Love the AppExchange.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 24, 2012

Love the AppExchange.

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Review Source

Modules Used

  • SalesCloud
  • Customer Portal
  • Call Center
  • Ideas
  • Content
  • Chatter

Overall Satisfaction

  • The holistic view of the customer is huge. It gives an entire view of what’s going on with a customer from sales, Project Management, Account Management etc., which is very helpful for support. I can see the entire timeline, who has come and gone, what they bought, debooked etc. Other tools I have used in the past were silos and did not have this holistic data.
  • The call center tool is now a strength.
  • I love the Appexchange. I can find solutions like reply to case that make the tool so much stronger and avoids customization. That’s huge. I can usually find multiple options and try them out for free.
  • Dashboards and automated report distribution - the ability to take what’s going on in these support cases and roll-up into a dashboard that updates on my chosen cadence, and emailed out automatically is huge. Every morning at 4.30am, I and my team get an email saying here’s how we are doing as a team. At noon, another report comes out automatically so say how each person id doing individually against their metrics. It saves our operations team a ton of time. Our parent company (we were just acquired) has a support operations team with 20 people. All they do is create reports about how you are doing. At least half of those resources could be saved.
  • I love the customer portal. It is completely customizable. You can make it do whatever you want with frames, sections etc. It’s a platform really. I can keep customers on same page rather than having them wander around – I love that – I love the usability – customers can look at defects, cases, have power to close cases, they can look at ideas, and the learning learn center. There is context sensitive framing of learning/training content – e.g. if a customer has a specific product, they will see related training options.
  • IDEAS doesn’t have a strong enough integration to the rest of the product. It appears to have been created separately. It operates almost as a separate application. I can get to it in the same page as the tab but my fields don’t cross populate. I would like to know on my dashboard, who’s putting in ideas this week.
  • Scalability - it’s a single source place for data, ticketing and workflow. It takes me away from having single threaded conversation with customers. We have 25 people in support (of which 4 are managers) serving 1600 clients. Our parent company who is not using Salesforce.com has 100 people in support serving 2500 clients.
  • The more we invest in it, the more human resources we can save.
  • It allows us to spend time on more difficult problems and being client facing
  • SAAS – meaning yuo can work from anywhere, which has been important at times e.g. when we’ve had power cuts
  • Reports run themselves.
The only thing that would make it more effective for us is modifying our policies. In our company, administration is controlled centrally by IT whereas we used to be very decentralized. We need our own super users in Support to do administrative stuff for things that pertain only to support, e.g. when we want to edit a pick list. I have 9 Salesforce.com admins on my team. Every department needs a super user privilege. It’s inefficient to centralize everything. We went from being wide open to so buttoned down that we have to take a number and wait in line.

Product Usage

300 - Everyone in support uses Salesforce.com.

Most other functions in the company use the platform except for R&D, HR.
2 - No people specifically in support.

We do share an overall pool of Business Analysts/developers but don’t have large demands on their time.
  • Sales Cloud for CRM for sales, marketing, and support
  • Customer portal – rolled out last January to 100% of customers as the primary client facing interface for support. It allows self-service, ticket submission etc.
  • Call Center – a back-end for support administration.
  • Ideas – for customers to submit enhancement requests. It is actively used. Customers like it.
  • Content – a place to do file storage e.g. PDFs, Powerpoints. It is a single source for support based communication.
  • Chatter – for internal communication.

Evaluation and Selection

Salesforce.com is our original CRM.

Implementation

It took a little longer than planned, but I blame us.

Get the portal no matter what. Don’t get the free stuff – it’s a dissatisfier.

Let them (Salesforce.com) do the implementation. I am not that impressed with the partners.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house
Salesforce.com implemented the call center module.

Training

I don't believe training is required.

Configuration

We have customized the portal but not our overall instance. Additionally, when we brought in Appirio/Financial Force (for Professional Services Automation – time tracking etc.), there was a lot of work required to accommodate it. This required some Apex code.

We have done no customization for support specifically. We have added simple things like pick lists which are click customizations/configurations, but no Apex code.

Support

I rarely use support. Fortunately the product is self-service, the training great and things rarely go wrong, but when they do, it’s tough.

I’ve needed to access support once in four years, however we are not doing a lot of development on the platform.
Yes - I did buy premium support for $2500/month to support our mid-market team primarily. We didn’t need it ourselves (in enterprise support). When we encounter a bug, our IT team tracks it down.

Usability

It takes a long time to learn. It’s an open system, but I have to invest the time.

It was a good 6 month ramp and I work in it 2 hours per day.

Reliability

Sometimes it's slow.

Integration

  • Phone system - Shoretel
  • Chat - ATG from Oracle
Shoretel - we have attempted this but it’s not currently operational. The way it should work is that when phone rings, it opens a case, auto populates information (e.g. recognizes customer number), and gives a support rep the ability to call back out from the case. We abandoned the project as the integration didn’t work . Shoretel insisted that we use IE7 and nobody wanted to downgrade their browser. Shoretel is behind the times on software and that’s pretty critical.

ATG - integrated using an iFrame. We will however be moving away from ATG and are looking at the webex chat tool since that’s the company standard now. It’s important as 25% of inbound cases come in from chat compared to 15% from phone.