Turbo-Charge Salesforce CRM with Dell Integration Services

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1 Introduction Turbo-Charge Salesforce CRM with Dell Integration Services By Chandar Pattabhiram January 2010 Fueled by today s fiercely competitive business environment, IT managers must deliver rapid, innovative and low cost solutions. Companies are adopting cloud-based applications to address these challenges. A leading area for cloud implementations is in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Salesforce CRM, the leading cloud-based CRM application, is an attractive alternative to complex, traditional on-premise CRM solutions because it allows organizations to rapidly meet changing business needs. IT managers gain resource efficiency, simplicity and minimal setup time. Furthermore, everyone likes subscription pricing because it means fewer budgetary issues get in the way of procuring a new application. It s no surprise then that Salesforce CRM and other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, are spreading rapidly across the business world today. Deploying cloud-based applications does not come without its challenges, however. IT managers need critical business information to be accessible throughout the implementation process. In many midsize and large companies, this information exists in highly customized on-premise backend systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and financial applications. In order to realize the full benefit of Salesforce CRM, this challenge must be addressed.. According to recent studies by Forrester Research and Gartner, integration is the main reason that IT executives shy away from cloud-based applications and stop using them over time. This paper highlights integration challenges specific to cloud-based applications, in particular, Salesforce CRM, and explores three integration approaches to solving these problems, including a new offering, Dell Integration Services. Salesforce CRM and the Growth of Cloud Computing Moving to cloud-based applications minimizes the pain of owned and operated applications. The complexities, time, and costs associated with implementing these on-premise solutions, in particular CRM solutions, are well known. Most companies would prefer a simpler, faster, and lower-cost solution to managing customer interactions and are attracted to Salesforce CRM for the advantages it provides to IT departments and business users: Rapid implementation. Since there is no software to physically deploy with Salesforce CRM, there is less demand on IT resources and this enables faster implementation. Adding users to the application is as simple as assigning a user ID and password for each person, so they can be up and running quickly. Ease-of-use. By delivering comprehensive functionality within a simple, familiar browser-based interface, Salesforce CRM is intuitive for users and requires minimal training. Low IT impact. Salesforce CRM is less of a burden for IT but still delivers high business impact. The solution doesn t require new IT infrastructure to get started and Copyright 2010 Cast Iron Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 1

2 ongoing management and maintenance requires fewer IT resources than with traditional owned and operated CRM and packaged applications. Subscription pricing. Salesforce CRM has a much lower upfront cost because companies subscribe to the service by paying a monthly fee based on the number of users. This also makes the solution very easy to scale as a company grows. Easy to customize. Customizations, workflows, and preferences in Salesforce CRM are performed through configuration, not coding. Changes are easy as well because the application can be reconfigured whenever business needs or processes change. Despite these attractive benefits, many Salesforce CRM implementations require integration to optimally get up and running. Getting started with Salesforce CRM is so easy that users tend to expect instant access to all of their business information about customers, contacts, leads, opportunities, and more. If this doesn t happen, they become frustrated. Although cloud-based applications like Salesforce CRM make seeing immediate results fairly simple, integration with other business systems is critical to realize full value. Integration: The Last Barrier to Cloud Computing As the success of Salesforce CRM in a particular organization grows, what was once a group level strategy to gain sales advantages may face hurdles as it expands to a company-wide scale. Users now require access to additional critical systems that need to be integrated with existing on-demand and on-premise applications on a daily basis. The result is that integration becomes more critical to the continued success and adoption of the Salesforce CRM solution. Since cloud-based applications offer the same benefits to all customers, any advantages gained at one company are just as easily available to its competitors. Cloud-based applications provide more differentiation if they are integrated with customized back-end applications that are core to a company s operations. Retaining differentiation and data availability brings the need for application integration to the forefront. This is especially important in relation to CRM systems, which are often the primary source of information for tracking sales contacts, leads, pipeline data, and quarterly forecasts. While companies of all sizes anticipate easy deployments of cloud-based applications, in particular Salesforce CRM, they are sometimes overwhelmed by the unexpected complexities of integrating with their existing systems. There are three key areas to consider: Getting information into Salesforce CRM. Back-end systems contain some of the most valuable corporate assets in a company as they often represent years of business knowledge and operational experience. For a Salesforce CRM solution to be optimized from the start, information such as order history, opportunities, and contacts contained in back-end systems must be migrated to the new solution. Synchronizing information between Salesforce CRM and back-end systems in real time. Back-end systems are often the systems of record for critical corporate information about customers, products, orders, and more. Salesforce CRM solutions need to synchronize information with particular systems of record so companies have a single, accurate, and real-time view of customers and products. While dealing with different data formats and workflows is challenging, these integrations also must be secure, reliable, and provide complete visibility. Extracting information from Salesforce CRM. Most companies generate a wide variety of operational and business intelligence (BI) reports based on data from multiple systems. While Salesforce CRM offers rich reporting capabilities, this functionality is Copyright 2010 Cast Iron Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 2

3 limited to what is contained within the application in isolation. Therefore, information from Salesforce CRM must be easily transferable into existing reporting and BI applications to provide holistic dashboards for increased visibility. Given these challenges, application integration becomes critical to the success of a Salesforce CRM solution. Traditional Integration Approaches: Not Optimized for Salesforce CRM Traditionally, companies had just two choices for solving application integration problems: use complex software platforms or write custom code. The platform approach evolved to meet the needs of large enterprises and provides complex functionality to solve Business Process Management (BPM), Business Application Management (BAM), and Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) problems. But this rich functionality makes these platforms very expensive to procure, install, deploy, and maintain. As a consequence, most companies, especially in the mid-market, opted to develop custom code for integration, which has become the most widely used integration solution. While custom code provides an immediate fix at a seemingly lower cost, companies quickly realize that maintaining custom code is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process and that their hidden costs go well beyond the initial coding. Custom code also requires specialized skills that most IT organizations lack or cannot find easily. Finally, custom code requires upfront investments in time and resources that will delay the benefits of using Salesforce CRM. Solving integration problems with either of these software-based approaches produces results that contradict the benefits expected by companies when they choose Salesforce CRM. These integration solutions substantially undermine the value of choosing Salesforce CRM and frustrate users who expect quick results. The poor fit between traditional integration approaches and the requirements of cloud computing have created the need for a new type of integration solution. Dell Integration Services: A Better Choice for Salesforce CRM Dell Integration Services is a new product offering from Dell that provides the ability to remove the complexity and the overhead associated with traditional integration solutions. Its approach, focused on rapid integration, is gaining in popularity because it results in greater efficiency and lower costs when used to solve integration problems, particularly with Salesforce CRM applications. Dell Integration Services reduces complexity by doing only what s needed connectivity, transformation, workflow, and management to rapidly integrate two or more applications. By distilling application integration problems into these four steps, Dell Integration Services delivers simplicity and eliminates the need to write any code to implement integration projects. Copyright 2010 Cast Iron Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 3

4 The Dell Integration Services solution comes with built-in connectivity to hundreds of packaged and proprietary applications, including ERP, CRM, databases, web services, flat files, and more. It is completely self-contained and includes everything needed to complete integrations in one place. This progressive approach to integration makes no distinction between local and remote applications because they establish connectivity to the end points via native application protocols. The advantage is that no adapters are required and there is nothing to install or change at the end points. In addition, organizations can decide between three options for connecting Salesforce CRM with the rest of their enterprise applications: A physical appliance built on Dell s award-winning PowerEdge servers that can be installed and managed within a local data center A virtual appliance that can be installed on a customer s existing Dell and other servers A multi-tenant cloud-based service All three deployment options provide the same user experience for developing and managing the integrations, and users have the unmatched flexibility of seamlessly transitioning between these options. The advantage to Salefsforce.com customers is the ability to choose the right solution for their needs, rather than being limited by vendor offerings that often take a one size fits all approach. The Dell Integration Services solution is flexible, scalable, and reusable. It can be used for multiple integration projects for solving problems between any combination of Salesforce CRM, on-premise applications, or other on-demand solutions. Orchestrations and transformations created for one project can be easily reused for another project. The Dell Integration Services solution, whether offered via an on-premise appliance or an on-demand cloud, maintains the benefits of Salesforce CRM while providing the robust integrations needed by larger organizations. Copyright 2010 Cast Iron Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 4

5 Dell Integration Services: Aligned with Salesforce CRM The ease of using the Dell Integration Services solution matches the simplicity delivered by Salesforce CRM. Both eliminate the need to write any code, do not require installation or deployment of software and provide configuration capability. The benefits of this solution line up well with companies expectations of a cloud-based application: Data migration and cleansing. Often the first step in introducing a cloud-based application into an organization includes migrating legacy information such as contacts, leads, opportunities, and deal history. The effort of migrating and cleansing data should be in alignment with the rapid provisioning of Salesforce CRM. The Dell Integration Services solution enables a configuration approach to easily migrate this information in batch or real time without the need for dedicated specialists. Integration in days. The Dell Integration Services solution provides rapid provisioning that enables companies to integrate in days, instead of weeks or months. This aligns with the on-demand nature of Salesforce CRM, as users can access critical business information quickly. Ease-of-use through configuration, not coding. The Dell Integration Services solution is designed to complete integrations without the need to write any code. Simply plug in the appliance or configure the cloud and begin designing the integrations. This mirrors the no coding experience of Salesforce CRM. In addition, the Dell Integration Services solution provides preconfigured integration templates called TIPs for the most common integration scenarios. These templates, which are easily customized via a wizard-based tool, further accelerate the time to deployment for Salesforce CRM integration projects. Low IT impact. The Dell Integration Services solution provides completely selfcontained services delivered via either an on-premise appliance or the cloud with nothing else for IT to add or buy. Both approaches do not require complex coordination or specialized IT skills for deployment. Ongoing management and maintenance of an appliance or cloud-based service imposes minimal to no requirements on IT. Low subscription pricing. The Dell Integration Services solution can be offered with monthly subscription pricing plans. It is the only integration solution in the market offered for a fixed price: $40 /user/month for two connections and a one-time setup fee of $10,000. By eliminating large upfront costs, the Dell Integration Services offering delivers the same type of economic benefit that leads companies to choose Salesforce CRM. Easy to change. The Dell Integration Services solution allows IT to change connectivity, revise transformations and modify workflows using point-and-click functions in a visual user interface. Easy changes enable integrations to better serve the evolving needs of the business. Since the Dell Integration Services solution can connect equally well to local and remote applications, customers can choose to deploy a local physical or virtual appliance that doesn t need to be located near the application to which it is connecting. Or, if the requirements include cloud-to-cloud connectivity, the service can be provided on demand from the cloud with the same level of quality as local appliances. With the remote management capability of the Dell Integration Services solution, customers can monitor, maintain, and upgrade services in distributed geographic locations regardless of whether they are on premise or provided through the cloud. Copyright 2010 Cast Iron Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 5

6 Conclusion Unlike traditional on-premise CRM applications, Salesforce CRM offers tremendous benefits, including rapid implementations, ease of use, low IT requirements, subscription pricing, and ease of change. As the adoption of cloud-based applications increases, integrating between Salesforce CRM and back-end applications helps companies realize full solution benefits. Back-end systems, in which companies have made significant investments over time, provide key differentiation advantages. It is not practical to replicate all of this investment in time and money in a new application. It is far simpler to provide a way for Salesforce CRM to access the information in existing back-end systems and further leverage the investments made in those systems. It s clear that IT environments in the future will include a mix of cloud-based and on-premise applications. Different companies will select various combinations of these systems to maintain true differentiation and be responsive to the needs of the business. To realize the full benefit of cloud-based applications, integration must be dramatically simplified. Companies need a solution that can run anywhere, connect applications anywhere, be managed from anywhere, and require no specialist integration skills or IT infrastructure. These solutions must be easily configurable, flexible, and scalable which means no coding. And, the integration solution must implement projects within days, not weeks or months. Fortunately, the Dell Integration Services solution for Salesforce CRM provides these benefits today. By taking advantage of the simplicity of Dell Integration Services, companies can obtain the full benefit of Salesforce CRM in just days. About the Author Chandar Pattabhiram is the vice president responsible for Product & Channel Marketing at Cast Iron Systems, the #1 Cloud Integration Company. In this role, he drives go-tomarket strategy, corporate messaging, pricing, and enablement of direct sales and indirect channels. Prior to joining Cast Iron Systems, he was responsible for product and channel marketing at Jamcracker, one of the pioneering Software-as-a-Service platforms. He also spent many years at Andersen Consulting where he led IT strategy, logistics, and e-commerce projects for Fortune 500 companies as well as joint market offerings with SAP. He has a Master s in Management from the University of Texas and a Bachelor s in Mechanical Engineering in India. Cast Iron Systems Inc. is the #1 cloud integration company and a key partner and supplier for Dell Integration Services. Dell leverages Cast Iron Systems market leading cloud integration offering to deliver migration and integration services. To learn more about the Dell Integration Services solution, please send an to or visit us online at This document is provided for information purposes only and the contents are subject to change without notice. This document is not warranted to be error-free, nor subject to any other warranties or conditions, whether expressed orally or implied in law, including implied warranties and conditions of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. We specifically disclaim any liability with respect to this document and no contractual obligations are formed either directly or indirectly by this document. Copyright 2010 Cast Iron Systems, Inc., Integrate in Days is a trademark of Cast Iron Systems, Inc. All other registration marks are the property of their respective owners. Specifications are subject to change without notice. v01r04 Copyright 2010 Cast Iron Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. 6

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