.read more
FULL DISCLOSURE : ThreeWill is both a Microsoft Gold Partner and Salesforce Product Development Partner. We have 2 free products that integrate Salesforce with Office 365 called Trove and Channel. We currently use Salesforce internally for our CRM, but wondering if it’s time to take a second look at Dynamics 365.
Here’s the backstory and why we’re taking a second look.
I can remember about a dozen or so years ago trying to install Microsoft CRM on a server in our office. After a couple of frustrating days away from what I should have been focusing on (sales prospecting), I signed up for a 30-day trial of Salesforce.com. Within a couple of hours I had our accounts, contacts and the current state of our pipeline imported and up to date. Now I just needed to convince others at ThreeWill that it was worth the cost.
Play this forward seven years or so and coming off and on Salesforce two times (I lost the cost battle twice), I got an interesting email from someone in product management at Salesforce. I somehow convinced them to have us build a SharePoint Connector and our formal relationship with Salesforce started. I got set up as a partner and as a part of the benefits received 2 enterprise licenses of Salesforce CRM (stingy compared to Microsoft’s generous allocation of 100 licenses).
The Current Story
I’ve always said that you can take Salesforce from my cold, dead hands…but I’m opening up to the idea of looking at Dynamics 365 again (yes, Tommy Ryan, I can see you rolling your eyes).
Reason 1 – Dynamics 365 is under Scott Guthrie
We have a long history with Scott Guthrie – one of the first things that Tommy and I did as founders was to write a book on ASP.NET (he and Mark Anders were co-developers of ASP.NET). Since then, he has proven himself at Microsoft time and time again. More recently, he has been the leader behind Azure – a product that is improving at a staggering pace. Now that Dynamics 365 is under his purview, we expect the product to take off…
Reason 2 – The LinkedIn Acquisition
Let’s face it – keeping data in your CRM fresh and clean is a full time job. Salesforce has data.com. Microsoft now has LinkedIn.com. I have no idea how this is going to get integrated – but for the hefty purchase price you know Satya is thinking how to leverage the asset in Dynamics 365 (and Office 365). When this does happen, I do not want to miss out. I’m tired of updating Accounts and Contacts, aren’t you?
Reason 3 – AppSource and PowerApps are Microsoft’s Answer for Line of Business Apps
We’ve got a couple of apps in the Office Store – but for the typical vertical or horizontal app that we create for customers, the place for these apps is AppSource. PowerApps may be in it’s early days, but if Microsoft can continue to invest it could represent the new way that we build apps for customers.
Reason 4 – Office 365 has been a Great Move for Customers (and for Us)
If Dynamics becomes the natural complement to Office 365, we’ll see a huge influx of customers making the move. Already, with the recent release of Dynamics 365 you see a common user experience and tight integration with Office 365 (beginning with things like Office 365 Groups).
Reason 5 – Project Service Automation (PSA)
This reason is more specific to our type of business (professional services). Dynamics 365 comes with a PSA solution built in. We currently rely on a Sass solution called Autotask and there will be no love lost if we could consolidate.
Reason 6 – Everyone on the Same Page
There is a loss of data in the customer lifecycle for us right now. We have a handful of people on Salesforce (primarily due to cost, but even if we did have licenses the preference from delivery folks is to stay out of Salesforce). Once an Opportunity closes and turns into a project there is context and history that is lost (including things like sales notes, contact information, etc). Giving everyone access to pertinent information from Marketing and Sales is key to keeping customers happy.
Reason 7 – Being a Good Microsoft Partner
Even if we won’t be helping customers get set up on Dynamics 365 (anytime soon), it would be good for us to use Microsoft’s offering as a long-term partner. Granted, we’re still going to use Dropbox for certain use cases and GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar for customer meetings and webinars. Since Microsoft and Salesforce have been playing the friendly competitor game I don’t feel that this is the most important reason, but it doesn’t hurt our relationship. Anyhow, Microsoft gives us 100 licenses vs the 2 licenses from Salesforce so everyone will be included in the party.
Concerns and Risks
I do have concerns about making the move – here’s a short list of my initial concerns:
- Performance – One of my favorite things about Salesforce is the speed. It looks like Dynamics 365 has made some significant improvements, but I don’t want to wait 8 seconds to open a contact.
- AppExchange vs AppSource – Like Apple and the App Store, Salesforce is miles ahead with regards to both the number and quality of apps. I need to evaluate whether the apps that I need are “good enough.”
- Impact of the Migration – I don’t want to impact our economic engine so I’d look to roll this out in phases over the next year or so.
- Cost of the Migration – I’m not sure how easy it will be to get up and running on Dynamics 365. As a small business, I’m afraid this will need to be a do-it-yourself project (for me).
So, What are Your Thoughts?
Leave a comment below and I’ll respond. And if I do decide to make the move (or do a proof of concept), I’ll be sure to blog my experiences. Thanks for reading.read more
Dreamforce 2016 brings together thought leaders, industry pioneers, and thousands of your peers for four high-energy days of fun, inspiration, networking, and giving back. With over 1,500 sessions and thousands of live solutions from the world’s largest cloud ecosystem, Dreamforce has tailored content specific to your industry, role, and company size. Whether you’re a company of five or a Fortune 500, you’re going to see a boom in success by coming to Dreamforce.read more
|Danny Ryan:||Hello, and welcome to the ThreeWill Podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan, and I have Tim here with me today, Tim Coalson. How are you doing, Tim Coalson?|
|Tim Coalson:||I’m doing well, doing well.|
|Danny Ryan:||Excellent. Good to see you.|
|Tim Coalson:||Thank you. Good to be here.|
|Danny Ryan:||Thanks. We’ll get our little quarterly get-together here.|
|Danny Ryan:||You’ve been busy. You’ve been very busy lately.|
|Tim Coalson:||Yeah, we’ve been doing some integration of a support site with Salesforce. Our first integration was with cases: Salesforce has case objects that employees for this particular company use to manage cases on the backend; and then we display those through a support site, through a public support site, so that customers can log in and see the status of any of their ongoing cases they have going on or view a closed case to understand what the resolution was.|
|Tim Coalson:||For this integration, we are integrating with the knowledge base content inside of Salesforce; so basically on the Salesforce side, they customize the knowledge base to have a particular version of that knowledge base that’s specific for this company that has various attributes that this company cared about. Then on the support site, we are consuming that content.|
|Tim Coalson:||What was interesting is, normally we hook into an index, like with a product like Solr that indexes content, and we interface with that index, while with Salesforce they don’t really open up, give you immediate access to that index, so all of our search capability, to be able to search knowledge base content … A customer logs in, they have questions around a certain product, they can either type in a keyword search, or they can specify, click on a product, and we’ll go pull content from knowledge base based upon that product. Our integration with Salesforce in this case … In our earlier integration, we went through an enterprise service bus. In this case, we’re actually going directly against Salesforce using their APIs.|
|Danny Ryan:||Very nice.|
|Tim Coalson:||For search capability, you use a language called SOSL, S-O-S-L, versus another language inside of, query language inside of Salesforce is SOQL, which is S-O-Q-L, so query language, so this is a search language. It has a little bit different syntax, but it seems to be, so far, very powerful, so it’s just interesting learning all the ins and outs of, “How do I get the most out of the Salesforce search through a REST interface?”|
|Danny Ryan:||Let me get this straight. What are you using, again? What’s the front-end technologies?|
|Tim Coalson:||The front end is a .NET technology.|
|Danny Ryan:||Okay, and then, so you’re using that for the UI and all that good stuff.|
|Tim Coalson:||Right, so we’re using .NET and all of the modern plugins too: .NET, and CSS, Bootstrap, and other things to provide …|
|Danny Ryan:||It’s a responsive site that …|
|Tim Coalson:||Provides some of the responsive, and also some other plugins to provide some other features on the site, like breaking news, scrollable-type content, things like that.|
|Tim Coalson:||Then …|
|Tim Coalson:||Yeah, so in this case, from the .NET side, we’re making REST calls into the … In this case, it’s actually a custom REST interface that we created, because not only did we want to get results, but we also wanted to have facet values; so certain values like product names, types of forms, other things that are proprietary or specific to this industry, we wanted to be able … Customers to be able to drill into their search results based upon these different facets. Not only is this service retrieving the content using the SOSL language, so we’re actually building this SOSL query on the fly based upon whatever text they input or whatever products or other facets they select, we’re building this SOSL query on the fly, we get back the results. Then, part of the result set, we actually do counts of the content so we can provide various facet values on the left that will allow them to further drill into this content.|
|Danny Ryan:||Very nice. Very nice. Then you were mentioning, with the search that they, who is, what’s indexing that content … Is that something that you’re using from Salesforce, as far as the search, or is the search something that you’ve built, or what is it?|
|Tim Coalson:||No, the search is, it’s part of the Salesforce cloud platform. Now, what I’ve been told is, behind the scenes, Salesforce also uses Solr.|
|Tim Coalson:||I don’t know if that’s true or not, and for us, it really doesn’t matter, because we’re accessing all the content through the API, through the SOSL language, so …|
|Danny Ryan:||Solr is this, is like an open source search engine, or something along the lines, something like that?|
|Tim Coalson:||Yeah, it’s … I don’t know if it’s open source, I think it’s maybe a …|
|Danny Ryan:||It’s a popular search engine, yeah.|
|Tim Coalson:||Right, it’s a pretty popular one. It was one that this, in fact, this customer was already using to crawl their content. One of the challenges with our search results is we really have two sources of search content, or knowledge base content. We actually have help files which are still indexed by Solr, and then we have Salesforce content, and because they’re kind of like two separate engines, search engines, there’s really no common factor between the two result sets to be able to merge those in any kind of meaningful way. Right now, we’re just alternating our responses between knowledge base content and help content until one or the other runs out, but …|
|Tim Coalson:||In the future, as we learn more, we may find there’s a better way to integrate the two results, but for now, we’re just kind of interweaving those together.|
|Danny Ryan:||Got you, got you. This is … This is, you’re working on an upcoming release of the site, I’d imagine? Something in the next couple of months or so, or …|
|Tim Coalson:||Yeah, we’ve got different … This, we’ve actually gone live with, and now we’re making some changes as we’ve learned more and seen customers interact with it. We’re making further refinements to the knowledge base search, so that’s kind of what we’re working on now. We’ve actually got some future releases where we’ll be integrating with some other backend systems, and this time, we’ll probably be going through the enterprise service bus to actually retrieve customer, or sales representative information; so when a customer wants to identify, “Who do I talk to, to get further information about a certain product,” this will be a new system that will … A new functionality that we’ll add that will allow the customer to go through a wizard, and if they already have an account, they can specify their account number, and we’ll pull the appropriate information.|
|Otherwise, we’ll take them through a series of questions that will help identify what particular type of company they are, how big their company is, where are they located. Using all that criteria, we’ll make a call to this enterprise service bus which will reach out to several backend systems and determine, based on that information, “Who is this person’s sales representative.” Then we’ll give the customer an option: They can either call the sales rep based upon the information returned, or we’ll allow them to click a button and enter in some minimal information and actually have the sales representative contact them. From that perspective, we’ll be creating a lead inside of Salesforce, or just some further integration with Salesforce.|
|Danny Ryan:||Is there any online chat or anything like that that’s for real time?|
|Tim Coalson:||They do have online chat. We haven’t worked on that piece out, that was a piece that already existed …|
|Tim Coalson:||… so I’m not really familiar, too much, with what technologies or what company they’re using for them, but they do have that capability.|
|Danny Ryan:||After these, integrating with a knowledge base, and, what, is there something … Is that, sort of, the end of the next version, and moving on to new things after that, or what is that?|
|Tim Coalson:||Yeah, we’ve got some other things coming up. We’re going to enhance the customer’s ability to make various types of payments to their account, so we’ll give them more flexible payment arrangements.|
|Tim Coalson:||That’s coming up in a future release as well, so … Just trying to give the customer as much capability as they can online. First of all, it helps the customer. Most people don’t want to have to call a company and deal with a person if they can do it online, so that’s … Excuse me, one advantage.|
|Danny Ryan:||Self-service is always good.|
|Tim Coalson:||Exactly. Yeah, and for the company, obviously. Fewer calls means fewer people necessary to support it, which is also a benefit for the company, so …|
|Danny Ryan:||Absolutely. Well, cool, I appreciate you doing this little update. It sounds like you’re a little hungry, your tummy’s been growling over this whole podcast. People were listening …|
|Tim Coalson:||I think that’s the thunder outside, so …|
|Danny Ryan:||Oh, yeah, that … That’s what it is. If you’re listening in, sorry, we had a little action going on outside with a thunderstorm, so you probably heard that every once in a while. It’s not Tim’s stomach. It’s not my stomach, but, yeah, a little rain coming down in Georgia today. Well, I appreciate you doing this. It sounds like you’re doing great work on the project. Thanks for all your hard work there.|
|Tim Coalson:||All right. Thank you, Danny.|
|Danny Ryan:||Awesome. Thanks so much, Tim. Thanks, everybody, for listening. Take care. Bye bye.|
Runscope has recently become a must have tool for me when building integrations with cloud applications such as Office 365 and Salesforce. This past week I used Runscope to debug an issue with a remote event receiver I’d written for Project Online. This is such an awesome and easy to use tool, I wanted to be sure all the cloud devs are aware and know how to make use of it.
I built a WCF service which serves as the endpoint for an event receiver in Project Online, hosted in Office 365. The WCF service is hosted on Windows server, on a dev box virtual machine in Azure. In testing, it appeared as though Project Online was not calling my WCF service. Since this was a dev environment, I attached the Visual Studio debugger and enabled WCF logging. Neither of these options indicated that the call from Project Online was making it through to my WCF service.
In an ideal world, I could view the ULS log in Project Online for easy access to errors generated as a result of the failed event receiver, but this is not an ideal word; it’s the multi-tenant cloud world of Office 365.
Runscope serves as a middle tier proxy which can be inserted between Project Online in Office 365 and my WCF service hosted in Azure. Once configured, Runscope will record all requests from Project Online to my WCF service. I can view the results, edit, and replay requests! Sounds complicated, but it’s not.
Navigate to www.runscope.com and sign up for an account. Once you are logged, create a new bucket and name it anything you like.
Click the link for Traffic once the bucket has been created.
The start page for the new bucket includes a form you can use to create the runscope url. In the example below, I entered the url path to my WCF service at https://cloud-app.threewill.com. Just below, Runscope provides an endpoint which can be used to log requests.
In this example, I originally configured my Project Online event receiver to call into the WCF service at https://cloud-app.threewill.com/projectonline/StatusingEventReceiver.svc. Using Runscope, I configured Project Online to call the event receiver at https://cloud–app-threewill-com-mv9k3q9xyz3v.runscope.net/projectonline/StatusingEventReceiver.svc. As a quick test, simply place the url in your browser. You should see an entry appear in the runscope log.
Watch as Runscope logs server to server activity, errors and more.
From the traffic log (shown above) you can view the full detail of the request and response. And, you can easily edit and resend any request!
As for my issue, Runscope revealed that the request was making it to my server, and the server replied with a 404. This helped by confirming that Project Online was attempting to make the call and basic connectivity between Project Online and my WCF service was successful. The 404 reply led me to find that my WCF bindings were incorrect for a service hosted over SSL.
Runscope is a must have in my toolbox for cloud service integrations such those hosted in Office 365 and Salesforce. Of course, there are other ways to debug cloud integration issues such as the one I encountered, but this is so easy, I recommend it as your first step.
Do you have any favorite tools for debugging cloud app dev projects? Have you used other features in Runscope that are a must have for app dev in the cloud? I’d love to discuss in the comments section below.read more
Danny: Hello, this is Danny Ryan. Welcome to the AppExchange podcast. Today I have Eric Bowden here with me. Eric is a Principal Consultant for ThreeWill. We’re doing our second podcast of the day. Thank you for hanging out with me even longer.
Eric: That’s right. That’s right. Thank you for having me.
Danny: Absolutely. We’re going to talk about a second product here. The name of this product is Channel. Tell me a little bit more about Channel.
Eric: Channel is bringing Chatter in Salesforce to users in SharePoint in Office 365. The idea is that you can take what is your group feed, the feed for a group and you can render that on a page in SharePoint. That includes your basic Chatter features, such as of course, you can view posts to that group in Chatter as well as issue new posts. You can like, unlike, add comments, mentions and topics.
Danny: Awesome. We’re looking at taking if an organization uses Chatter for social collaboration in Office 365 they could now combine the two of those. I guess there are. We’ve run into a lot of organizations who are doing this, who standardized on Chatter and have standardized on Office 365. The obvious thing if you wanted to stay pure Microsoft would be to use Yammer, which has a lot of overlap with Chatter. The issue comes into play with if you’ve got multiple social platforms that creates a little dissonance …
Eric: That’s right it does.
Danny: … for the typical user. You want to really try to choose one over the other, right?
Eric: That’s right. It is becoming common that folks have standardized on Chatter. Chatter has a number of advantages. Mobile support is a big one. Chatter in Salesforce is easy to integrate with other custom applications, other custom processes, which are in Salesforce. There are a number of advantages there. Another aspect of it is that as I’m sure you can imagine, a lot of customers are not so focused on SharePoint or Office 365.
They have a number of other web-based platforms, the Adobe CQ, Confluence, of course, SharePoint being one of them, custom web applications that they may have built. When they’re choosing a social platform the advantage of Yammer and choosing a Microsoft social tool and that it’s going to work well with Micros- Office 365, that advantage goes away when they start thinking about I’m going to take this social tool and be sure to integrate it with all of my web-based platforms.
Danny: Salesforce has done a good job of really trying to integrate Chatter with other platforms as well.
Eric: I think they’ve done a good job of making it easy for it. I think it’s still a custom app activity the same as it is with integrating Chatter with SharePoint and Office 365. It’s still a custom app activity to integrate with Adobe and Confluence and so forth. That’s also the case with a Yammer or any other social tool. You’re going to have customization. I guess from my view, a lot of the social platforms they flatten out when you consider that you’re going to have an effort to integrate them with most of your platforms anyway.
Danny: The name, do you remember the history of the name we started? I think this thing has had probably five different names. I think it’s gone through a couple of names.
Eric: This is true. This is true. It had a pirate name to it didn’t it though [crosstalk 00:04:05]
Danny: Parlay was it at one point in time. Then we realized that there’s two different spellings for that. I just got confused. Then we just figured, hey, it’s another, it’s Channel. Channel reminds you a little bit of chatter …
Eric: That’s right.
Danny: … as well.
Eric: We wanted a technology-based name.
Eric: A channel on your old-time-y radio is what always comes to mind for me.
Danny: Absolutely, absolutely. A little bit about where this thing came from. Tell me. I know we had done some work with Salesforce a couple years ago. Give me a little bit of the back history on this thing.
Eric: Sure, sure, we go back with Chatter integrations more than three years. We worked directly with Salesforce just about three years ago or maybe a little bit further back helping to build an integration with SharePoint. That integration was SharePoint on-prem. At the time, of course, SharePoint was available in the cloud, but it hadn’t really taken off like it has since the introduction of Office 365. We were helping build an on-premises integration with SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010.
Danny: That was called Chatter for SharePoint correct?
Eric: That was Chatter for SharePoint, exactly.
Danny: That’s a product that’s people that is out there as a part of Salesforce’ product suite.
Eric: That’s right. That’s right. Then soon after we had some period of time where we were not actively working on the Chatter for SharePoint integration, but we had that expertise, and so we continued to have customers who were coming to us kicking around ideas. We want a Chatter integration. We know you guys have this experience, but we’re not really quite ready to pull the trigger. As these customers kept coming to us with these ideas …
Danny: I’m laughing because Eric and I know the … We won’t share the name of the person or the company. We had our longest sales opportunity. It was three years long.
Eric: That’s right.
Danny: That we worked on the sales opportunity for a large soda company.
Eric: That’s right. That’s right. Danny and I, Tommy and I rather, we got together to celebrate three years to the day. It was random that we landed on that day, but we did. It took us a while for that particular opportunity. All along the way, really, what was happening at ThreeWill is we’re like it happens often with us is we’re getting ideas from our customers. We’re getting ideas for what is a need. The need was an integration for SharePoint and Office 365. We really, in our spare time, were whittling away at a Chatter integration.
We’re thinking about it from two perspectives. Chiefly, from an architectural perspective, what are the bits and bites and how is this going to go together? We’re really doing that as a pre-sales activity for this long-term sales, this long sales cycle that we were in. It was really a side effect of that is finding that, hey, we don’t have that much further to go. We can develop a product that has some value for folks and go through, have the experience of publishing it to the Office store.
Danny: One of the benefits of a really long sales cycle is you may get a product out of it.
Eric: That’s right. That’s right. Hey, shh.
Eric: Don’t tell. Don’t tell.
Eric: Don’t tell.
Danny: I know for folks who are listening part of this is that we’ve got a free version of this. We’re also just like with Trove we’re planning on putting out a pay-for version or more of an enterprise-grade, works with different types of security. I know there is some additional things that we would love to add to it, feature set wise as well. When we’re looking at the demo, I think it is pretty … It’s got some very important features, but also has its edges.
Recognize that as well as you’re looking at the product that we will be coming out with more of a plus version of the product that’s a paid-for version, especially as customers come to us and really show interest in this product. Cool, I think this is definitely one that needs to be seen. Why don’t I go ahead and switch over to you? Actually, let me just show you real quickly in the AppExchange the listing that we have. This one actually came after we published out Trove. You can go there and see more information about Channel on the AppExchange. Let me switch over to you and you have control.
Eric: I have the con.
Danny: Yes, you do.
Eric: You should be seeing my page in SharePoint now.
Eric: On the right-hand side of that page is Channel. As described earlier, this is configured. This is the Chatter feed for a group in Chatter. You can see it has the basic functionality of rendering or so I can view messages that have been posted to that group in Chatter. I can hover over usernames and get a little bit more information about those users. If users have their phone number, some contact information to find, that’ll show up in the pop-up also. I can also like and unlike. It’ll tell me who has liked a post that I’ve applied previously. I can add a comment and so forth. Then of course, I can also share a new message. Let’s see. The little pop-up is stuck open. It looks like I’m wanting to be an even more active influencer. I think I am not going to let you go in there.
Danny: Will the paid-for version, will that make this thing go …
Eric: Yes, you have to pay …
Danny: … that go away?
Eric: … for that, too, for that to go away, exactly. That’s part of the up-sell.
Danny: Is this like Trove where you have a part of it on the AppExchange and a part of it in the Office store?
Eric: No, this is only in the Office store.
Danny: There is a marketing app. There is a listing in there, but it doesn’t do anything,
Eric: That’s right. That’s right. It will [crosstalk 00:11:16]
Danny: It’s the world’s most uninteresting … It points you back to our site, which points you to how, or tells you how to download off of the Office store.
Eric: That’s right. That’s right. The AppExchange it’s an awesome marketing tool. It’s really to me as an administrator and as a developer at the moment between the Office store and the AppExchange, the AppExchange is the more intriguing place to go. It’s a little bit more of my first place to go looking for solutions with Salesforce. From that perspective, it makes sense that you’d want to have a presence for your application in the AppExchange whether it’s simply for a marketing or a visibility standpoint.
Danny: You’re just adding in a new status update here.
Eric: Yes, I add a new status. I’ll just show you it does support at mentions. You see I’ve got a little search capability there.
Eric: Then it also supports …
Danny: By hash.
Eric: …. topics.
Danny: Topics? What about is that hash tag? Is that the same thing as hash tag?
Eric: Hash tag, topic, yeah. It can enter in my topics.
Danny: Hash tag.
Eric: Share that out so you can see it. That’s not the right topic.
Danny: Is this, like when we looked at Trove, we saw it was associated to an account or an opportunity. How is this particular, do you associate this over to a place inside where you [crosstalk 00:12:51] extra for …
Eric: What’s going on here? There we go. I finally got my hash tag.
Danny: You’re not convincing me right now.
Eric: This is true.
Danny: We already know. We know this [crosstalk 00:13:10]
Eric: Nothing to see here.
Danny: We know this is a live demo. We’ve proven that point. Now, we need to move on from that.
Eric: That’s right. What was your question? I missed your last one.
Danny: This can you associate this feed over to a certain place inside of Salesforce or how is it that you …
Eric: It’s with the groups in Chatter. If I go down, I’m going to open up the web part properties of this application and go down to the miscellaneous section. You’ll see down at the very bottom is the Chatter group ID. You have to go over into Salesforce, grab the group ID, the ID of the group, which you get from the URL. Folks in Salesforce are somewhat accustomed to doing that. You do that from time to time when you’re configuring things.
Danny: Is there an ID for the All Company?
Eric: There is. The All Company is a standard route just like the others. You go over and grab that. I’ll show you another aspect of this, which is the setup. Let’s see if I can get to it. Let me save this page. Then we’ll go to the installation guide for Channel, which this installation guides comes after you install it from the Office store. The Channel is an application in your site. You can open that application. You get this installation guide. The neat thing about this installation guide is it actually tells you the settings to paste in. There is some configuration required over in Salesforce. It’s not a lot. You have to create a connected app and you have to configure cores. Those are two settings in Salesforce, not overly complicated and this …
Danny: Coors is a great beer.
Eric: It is, one O, not two Os. You know what. Somebody is probably going to come up with that beer soon. I think they can. They’ll just have to call it …
Danny: We’re going to write off the marketing of Coors and just take one of the Os out.
Eric: That’s right. I think it could be done.
Danny: Configure cores to channel, excellent.
Eric: It’s telling you really what to copy, paste, what the settings are and so forth. As you can see, these are environment-specific. This page is calculating for you what those settings need to be. You just copy and paste, throw them in there, boom, boom, boom. You’re done.
Danny: Excellent. If folks want to see this demo, this slightly questionable, but gets better demo …
Eric: It was all user error. It was all user error. I am not a very technical user. I just fumbled my way through this thing.
Danny: I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.
Eric: That’s right. That’s right and you’ve got to love Channel and Coors.
Danny: And Coors. If you want to see this demo, go to www.AppExchangePodcast.com. You’ll see the Vimeo up there of the demo. Thank you, Eric, for doing two in a row.
Eric: You bet.
Danny: This is big stuff here.
Eric: This is going to be big.
Danny: Now, you’ve hung out with me here for a little while.
Eric: That’s right.
Danny: Now, you don’t need to talk to me again for a long time.
Eric: That’s right. We’re going to be famous.
Danny: We’re going to be famous.
Eric: After this comes out, this is going to be the big time.
Danny: No, I appreciate …
Eric: This really is.
Danny: I appreciate everybody at ThreeWill listening to this. Hey, Tommy, how’s it going?
Eric: Hi Mom.
Danny: Hi Mom, thanks everybody for listening. We appreciate you taking the time to do this. Have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye-bye.
Danny: Hi, this is Danny Ryan and welcome to the AppExchange Podcast. Today’s going to be a fun one. I’ve got Eric Bowden here with me. Eric is a Principal Consultant at ThreeWill. Thank you for joining me Eric.
Eric: Glad to be here, Danny.
Danny: Awesome. We sit very close to each other. This is going to be a little bit of a meta podcast here, because I guess I should be interviewing myself because I’m technically the product manager for the product we’re covering, which is Trove, so if you answer any of the questions incorrectly, I will correct you.
Eric: That’s all right.
Danny: I will be right here with you. We’re in the same room which is also somewhat meta. I’m used to doing these over- go to meeting, and someone’s last one was someone in Paris, France and all these exotic locations, but right now we’re just in my Office here.
Eric: That’s right. As an information architect, Danny, you would call this meta.
Eric: But as a developer, this is recursive so you call it in yourself.
Danny: I’m calling in to myself.
Eric: Yeah. I’m a developer so I would call this recursive.
Danny: This is recursive? Okay, and as a marketing guy I would call this head exploding because I want to answer my own questions right now, but I’m going to ask the questions like I don’t know what the answers are to them. Okay?
Eric: All right.
Danny: Let’s give this a go. We’ve got two products we’re going to cover. The first one we’re going to cover is Trove. What is Trove?
Eric: I usually describe Trove as a solution which is intended to replace file attachments and Salesforce. Our typical customer, you know, they’re coming to us and they’re saying, “I don’t want to use file attachments. I don’t want to store files and Salesforce, but instead I want to store those files in SharePoint and Office 365.”
Danny: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Eric: There are a lot of benefits for docking the storage in SharePoint. SharePoint, over the years, they’re a real specialty and a real advantage. They’re handling of documents, storing documents. In recent years, Office Word apps have come a long way so that you can view and edit documents directly in your browser. That’s a big win for storing documents in SharePoint. It’s folks who are saying, “I want an easy way, I want to make it as easy as possible for my Salesforce users to store documents in SharePoint.”
Danny: We’re not syncing up documents at all. We’re actually storing those documents inside of Office 365. Correct?
Eric: That’s right, yes. It’s all real time. It’s, as you’ll say, “Give me a look at it later on,” when the listing of documents have surrendered, it’s a real time listening and when you push a document from Salesforce into SharePoint, that’s all in real time.
Danny: We are associating to which objects inside of Salesforce?
Eric: Accounts and opportunities.
Eric: Just those two for now.
Danny: Okay, and that’s in the current version of the product?
Danny: Good. Good. Where’d this thing come from?
Eric: You know, our best ideas often come from our customers. This was a customer request. We had engagement with one of our customers and they are describing a case where they had a huge volume of documents that are stored in Salesforce, and I think they really had two objectives. One is from a cost savings standpoint. Storage in Salesforce can be very expensive relative to share planning Office 365, and then the second aspect is that they want to allow to really give full access to these documents, both to users who are only licensed in SharePoint and Office 365 as well as users who are licensed in Salesforce and they’re coming at it from a Salesforce angle. SharePoint and Office 365 really serves as that shared repository for both Salesforce and SharePoint.
Danny: Gotcha. So these documents are being stored in SharePoint and they’re in a particular document library inside of SharePoint? How does that set up?
Eric: Yep. As a Salesforce administrator, when you configure Trove, you can choose the document library in which the documents will be stored, so any document library of your choosing and within any site within SharePoint. Now from there, Trove really takes it from there so when your Salesforce users, when they go to attach a document, upload document to either an account or an opportunity, Trove creates the correct folder for that location for that corresponding account or opportunity and uploads the document to that spot.
Danny: Okay. I’m going to ask you this like I don’t know what the answer is and see if you can answer it with the correct answer. Where did the name Trove come from?
Eric: I can define Trove.
Danny: That’s fine. That’s a good start.
Eric: I don’t know if I can tell you where it came from. It’s a play on the treasure chest or, you know, a trove of your valuables.
Eric: The idea is that it’s stocked with content. This is of great value to both the users in Salesforce and in SharePoint, and when it’s in SharePoint it really tends to open it up to the enterprise. You’re putting your documents in your trove, in your treasure trove.
Danny: The whole time.
Eric: Did I get it?
Danny: That is acceptable. I should have a little “ding ding ding.” That is an acceptable answer. We’ll take that one, yes.
Eric: I don’t really know where it really, truly came from. You came up with the idea.
Danny: I came up with it, yes. I’m sure I was taking a shower.
Eric: Yeah. Just out of nowhere.
Danny: Trove came up … who knows.
Eric: It’s a good one. That’s six.
Danny: Who knows, but it was definitely for things that took place where you store things that are important to you. Very good. I know I’m on right now just showing the landing page for Trove on our site and looking at some of the things that are more important, where you’re staying in Salesforce. I think we really wanted to make the workflow so that you could stay in the Salesforce UI. It’s really nice. Describe to me the process of working with the file when you’re doing it with file attachments in Salesforce versus when you’re using Trove, and maybe this just leads into the demo.
Eric: Oh, sure. Yeah. From the Salesforce side of things, folks may be accustomed to the concept of a related list. If you’re looking at an account, you can see the list of opportunities. If you’re looking at an opportunity, you can see a list of tasks. Well, Trove really feeds into that same related list concept, and what that means is that when you’re looking at an account, you see in a similar fashion your listing of opportunity. You also see the listing of documents which are associated with that account. Then from there, you can interact with those documents. You can view a document. You can delete documents and you can upload additional documents.
Danny: I just love the whole idea. If you click on the document and it opens up and the online versions of the different Office products. It just seems like just such an easy workflow, which you would expect to be the workflow.
Eric: That’s right, yeah. I mean, just a single click and you’re there.
Danny: I’ve pulled up here the AppExchange listing for folks. This is a free app and for folks who are interested, we’re planning on putting out a paid-for version next year, but right now I’m just trying to get the interest around this, see how many people are wanting to integrate Salesforce and Office 365 together. I think this is sort of a high level overview of what the product is. I’d love for you to do a demo.
Danny: I love the fact that you’re doing a demo and I’m not doing a demo. Typically what happens, folks, if you’re not aware, Eric comes up with something and I say, “Oh, I can help out with that.” Then it’s on my to-do list and then I realize I can’t do it, and then I hand it back to Eric and Eric gets it done.
Eric: That’s right. That’s right, yeah.
Danny: He’s a man that can make it happen.
Eric: We’re prepared like that.
Danny: I just jumped over the whole thing. Instead of me saying, “Here, I’ll do the demo,” I’ll just let you do the demo.
Eric: All right, all right.
Danny: Okay. Let me be quiet here for a second and hand you the conch and make you present her.
Eric: There we go. You should be seeing my screen now.
Danny: Yes, I can. I sure can.
Eric: Okay, great. I’m going to start off in SharePoint, and where I’m at right now is I’m in a site called Sales Docs and this is where, you know, in SharePoint, I’ve decided to store sales documents which are attached to accounts and opportunities in Salesforce. Right here on the home page, I have a list view of my Salesforce documents and you can see there are a number of folders here. Burlington Textiles, Edge Communications, Gene Point, so forth and so on. Folks who are familiar with Salesforce might recognize these. These are from the Salesforce demo environment, and these are the names of accounts. What Trove does is first off, it creates a folder which is named by the account which is in Salesforce. This is sort of step one for making it real easy for users who are in SharePoint to understand documents which have been saved to this location from Salesforce. It’s easy. They’re named by the name of the account.
Now if I drill into an account, for example, I’m going to open up and look at the folder there for Edge Communications, you’ll see documents which has been saved for that account for that account. As you can expect with typical behavior with SharePoint and Office 365, I can choose the link and I have it opened up in Office Web Apps. Real easy. What it really looks like at this point is really standard SharePoint behavior, but we had the benefit of, really, Trove that created these folders and stores them for the user.
Danny: Oh, so if the account is not there I will go ahead and create that folder.
Danny: It’ll have the same name as the account inside of Salesforce.
Eric: Exactly. Let me flip over to Salesforce. I already have an account open, so my Burlington Textiles Corp of America account open, and you can see the account detail that you’re accustomed to seeing in Salesforce. This is really the default configuration for Salesforce, but if I scroll down a little bit, I have a listing of files. I have a section for files and this is Trove. There are no files associated with this account at the moment. If there were, it would be listed under For This Account. What I’m going to do is just go ahead and upload one just to show you what that looks like. So I’ll choose … another master services agreement and choose Save. That’s going to push this document from Salesforce into SharePoint and Office 365 unless finished, it shows up under the listing. Now just one click and I’m opening this document where I can view it in Office Web Apps. If I want to edit this document, I can edit it directly in Office Web Apps or I can even rename it. We’ll call it Master Services Agreement version two.
Office Web Apps automatically saves so there’s no need to save this document. If I just go back to my account, and I’m just going to refresh, we’ll see that the name of that document has now been updated to version two. So it’s really to your point, to your question earlier, Danny, this just kind of illustrates the real time nature of this integration.
Eric: It’s just pulling that list directly in real time. Now another aspect of it is that there’s a View All Files in SharePoint link at the bottom. Maybe I don’t want to work with the interface here in Trove to make my way through this list of documents. I just want to go to SharePoint. I can choose View All Files in SharePoint and now I’m in the folder over in SharePoint where I can work with these documents directly.
Danny: Very nice.
Eric: Then another aspect of it- Let me show you what it looks like with opportunities. If I scroll down to my related lists, I can see a listing of opportunities. I’ll just go ahead and open up an opportunity. For this opportunity I’m going to upload a Power Point presentation, and similarly, if you saw with the Word document that I uploaded a moment ago, we can do one click and we’re viewing this Power Point presentation in Office Web Apps. We can also edit it similar as we could with Word documents, but the one thing I wanted to show you is if I choose View All Files in SharePoint now, now what it has done is that it created another folder level beneath the account for this opportunity. You can see Burlington Textiles Corp of America. That’s the account, and then there’s a subfolder for each opportunity. If you navigate back up to the account, you can now see the folders which appear.
Danny: This is so cool.
Eric: It is.
Danny: I appreciate using it internally, so even if nobody else downloads it and nobody else uses it, I appreciate the fact that you’ve created this.
Eric: That was my number one objective, Danny.
Danny: This was just amazing.
Eric: That’s all right.
Danny: Well, you’ve accomplished that. I know using it internally has been awesome. It’s where all good products come trying to scratch your own back.
Eric: That’s right, that’s right. As a developer, of course, it’s just extremely rewarding to see the applications, that they’re used and they’re providing value. What’s been a lot of fun with this project, we’ve had a number of customers in the field. In fact, we had one just a few weeks back just telling us how their users just love the product. That’s just music to our ears. Just love to hear that they’re getting good use out of it.
Danny: So for people who want to try this out, just go to the AppExchange and download it from there.
Eric: That’s right. Yep, go to the AppExchange. Search for Trove. There’s an installation guide that’ll walk you through the process. There are two applications, and don’t be intimidated by this, it’s not complicated, but there are two apps. There’s an app in the AppExchange and there’s an app in the Office store. The installation guide walks you through that process. The app which is in the Office store requires no configuration, so there’s nothing to do with that app but you do have to install it because it’s sort of the anchor point. It’s a security configuration for Trove.
Danny: So the app that’s in the AppExchange is free, but the app that’s in the Office store is one million dollars.
Eric: Exactly right. I forgot to tell you about that.
Danny: So how do you make money? It’s volume. Volume, of course.
Eric: That’s right.
Danny: We’re selling this thing for free, but man are we going to make it up on volume.
Eric: That’s right.
Eric: Let me show you one more thing before I leave, and that is folder support.
Danny: You just pulled up one more thing. Go ahead.
Eric: One more thing.
Danny: Go ahead.
Eric: The Sham Wow is coming. If I choose View All Files- I just want to show you folders so I’m going to choose View All Files in SharePoint and then I’m just going to make a new folder here. We’ll just call it Test Folder, my favorite name. Now if you refresh, I’m just going to refresh my account view, we now have our test folder and you also see a folder for the opportunity. That was created, you didn’t have to create that yourself. It’s created by Trove. The test folder’s there and so I can choose that test folder link and then navigate to that location. That was important for some of our customers who had kind of their own methodology for creating folders and storing things in the document library so they had a number of folders that they would create for each account and opportunity to store different types of assets.
Danny: Great stuff. For folks who want to see the demo, you can go to W-www.appexchangepodcast.com. We’ll have a video up there. We’ll also have a transcript of this conversation. For folks, we’re also going to cover another app from ThreeWill here in just a little bit, one where if you’re looking to integrate Chatter with Office 365. Our next episode will cover that. Thank you for doing this, Eric, I appreciate it.
Eric: Sure, my pleasure.
Danny: Great work. It’s amazing what your ability- In a couple of months?
Eric: Yeah, about that.
Danny: That’s great. That’s Amazing. This cloud stuff, it’s just-
Eric: Everything’s easy in the cloud. That’s right. Half price.
Danny: Everything’s easy. Half price. Really?
Eric: We just keep discounting it until it ends up being free.
Danny: Thanks everybody for listening. Have a wonderful day. Bye bye.
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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.
Danny: Then it sounds like also for field services for a lot of people who are sort of out on the road as well …
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.
Danny: I assume this works with … you know the Saleforce1 components so its the mobile stuff or …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Danny: Hello and welcome to the AppExchange podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan. I want to welcome you to today’s podcast. We’ve got Rich Baker here with me from Glance. Rich, thanks for joining me.
Rich: Hey, thanks a lot, Danny. Great to be here.
Danny: You betcha, you betcha. You’ve got a really cool product. I’m excited about showing this off to folks. Your product’s name is Panorama. Tell me a little bit more about what Panorama does for you.
Rich: Yeah. Our company’s actually Glance and our main product here on the App Exchange is called Panorama, as you say. As you might guess from those names, we’re all about seeing things. We’ve been around for a number of years. The big value that we provide to customers is when you’re talking on the phone or a live agent chat, what we do is make it possible for everyone to see what they’re talking about. We do that in a very simple and a very reliable way.
Danny: That’s great. It’s really … This is important for making a connection to the customer, as you’re talking with them and doing a demo. That’s awesome.
Rich: For a number of years, we’ve been on the App Exchange, primarily using the sales cloud for folks that want a quick and simple way to be able to demo something, show their screen to other people. We’ve carved out quite a following there of loyal in-site sales folks where Glance is their tool to be able to quickly show something to a customer. They love it because people can connect with virtually any browser and see instantly what that inside sales rep wants to show them without any download or software required.
Danny: That’s nice. That’s very convenient for a salesperson to share with the person and keep them on the same page.
Rich: They really want a … We found that the company, one of the big messages we got from people we were talking to in terms of figuring out what would be real valuable, one of the big message that came through loud and clear was from a person we knew from our former lives in sales who just said, “Look, if you’re going to give me something to use as a salesperson, it’s got to be as reliable as my phone and my email because if it isn’t, I’m not going to use it.” We really focused from day one on building a tool that’s incredibly simple and more than anything, dependable, reliable. It just has to work.
Danny: Congratulations on the reviews. This is exceptional, 4.9 out of 5. That’s great. That’s awesome.
Rich: We had a lot of customers who’ve really come to depend on us and really love having that simple, always works kind of a tool. You’ll see that reflected in the comments there. That was built really for inside sales folks doing demos. More recently, customers came back to us and said, “Well, could you do something just as simple and reliable for our customer support folks?”
Danny: Oh, okay.
Rich: Their problem’s kind of the opposite. For sales folks, it’s all about giving them a deck of slides or walk them through a demo. For customer support, it’s the other way around. It’s often someone’s calling and they’re trying … You’re stuck, kind of being like deer in the headlights. They’re dialing you with some angst-provoking problem. Your goal is to try to quickly assuage the fear and get them through that tough spot of trying to figure out what the question is and give them a quick answer. For much of customer support today, they’re still stuck in this world of just conversations. They go through what we call 20 questions. It’s like, “Well, are you on our website? What do you see? Is there an error? What browser are you on? Do you see this? Could you click there? Now, what do you see?” They spend all this time going through all these questions that just take time, take effort, and it’s a long path to finally getting to what the problem is and being able to provide any answer.
Danny: It seems like insanity. Have you turned it on and off again?
Rich: Yes. Yeah. What we all wish for is, “Gee, well, if you just see what I see, then we could get down to business here and deal with my problem.” We realize that if we could provide the same simple, always works kind of experience in that world for customer support, it would really bring a lot of value to our customers. More recently, we’ve added now this new next generation technology of Co-Browse, which allows an agent to instantly see what that customer sees when they call up, when the customer’s on your website or web property, and do it without any download or any need to do it any more than just to click from any device, virtually anything that has a browser. It could be their laptop or it could be their tablet or smartphone, any of those devices. Just as long as they got a browser and they’re on your website, the agent can instantly see what that customer sees.
Danny: They would share a unique URL with the user. Is that how it’s done?
Rich: Even simpler. We try to take advantage of as much knowledge as it’s there. If, for example, you’re using live agent chat with Salesforce and if you’re already chatting with them, the agent just clicks a button. It prompts the customer to say, “Is it okay to share my browser with this agent?” Customer says, “Okay,” and boom. Agent’s looking at browsing with the customer.
Danny: I see.
Rich: If it’s a voice call, often, we can take advantage of the knowledge in Salesforce about the customer and just click a button, again, on the agent side, and a moment later, be seeing exactly what that customer is looking at.
Danny: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I know with a lot of this, it’s got to be dead simple. It’s got to be something that just works every single time. It’s got to be simple. It sounds like you’ve really tried to spend some time as well, how do you do that screen sharing, how do you make it easy for someone else to see their screen or to share your screen. That’s great.
Rich: As you’re probably aware, seeing someone else’s screen usually does require some software. You could do Webex or GoToMeeting or something like that. You always, as a presenter, have to download something. The key to this technology, in this next generation Co-Browse technology, is to never require that. That’s what we’ve done is take the best of our experience in the demo world and brought it over to this customer support world of being able to instantly see what the other person sees.
Danny: How are you able to see their screen? There’s no software that’s downloaded or is it like a plugin or how is that typically done?
Rich: The world of Co-Browse has been around for a number of years. Some people may think years ago, it was hard to do. You really did have to do some screen sharing stuff that require some software. By the way, my apologies for the hammering in the background. We’ve got some construction going on.
Danny: That’s a sign of a good business. Business is good. You’re adding onto your office suite, huh?
Danny: That’s great.
Rich: It’s just really fast, really slick, and even better than screen sharing technology is that it’s instantaneous. It’s just like browsing with that customer. Everything is entirely browser based. The agent end user is just using their favorite browser and it feels like you’re sitting there right with them.
Danny: Nice. I want to get to the demo because I’m real excited about seeing it. Before we move over to that, you mentioned how there’s been some evolution of the app where you started off in sales, now you’ve gone to customer service. Any good stories that you have, maybe of a surprising usage that someone has had of your app?
Rich: Great question. Let me mention maybe the place where people find great value. As you might imagine, anyone that has a business that has a lot of complexity in the customer engagement process, being able to see what you’re talking about has really high value. Folks in the financial services area, insurance, health care, travel, things where there’s lots of data, lots of complexity. Being able to instantly jump and say, “Gee, do you mind if we just browse together,” and they say, “Yes,” you’re going to have a much better customer engagement experience there because there’s just so much less effort involved walking them through some process. Those are sweet spots for us.
The same can be said for virtually any SAAS company. SAAS companies, those customer support calls are coming in because people have a problem using your service inside of the browser and that’s what we do. We make it trivial to see what they see while they’re on your web property. One of our big customers is Constant Contact, a big SAAS email provider. In their case, they just realized whenever a call comes in, the best thing to do is to be able to get them in a co-browse. Let’s not beat around the bush, let’s just jump right in. They can instantly see what’s going on. The big benefit is two things, one, they can obviously solve the problem more quickly because they don’t have to go through that 20 questions step, but even more important, it makes it a lot less effort for everyone. When you lower effort, customer sat just goes through the roof.
Danny: You have lots of great reviews on your product. You may use it with your own customers, correct?
Danny: Absolutely. With that, I appreciate you jumping on a Go To Meeting to do this. That’s big of you to do that. Of course, I’ll mention that right before we do the demo. I’ve pushed you off into Never Never Land here, but I would love for you to do a quick demo if you don’t mind.
Danny: I’ll switch control here. I’ll make you presenter, and there you go. All right, I can see your screen. I can see the screen just fine.
Rich: Okay. Let me describe the environment here and we’ll walk you through. Give you a quick feel of what we’re doing here. You’re looking at a screen on a Mac Mini with a lot of pixels so that I can show you tool for tool, things running on the web in the seven virtual machine that represents the agents desktop, and on the right I’ve got a visitors desktop represented by another windows machine. For this demo, the presenter could easily be on a Mac or any mobile device, any tablet, anything with a browser. All of this stuff is browser based. In this case, we’ve got a visitor that’s on a Velo.com website, a biking website here. On the left an agent’s using Salesforce and the cool thing about Salesforce is an agent can just live inside there and just launch our sessions from within there and capture all the metrics about those sessions with just a single click.
To give you a feel for that, I’ll say, the visitor just connected with the agent, the agent looks them up, opens his case and says, “Gee, you’re on our website, do you mind if we browse together?” The visitor says, “Sure.” The agent asks the visitor to do something, like in this case, just maybe hit shift, enter. When the visitor does you’ll see the little tab appear down here in the lower right. All of this can be customized with the company’s logo, typeface, colors, all the language is all easily customizable. Then a little number up here, 9286. The visitor tells the agent that number, the agent comes over here and plunks in 9286, and a moment later a new window opens on the agent’s side and the agent instantly sees exactly what the visitor sees.
Danny: Oh, nice.
Rich: It’s only what the visitor sees inside the visitor’s browser, and only while the visitor is on that website. There’s no download, no extra step required by the visitor, it’s instantaneous. I’m not sure how fast you’re seeing a change on your side, but literally as I scroll, the agent’s view likewise scrolls on the agents side. It’s not using screen sharing technology like you’re using to see this, it’s entirely web based. That visitor could’ve been logged into a secure website, have a bunch of cookies built up, dynamic content on the page, forms filled in, all that sort of stuff, whatever that visitor sees, at the same moment the agent sees it.
I’m on the right-hand side right now. The agent can see where the visitor’s pointing. See on the right, pointing at that screen, that shirt and the agent sees that. The agent, likewise, can point at things. I’m now on the left-hand side as the agent. I can point at things, I can also just click on options. I can say, “Here, why don’t you go onto our blog.” All I did was just click on blog and it highlight’s it, a few seconds later fades away. I can easily guide them around. I can, as the agent, scroll down here and say, “Gee, I hear you’re looking for this. This is the wheel you really need, it’s only 2 thousand 2 hundred bucks. Why don’t you check that one out?”
Danny: You’re clicking, are you hitting a different keystroke for it to show that little red outline?
Rich: All I did was just click on the object. Any object that I click on as the agent just gets a highlight now.
Rich: Or I can click and drag. I can say, “Here’s a nice little description of that Tuff Wheel.” I just did a click drag operation. Very easy way to guide them around, show them things. There’s a nice security model on top of this so if the person was entering a credit card, that information would not ever leave the visitor’s browser, never touches our service, never gets to the agents. Anything would be masked from the agent if you wish, very secure. Used by finance or used by a lot of financial folks and insurance industry place.
Danny: You can literally walk them through the process of buying the Tuff Wheels?
Rich: Exactly. Guide them through the website, and if desired, the agent could, if they’re given the power, could, as you see there’s a lot of options here. Let’s say in this case the agent asked for remote control. The visitor’s prompted with language that can be customized and say, “Is this okay?” The visitor says, “Yes.” Now the agent can not only scroll around, but the agent can actually click on a button. In this case I added it to the cart, and go off and do whatever, take them wherever I want on the website. I’m doing all of this on the agent’s side now. I’m moving them around. Very easy way to navigate around.
Danny: This is a great demo. Just showing it off, it makes so much sense. It makes just a lot of sense and I can really see this for both sales and customer service, or anything where you need to get the other person … Provide context and get them on the same page.
Rich: I can even show them content from the agent side. If I wish, I can go up here and say I want to show something from my side.
Danny: Oh, nice.
Rich: I’m going to choose that. It’ll say, “Are you sure you’re ready?” And I’ll go, “Maybe not yet.” Let me pull up what I want to show them. I want to show him where he’s going to take that new bike out. Tell him about my bike ride out here or something. I can say, “I’m ready,” and moment later, on the visitor’s side, opens up a view of exactly what I’m seeing and it’s a live view. I could be walking them through a deck of slides. I could be going through a spreadsheet, PDF, anything I’m doing a demo to them. All of that just appears right on top of the visitor’s screen, live in the moment. It’s all scaled to fit. Remember, again, that visitor could be on any device with a browser. They could be looking at this on their smartphone just as easily as on their laptop. It just always, always, always works.
Danny: That’s awesome. For people who want to … It’s a great demo. For people who want to learn more, I see on your website you’ve got a nice eBook they can download. Go to the app exchange and just try it out. That’s probably the best way of learning more about.
Rich: Yep. Give us a call. Happy to make this thing work best for your particular business. We’re big on making our technology fit into the processes that you already have for engaging your customers and finding the best possible way to enhance that process, by being able to see what you’re talking about and doing it in a real seamless, as you can see, just a click kind of a way.
Danny: This is great stuff, Rich.
Rich: Tightly integrated in Salesforce.
Danny: Yeah, this is a great demo and I appreciate you taking the time o do this, Rich.
Rich: Thank you for the opportunity.
Danny: Absolutely. For folks who want to see this very cool demo, you can go to www.appexchangepodcast.com and we’ll have a Vimeo up there of the demo and also a transcript of this conversation as well. You can go and look up more about Panorama on the App Exchange. Rich, your website is Glance.net, is that correct?
Rich: That’s correct.
Danny: Awesome. Very cool. All right, well thank you everybody for taking the time to watch and have a wonderful day. Thanks so much. Bye-bye.
Rich: Thank you, Danny.
Danny: Hello and welcome to the AppExchange podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan and today I have Brandi Johnson from Cloud Coach and her product’s name is Productivity Fox. Welcome Brandi.
Brandi: Thank you Danny. Happy to join you.
Danny: Awesome. I look forward to learning more about Productivity Fox. So, as we had a little bit of a conversation about what Productivity Fox is, do you mind just sort of maybe hitting it at a high level and just introducing what the product is?
Brandi: Sure. So Productivity Fox is really an all-in-one productivity solution that helps users manage their daily work. We really focus on the meeting management aspect because it’s such a painful part of business for so many people, but we also include things like Kanban style productivity boards …
Brandi: … Notepads and action items as well, so really all of the work you do in your business not matter what business that you’re in, really helping to streamline that and make it easy to keep track of everything.
Danny: That’s great. So this really is a productivity tool for folks.
Brandi: Yeah. We really strive to bring together, like I said, all of those components of your daily work, the meetings that you’re having as part of your sales cycle, the work that your IT team is doing on implementation … Really, any department can benefit from something like Productivity Fox because it’s the things that we all do everyday.
Danny: That’s great. Tell me a little bit more about the back story on the product. Was this something that you created for your own use at first or where did the product come from?
Brandi: Yeah. Really I identified kind of a need in the market from a couple of different angles. The first one is really, of course, meetings where we were sitting in all these meetings and we realized, there’s a lot of tools on the market that help you schedule meetings, but we actually did a calculation and only about 1 percent of meeting time is actually spent in scheduling your meeting. The other 99 percent of time is doing things like setting your meeting objective, your agenda items, keeping track of minutes, action items that come out of the meeting. How do you follow up on those action items, those types of things. So we realized, the meetings that we’re having today are the same as meeting we were having 60 years ago. Not much has really evolved and changed. So that was really kind of one of the foundations.
The other thing that we thought is that a lot of members of our team and other teams were using a lot of disparate systems to manage their daily work and things that weren’t necessarily secure. There’s consumer based note taking applications and productivity applications that people were using to manage their daily work, but then you’re seeing in the news that they’re getting hacked, that there are securities being compromised, so really we saw an opportunity to be able to bring those tools into the same application so that you could also rely on that great Salesforce security for those business items because certainly if you were planning a new innovation to your product, you don’t want that getting out in the market because this consumer based application you were using got hacked.
Danny: Yep, yep. That’s great. So it sounds like … Is it a native Salesforce application?
Brandi: It is a native Salesforce application so everything is running on the Salesforce interface. One thing that’s very different, and I know you can see it through some of the screenshots that on the website and then when we look at the demo a little bit later, we did do a very different user interface however. We started out building in a traditional Salesforce UI, but really found that with the number of objects and the complexity of the data that we were working with, It just wasn’t going to be very user friendly and it wasn’t going to be very fast. So we spent about 2 years designing the user interface that you see. It’s not a traditional Salesforce UI, but it is still a native application.
Danny: It looks great. It looks really slick. I’m looking at the different components here, you have meetings, projects, boards, notes, to-dos, so these are the primary things that you’re managing with Productivity Fox.
Danny: Excellent, excellent. So what has been … Any stories you might have about how people are using your app or any surprising usages with how people are using Productivity Fox?
Brandi: You know, I think really one of the most interesting use cases that we have found, and we started doing it internally as well as I know a couple of our clients have done it, is we actually use the meetings for a lot of our employee onboarding and interviewing process. So with the meetings, there’s actually a clone meeting function and so you can very easily make sure that you’re going through all of your … The same pre-screening questions as part of the hiring process and then you can go back and you can send those notes to a hiring manager and that type of thing.
So that’s a little bit of an unusual use case that we thought was really interesting. Then we also use the productivity boards for new employee onboarding, so it’s kind of an un-thought of way to use some of the productivity solutions. The other things that’s really neat is through some of the process automation, you can actually build sales best practices into your sales flow in Salesforce, so when a meeting reaches a specific stage, you can actually use templates and have the system create a meeting with the agenda items that you want your sales rep to talk about. So it really takes a lot of that guessing game out and trying to make sure that they’re asking the right questions at the right time in the sales cycle. It just makes it really seamless and easy so that people are focusing on what they need to be doing at work, not trying to remember to button up all the details.
Danny: Yeah, I’m thinking everybody could use this. I don’t know if there’s an organization out there that couldn’t benefit from more structured meetings, better follow up, a lot of these things that you’re addressing with your product.
Brandi: Well that’s kind of what we saw too. Another interesting thing about the meetings is because we are based on the Salesforce platform, you actually can do a lot of reporting on meetings too …
Brandi: … So you can set up the average cost of an employee, you can monitor the time of each meeting, and then we’ve got a pre-built dash board that will allow you to really look at how much are meetings costing your organization. Again, that’s just one of those over … Kind of glossed over items that people don’t really think about. “Wow, I have 5 people sitting in a room for 90 minutes.” It’s not just the opportunity cost of what they could have been doing, there’s actually salary and overhead expenses going into that time, so if those meetings aren’t productive, you don’t come out with a clear action item, people aren’t clear on the decisions that need to be made in those meetings, you’re actually wasting a lot of time. I actually found a statistic that said on average, American businesses waste 32 billion dollars a year in unproductive meetings.
Danny: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I can see that.
Brandi: So we’re really hoping that with something like this, people can get part of that back.
Danny: Excellent. Now are the meetings themselves, are they … Maybe you’ll go through this in the demo, but are they associated to opportunities or accounts inside of Salesforce?
Brandi: Yeah, so out of the box, they come associated with opportunities and accounts …
Brandi: … But we also left a little bit of room for people to be able to customize it for their own business cases, so if you need to … If you, for example, are a Remedy Force user, and you’re using Productivity Fox, you can connect a meeting to an incident. You can kind of build some of your own connections there as well.
Danny: Awesome. Well, you’ve peaked my interest. I would love to see a demo here so I’m gonna switch over and give you control here.
Brandi: Sure. So getting into Productivity Fox, we’re going to go into it just right here from the application menu. So you’ll see no extra log ins or anything like that. The first screen this is bringing up is really the My Schedule page. This works as a real dashboard for running your week in Salesforce. The items in orange are Productivity Fox meetings. Items in green are action items, so those may be Productivity Fox stand alone action items, action items from meetings, or from productivity boards within Productivity Fox. The blue items are your Salesforce tasks and events, because we know not everything’s going to be in Productivity Fox so we bring those in as well. Of course, we also have these dark purple items which are related to Cloud Coach products and tasks, so if someone is Cloud Coach subscriber, they can also see all of those tasks directly from these as well.
Kind of from here, if I click into any one of these action items, we’ll just start here, you can see you’ve got your name, your due date, description, who it’s related to, and you can also associate individual action items back to your Salesforce objects as well. If I’ve distributed my benefit packages to team members, it’s that easy to mark that as completed. So one screen, really quick, fast, easy to use interface.
I can also change the due dates of things. So if I’m not going to get to my blog post tomorrow, I’m not going to be able to work on it until Friday, I can just drag and drop it over and it updates that due date. So again, this is a really nice, easy way to be able to see everything that I need to be working on this week. I can also filter things down, so if I only want to see my Salesforce tasks and events it’s easy to be able to do that. We also have a quick search feature up here.
Danny: So is this for primarily managing for internal meetings or are people using it for, for instance, for a professional services organization, would they use something like this for managing their projects?
Brandi: Yeah, absolutely. A professional services organization can use this and Productivity Fox also comes with Cloud Coach, so if you’re a Cloud Coach subscriber, you also get Productivity Fox and so you can connect those meetings to your PSA organization there as well. But certainly you can add attendees to your meetings so we’ll go ahead and click into a meeting here.
Danny: For folks who don’t know, can you tell me just a little bit more, maybe at a real high level about what Cloud Coach is?
Brandi: Sure. Cloud Coach is an enterprise project management and professional services automation platform so it really focuses on the more extensive and detailed project management with resourcing capabilities and things like that.
Danny: So really it’s a PSA? It’s really for professional services organizations to use.
Brandi: Yeah, it really is a PSA. We also do portfolio project management as well, so we’ve got 3 tiers on Cloud Couch, depending on the level of complexity and needs of the organization.
Danny: Awesome. Thank you for that overview.
Brandi: Yeah, no problem. This is a meeting that hasn’t happened yet. I just went ahead and clicked into it. You can see over here I’ve got different attendees in my meetings and I can add additional attendees and I can add attendees that are just contacts in my organization. Any of my Salesforce contacts I can add to this as well. Then through this interface I can add my minutes. We’re making great progress. Save my minutes. The minutes will show up in real time for anybody who’s viewing the meeting. Now in order to view this meeting in this interface, you do have to be a Productivity Fox user, but we make it very easy for people to be able to share the meeting minutes after the meeting. So this, if you are using it in a professional services organization, any type of really service based opportunity where you’re interfacing with your clients, this is going to make you look great to your clients, because you can go in, you can send your meeting minutes, and send them directly from here. I unfortunately don’t have a template set up in this one, but you can quickly and easily send those meeting minutes directly to them and they come out with a great professional lay out. You can see all your minutes, all your action items, directly from here very quickly and easily.
I won’t go through adding everything into this specific meeting, but you can see it’s very quick and easy to be able to add those types of things. If I go back to my schedule and perhaps look at one of the past meetings, this one has a couple of action items in it, we see where those are, and I can go back and look at all my past meetings and upcoming meetings. This is one of the things that we use a lot and are really excited about with Productivity Fox, is following up on meeting action items. How many times have we been in a meeting where we’re like, “Oh, yeah, Jack was supposed to take care of that. I wonder if he did it?” And then we have to sit down, we have to write an email to Jack or hunt him down at his desk. Here, if I need to follow up on an outstanding action item from my project requirements meeting, looks like Jody and John both have overdue items. That’s indicated by them being in red. I can select all and request a status update and Productivity Fox will automatically send them a notification asking them for a status update.
Brandi: I can follow up on all my meetings in 3 minutes that might’ve taken me 30 minutes or an hour before.
Danny: That’s nice.
Brandi: It’s really quick and easy to do that. Kind of from the meetings, I think probably the next most interesting area for a lot of people is the productivity boards. Productivity boards are just a Kanban style project management system so they’re really designed for a simpler project where you don’t have a lot of things like redundancies and needing to manage your cost and things like that, but really just collaborative things that we’re working on with a customer. In this example we’re looking at a CRM installation for Serenity. With our board, I just go over here to edit board, you actually set up all of your columns the way that you want your columns to be set up and the columns are typically status based. Then you also have your colored tag labels. That just helps you be able to organize your board and help people understand what the tasks are related to.
You can also relate your board to your Salesforce opportunities accounts. They also come connected to your campaigns, just because there’s a lot of opportunity for marketing teams to be able to use the software.
Danny: You guys have done a fantastic job with the UX … I can tell you really put some thought in the design of this so congratulations.
Brandi: Thanks. I’ll make sure … Thank you. I’ll make sure I let the developers know. It’s definitely kind of their pride and joy.
Danny: Good job.
Brandi: Thank you. So a couple of things on this, again, this has the same drag and drop functionality so if on the sales funnel this is on hold for an internal reason, in this instance I’ve got on hold internal, and I’m just going to collapse this so you can see all my columns. I’ve got on hold internal and on hold customer. So that just … Again, it’s just up to me how I want to manage these tools.
Again, really easy to move those cards between columns and each card is essentially a task. So I’ve got my description, or I can use a checklist if it’s a multi-part piece, I can put my color code on it. This one’s related to data migration. We’ve also integrated chatter onto the card so it you need to have a conversation about a task, you can have that all right there on the card. It will show up in your chatter feed so you’re not losing those conversations in the hallway or losing them in email.
Brandi: Than, of course, what’s a project without a little bit of collaboration, so you have board members. Everyone who’s a board member gets to see this board. They only get to see boards that they’re a member of so if you have one team who’s working on a super secret project, nobody else is going to know about it except for those board members.
Brandi: Then it’s easy to also assign tasks to those people. Just dragging and dropping all day long.
Brandi: So it makes it really convenient. And of course projects have meetings so you kind of see related meetings right here in the side panel and then you can click through into the full meeting from here as well. So I can do a quick view of my meetings minutes and action items or I can go back to my full meeting.
Danny: This reminds me, I think I read it on your website, tying all that stuff together is like having every note and trello in a sonnet sort of all in one place.
Danny: Yep. It’s nice.
Brandi: Yeah, and it’s really nice because it is on the Salesforce platform so you do get that higher level of security …
Danny: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brandi: … That you know that your data is safe and that’s so important in today’s business organizations where people are always looking for the competitive advantage. It is a competitive advantage to be able to keep what you’re working on under wraps.
Danny: Now will one of these-
Brandi: So kind of the last place-
Danny: I’m sorry.
Brandi: Go ahead.
Danny: Is the board itself … How are these associated to like an account or an opportunity?
Brandi: Yeah, so actually the Serenity board is a great example. When I go into edit board this is actually my opportunity, is the CRM installation.
Danny: Gotcha, gotcha. There it is.
Brandi: Yep. If I went back to the CRM installation in the Salesforce interface which I can do from here. You would actually be able to see that … Navigate directly to that from that page.
Danny: Your UX reminds me of some of the Lightning Experience that Salesforce just released.
Brandi: Yeah, we started working on this before we knew about that.
Danny: Isn’t it always that way though? Oh my goodness.
Brandi: It is.
Danny: It looks like you should be able to tie the two together. They look very similar so it’s a similar type of experience.
Brandi: Yeah, I think it’ll be a really nice … As Salesforce migrates more to the Lightning Experience, I think it will make the interfacing between Salesforce and Productivity Fox that much easier for people.
Brandi: This is just actually going back to an opportunity page where I can actually see my board and I have a couple of meetings that I had related to this opportunity so these are just the standalone meetings and then I can click through directly.
Danny: That’s great. I think you were going to show me something about notes.
Brandi: Yeah, so just the last thing for us to look at today is really the notepads so this is where keeping all of your ideas, brainstorming, that type of information becomes really important. Notepads are organized into groups. It’s just important to kind of think about it, and I like to think about it how I used to organize my binders when I was in school, where I would have a class and I had my notes or that class and it was within that section of that notebook or that binder. So you have your different note, your different groupings that contain individual notepads. If I’m in my design inspiration folder, I’ve got visual design inspiration is my set of notes and then here I also have that same color coding capability so that I can organize all of my notes right in here.
Danny: Very nice.
Brandi: This is really interesting. A feature I like, if you put in a YouTube link or an image link into your note, even in the middle of your note like I have here …
Danny: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Brandi: … That image or that video will show up in your note, so you don’t have to click back through to it to be able to remember what it was.
Danny: Very nice.
Brandi: So from here if I click into this note, it’s easy to be able to edit that note and here I see what that URL was, and then when I’m ready to take action on a note, I can convert my note to an action item. I’ve been thinking about this specific use of team colors and I want to see someone else on my team use that. Create an info graphic with our colors like this. I set my due date, and I’m going to assign this to Vanessa, and now I’ve created an action item for Vanessa related to this note. She gets all of the contents of that note as part of the description of the action item. It’s just an easy way to be able to do that. The notes are all private as well so there’s no sharing of notes. What you’re putting in here is unique to yourself so if you want to share it with someone you do have to currently pull those notes out. We’re working on some additional functionality around collaboration in note taking, but this is a great way of, when you’re planning for client meetings or something like that, to get all your ducks in a row.
Danny: That’s great. Great demo. If somebody wanted to get started with Productivity Fox, any sort of tips on … Is it just go to the app exchange, download it, and trial it from there or any tips you might have for someone wanting to learn more?
Brandi: Yeah, so certainly we do have a free trial in the app exchange so that you can use that to get started and we do have some pretty interesting getting started packages available right now as well for people who want to get started with Productivity Fox before 2016 so that they can really head into the new year with some exciting new productivity ways to look at their day and manage their day more effectively.
Danny: That’s awesome. So for folks who want to see this great demo, you can go to www.appexchangepodcast.com. We’ll have a video up there of the demo. Brandi, thank you so much for doing this today.
Brandi: Sure. Thanks so much for having me Danny.
Danny: You betcha. Thank you everybody for listening. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.
Danny: Hi, this is Danny Ryan. Welcome to the App Exchange podcast. Today I’ve got Christoph Buenger, I put the U in there didn’t I? I messed that up. Christoph, thank you for joining me today.
Christoph: Hi Danny, how are you?
Danny: I’m doing great, how are you doing? You’re joining us from Germany.
Christoph: Yes, from Germany. Pretty cold and rainy outside today.
Danny: Excellent. Cold and rainy, but no snow yet?
Christoph: No snow yet, no.
Danny: Excellent. Christoph is from PhoneMondo and he’s here today to share more about his product that is on the AppExchange. Thank you for taking the time to do this, Christoph.
Christoph: Thanks for giving us the opportunity to demo our product here.
Danny: Absolutely. Tell me more, this is a Telephony product. Give me a high level overview of what your product does.
Christoph: It’s a cloud CTI caller ID notification system. It’s not meant for doing managing the communication, that relieve lines or collect phone lines from the user. We see as an additional helping system so that on the one end you can dive into the phone calls quickly, and on the other hand you can start calls very easily and schedule calls for your day.
Danny: Excellent. Tell me a little bit more about the back story of the app. Where did it come from? Why did you build it in the first place?
Christoph: It came from a very, very small desktop tool we developed over 10 years ago and always had as a niche product on websites. We sold it just for 20 Euros one time fee. We had so many user requests that wanted to connect their phone systems to Salesforce or to our systems. We took the chance last year to build this product from the scratch as a new product, as a cloud product.
Danny: Very nice. You’re getting lots of request from people that are using Salesforce for integration with Salesforce. It looks like your also integrated with other products as well, that’s great.
Christoph: Yes. We understand the product as a middleware between phone systems on the one side that can be PBX or an Android phone or some accounts. Then we are in the middle doing the data processing and lookout for additional information about the caller and the callee. On the other side the process in other applications that can be CRM systems, Salesforce, or online shops or whatever.
Danny: Nice. It looks like you said this is also you have a companion mobile app for this as well? Tell me a little bit more about that.
Christoph: Yes, the companion mobile app is meant as a source of call information so that we have access to the contacts names of the user and also to the call information. I will download it later quickly, the Android app is integrated into the system.
Danny: That’s great. Any good stories you want to share maybe? I know it’s been out for only like a year or so, but any good stories that you’d like to share maybe about since you’ve moved to the cloud as far as how people are using the app?
Christoph: Yeah. That’s a new thing about this app, it’s pure cloud. You have one small connector on the users phone systems that’s like a module on atrix PBX systems or the Android app or a very, very small window service application which is very, very easy to install so that we can collect the caller information and caller Ids from the calls very easily and then process them into our system. That’s a very, very new thing about these old caller ID notification or CDI applications which normally require heavy setup of service and phone systems and databases. That all is swept away with our system because we have all this logic in the cloud and we offer this as a service for the installable application.
Danny: Very nice. Great listing. Any other lessons that you’ve learned maybe since switching over to more of a cloud based model that you picked up since doing that?
Christoph: It has been a longer way then we thought. The expertise in the phone and CDI area for I don’t know 10 years we’ve developed for Skype, we’ve developed for other phone systems here in Germany and in Europe. As this is our first large product that we have designed from the scratch we thought about what would be easier to connect to all of these phone systems? That has been a long way, but we’ve made it very, very far. So far.
Danny: Excellent. Congratulations.
Danny: I would love to see a demo. I am going to go ahead and switch over to you here. If you could give us a demo that would be great, Christoph. Great, I can see your screen now.
Christoph: Here we are. Normally systems start by a download of software but as we offer this as a service we start with a signup. This describes a little bit what we can do and which systems we can connect. Then one thing to mention is we have two subscription models. There is freemium service, the free subscription without any payments at all, no setup fees, no monthly fees. There’s some limitations in the number of contacts you can store and lines and users you have. You have another subscription that starts from 24 Euros per months which is roughly 26-27 US dollars per month.
Christoph: You have a login as a user and it’s all web based, it’s all running in the browser. We have no UI on the windows platforms, it’s all in the background, and all the settings and all the things you can do with this is all in the browser. One of the main features is the call history. You can see here a very nice feature, it’s an automatic spam blocking. The system detects when a spam caller ID calls you. You can set it up to automatically block those calls. Here, someone called us, tried to call us which is a call center and the system caught it and blocked the call.
Christoph: That’s an example. You can see where the caller is located at and the numbers of the caller, additional information like the address. Even some notes for later when the caller calls again you can see the notes and directly dive into the call and catch up with the last call. One last thing here is starting the call directly from the browser. It’s the contact and I can choose which line I know to call. We have a lot of lines here in the office. You can see it’s a mobile device as well.
Christoph: You can start calls on your mobile device from the browser with just 2-3 clicks.
Danny: That’s great.
Christoph: We have an extension where you can install and configure the different add-ons. One of the add-ons is the Salesforce add-on. I’ve connected phone number to my Salesforce account and filed the package from the app exchange which now shows up in Salesforce here on the side bar integrated into Salesforce. What I can … Now here is starting calls directly from Salesforce. You can see the same line again, it’s all integrated in Salesforce as well. I can enter here my number manually or it even supports the click to call. All the numbers in Salesforce are clickable. A click starts it.
Danny: That’s great.
Christoph: Immediately. Very very easy. The other way around as well is when the call comes in. Let me try to demo it quickly for you. Linking my other phone. I’m now calling from my Skype account to my mobile phone, which is then connected via the phone under cloud which is then connected again to the Salesforce.
Christoph: The call is starting up. It is ringing. Let’s see …
Danny: Now this is now calling your Android phone?
Danny: Gotcha. We get to hear your ringtone, excellent.
Christoph: It didn’t show up in Salesforce. Great. One moment.
Danny: That’s fine. Imagine this, what would typically happen in that circumstance?
Christoph: Yes, I think it’s because it’s all my account. It’s my mobile phone, it’s my Skype.
Danny: Calling yourself.
Christoph: Yeah, calling myself.
Danny: Christoph, you broke Salesforce, how could you do this? You can’t call yourself. You just divided by Euros somewhere in the cloud and everything.
Christoph: I hope no service crashed there in the data centers.
Danny: We can imagine what’s going to happen with this. That’s great.
Christoph: It should have shown here the information. Me, I think that the loop there, it should have found me., this is my number, and shown here the information. Then all calls are then locked here as activities to the contact.
Danny: It goes ahead and logs an activity and then probably makes it easy for you to put the call notes in there as well?
Danny: That’s great.
Christoph: Uses the notes in Salesforce as well. This is a little mixture because I’m switching back from what I’m doing, I’m showing it too, it looks like it’s an incoming call and you can have the comments here as well.
Danny: That’s great.
Christoph: With the call logging here is one great feature, it can use from Salesforce, the logs and the reports.
Danny: Nice so you can see you have a call log where you can go through all the calls that were made on the specific time frame.
Christoph: Yes. Even the phone calls with a reporting engine from Salesforce.
Danny: That’s great.
Christoph: Some example reports. There were no calls here today, but you can use the full flexible Salesforce reporting engine to generate whatever reports you want to see. We have some reports here as well. It looks like you can see an outgoing call report on my line from the last 30 days, it shows you the percentage change against the previous 30 days period. How many are incoming, how many are picked up, how many are not picked up, what’s calls per day, per time of day, and it’s a very, very interesting thing here for your company when you’re the CEO, CTO of the company it’s like, “How many calls are your departments using or hanging around?” These are just per calls, but you also have success rate. You can see immediately, see, 80 seconds. The callers had to wait 80 seconds average before their calls have been picked up.
Christoph: That’s a pretty long time. You can see the times of the week where you need to optimize your phone hotline department.
Danny: Gotcha. That’s awesome. Thank you so much for this demo, Christoph. I think Salesforce integration with Telephony is really a key app that a lot of people are looking for. I wish you the best of luck with your app and definitely folks, with a free version of it why not try the free version, see how that goes and then sounds like you’ve got, for more enterprise type of customers and more support you’ve got an enterprise type version of the product, which is great.
Danny: Awesome. For folks who want to see the demo you can go to www.appexchangepodcast.com. Christoph thank you again for your time today.
Christoph: Thanks, thanks for your time.
Danny: Absolutely. Thanks so much everybody for listening. Have a wonderful day, take care, bye bye.
Christoph: Have a wonderful day, bye.
Danny: Bye bye.
Danny: Hi. This is Danny Ryan. Welcome to the AppExchange podcast. Today I have got Colin Johnson from Aprika here with us today. Welcome, Colin.
Colin: Hi Danny, how are you?
Danny: I am doing great. How about you?
Colin: Yeah. Good, thanks.
Danny: Excellent. I notice an accent. Where are you calling in from?
Colin: I am actually from Australia today, but I originally come from the UK.
Colin: Probably trying to pinpoint my accent will be pretty hard.
Danny: So, Australian English. Something along those lines.
Colin: That’s right, yeah, yeah.
Danny: Awesome. I appreciate you taking the time to do this today. Today we are going to learn more about one of your apps, which is Mission Control. You’ve got a number of apps that are out on the app exchange. This one is one that is focusing in on project management. Tell me a little bit more about Mission Control.
Colin: Okay. Yes. Mission Control is native to salesforce.com, so it provides you with full project management functionality. It lets you, obviously, have your projects, your milestones, your actions. You can submit time logs and expenses against any of those actions and any of those projects. You are able to track your full profit and loss right through the project, so you can track both your billing revenue and your costs that you are incurring, such as paying your staff and so on. It comes with a whole host of tools, like a gantt chart, a resource capacity planning scheduler, weekly time sheets, and virtual kanban whiteboard. As I mentioned, it is native to Sales Force, so you get the benefit of Sales Force One, and more recently, we have just received our Lightning Ready Certifications as well, so it’s very exciting times.
Danny: Wonderful. Is it typically a professional services organization that would use this? What’s your typical customer for this?
Colin: I’d say we haven’t got a typical customer. It is very general project management.
Danny: Your typical customer is a breathing human being.
Colin: It is pretty much. Any business in the world has projects that they can be running and we have those guys, we have a diverse range of customers, so we’ve literally got psychology franchises, we’ve got accountants, we’ve got manufacturers, we’ve got builders. The one that I supposed surprised me the most was how many software developers we’ve got actually.
Danny: Oh really?
Colin: Yeah. Obviously there’s a number of … There’s the Waterford methodology, and the Agile methodology. I’d say Mission Control is a blend of the two. Obviously everyone loves their scheduler and whiteboard, but I get amazed at how many people still go nuts over the gantt chart. I think a lot of these guys are really excited by having that feature in the tool.
Danny: Yeah, I see some of the … We use scrum internally as an organization so I see burn down charts, some of those things that are very scrum related.
Colin: It is a hybrid of the two. And realistic … I was having a conversation the other day about Agile vs. Waterford and I think a lot of our conversation was arriving at the agreed decision that a lot of it is just terminology. It’s pretty much the same thing. You’ve got an issue as a milestone, and the tasks are actions. It’s very comparable. Yeah, it’s interesting so we’ve got … I mean looking at the diverse range of businesses that we’ve got, we’ve got a lot of people using it, which is good. I think we’ve probably got about clients in about twenty countries around the world using [crosstalk 00:04:01] Mission Control today.
Danny: Awesome. Awesome. Does the … If someone was using this for projects, and they’re using it for internal resources, and then looks like some of the stuff like Risk Log and burn down Chart, would a client … Would like whoever the providing service for, would they log into the app as well, or would they get an [crosstalk 00:04:23] extract out of it? How does that work?
Colin: That’s going to depend on how you want to run your business, I suppose. I mean, again going back to being native, and that’s something that we always stress how important that is and how big a feature it is to someone. Being native to Sales Force means you can come in, you can add in your own customization, so you can put in custom fields, add in your own validation rules, put in work for rules if you want.
Obviously, extending that out you get the full reporting and dashboard capability that Sales Force provides. On top of that you can easily expose as much or as little of Mission Control to external people via things like force.com licenses or customer and partner communities. We’ve got a number of clients who are … Sorry. Clients to Mission Control who are using Mission Control, and they’re actually providing access to their customers via community licenses.
Danny: Very nice.
Colin: If you didn’t want to … If you’re not wanting to go to that level of exposure, I suppose, to your customers, you can … You are able to export the gantt chart as a PDF, so you could provide your clients with a timeline of the schedule that you’re going to be working on.
Danny: Like the burn down chart? You could export something like that as well?
Colin: We’re actually just looking to … We do have a project overview page, which is … You know, gets you that three hundred and sixty degree view. We’re actually just in the process of providing … We’re going to be providing the ability to export that as a PDF to give pretty much provider summary out to your client and everything.
Danny: Very nice. Give me a little bit more about the back story. Why did the … Where did this come from in the first place? Was this something to scratch around back, or was it something the client came to you and asked for?
Colin: No. It’s funny actually how it has come about because it’s become bigger than we kind of ever imagined. We’re an [ISV 00:06:25] partner predominantly now, but we started off as a consulting partner doing implementations for clients. We got more and more successful. We got more and more projects coming on, and we were like, “Okay, maybe we need to come get something going internally to better manage these projects effectively.”
Yeah, I mean, I was actually just looking over a few old things yesterday and seeing the evolution of the product over the last few years, it’s been, yeah, it’s an amazing journey. It ultimately had humble beginnings of just being an internal requirement where we had a couple of objects, and then we’re like, “Okay. Let’s develop this visual force page. It would pull all of this information onto one page and really give us that 360 degree view.”
Then from there we just kept adding bits in here and there, and we ultimately got to a stage where we were like, “You know, we’ve probably got a decent app that we could put onto the app exchange here.” We actually … We made it a bit more formalized and added in some additional features.
Then, I think three and a half years ago we launched it onto the app exchange. Yeah, I mean it’s grown, user base has grown 300 percent in the last twelve months.
Danny: That’s awesome.
Colin: Yeah. The actual evolution of the product is … It’s been really, really cool to sort of like look back over it. We’re just actually looking at getting one of those info graph done … Info graphic things done just to actually show the new features that we’ve added.
One of the good things is, obviously, we encourage our user base to give us feedback. While we’re heavily responsible for driving roadmap, we love the ideas that come in from our clients as well because those are the guys who are actually out there using it in vain everyday. They give us some great ideas on how it can be improved.
Danny: Any good stories along those lines where people are surprising usage of the app at all?
Colin: Surprising, I mean, we’ve literally got … We got clients in so many different industries. We’ve got some guys in the US who they outsource those sign spinner guys on the corner of streets, so-
Colin: -they manage all the scheduling of those guys in Mission Control. I’ve got some let’s say software developers who’ve kind of surprised me a bit. I’ve got professional services companies. I’ve got some … We have a lot of not for profits using the tool as well. We’ve got market research companies, so they’re tracking who’s doing what, how long it’s taking them. Manufacturers [inaudible 00:09:10] we were able to do like a start stop time logger, so you were able to literally say, “All right, I’m starting work on this now.” Go away, do that work, come back, and click the stop button and it logs the time exactly.
Yeah, I mean, I suppose the diversity of our client base is what’s thrown me the most, really. It’s really exciting to see.
Danny: Yeah. It’s got to be fun to see who’s using it and-
Danny: -how they’re using it. Has it come up at all, you know, with some of these, because I sort of think of this … There’s formal, full-blown professional services automation types of things that are out there. This is … You’re really focusing in on the project side of things, and along with that it’s great to hear like time tracking and expense tracking. Have you run into, with customers who are trying to either integrate with other backend billing systems or integrate with another PS, another professional services automation or any of those types of things? Have they come up yet?
Colin: Not necessarily. I mean, billing is actually something that’s on our roadmap to introduce going forward. Again, being native to Sales Force it’s go the capability of leveraging the Sales Force [API 00:10:28]. We are … We’ve spoken to people about could it, would it be possible to actually integrate with something like Zero or [inaudible 00:10:37]-
Colin: -or one of the other online accounting packages. It’s certainly possible. We’re probably looking to actually introduce billing and invoicing directly within Mission Control to where you can raise an invoice off a specific mast and deliverable or, you know, you’re processing your expenses or you’re actually got a specific customs payments schedule.
I mean, it can come back to the conversation we were just having when you look at the evolution of the product it certainly … It’s moved from a very basic project management tool to be providing, you know, bordering on that full [PSA 00:11:20] solution.
As I mentioned earlier, we’re able to track, you know, all of the costs of the project, all of the revenues, whether it’s a fixed price, it’s time and materials. We’re able to assign and generate revenue from the project, and you can apply revenue like billable rates, standards regardless of who’s working on the project. You can apply a standard day rate, or you can take a role based rate. If Danny’s working on an action, we can be billing him $150 an hour. If Colin’s working on an action, we’re billing him at $100. Likewise, you’re at like the cost simulation to expense … Sorry, staff payroll and so on.
You’re able to track whether you … Whether the client’s going to be happy to pay you overtime, whether you have to pay your staff overtime.
Colin: We have the ability to ignore … You can … The scheduler … I’ll show you shortly, the scheduler is a [inaudible 00:12:20] planning tool, so you can see all of your project resources, what capacity they’ve got, what allocation of that capacity is been taken up already. You can see bottlenecks and critical paths, and reschedule and reassign to make sure you’re fitting within the capacity of the team. You can factor in, ignoring weekends and holidays, so you’re able to assign holidays to people. You can reschedule actions automatically to reflect those holidays.
You can also … Each of your project resources can be assigned to teams. They can be assigned to skills profiles. If Colin’s over allocated on his capacity, rather than just reassigning it to someone else, you’re able to filter that list down to make sure you’re actually going to reassign to someone whose got the same skill capability as the person you’re taking the action from.
Danny: That’s great. That’s great. A couple of questions before we hit the demo.
Danny: One is I’m going to claim I’m an ignorant American, but what is this translate to after exchange rates? The amount per month?
Colin: Yeah. I’d say today it’s going to be $14.27 US.
Danny: You knew that off the top of your head. Excellent. Wonderful.
Then the … I guess this is we … I love breaking news. This is the brand new website, so for people who are … This looks great. Congratulations. This is going to be going live later on this week, next week? When are you planning on?
Colin: Yeah. Pretty much within the next 48 hours we’ll be live with that, so there’s a huge amount of content on there now that did exist before, but it was in PDFs and user guides and so on. We’ve made it all accessible directly from the website. You can see there we’ve got our … We’ve obviously got our links through to our support.
We have a partner program for Sales Force consulting partners if they’re wanting to join our program. The key thing there is asking for ideas, so we’ve got an idea section where our clients can actually go in and put new ideas forward. That’s obviously where were encouraging people to help us drive the roadmap.
Danny: Is that in one of the things … I mean, I’m always interested to hear what do you attribute your success to? Is it listening to what people are asking for, or what do you think has really helped you guys put out a great product?
Colin: Yeah. I think definitely listening to people who are using the product, and what can make it better. I think … Flip back to our app exchange page or even just scroll down on that page [inaudible 00:15:00] customer testimonials sect … In the reviews I think certainly from a US perspective, a lot of people think they have a bit of a concern around our “How well is this company going to be able to service me being based in Australia?” Like these guys, [Xavier 00:15:16] in Miami and, you’ve got [Elaine 00:15:19] is in Canada. We got clients as mentioned earlier all around the world, but these guys think that … I mean, Xavier’s comment is generally you don’t have to wait more than an hour to hear from us.
Danny: That’s great.
Colin: Yeah. I think certainly our approach to customer service has really made us make sure we have a loyal customer base.
Danny: All right. I’m ready for the demo, if that’s okay with you.
Colin: Yeah, sure. [crosstalk 00:15:44]
Danny: I’ll switch over. I’m going to make you presenter, and you’ve got the conch.
Colin: Okay. You can see that okay?
Danny: It looks great.
Colin: Okay. What I’m actually going to do, so we literally received our lightening certification earlier this week, so we’re just finalizing that. That will be on the app exchange by the end of this week.
Danny: I love the [inaudible 00:16:07]. That’s great.
Colin: That’s great. Yeah, so we’re really excited about what lightening is going to look like presenting this going forward. I mean, we’ve basically [re-skinned 00:16:16] the Mission Control console.
What you’re looking at here is the central console. This gives you quick launch access to all of the key parts of Mission Control, so I’m able to create a new project here. I’ll be able to create additional milestones against that project. This is a bunch of settings around here as well. Obviously won’t go into those now, but they’ll help you keep your projects on track. There’s a right number of automated things that just happen to edit to make sure you can just focus on the key at the core parts.
I can select an existing project [inaudible 00:16:50] into my project overview. This is the page that gives us that full 360 degree visibility. I can see all the projects high level of information. I can see the hours that the schedule costs, the anticipated expenses, the profit and the loss. I get the burn down chart. I get a risk chart in there as well.
Carrying on down I’ve got my gantt chart, which is interactive. You can see there. I can get dependencies going on. If I reschedule a parent, the child will be rescheduled as well. I can reschedule entire milestones and even double click into this sort of thing and reassign if I need to as well.
Carrying on down I get the milestone and action information so I see all the key information at every single level. Right down on the bottom I get my risk log and my expenses as well. Both expenses and time logs that were out into the system, they can run approval processes, so your expenses can be approved by your individual manager, and your time logs can actually be [inaudible 00:17:57] level approval systems so your project manager can approve it and you individual line manager as well.
It integrates with chatter as well, so we’ve got a roll ups, anything that happens on any of the child records like time logs, actions, or milestones, that’s all rolling up to the actual parent project chatter feed. You’re [inaudible 00:18:17] you’ve got that internal collaboration as well.
Danny: Nice, nice. Very nice.
Colin: A couple of other quick features. I’m able to jump back to the console from anywhere I want to be, but I can … If I jump into the schedule [inaudible 00:18:30] resource capacity planning tool. This shows us any actions that are assigned to any individual person. We’re looking at a three week window here. What I’m able to do is look at a specific week, or I can go right there to a twelve week period. I’m able to actually move backwards and forwards and see the capacity of the whole team, but individuals as well.
Jumping into that three week there you can see that I’m over-allocated. I’m able to just drag and drop and reassign actions to other people. That assigns the arrows to those guys and frees up my capacity.
Danny: I’m so used to seeing [crosstalk 00:19:07] like this in a spreadsheet, so it’s wonderful that it’s all hooked up and …
Colin: Yeah. Yeah. Again that’s one of the examples. We first started this as a two week timeline, which was great, you know, really catapulted our usage of the system. Just that example of one of our clients was looking for a forward planning tool, and they were asking for a report. It was like, “Well, how about we actually just start this at this scale here so you can literally look over the next three-
Danny: That’s awesome.
Colin: -months and see exactly what it is.” It’s a far more, far more intuitive than a report.
Also, if I jump into the time sheet there, so the time sheet will load up for each individual roll within Mission Control. That gives you a list of everything that’s been assigned to you to work on this week. Obviously this is demo mode, so it doesn’t look like I’m very busy. What you can see is the project, the milestone, and the action. You can see both billable and non billable time. You can see the percentage that you complete so far.
What you’re able to do is actually come down and just say, “Well, I’ve just been … I’ve been working on these actions. I’ve been putting in this time.” As I’m doing that I’m getting totals for the day, and I’m getting totals for the week. I can save that if I’m using the approvals. I can submit that as well, so that will put basically anything that’s pending through to the approvals process and that will be submitted for my manager’s to approve as well.
Colin: Again, the whiteboard, so this is a really cool addition. We had this really, probably really early on in the evolution of the product, this allows you to look to every single action as if it were an individual sticky note stuck to a whiteboard in the office. That’s where it came from. Four years ago that’s what we were doing. We had each action as a sticky note on the whiteboard in our office, and we used to drag them over to the columns.
You’re actually able to actually filter this down, so you can see … Obviously it’s showing each individual action. You can see who owns the action, what action it is, what project the milestone relates to, and start and end dates, and scheduled hours and completed. You’re able to actually just drag and drop any of these over from one column to the next to physically update the status.
There’s very [inaudible 00:21:39] style, very agile. I [crosstalk 00:21:42] focus user interface. You’re also able to filter that down. You can look at a particular project. You can scroll down, say, “Okay. Well, I just want to look at this project,” or, “I want to look at a particular team,” or, “Chris has just come to me saying he’s got too much work, so let’s have a look at what he’s got on his plate.”
In this instance I’m just filtering that down to that project so I can see all of the actions. I can see a summary of what efforts remaining at each stage as well.
Then one of the more recent additions that we just put in is our [peer mode dashboard 00:22:20] as well. That gives you a real eagle eye view of how your projects are tracking. If I go back a few weeks … This gives is the ability to look at individual projects. It’s probably not going to load up any data because it’s a demo mode. W
hat I’m able to do is look at my CPI and my SPI. Basically tell me … The CPI is telling me whether my projects are running to budget, and the SPI is whether they’re running to schedule. I can get a high level across all of my projects to say, “Are we running to budget?” Also ultimately if this is one it would be green, and it would be telling me everything’s fine. If it’s above one that means, “Hey, that’s great. I’m going to be delivering this under budget.” But if … In this scenario, this is saying it’s at zero, so we’re clearly running behind budget, and we’re clearly running behind schedule. You’re able to draw down into each of the individual projects, milestones, and actions and really get into the detail of what might be causing that issue.
Danny: That’s awesome. Very cool. All right.
Colin: Yeah, so there’s other features obviously. I’m probably running out of time now, but there’s a few other things like rather than creating actions one at a time, we’ve got the ability to jump in and just create a bunch of actions for a project. You can also build out your project entirely from your gantt chart. You’ve got the ability to reschedule it if you need to as well.
Danny: Well this is a great demo. I think that you showed us a lot within a very short period of time here. I’m sure there’s more we can go see, but it looks great inside the new lightening experience as well. Congratulations.
Danny: For folks who want to definitely check out this demo, if you go to www.appexchangepodcast.com we’ll have the video up there. Also, I just want to say a quick thank you. Colin, thank you for jumping on and sharing more about your product, and well done.
Colin: No worries. Thanks, Danny. Thanks for having me.
Danny: Okay. Thank you, everybody, for listening and have a great week. Bye bye.Coll
Danny: Hello and welcome to the AppExchange podcast. This is your host, Danny Ryan, and today we have Joshua Tillman from DialSource here with us today. Welcome, Joshua.
Joshua: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure.
Danny: You bet you, so you work for DialSource and tell me a little bit more about what DialSource does.
Joshua: Absolutely. DialSource is the global leader in communications for Salesforce.com. In essence, our technology uniquely virtualizes the on-premise hardware for making and receiving phone calls. We apply all kinds of analytics and intelligence to determine who are we calling, why are we calling them, what happened on the phone call, so what granularity of interest, not interest in a particular product, what type of case resolution was applied in a support application. Then, automate all the required processes that take place both inside of Salesforce.com and external systems outside of Salesforce such as initiating a proposal or a contract management system or a case resolution to a particular case. Then, automatic this analytics to help Management make more intelligent and actionable decisions in their sales and services processes.
Danny: That’s great. From looking at your website, this is great little lesson, 2-minute intro to your product. I thought you did a very good job on that, so for folks wanting to learn more, just go to DialSource.com, and they have a little intro video on the home page there. This is a pretty-
Joshua: There’s also a video slightly down about how the NBA, National Basketball Association, has changed the way in which professional sports operates. The Sacramento Kings have been using DialSource for the last 3 years, and since we have led into Stanford Athletics, we’re preparing the San Francisco 49ers and all of major league soccer adopting DialSource as well.
Danny: That explains why you’ve been so busy lately.
Joshua: That is part of it. We’re also releasing a few new platforms. We’re releasing our new version 3 which is going to bring in inbound calling analytics intelligently based on skill routing. Instead of having to call in a business and funnel through the IVR tree of press 1 for sales, 2 for support, 3 et cetera, DialSource will intelligently grab the inbound caller’s phone number and match it against an unlimited amount of custom data points inside of Salesforce to make intelligent routing decisions, so the right person gets the right phone call in sales or service and has all relevant information at their fingertips to make quick and actionable decisions.
Danny: Sounds great.
Joshua: Not only does this flatten how we interact in sales and service, but it also dramatically eliminates and reduces hold times in decision-making processes for inbound phone calls across various organizations. The other major product release we have this month is we’re taking all of the calling and analytics that have got us so many great reviews on the AppExchange and porting that natively to Microsoft Dynamics being again the first native communication platform available for Microsoft.
Danny: That’s great, fantastic. Why don’t you tell me a little bit more about the back story of the company, how did things get started, where did the app come from, a little bit more about that?
Joshua: Absolutely. A little over a decade ago I was finishing my undergrad at the University of California, and I had several internships revolving around sales and service processes. The technology wasn’t advanced at the time, and CRM was becoming a new hot technology a decade ago. I recruited a handful of my engineering friends from other UC campuses, and we started building some prototypes regarding the features that I mentioned here. I got a call from Salesforce.com in the early mid-2000s to build our unique telephony and automation in analytics platform into Salesforce.com. We started getting our first enterprise accounts in late 2008, 2009.
We launched DialSource on the Salesforce AppExchange in Dreamforce 2009 and became the global communication leader within about 4 weeks of delivery and have maintained and increased our top-ranking solution on the AppExchange since and have bled into several other categories besides just sales and service. We’re now the number 2 ranked customer support application on the AppExchange and the 6th ranked application in all categories on Salesforce. Even the number 1 application, number 1 support application, like Cirrus Insight also happens to be a client of Dialsource. We have built a very powerful consortium of best-in-breed native applications for Salesforce.com and brought this combined solution set to a lot of these large enterprise accounts like Stanford Athletics and University of Texas, for example.
Danny: Excellent, excellent. I’m just going and pulling up your app listing here. That’s fantastic. Great. It sounds like it’s evolved through the years as well. What’s been a little bit of the evolution since you got started?
Joshua: It absolutely has. Our genesis was automating intelligent, outbound phone calls in sales processes. We rewrote the way in which telephony, database, and CRM interact with each other. As we started to get into larger enterprise accounts through the Salesforce AppExchange, we started to build out more analytics and more automation derived from those conversations within the DailSource product. As we released our version 3 at Dreamforce just a few weeks ago, we have rounded out the product platform to now handle intelligent inbound phone calls, standalone inbound, intelligent call blending, outbound calling. Dialsource has evolved from being an outbound dialer a decade ago to being the only native full-fledged communication system on the Salesforce AppExchange, so in essence our new version-free product has become a PBX IVR native to the CRM which is a new type of technology all together.
Danny: That’s so exciting. That’s awesome. I know that as a salesperson myself I know a lot of these things that you’re talking about. It’s so great that you’re bringing it so integrated it into what Salesforce is and a lot-
Joshua: One of the big problems that we’ve seen over the years is that even when you have the best sales and service reps available, it’s a time-intensive activity set to log the outcome of the call, write your email, log the notes, create the followup task, hop away from the CRM into another system, build the invoice, send it out, create a task to follow up. DialSource has the unique ability to automate and log all of these activities through our post call automation. Not only is it a dramatic time saver, but it also dramatically increases compliancy within an organization.
Sales and service representatives are logging all the right activities in all the right places in Salesforce or Microsoft for that examples, so management can intelligently report who’s being called, why are they being called, what happened on the call, when did they call us, why did they call us, and what happened at the outcome of that call to provide a much deeper layer of intelligence and actionable data across multiple divisions, silos, and organizations.
Danny: That’s awesome. Does this work with desk phones, mobile phones? Is that what this-
Joshua: Yes. We are hardware and software agnostic, another unique point of DialSource, being that we can work in any operating system, any browser. We can connect any type of phone system in a matter of seconds whether it be land line, cell phone, voice, SIP, you name it. If it can receive a phone call, we can connect it, and we do so in seconds. Our deployments of DialSource take minutes to install into the CRM, and then within 90 minutes by interviewing sales and service stakeholders, we can then build the post-call automation and deep analytics. By the time it takes to order and eat lunch, we can flatten an entire communication organization natively in the Cloud to the CRM.
Danny: That’s great. That’s awesome. Any interesting story? It’s an interesting story you mentioned earlier with the NBA. Any other stories you might want to bring up as far as how people are using your app in interesting ways?
Joshua: Sure, one of the new and sexy segments that we’ve got into recently is academics. We signed our first academic institution maybe about 4 months ago being Stanford Athletics. We brought in a lot of analytics and intelligence to help Stanford Athletics determine who to call, when to call, and what to sell initially in football ticket sales, then men and women’s basketball ticket sales. They had an intuition at Stanford that the reps who made the most calls and logged the most activities in Salesforce were the biggest producers within the organization, but they didn’t have all of the minutia of the metadata to quantify that outcome and derive intelligence to follow up and improve that within their best operators and scale those processes to new onboard hires.
We worked very closely with the management team at Stanford Athletics to help them quantify this data, automate their calling and intelligence, and streamline the deployment of our technology across other divisions. As a result, we signed up several other academic powerhouses like University of Texas, the Aspire Group, and several other universities of size and scope that we’re currently in negotiation with. Our industry segment we target is anybody making or receiving a phone call who has activities to log at the end of the conversation which pretty much is every single business on the face of the planet. Now we’ve been bleeding into other organizations and are in some early discussions with the American Diabetes Association to help with donations to the ADA using a DialSource.
We are seeing a lot of other industry segments take note of what is possible, what has been done, and wanting to streamline this analytics intelligent and automation within their departments as well. We’re seeing an uptick in the maturity of the organizations using the Cloud and the problems that they’re looking to solve. One of the main ones after adopting the CRM is flattening, automating, and creating analytics of the conversation, and this is where DialSource comes in.
Danny: That’s awesome. Now, you’ve got me excited. I need to see a demo now. I must see a demo. I’m going to switch over here and go ahead and make you presenter and give you control.
Joshua: Sure. All right, can you see my shared screen?
Joshua: It looks great. Let me must switch to the browser here. This is a demo org of DialSource that we have configured for this purposes. One of the very unique aspects of DialSource is that we are truly native to Salesforce. We’re the only communications system in the world native to Salesforce meaning that all of our technology was written in Salesforce’s own languages. We sign into Salesforce, and I’m presented with this list of reports for me to outbound dial. These are native reports in Salesforce that management has given me access to. Leads owned by me with a task due today, contacts with open revenue opportunities with a task due today, maybe open cases that came in over the weekend that need to be handled, and I will only see the right call lists and reports that management has given me here.
We can see your contact information. As I mentioned before, we’re agnostic to hardware and software, so I have my desk phone and my iPhone listed here in case I need to work remotely, and I have my recordings listed here. If I’m calling from leads at Dreamforce just a few weeks ago, I can have prerecorded voice mail templates in my voice, various stage of the product. When I deliver these voice mails, DialSource will automatically listen to the message, hear the beep, deliver the voice mail, send the email, log the call, and present me the next record. The object here is to present the sales or service rep only the right information and the right page layout in Salesforce in this example to help them make an intelligent decision, facilitate the conversation, and then automate all the processes required at the end of the conversation.
To show this, I’m going to choose an example report of leads in Salesforce. I choose the dial button. DialSource brings me to the next screen to confirm my phone number. I’ll use my iPhone in this case. I can choose a genre of music to listen to in between my live connected calls to help me be engaged as an agent. I click “Go,” and I receive an inbound phone call to my iPhone in this case from our servers in Rackspace. As soon as I answer this phone call, which I just did, I’m connected to DialSource, and I’m presented the first lead record in this source report here, in this case, John Shaw. As I’m scrolling down here, you’ll see a familiar layout because we’re not mimicking the look and feel. This is actually Salesforce.
Joshua: I can see all the lead’s information. I can see custom analytics, what happened on the last call, when did I call this person, how long did the conversation last, when does work flow rules and logic allow this record to be called again? I can see if there’s any open activities and followup or any activity history that’s taken place. When I’m ready to have a conversation with John in this particular case, I’ll choose the dial button, I’ll edit my information in real time in line as I’m used to doing in Salesforce because, again, we’re native. If I just put in my email address in here, and let’s pretend that this firm is interested in 15 seats of DialSource, and they’re going to use it for 2 hours a day. Salesforce would calculate a formula field here to tell me how much the first month’s opportunity is.
I’m having my conversation. At the end of the call I’m going to choose one of these DialSource dispositions at the end of my screen, at the end of my conversation. These dispositions are completely tailorable by the name of the disposition, the associated post-call automation sequenced at the end of the call, and brings me to the next record in this report. For example, if I choose an interested outcome, this disposition is configured for me to require my notes. This is a demo of DialSource automation, I click “save”. Now DialSource has updated several fields on the lead record, it’s logged my notes on the call, it’s built an email, it’s sent an email, it’s logged all those activities, and now I’ve been presented the very next record, Barbara, from the same Salesforce report here.
Again, it’s definitely worth note that these dispositions are completely customizeable to affect only the right automation at the specific stage of the phone call. I’ve tabbed back to this record that we used as an example, John Shaw here. We can see in real time through DialSource, Joshua changed the status of this open lead to now being interested. I have my email address logged in here as you saw, DialSource updated the status to interested. It updated the rating. It updated the metadata. It was an interested phone call, the second time I called them, how long the call lasted, what logic allows this call to be called again, and then we logged all these activities. We can see here that it was interested call outcome with my notes logged here. DialSource built an email and sent it, “Dear lead name, here’s everything we spoke about,” attach a PDF, embed a video.
DialSource created an open task for Daniel, another sales representative, to follow up with this lead and created a task for me to follow up at the end of the day. If I look at the logic from the logged call, again just as a simple example, DialSource is pumping in huge amounts of metadata into Salesforce which is all reportable so that we have actionable intelligence through out dashboards. We can see that DialSource logged the call, it recorded the conversation, embedded it in the completed activity task-
Joshua: … and then we can see here various layers of automation rules that DialSource sequenced and logged. We set a timer, I took ownership of the record, a Salesforce workflow was sequenced, a different workflow was sequenced, a field update was sequenced, a task was created, several fields of logic were sequenced, a new task was created, and my notes are logged here. Again, it’s not just about all the time savings in logging all these activities intelligently, but it’s the addition of logging the right activities in the right place so that management can report exactly what data is important to them on product, service, or stage of that various conversation.
While this is a simple example of the automation that can take place, DialSource can sequence an unlimited series of actions at the end of the call, automatically convert a lead into a new account, a contact, an opportunity, build the proposal, send it out, log it in the opportunity, update the forecast in Salesforce, then create a task for the account executive who now handles this new account for example. Additionally, we have the ability to bring in intelligence and analytics of inbound and outbound phone calls in real time inside a Salesforce. Management can see which of our sales and service reps are making or receiving phone calls, who are they talking to, what report are they calling or receiving calls from, what’s their productivity, how long have they been connected, how many call outcomes have they had, what mode of outbound or inbound dialing are they currently engaged with?
Management can monitor the call and listen to the sales or service rep and the lead or the contact without either being aware of that fact. They can whisper to the call and coach the agent without the lead or the contact being aware of that fact. Because we’re hardware and software agnostic, I as a manager could be working from home on my laptop and my iPhone while I’m still seeing what’s going on in the office on those computers on those phones all in real time and all in Salesforce. We additionally have the ability to track analytics and performance cadences in real time by color coding agents and notifying managers as you can see my screen change to yellow here because I’m not as productive as I should be, and management can be notified in real time of behavioral cadences within sales and service teams.
Because all of these activities are being logged in Salesforce, it means the sky is the limit in terms of reporting capabilities. How much time are each agent spending making or receiving calls? What are the outcomes of these dispositions per conversation, per department, per stage of the product being discussed, and these dashboards automatically update in real time because we’re native in Salesforce. While these are just standard reports out of the box, there is no limitation on the type of analytics and reporting that management can drill down on, so they can see how fast are we closing and winning net new deals from the website, from inbound phone calls? How fast are we providing resolution to service on inbound clients, for example? This entire demonstration that I’ve shown here is customizeable down to the most micro of variables.
This is why, to the point earlier, we’re able to affect so much success across so many varying industry segments because not only do we have cutting-edge technology, but we have a cutting edge support service and implementation team that works hand in hand with onboarding of new accounts and providing adoption of current technology and new features back into those existing accounts. We don’t wait for our clients to say they want something, we proactively go into them and say, “Here’s what’s being developed. How does this solve your problems? When can we get on a phone call to help tailor this around your specific use cases and help you automate more service and more processes at the end of each conversation?”
Danny: That’s great, wonderful demo. What’s the best way for people to start up with a trial or what do you recommend as far as someone who wants to learn more about your product?
Joshua: Great question. I would say either through the Salesforce AppExchange where you can read our nearly 300 5-star reviews or through DailSource.com. We typically like to have a exploratory call of 15 or 30 minutes with leads to understand where are the specific pain points. Is it calling new leads, servicing existing contacts and opportunities, closing cases for inbound phone calls? We tailor the demonstration around those particular use cases, and then we build a pilot proposal usually 5 to 10 agents for a 1-month trial where a dedicated account executive and customer support executive work with the team to specify the pain points and build the automation to provide measurable analytics within this pilot and staged for a successful onboarding of a contract of DialSource.
Danny: That’s great, great. Thank you for taking the time to do this today, Joshua. I appreciate it.
Joshua: It’s my pleasure. Thank you for the invitation.
Danny: You bet you. It’s a great app and congratulations. I saw you have it’s close to 300 5-star ratings which is fantastic. Congratulations there as well.
Joshua: Thank you very much.
Danny: If people want to, people who are listening in on the podcast, if they want to see the video of the demo, which I definitely recommend, if you go to www.appexchangepodcast.com, you can go there, and you can go view the video. We’ll also have a transcript up there and drop by there to get a watch of this video. I think it’s just a great demo that Joshua did today. We appreciate you for taking the time today to share more about your product, Joshua, and thank you everyone for listening. Have a great day, bye-bye.
Joshua: Take care everybody. Bye-bye.
Danny Ryan: Hi, this is Danny Ryan, and welcome to the App Exchange Podcast. Today, I’ve got from Resource Hero, I’ve got Pinaki Kathiari. Pinaki, thank you for joining us.
Pinaki Kathiari: Thank you Danny.
Danny Ryan: You betcha, you betcha. I’m interested to learn … This looks like an app for managing and partially being a professional services organization. This looks like a resource management type of app. Tell me more about what Resource Hero is at a high level.
Pinaki Kathiari: Yeah, absolutely. Resource Hero is just basically if you’re managing multiple people and projects, then Resource Hero is a forecasting and time tracking tool for you. It’s mainly came out of that as a professional versus company, there is a lot of things that you have to balance. We built the app with the idea that, yes, you can manage workload and still be profitable at the same time. Resource Hero is all about helping sales and production people to quickly plot out timelines and to put resources to them, and we help people time track and then get the insights and reports that you need to keep everything balanced and in check.
Danny Ryan: Looks like I like you … A great website by the way, very clear on how you describe what it does and forecasting, tracking time, getting reports, gaining insights, and this is all built on is it a native app in Salesforce, is that right?
Pinaki Kathiari: Absolutely. It’s a 100 percent native so it’s all using everything from Salesforce, so there is no data or information that goes to any other server or any other Resource Hero place. It’s all happening on our customers’ Salesforce org.
Danny Ryan: Great, as far as the why, did you put this out in the first place, was it to scratch your own back? Was it something you wanted yourself, or was it a client coming to you to build this? Tell me a little bit more about that.
Pinaki Kathiari: Absolutely. You hit it right on the head. It’s basically, we built Resource Hero for our own needs, at first at least. Yeah, I’m co-founder of Resource Hero, but I’m also the managing partner of a visual agency called Local Wisdom. As you can imagine, at Local Wisdom, we create and manage digital platforms to solve complex business problems typically for the Fortune companies. Resource Hero was born through our own challenges, probably four years or five years ago. We got onto Salesforce as a CRM tool.
Resource management, and resource planning, and time tracking has always been challenge for us. It was easy when we were like eight people, but as we grew to forty plus, and now nearing fifty, it became monumentally more difficult to figure out who’s overbooked, who’s under booked, when should we hire, when should we be going out to pump up sales, and all those things. At first, I basically hired a consultant to help build the app inside our own Salesforce. What eventually happened is, instead of being a consultant, we ended up partnering up and putting out the app on the AppExchange, but basically, yeah when we started out, our main philosophies were all around making it work seamlessly in Salesforce because we didn’t necessarily need another online place to go to do work. It had to be super easy to use. I think every customer I talk to, they do at least … They start resource planning out in an Uber Excel document.
Danny Ryan: I was going to say Excel is going to play into this somehow. I knew it was.
Pinaki Kathiari: Exactly. Everyone … Even us, we started using Excel and it became unwieldy to manage, so it had to be just that easy to use. It had to be highly flexible because before deciding to build our own, I did do a lot of research to try to find what’s out there already that we could use, and I found a lot of bigger systems who’s was a little clunky. That, while I knew was still difficult to use, and it really didn’t work like the way our business process worked. We wanted to make something to be able to be flexible and wrap around business process. Actually, I was looking at the ThreeWill website, and one of the major things you guys talk about is people process and then technology. That same philosophy is you don’t want Resource Hero to dictate to our customers how they should do it. We want Resource Hero to work around their people and process.
Danny Ryan: You were the one visiting our website today? That’s awesome. That was you.
Pinaki Kathiari: You have more visitors than me I’m sure.
Danny Ryan: I’m the one visiting your website today. This is really great stuff. Is it … A couple of questions. Is this tying in once you put the time tracking, how does it tie into billing out for it? Does it have hooks in the backend to other things or do you extract that data out? What typically does someone do?
Pinaki Kathiari: Well, right now the biggest benefit is around being able to forecast your projects and being able to put resources on based on how they’re forecasted out to every project that you have in your shop. Then time tracking on top against those projects so then you can see the project health in real time. Most, I guess, services that are out there, they either do the forecasting piece or they do the time tracking piece. Well, there’s no way to bring it together really well. As far as getting out to other services like the financials, and invoicing and stuff like that, we’re working on those tie-ins right now to see, “All right, how can we export out or tie-in to other apps and make other partnerships to make it even more valuable?”
Danny Ryan: That’s great.
Pinaki Kathiari: I mean we’re … Yeah, I think we’re not trying to be everything all the time for everyone, but we’re trying to just in a smart way connect and partner up with other companies and services to basically deliver the right product at the end of the day.
Danny Ryan: This is such a pain point I know for a professional services organization. Is that primarily your customer or who are you finding out that typically uses your app?
Pinaki Kathiari: Our primary customers are professional services companies, although there’s a whole slew of different types of professional services companies, but yeah, primarily from technology consultants to marketing services to PR services, to even Salesforce consulting companies are using Resource Hero to manage their time, but predominantly as long as it’s any company that’s putting multiple people on multiple projects at any given time. We even have event companies that pay through events on Resource Hero. It’s staggering how many different types of professional services companies are out there.
Danny Ryan: As you are bringing on these new types of companies, how are you … What’s been the evolution of the app as you expand it to new groups of people using the app?
Pinaki Kathiari: Evolution of the app … One of the things that we’ve always done is basically evolve based on what feedback we’re getting from our customers, which has been great, because when we first launched Resource Hero, it was simply just forecasting against projects just to be able to see who’s busy and who’s not busy. One of the first things we heard around right out of the gate was like, “Wow, if you can do this, it will be great. Now, if you were to time track on top of this, then we can get a gauge of forecasted versus actual.” That was our next step to put time tracking against it. Then, we started hearing as we got into it, it started turning into more project management capabilities like, “Oh, it would be great if while I’m forecasting or time tracking, I could add notes.” We just finished this project, and I want to archive it, so archival abilities, and then a slew of like, “Hey, it would be great if I could control this aspect or that aspect.” We started introducing administration controls to be able to, or controls for Salesforce administrators to be able to set certain defaults and sizes of matrices, and things like that, which I’ll show you in a little bit.
Danny Ryan: That’s great.
Pinaki Kathiari: Then, in the latest release, we redesigned the UI to make it work even better, and we’re now building in efficiencies as we’re learning our customers are doing really cool and interesting customizations. One of them came out to show us that they’re adding so much data into the system that we built, that we had to go back in and say, “All right, let’s make it even more efficient,” and so our latest update that’ll come out in a few weeks will be taken advantage of bulk process. If you’re adding hundreds of resources and assignments to a project, we can still handle that without a glitch.
Danny Ryan: Very nice. I’m just taking a quick peek at your AppExchange listing. It looks nice.
Pinaki Kathiari: Yeah, we’re trying. It’s a tough thing to manage everything, and getting everything out there in sales and marketing, and getting all of our collateral pieces. It’s always between product development and marketing, it’s always this fun game of cat and mouse, some of us just keep catching up and keep everything going. It keeps us on our toes.
Danny Ryan: Absolutely. It keeps us out of trouble most importantly. Well, I want to go ahead and switch over. I’m going to switch controls over to you and make you the presenter. I would love to see a demo.
Pinaki Kathiari: Sure. Let’s see. I’m going to share my screen.
Danny Ryan: I can see your screen, looks great.
Pinaki Kathiari: All right, cool. I’ll just jump right into it real quick. What I’m going to show you is Resource Hero and the way it’s set up on the opportunities app. Just to note that what I’m about to show you can work on just about any object in sales force. It can work on multiple objects concurrently. I’m showing you on the opportunities object, but I also have it set up on a PTO object like [inaudible 00:11:08] object so I could forecast and track against vacations and holidays. I’ve also set it up on an AppExchange, app task rate if you’ve heard of it. It’s a great task management app, where Resource Hero can also be set up and working on task rate problems. Does that make sense?
Danny Ryan: Yeah, we’ve have the task rate folks on the podcast earlier. It was actually covering another product from them called Campaign Calendar, but yeah, we’re going to be covering that later on this year. It’s great to see that integration.
Pinaki Kathiari: Absolutely. Actually last week, we just spoke to Eric Woo, and he was one of the partners that we’re looking at for their integration.
Danny Ryan: That’s who we talked to. He’s a great guy.
Pinaki Kathiari: Yeah, he is. Yeah, cool. There’s on your on this opportunities object, there’s a few different components that’s Resource Hero, and I’ll skim through them real quick, and then I’ll walk through it, but there’s what we call a forecast matrix. There’s an actuals matrix. There’s some charts that will start populating on the screen. There’s some calculation fields that start calculating, and there’s [inaudible 00:12:23] whole Resources assignment with certain fields and figures that we have here. [Inaudible 00:12:31] typically works saying, “Here’s a new opportunity that we have.” Now, I’m just going to start by planning a project. You click on Ad Resources and it takes you to this manage assignments area, and essentially you’re adding resources to the project. I’m just going to see if this demo add three people onto this project. This is going really slow, but I’ll go ahead and use this to add Owen Harris, and give him a role of project manager, then give him a raise of $75 an hour or what have you. I’ll add Olivia, who is my designer, at a rate of $100, and I’ll add Jack, who’s my developer, at a rate of $125. Hit save. Essentially, when we come back to the opportunity here, we see what kind of resources have been added, what’s their roles, and the idea is …
This is going to take us back to the spreadsheets connotation that we put before, but the idea is you’re basically allocating hours per week for each of these resources for this project. I could say, “Owen, you’re going to be spending eight hours,” and I’m using my arrow keys to move around here and just typing in eight hours a week. I could put in sixteen hours a week for Olivia, and I could do things like select cells and copy and paste across. I could do things, like in Excel, you can do that drag and copy maneuver here, and basically just move things over. Once I hit save forecast, all of this data is now saved into my sales force, so I know Owen is eight hours a week for these four weeks, and Olivia and Jack.
Now, as I was doing that, you might have noticed that these colors have changed from this gray to green to red. Well, that’s tell in me in real time based on everything else that these folks have been allocated to, how busy they are. Gray means that they’re below their target hours per week. Green means that they’re within their target hours per week, and red means that they’ve surpassed their target hours per week. This is collecting information from all the different objects, like even if Olivia was on a holiday, it would basically that into account and everything like that. The idea is that I see that Olivia and Jack, it’s not going to work out for them this time around, but I could do things and easy select this, and cut and paste it into another day. Then I see everybody’s is in the greens, and essentially that’s what we want to get to. We want to get all of the resources within the company into the green, and that’s really the basis of it. It’s managing your work flow balance and still keeping to profitability.
Danny Ryan: That’s great. It makes a lot of sense.
Pinaki Kathiari: Oh yeah. Now, I’ll get into the report side of things in a little bit, but that’s essentially how forecasting works. Again, we try to make is super easy that you could just set up a project and a project plan within minutes and seconds. Just a few little tidbits for you. We can break this down into a day and it will just divided out these hours according to the work week. We could look at this timeline in multiple span of time and traverse the whole timeline that way. We have actual hours here, and this is a similar matrix, but now it’s showing me the time that’s been tracked. Essentially, the idea is that people actually track time on their resources tab. I’ll just jump over on that side quickly. This is Olivia’s resources page, and if I hit refresh on this page, I’ll see that that iPad kiosk app has been added to her time tracking matrix right here. This is how she would just go in and … This is giving her this week, and I’d put in eight hours this week. I’m sorry, eight hours this day and take twelve hours this day, etc. But the idea is that this actuals matrix here, it will display that information once you hit save, but just for the purposes of this demo, what I’ll do is I’ll just put in some hours for everybody.
Normally, what we recommend is this matrix is in its locked format, which there is also a locked version where it displays this information, but you can’t edit it. I have the edited mobile version just for this demo. I could say, “Oh Owen, if you track time, you put in four hours this week and say twelve hours this week. Olivia, if you put in … I don’t know she just went twenty hours this one week and then four hours this week,” and Jack did, I don’t know we’ll just say four hours both of these days. I’ll just save that.
Just to show you what these charts that now display red on the tab show. We have listing charts, and basically the idea is to in real time see your project health. This is giving me basically my forecast versus actual over the various weeks for this project. This is going to be the forecast versus actual for each individual resource. I see tracking time over the course. We forecasted forty hours this week in total where we spent a little bit less than thirty, and in this week forty hours a little more like twenty hours. Then, we can see here, Jack has about a little bit over sixty hours, where he hasn’t hit his threshold yet and etc. for everybody. But in real time, there is no app that basically pulls both of these data points together for project managers to see how they’re doing.
Danny Ryan: That’s really nice. Very nice.
Pinaki Kathiari: Underneath … Great, I mean I’d love your feedback on this because you probably deal with these types of issues all the time.
Danny Ryan: I deal with them in spreadsheets though. This is high tech stuff here.
Pinaki Kathiari: Exactly, just like in spreadsheet land. Not only do we have just calculations that automatically come together, but we have our blended rate. We have our total forecasted hours, our total actual hours, and then the difference. We multiply unless we have a forecast to announce the actual amount and the difference. These are … It’s a 100 percent data. You use these fields in other calculation fields, then for other formula fields. You could finally for once calculate true profit margins just in real time, and just get really interesting data right out of here. Then our status fields, essentially they’re able to do things like archive this whole assignment or do things like exclude them from the resources tab so people can track time, make everything read only, or exclude from efficient coloring, which basically if you check that off, it basically it’s a group used case for, “I’m just putting in hours here, but I know the project is not going to happen on this time,” so anyone who doesn’t want to adversely affect someone else who’s creating a project. You can control things like that.
Danny Ryan: Quick question, do the resources on a project, do they need to be full fledged Salesforce users or is it … Because I know with some organization like you may have the sales folks that will have Salesforce accounts, but not all of the delivery folks. What sort of … Do they need to be set up as, and if they do, probably the Salesforce loves you, right?
Pinaki Kathiari: Yeah, again, we try to be super flexible with it. All of the resources are in its own resource object, or it comes with resource era, so yeah in order for people to do this, actually log in and time track, yes they would need to be sales force users, however, they don’t necessarily need to be. Just for use cases, we’ve seen people put in resources that are not people. They put in equipment. We have a customer that basically has resources of bundles of iPads that then they have available for different events.
Danny Ryan: Interesting.
Pinaki Kathiari: Yeah, the use cases could go into all types of different places and areas, which is really cool. We’ve seen customers do it in a few ways: one, all of their resources … Basically everyone in their company is on Salesforce so all of their resources are on Salesforce, they just totally use this. Another use case is in the hybrid approach. Their main project management, sales management staff is on Salesforce, whatever addition license they’re on, and then their resources they bring on to either a Chatter Plus or a Force.com license, and that’s how they login and do that. That’s actually how we have it set up at Local Wisdom. Then, there’s the last year where either they just have their main management staff on Salesforce and their resources are not on Salesforce. In that scenario, either someone will … Either they’re not using the time tracking capabilities, or they’re either importing time tracking from another tool, or they’re having someone manually just put that information in.
Danny Ryan: That makes a lot of sense. I got you. Well, I want to wrap up the demo. Anything else you want to hit maybe as a last point at all?
Pinaki Kathiari: The last point we’ll just do all of this just to basically be able to get reports that before this took hours to generate. Just a few quick reports to show for users. Here’s forecasts versus actual hours for your entire organization by week. Depending on your company, the line graph, the bar graph is your forecast, and the line is your actual. This might be a good thing or it just might be a bad thing, but at least [inaudible 00:23:08] now. Then, a few revenue charts can be generated. Finally, you’re able to now see your revenue forecasted by opportunity. You could look at this in a summary view, or you could also look at it by a resource view, so you can see from each of your resources what avenues are coming in from, but the idea is that. Now, with this information in, you are able to quickly get the reports and the insights you need to really make decisions on your business.
Danny Ryan: This is great. Well, that’s a great demo. I mean this really hits home with me. I know seeing a lot of this is … We’re in the situation where we’ve got a set of people who are on sales force, and then it sounds like I guess our delivery folks aren’t on it right now, but if they just need to be on Force.com or Chatter Plus, then this is awesome. Thank you so much for showing off this demo. Yeah, let’s talk afterwards. For folks who are listening in, if you’re looking for resource planning, time tracking, all of the things that are required for professional services organizations or other organizations that manage folks as resources, then definitely go take a look at this app. It looks really tightly integrated with sales force. It looks very easy to use. Pinaki, thank you so much for taking the time to do this.
Pinaki Kathiari: Thank you very much, Danny. Thank you for having me on the show. I really appreciate it.
Danny Ryan: Absolutely. For folks who want to come see the video, if you’re listening in, if you go to www.appexchangepodcast.com. You can go there, see a transcript, see the video, or listen to it through Sound Cloud. We would love to have your drop by and check it out and thank you so much for taking the time today to listen. Bye.