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In my professional role leading VRP’s Salesforce® Managed Services team, I’ve learned that it’s often a mistake to think of clients’ implementations in terms like “simple” or “complex”. Everything is relative, and every Salesforce solution is different in its own way. For an organization that lacks its own in-house Salesforce experts, the most everyday administrative tasks can be tricky and time-consuming – and I’m glad we can handle these for them, along with the rest of our work, in a way that’s budget-friendly, flexible, and above all, helpful. But what about the ones that really do have much more advanced needs, such as Salesforce multi-cloud implementations?
In this article, I’ll explore how to handle these more advanced setups: the kinds of unique needs they add to the equation, the challenges those pose for a business and how they can be overcome.
When your solution needs a little extra care
Let’s start at the other end of the spectrum. A Salesforce QuickStart implementation may have relatively low maintenance needs – perhaps only an admin or two. Our Managed Services practice handles a lot of these scenarios for clients. But then there’s a Salesforce multi-cloud setup, or one with multiple integrations with AppExchange or third-party apps. In these situations, there’s a whole other level of things to consider if you want to keep everything running smoothly.
When it comes to scenarios such as these, the bar to entry, expertise-wise, is a lot higher. The people maintaining your technology infrastructure will need to have a solid knowledge of all the Salesforce clouds used – and their features – as well each individual application and its functionality. For example, your Salesforce specialist may know Marketing Cloud, but do they know Sales Cloud? Do they have a good enough understanding of a bespoke feature or app, which you previously hired an outside developer to create, that they can fix it if something goes wrong?
Achieving fast and effective maintenance
If your organization is relying on these tools, it’s imperative that you get the best support to resolve any issues, or implement any changes you need, as swiftly and effectively as possible. Hiring the right specialist talent to bolster your in-house team can be difficult and prohibitively expensive. But on the other hand, if you’re going to outsource Salesforce multi-cloud administration services, for instance, you need to be 100% certain that the partner you engage can handle your setup and its needs, with the appropriate scope and level of expertise on hand. Tight service-level agreements (SLAs) are a must – and will a prospective partner be able to provide support quickly, during the periods you need it? Some organizations require a very wide support window, and if you’re grappling with different time-zones, and your partner is only online for a limited period per day, this could pose a problem.
You may also need experts covering several roles beyond an admin’s, which a smaller and more limited partner may not be able to do. However, a larger one, such as a global system integrator (GSI), may have so many other clients that they don’t give your needs the attention they deserve. What’s more, bigger partners may not have the depth and breadth of expertise you need, either, if they also work with many other technologies beyond Salesforce. “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none”, as the old saying goes. All of these considerations can make selecting the right partner quite tricky.
A partner that’s like a part of your team
There’s another very crucial requirement for the ideal Salesforce multi-cloud partner: they need to be able to coordinate with your team well. As well as the times when they’re working completely independently, your partner’s people will also be required to coordinate with your staff smoothly, to support them with the more difficult or technical tasks such as fixing any bugs that come up.
For less-demanding Salesforce implementations where administration is the main or only need, a different kind of coordination between your people and theirs is required. In these scenarios, we provide an easy-to-use VRP Managed Services App and Managed Services Portal in which clients can submit and track their requests. We developed these tools specifically for these kinds of clients and their Salesforce setups and needs. Our app and portal cater to them very effectively, but when it comes to dealing with Salesforce multi-cloud maintenance, and/or multiple integrations, a different strategy and method of management is sometimes required.
Using the same tools you use
If you have a more advanced solution (e.g., Salesforce multi-cloud) we can adopt the issue tracking tools you use, such as JIRA. This can ensure the most fluid and effective coordination between your in-house personnel and our Managed Services team. The enterprise issue/project tracking system you use is very likely the perfect environment for your team to work with ours, because it means your staff don’t have to pick up and learn a new tool.
Our team has built up a deep existing knowledge of such systems and we adopt new ones easily – it’s part of our core commitment to providing flexibility to clients. So, a complex request ticket, with a more intricate process of resolution, can be initiated, tracked and resolved in a way that your team is most comfortable with. Our aim is to fit as seamlessly as possible into the way you do things, so we can help you in the easiest, most efficient and most effective way.
Need help maintaining Salesforce multi-cloud implementations?
I hope this article has helped you to form a clearer picture of how – and who – to best maintain your Salesforce multi-cloud or multi-integration solution. As I said at the beginning, every organization and every solution is different. So, finding a partner that will shape their services around your needs is just as important as their skill sets, resources and experience.
In VRP Consulting’s Managed Services team, we work hard to provide a services offering that really fits our clients and their Salesforce solutions, whatever they may be. As well as adopting your preferred issue tracking tools for more advanced needs, we also offer a flexible bucket of monthly hours for clients to use as they wish. It includes rollover hours that can be carried over if they aren’t spent. We’re also one of the few providers to offer an optional 24/7 “follow the sun” support model if you need it. And if your requirements extend into full-blown projects, we can expand the pool of experts we provide to include developers, architects and others.
If you think your Salesforce solution might have some of the more demanding maintenance needs, or you’ve judged that you only require an administrator or two – or you think it may be somewhere in between – then please get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to help you find the right path forward.
About the Author
Director of Managed Services, VRP Consulting
Bruno’s background spans over 10 years managing enterprise customer support and cloud technology services. He’s currently leading the VRP Consulting Managed Services team in Krakow.