Critical Considerations for Deploying Cloud CRM (Salesforce.com) within Financial Services Industry

Author

Ripal Patel

September 15, 2015

Salesforce is the world’s leading provider of Cloud CRM solutions. Its rich functionalities and ability to reduce capital expenditures, minimize application deployment times, and eliminate maintenance tasks makes Salesforce the #1 cloud CRM. Many financial services firms have already achieved success and improved business results by deploying Salesforce. In general, Salesforce implementation at big financial services firms is not straightforward though as firms have to consider many factors during the implementation (e.g. data regulation, data security, and application access). As a trusted advisor, I help many financial services firms to adopt Salesforce Cloud and always ensure they are aware of the following critical considerations and have a strategic plan in place to address these issues during implementation.
 
Controlling Application Access
Cloud applications can be accessed from anywhere. Companies that fall under the financial services sector really need to make careful decisions in terms of how CRM application is being accessed and from where. Salesforce offers robust capabilities for application access so you can control locations and user permissions for application access.  Salesforce lets you set policies for business hours and after-hours access, so you can ensure you have the right strategy for controlling Salesforce access for all users.
 
Sharing Model and Data Access
Financial services firms that want to adopt Salesforce Cloud must consider key issues for a successful adoption, including top-priority issues of data regulation and data security. You may have over 1000 users in your Salesforce org, but not every user needs to see all Salesforce data. Salesforce offers robust features to structure the sharing model and data access so your business needs can be fulfilled and enterprise privacy can be protected. Leverage profiles, permission sets, role hierarchy, and organization-wide defaults to control data access and sharing.
 
The Big Factor – Data Model
It’s critical to ensure that the data model gets implemented the right way during the design phase by taking your current and future needs into account. While your business will have different needs over time that does not mean the data model needs to be restructured frequently. In a best-case scenario, your implementation partner will configure the data model to be flexible enough to allow for your future growth and changing needs. This way, even if your business needs change or if you acquire another company and need to merge applications, the data model can scale accordingly.
 
Data Encryption
Financial services firms who are trusted with maintaining the privacy of their customers’ financial data must comply with a multitude of data privacy and data compliance regulations.  A few years back, many financial services firms were hesitant to adopt Salesforce Cloud due to concerns of data protection and encryption. Thanks to the technology firms like Perspecsys and CipherCloud, these two firms now offer robust and innovative solutions for cloud data visibility, encryption, and protection. To further allay worries, ensure your implementation partner is an expert in this area and has already addressed related use cases at other financial services firms during Salesforce implementation.
 
Stay Away from Replication
Today, many organizations migrate from an existing CRM to Salesforce. To get the most from Salesforce, don’t just replicate features or functions present in your existing system. Switching is a good time to think differently and be innovative. Stay away from the hidden danger of replicating the same functionalities and instead try to bring new features that will boost users’ productively and efficiency while not compromising your existing business processes.
 
Dilemma – Single Org vs. Multi-Orgs
Large financial firms typically have many different lines of businesses (LOBs). If your organization is medium or large and has a number of LOBs or divisional structures, you will most likely face the challenge of having to choose single org for all LOBs or multi-orgs for divisions. To make the right decision, think about what’s important for your business. With a solid understanding of impacted areas such as end users, flexibility of the system, management reporting & KPIs, and overall cost, you can easily make the right choice.
 
Legacy Data Migration
Believe it or not, this is one of the top critical considerations for successful deployment. Many firms underestimate the efforts needed to migrate legacy data and so do not take bold steps necessary for data migration. Imagine that Salesforce is customized the way your business needs, but important data cannot be migrated. Fields mapping, data cleansing, data migration order, and other strategic elements must be planned out ahead of time for successful migration.
 
Applications Integration
There are many challenges involved with application integrations, from not having synchronized customers’ information across many business applications to bringing duplicate information into Salesforce during integration. The good news is Salesforce provides different types of APIs so your development team can build out the API you need ahead of time. Simple, powerful, and secure APIs make it easy to integrate internal applications. The market also offers solid tools that can streamline application integrations, including Dell Boomi, WebSphere Cast Iron, Informatica Cloud, and SnapLogic. Having the right applications integration plan in place can ensure that integration does not become a lengthy, costly, and complex part of deployment.
 
Overall Cost for the Deployment
There is no question that Salesforce can cut down the cost for managing CRMs. Indeed, Salesforce can dramatically lower the cost of deployment and maintenance, thereby increasing cash flows. There are two aspects of cost: licensing cost and initial implementation cost. Salesforce offers the best and flexible pricing models that could meet your needs, easily reducing licensing cost over other CRMs. When it comes to implementation cost, businesses need to ensure that the project stays under the planned budget so as not to end up with a higher cost for unplanned activities.
 
Implementation Partner
Selecting the right implementation partner is one of the key challenges. Many firms question whether or not they need to bring in an implementation partner for the initial deployment. I’d say it entirely depends on your business, since every business is unique and has diverse needs for implementation.  If you are going with an implementation partner, should you choose an existing partner or a new relationship? Ideally, it makes sense to hire an existing partner as they already know your business. Yet it is more important that your organization selects a partner who is a Salesforce expert and offers various Salesforce solutions, which may mean a new relationship. Many organizations use a hybrid approach, which involves multiple implementation partners, internal resources, and Salesforce resources. Ensure whoever you select has a track history of fulfilled promises and has already deployed Salesforce successfully for many other financial services firms.
 
While these are the top considerations for the deployment, there are many others as well. Before deployment, it is necessary to consider the following:
 
•    CRM Vision, Goals & Alignment to Business Strategy
•    KPIs and Success Measures
•    Communication Plan
•    Internal Resource Allocation & Expertise
•    User Adoption & Training Plan
•    Application Support Strategy and Plan
•    Mobile & Tablets Access
•    Starting Small & Not Over Engineering
•    Data Management Strategy
•    Adopting Industry Solution
 
About Capgemini’s Salesforce Offerings
Capgemini is ranked as a ‘Leader’ in an independent report on Salesforce Implementation Partners 2015 by Forrester Research, Inc., Capgemini is a Global Strategic Cloud Alliance partner with Salesforce delivering a complete portfolio of integrated services that combine our technology and deep industry expertise around Digital Transformation, Domain and Platform technology. We study these technologies, processes, trends, and the impact they have on businesses and users to deliver timely, practical courses of action. This expertise and our client base qualifies for our Salesforce Certified Fullforce Industry Master within the Financial Services industry, Service Cloud and Platform implementations. Our knowledge of the convergence of Cloud, mobile and digital technologies enables us to help our clients to adapt to demands faster, engage with their customers, suppliers and partners more profoundly, and reduce costs.
 
For more information about Capgemini’s Salesforce offering, please visit https://www.capgemini.com/customer-experience-management/salesforce-solutions

This article was written by Ripal Patel from CapGemini: Capping IT Off and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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