Andy Yang is one of MondayCall’s co-founders.
The following is taken from an interview with Andy regarding his experience working on projects with tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, and beyond.
Do you work with a lot of Tech companies?
A: “One might think being half a block from Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, that we would see only tech companies as customers but our customer base is very diverse with strong concentrations in manufacturing, consumer goods, health life sciences and more. That being said, we’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of leading tech companies in the world. Tech can mean a lot of different types of companies. Of course we start with the traditional software and hardware companies – companies that build and sell and support software and hardware. For the last number of years, SaaS companies have really grown to become one of the most dominant models with cross-overs to media, advertising, entertainment, industry-specific vertical apps, and more. Variants include PaaS, sharing economy, mobile apps, and more. Almost every company in just about every industry at a minimum has a strong web and mobile component, whether it be online sales or online customer service.”
What has been interesting working with these tech companies?
A: “Tech companies have many of the standard needs of most every other company: a strong sales process infrastructure connected to their web/mobile presence, a partner/distributor/reseller portal, a full service customer service site and more. We’ve helped many customers with some very interesting use cases that help them gain that edge against their competition. For instance, a leading software manufacturer we worked with has a high-end application that is installed on-premise at the customer site. Because this customer had moved to a subscription base model, they had very deep incentive to ensure that user adoption was strong. If user adoption never took off or was decreasing, then the likelihood of churn increased. This was especially dangerous during renewal time. We worked with this customer to help build the infrastructure to connect high-level usage metrics back to the mother ship so that aggregate statistics could be provided back to the account management and renewal teams. Conveniently, this data was visible right in Salesforce and alerts and notifications were created to inform account managers of any anomalies that needed to be attended to. This type of “phone home” capability was essentially an IoT project and played a pivotal role in helping this software manufacturer make their customers be more successful.
In another case, we helped several startups use the Salesforce platform in a clever way to help speed up their product development process In the technology industry, time-to-market is a critical factor in the success of a company. With several startups we helped to build part of their “product” using Salesforce. Using the Salesforce API’s and single-sign-on (SSO) we were able to easily and seamlessly connect their main product application to Salesforce, enabling them to “outsource” aspects of their application to the Salesforce platform and present a seamless interface with the customer. For instance, some customers have used the Salesforce platform to handle customer support/help seamlessly with their applications as if they were one. Building a full-on, seamless customer service function in weeks (rather than in months and years) was a very attractive time-to-market benefit. Still another customer moved their email messaging functionality to Pardot saving them from months of development to build it from scratch. Yet another customer handled their upsell/purchasing infrastructure to Salesforce so that they could track forecasting and sales. Further API integrations enabled automated provisioning, payment gateway processing, tax and shipping calculations to fully round out their capabilities with a much faster time-to-market and industry leading functionality. Why build it from scratch when it’s already been done before? Why not leverage web capabilities like API’s, SSO and Visualforce programming to make a consistent branded experience?
Some companies affectionately call this a Salesforce integration with their ‘Brain’ application – where Salesforce seamlessly becomes essentially a component of their main product infrastructure.”
What can other industries learn from these tech companies?
A: “Actually, most other industries are using Salesforce in just as sophisticated and innovative ways as the most advanced tech companies. Traditional ‘brick-and-mortar’ type industries are integrating their systems deeply and offering ever more sophisticated capabilities for their customers to benefit from. Often the only thing holding them back is dealing with legacy systems, which a startup company has less likelihood of having. Migration from legacy systems has become easier and a great opportunity to start fresh with something much more aligned to current and future needs. Salesforce continues to do a great job of providing highly flexible systems and avenues like Dreamforce (now planned to be remote this coming year) to showcase new and inventive ways to help lead the way for customers creatively utilizing Salesforce to meet their specific needs. “