Top 5 Factors to evaluate before choosing a Salesforce Integrator
TL;DR The top factors that ensure a successful IT project integration have a great deal with the choice of the right system integrator or specifically in case of Salesforce platform, the choice of the right Salesforce integrator who has wide experience and knowledge of the platform, process driven, trustworthy, culturally fit, cost effective, all while keeping security and privacy a top priority.
A Standish Group Chaos Report found that only 29% of IT project implementations are successful, and 19 percent are considered utter failures.
17% of large IT projects go so badly they can threaten the very existence of the companya report by McKinsey & Company
One of the top reasons for IT projects to fail boils down to the choice of the right salesforce integrator. Clarity of requirements, Communication, Cost overflows, Adoption are all a few factors but for most small and medium businesses, the requirements are very basic and clear.
A low-code cloud platform like Salesforce takes care of the cost, scalability, and adoption. So why do these projects still fail, more often than not? The reason has a lot to do with the choice of the right system integrator or salesforce integrator.
In a 2013 paper titled “The usage and adoption of cloud computing by small and medium businesses” published in the International Journal of Information Management, Prashant Gupta talks about five key factors affecting the adoption of cloud computing in SMEs. After collecting samples from over 211 firms, their research says, SME’s primarily adopt cloud computing platforms for the below five advantages:
- Cost Reduction
- Ease of Use
- Reliability (Stability of platform)
- Sharing and Collaboration
- Security and Privacy
A platform like Salesforce actually takes care of all these aspects wonderfully. However, the actual solution (custom code or software) also should be in sync for the IT project to be successful. So what remains is having the right integration partner. A Salesforce integrator which complements this understanding with the right team.
Going a little specific to Salesforce as a cloud platform, we can elaborate more of these aspects but the concepts can be extrapolated to other similar technologies as well.
Five key factors to consider when choosing the right team for your Salesforce.com/Cloud projects
1. System Knowledge
Experience in the platform is key for backward forward integrations and designing the right solution. In fact with the right architecture and design, the chances of successful implementation increase exponentially. You do not need a team who will work only on the latest technology of Lightning Web Components (LWC). You need a team which understands what will happen to your S-controls, Visualforce Pages, Lightning pages, and old API web services when you implement Lightning web components.
2. Process Driven
Average attrition in Salesforce customers as per a 2017 Salesforce website whitepaper is about 9%. This means customers stay with Salesforce for an average of 10 years. The average Salesforce developer attrition rate is between 25-33% per Linkedin statistics of most Salesforce integration partners. So your best vendor developer is expected to stay for a maximum of 3 years. Definitely, you do not want your systems to suffer and processes play an important part here. A successful IT project is not when you deploy the solution. It is when you get the maximum value out of the solution over the decade.
3. Trust and Cultural fitment
Right from PMI.org to HBR.org, you will find numerous articles, papers, and blogs on the importance of cultural fitment. But what do you really mean by cultural fitment? It is not about having the right team to have fun and breaking out for parties the first thing on Friday evening. It is about having an IT team with the same vision as your business.
A team that would confidently tell you right and wrong and is not afraid to talk about risks and failures. In a 2004 paper titled “The influence of project team culture on project success” in a conference of Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Zvi H Aronson and team worked with over 222 Project manager in NewYork and NewJersey and found that project culture emphasizing initiative and cooperation as a good predictor of project success. Ensure that you select the right vendor who understands and adds value to your team and culture and not just the IT project.
4. Cost Considerations
Psychologically we are trained to feel that lower the cost, lower the quality. But over the years technology has proved otherwise especially with the rise of companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon. Higher cost need not translate to better quality. Many large system integrators eventually subcontract the core operations to smaller niche boutiques. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages of having a large brand versus going for smaller boutique firms.
Large firms have better processes and security controls and access to resources across multiple platforms to maintain and manage large enterprise projects. The scale is important here. But for an SME, implementing a small cloud project, the cost is an important factor and choice should be not about the large SI vs small SI but actually about whether to outsource to a cheaper destination or not. The flip side of outsourcing is the communication gap and potential delays or risks due to the timezone gaps but ultimately, the cost-benefit analysis usually favors outsourcing.
5. Security and Privacy
Many companies do not realize the importance of IT security management and policies. One simple hack, one simple malware, or just one incident over a period of a decade is enough to bring your entire business down. Hence there should be no compromise on security. IT security works at multiple levels, right from physical background checks, health checks to credit score checks of individuals working on your projects to as complex as having a dedicated IT security policy under ISO or CMMI certifications.
Having a process or document is not the same as implementing and following those processes. This is where the most crucial check for your choice of vendor or salesforce integrator ends. Your partner of choice should be a company that understands the complexity and puts not only the right tools and applications in place but also follows through with implementation, constant IT security training for employees, and keeps a dedicated administration or cybersecurity team to monitor any untoward incident.
Evaluating the right salesforce integrator or software vendor is a complex task for any CIO. An effective digital strategy is comprehensive, flexible, and nimble, and empowers an organization to respond to both current and future opportunities and threats.
The success of your projects in this post Covid digital-first, mobile-first, cloud-first world will largely depend on your ability to increase productivity, innovate and maintain high levels of trust and transparency. The right system integrator understands these requirements and works collaboratively with you on this journey.
Salesforce Integrators – Absyz, a Salesforce Platinum partner.
ABSYZ Inc and ABSYZ Software Consulting Pvt Ltd are majority-owned subsidiaries of Youngsoft Inc, Michigan. Started in 2011, ABSYZ became Platinum Partner with Salesforce in 2019. The team ABSYZ boasts of 200+ strong Salesforce integration experts and consultants spread across the world. As a Salesforce boutique partner and system integration, ABSYZ caters to a wide range of solutions from Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Analytics, Integrations, and Custom development.
Additionally, separate mobile application, UI/UX and the digital team also cater to an array of complementary services. A CMMI Level 3 company, ABSYZ adheres to strict process controls to enable an amazing and customer experience that is technology, people, and process-oriented.
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