Good product for Sarbox compliance, but requires time and effort.
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October 15, 2012

Good product for Sarbox compliance, but requires time and effort.

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction

  • I don’t see any other alternatives, that are based on Salesforce.com and that would support our complexity - complex order outputs, sophisticated configuration engine for complex business rules
  • Sarbox compliance - our business rules are very complex and Sarbox makes it much more complicated as you need to track everything.
  • It is configurable – just requires time from a system analyst
  • I know it can work, but it takes a lot of time, effort and money
  • We used to use their virtual administrator service, but experienced a lot of turnover and varying skill levels. We felt we were better off having someone in-house. It does however help to have expertise available from Big Machines. The VA service provides technical depth on their end.
  • They have suffered from a lot of growth – both in turnover and burnout of people
  • Rep self-service (without - for simple orders, they are now done independently by This means that reps can close deals faster.
  • Streamlined Sarbox compliance - we now have a system to capture approvals in an automated, secure way and sales reps don’t need to worry about whether an approval needs to be The system tells them and it emails the approver This means we avoid audit failures.
  • Some cost savings in human data entry time, to synchronize successful orders from Big Machines into Salesforce.Each one of those entries could have taken 45 A ball park saving is at least 0.5 FTE.
We need to re-architect and need more guidance/consulting on business processes. Big Machines say they have such an offering.

I don’t know if there are viable alternatives and I have not looked recently. feel alternatives would likely be highly custom and require more maintenance
In hindsight, it would have been better to re-engineer/simplify our business processes and pricing structure as a precursor to buying software.

We were surprised by the hidden cost of ownership – due to staff time.

You can turn configurator into client or partner view, though we don’t use those attributes.

Product Usage

100 - Sales, services, legal/business operations, finance
0.5 - We have one Business Analyst assigned, and it's part of their role. We are however woefully understaffed. It's not enough.

We need to re-think the architecture and the simplicity of user interface for sales reps. It is configurable. It just requires time from a system analyst. We need to dedicate more resources to the maintenance of the offering.
• You need a part or full time person dedicated to changing.
• If Big Machines offered a service for this, would you subscribe for it?
- We would, but they’d need to be familiar with our business rules
- We used to use their virtual administrator service, but experienced a lot of turnover, varying skill levels. We felt we were better off having someone in-house
- It does however help to have expertise available from Big Machines. The VA service provides technical depth on their end.
  • Proposal and order form creation
  • Manage product catalog and pricing
  • The primary reason we bought the application was supporting the two key processes above, but the application got hijacked for SARBOX purposes and promotions that we were not prepared for.
  • We haven’t implemented it correctly yet but don’t believe the software is the barrier.

Evaluation and Selection

We did not have a package to support this business process. We were trying to use native functionality in Salesforce.com
Apttus, Evapt and some other Salesforce.com add-ons. We felt other solutions could not handle complex order outputs. They had simplistic printer friendlies – could not do split splinter friendlies. Their configuration engines lacked the ability to support complex business rules for configuration, pricing and discounting.

We also attended their customer summit, and quizzed customers at their summit. We saw people (companies) with way more complex implementations than ours would be which gave us a level of comfort. We asked for a reference from Salesforce.com and confirmed that BigMachines were able to handle the most complex situations. Managing complexity was an important attribute to us.

Implementation

I was not very satisfied. I left the implementation up to our IT team and Big Machines – both in initial implementation and re-architecture for new product. I was very unhappy with how they approached it. The big problem they have is back-end testing to make sure all order types work, however only have a handle on the most simple order types. It is not modular enough to implement changes. It needs further re-architecture. In hindsight, I would lobby for a bigger implementation budget.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house

Training

  • In-person training
They have pretty good training. Our business analysts have been able to go to entry and advanced level training. They have a train the trainer model. Our business analyst attended training, then trained the rest of our staff.

Support

They are very responsive, though I don’t always like the answer.

Usability

While they have a decent administrator interface (relative to other apps), the part that is unintuitive is the printer friendly output. I view this is as the meat and potatoes. They are very constrained on these abilities. To make a font change is really cumbersome. There is no content management protocol to protocol. This kills us.

Integration

  • Salesforce.com
  • Echosign
Native integration with Salesforce.com. It works pretty well. With all the system updates we are doing to Salesforce.com, we are seeing some syncing issues. We are struggling to keep up.
The Echosign integration was pretty easy via APIs. Our Business Analyst did it herself.

Vendor Relationship

They have suffered from a lot of growth – both in turnover and burnout of people.

If Big Machines offered a service for administrator support, would you subscribe for it? We would, but they’d need to be familiar with our business rules. We used to use their virtual administrator service, but experienced a lot of turnover, varying skill levels. We felt we were better off having someone in-house. It does however help to have expertise available from Big Machines. The VA service provides technical depth on their end.

We need more guidance/consulting on business processes. Big Machines say they have such an offering but we have not used it.
We put in SLAs around down time and downtime at EOQ. We negotiated for this especially.