A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is extremely beneficial to a company’s bottom line, especially a Salesforce CRM! However, the actual physical implementation is not without its challenges. But, hey! Nothing worth doing is easy, right?! Software engineering experience can not only simplify but optimize your implementation process.
With a software like Salesforce, customization is key as it must be able to meet the needs and goals that are unique to your existing business initiatives. If implemented correctly, the CRM software will scale to your growth and maximize your ROI. Software engineers have the necessary skills and experience to know what to look for, when to look for it, and how to move forward accordingly. In order to have a successful Salesforce implementation, software engineering is key! Here’s where it can help most;
Prior to implementing Salesforce, chances are a company has already established processes and tools. Salesforce is made to coexist with those tools. Customization is the bedrock of the globally adopted CRM. Salesforce has rather advanced APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow one application to communicate, identify, and predict the data flow with another. Software engineers are familiar with these APIs and will easily integrate the new software with the 3rd party application systems.
Internal & Commercial Application
Often times, you will need to build a completely custom application for either internal or commercial use. Salesforce provides a platform where you can build such applications known as “force.com”. Internal applications are out-of-the-box solutions built solely for a specific company to optimize its own Salesforce platform. However, commercial applications can be packaged and distributed on Salesforce AppExchange (similar to Apple's 'App Store') for all Salesforce users to adopt. Each of these apps are pre-integrated with your Salesforce tool.
While customization is the keystone to the Salesforce CRM, there IS such a thing as over-customization. I know, you're probably rolling your eyes right now. Allow me to explain. Salesforce has a multi-tenant architecture, meaning there is one enormous server that serves multiple customers/usergroups securely and separately from one another. These usergroups have certain privileges that grant them access to customize their specific interface. However, not all code is equal! Only certain code will translate through Salesforce upgrades. Established software engineers know Salesforce 'Governor Limits' and will best determine where customization is essential and which are excessive. If you end up over-customizing you may have to re-code after the next software upgrade. Using an experienced software engineer, the first time around, could prevent delays and further investment.
High Coding Standards
A notion often overlooked is the high coding standards of Salesforce. What does that mean? It means that in the event the code written to customize your applications does not meet Salesforce's set requirements, it can be rejected. This will ultimately lead to user errors and delays in you implementation process. Software engineers who are familiar with the requirements can easily comply with Salesforce's coding standards and will save you time and resources in the long run.
The majority of Salesforce projects follow the agile methodology which, at this point, comes second nature to software engineers. An agile approach ensures a cross-functional team with flexibility and adaptability through its short iterations known as "sprints". This methodology has not only been adopted by, but also originated within, the software engineering practice and working with someone with this experience can make all the difference in the world.
See The Big Picture
Software engineering allows for a holistic view to see Salesforce as a part of a whole. It's integral to look at Salesforce within the bigger picture and understand how systems integrate with each other. Software engineers possess this ability. They have the vision to see how your users will adopt the new software based on how they use their current programs and processes, and implement so that your business can reach its optimal potential.
About the Author: Boris Krasko serves as the Salesforce Practice Lead and is responsible for performing high-level Salesforce implementation and administration tasks, from business process consulting to identifying challenges to provide exceptional design, development and deployment solutions. Prior to this role Boris has served as a Salesforce Solution Architect in the higher ed industry for over 5 years. He has a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from New York University