Page 1

Volume 8 | Summer 2017


PROS and CONS Salesforce:

Love It or Leave It? p. 26

How to

The State of Salesforce: Company and Product Direction for 2018 and Beyond

p. 22

Recover from a Failed Salesforce Implementation p. 8

Comparing Three Leading CRMs:

Salesforce, Sage CRM, and Infor CRM p. 14

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How to Recover from a Failed Salesforce Implementation


Comparing Marketing Automation Platforms: Salesforce vs. Act-On



Summer 2017

Letter from the Editor




Sales & Marketing


Cover Story


Customer Profile




Industry News


Human Resources


The State of Salesforce

45 26

In-House Salesforce Admin vs. Contracting a Consultant

Salesforce: Love It or Leave It?

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The Pros and Cons of NetSuite’s CRM and Salesforce



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Bellwether | Summer 2017


BELLWETHER Volume 8 Summer 2017 www.blytheco.com www.bellwethermagazine.com EDITOR Apryl Hanson COPY EDITOR Denise Renee Phinn ART DIRECTORS Gary Dahl Jennifer Vo ADVERTISING SALES Denise Renee Phinn SUBSCRIPTIONS www.bellwethermagazine.com Or contact Denise Renee Phinn (949) 583-9500, Extension 2209 dphinn@blytheco.com Bellwether Magazine is published by Blytheco with principal offices at: 23161 Mill Creek Dr., Suite 200 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 If you wish to be removed from the mailing list or to add names to the mailing list, send your request, including name, business name, and mailing address to the above address or to dphinn@blytheco.com This is a copyrighted publication and all articles herein are covered by this copyright. Any use of the content for commercial reasons or other form or reproduction of material herein is strictly prohibited without prior, written approval of Bellwether Magazine.



How to RECOVER from a FAILED

Salesforce Implementation by Apryl Hanson


id your company have high hopes that Salesforce would be the best software you would ever use? You just knew it would give you all the data insights and functionality you could ever hope for to help you achieve your revenue goals faster? But did you labor through the process of implementing it, only to have your team members get frustrated and not use it at all? If so, you are not alone. More than 60% of Salesforce users report that their team hasn’t fully adopted the sales management tool. Without 100% buy-in and usership, you will not have useful data, you will not grow your sales, and you would have wasted a lot of time and money. But don’t worry! If you find yourself in this position, or are quickly headed there, we have a few key pointers you should follow to get your whole team on board with Salesforce.


Bellwether | Summer 2017


Listen to feedback

Examine Your Customizations

Many times, the reason that sales team members don’t utilize software is because they feel it is cumbersome and takes them too long to enter data. They would rather spend that time on selling activities. Find out which tasks or components of the software they are most unhappy with and simplify processes to get better user adoption.

Two things can happen with customizations and configuration of software. You can overdo your customizations, making the software, and its processes feel cumbersome. Alternatively, it may not be customized enough, making it a poor match for your business processes. Work with a partner or consultant to help you examine your configuration and suggest the most streamlined setup.

Simplify Data Entry Don’t require your team to fill out additional data fields, unless that data has a specific purpose. Is there an automated solution for getting at the data you want besides the sales team hand-entering the information? Many time, fields that get labeled as required add to the complexity and length of time it takes to get tasks done. Utilize data augmenting services or have admins add the information for you.

Consider Using Lightning Lightning is a cleaner, more simple version of Salesforce that can still be modified to fit your sales processes.

Optimize Your Overall Sales Process Look at the overall sales process you have in place and examine if there are ways that you can simplify and remove some of the extra or unnecessary steps, like working in spreadsheets. Once your overall process has been optimized, be sure to align your CRM workflows accordingly. You can get more team members engaged and spending time working with the software, if the process is streamlined, especially if it makes their day easier.

These basic tips can start you on the path of recovering from a failed implementation that leads to greater user adoption, excellent productivity, and ultimately more revenue being generated at a faster pace.

About the Author Apryl Hanson is Blytheco’s Senior Director of Customer and Partner Strategy. She has more than 15 years of management experience within the software industry, including service as Director of Partner Programs and Development and Director of Sales at Sage. Connect with her on Twitter @AprylHanson.




Innovative Ways Companies Use Salesforce by Kathy McCoy


ost people think of Salesforce as just a tool for managing sales processes, and they’re not wrong. That is how the software and company started, hence the name. But Salesforce’s usage has grown way beyond sales management. The software can now be utilized for a variety of business functions, either through the variety of add-on “clouds” or with one of the thousands of apps available through the AppExchange. Some of the top ways companies use Salesforce beyond sales management include: 1. Customer service tracking and management 2. Tracking and managing customer cancellation reasons 3. Standardizing operational procedures 4. Applicant tracking and interview assessment


Bellwether | Summer 2017

LEADERSHIP If you already have Salesforce, one of the biggest benefits of expanding your usage is that it’s an easy way to keep all the information about your customers, prospects, or job applicants in one place, including communications. Everyone in your organization who interacts with that pool of people will know exactly what is happening with those individuals or companies at all times. Just think how much easier life would be if you could find everything you needed in one system—no more switching back and forth!

Another idea you can implement is creating a dashboard for customer returns and cancellations. You can use the data to reward the customer service team when they reduce or eliminate those issues. Your product or engineering teams can also use the reasons customers are citing for their returns and cancellations as research to fuel improved product design and new functionality.

“What most people don’t think about is that Salesforce is essentially a database,” says Jason McDonald, President and Co-Owner of Redcappi email software, which has been using Salesforce for sales management and a variety of other purposes for about 10 years. “There are a lot of AppExchange apps that provide tons of value, and allows you to tailor Salesforce to do pretty much whatever you need.”

Salesforce can also be used to enhance HR procedures, such as recruitment. “I’ve used Salesforce for sales management, of course, but I’ve also used it to manage applicant interview assessments,” says Redcappi’s Jason McDonald. “I rated and weighted each question, and it gave me a data-driven process for hiring. You can build custom objects for a variety of different functions.”

Let’s take a deeper look into a few of the common ways Salesforce usage can be expanded: customer service, HR, and operations.

Salesforce For Customer Service According to Frances Beebe, who has managed customer support at companies such as Kareo, Healthfusion and Nortridge Software, Salesforce can and should be used extensively by customer support and customer service departments. “Companies using Salesforce absolutely must tie their customer support email into Salesforce,” says Beebe. “This ensures that all customer-related correspondence is available for anyone working with that customer. It should also send any customer emails right into your customer support queue, so that they can be tracked and handled on a timely basis. Using Salesforce means you get accurate tracking of the time for handling support tickets,” Beebe says. “That’s important for improving your metrics and coaching your staff.” “Also, be sure to create email templates for your team to use and house them in Salesforce,” Beebe points out. “This standardizes the quality of your communication and saves your customer support staff time in drafting emails. Plus, Salesforce will automatically populate the customer’s name and your representative’s contact information.”

Salesforce for HR and Operations

One of the most important things an organization can do with Salesforce, McDonald says, is to operationalize it with Standard Operating Procedures that require new hires to use it 100% of the time. “You should have sales teams and customer service or support teams take phone call notes directly into Salesforce,” McDonald added. “That way everything is in one place and all customer records are up to date. It’s so important for sales teams and customer support teams to have the data they need at their fingertips.” Ultimately, the possibilities for using Salesforce as a total business management tool run the gamut. It can, of course, help you manage your entire sales process, but is also extends to sending contracts and invoices. Salesforce can help you track every interaction you’ve had with a customer, from early stage prospect to the last invoice they paid. You can run the reports you need at any time and see the most up-to-date key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business without ever leaving your browser. Make sure you’re getting the most from your Salesforce. Brainstorm the KPIs you need to track, and see if Salesforce enables you to track or manage them. And if you can’t do it natively, there is probably an app for that! You can’t manage what you don’t track, and Salesforce provides the structure you need for managing key business data and driving results.

About the Author Kathy McCoy, MBA, is the Demand Generation Manager at Blytheco. She has written on software and business management for more than 8 years and has 17 years experience in continuing education.

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Comparing Three Leading CRMs:

Salesforce, Sage CRM, and Infor CRM by Michelle Klein

Modern businesses rely on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRMs are databases designed to keep track of critical customer information and manage the sales cycle data. Additionally, they can analyze customer interactions in order to help improve your customer’s overall service and experience with your company. With a CRM in place, companies can measure actionable steps for their sales teams, improve business relationships and facilitate customer retention. CRMs provide companies with the “360 Degree View” of a customer or prospect while providing great overall ROI and boost in revenue. More insight into the overall customer lifecycle means higher retention rates and the ability to bring in customers. If your company is looking to implement a CRM for the first time or considering making a switch, comparing CRMs will arm you with the information you need to decide which solution is right for your organization. Let’s look at three of today’s leading systems: Sage CRM, Salesforce, and Infor CRM.

CRM Price Business Size Deployment Options Ease-of-Use Mobility Ease of Implementation Innovation Reporting Dashboard 14




SALES&MARKETING Highlights of Sage CRM Sage CRM is best suited for those already utilizing a Sage ERP such as Sage 100 or Sage 500. The key to success with any CRM is in the integration between platforms. By pairing Sage ERP with Sage CRM, you’re able to house all customer data in one location. That means you will have full visibility into sales, operations, finance, customer service and marketing. The connection of different departments provides an automated workflow that seamlessly connects each customer interaction. In turn, this will help your Marketing department devise account-based marketing strategies based on the products best suited for your clients.

Highlights of Salesforce Salesforce has become an industry gold standard for CRM, with awards for being the world’s most innovative company. The beauty of Salesforce is the integration of their cloud solutions. Salesforce encompasses every part of your business from the Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, to the Analytics Cloud, and more. Salesforce can also seamlessly integrate with other leading business software, such as NetSuite and Accumatica. By having all of your data either within one software suite or tightly integrated, you will have insight into the overall customer process from lead conversion to account management all while servicing your customers’ needs.

Most recently, Infor has launched Contour. Contour geo-tags your accounts, allowing you to see who is nearby and map out client visits based on both where you are and where you are going. If having customer data at your fingertips on the go is important, Infor CRM is a great option worth exploring.

Identifying the Right CRM for You There are dozens of good CRM systems in the marketplace. Pinpointing which one is right for your organization is where the challenge lies. Depending on the type of business you are in, and what your anticipated growth is, it may be time to switch systems. Oftentimes a company’s strategy to expand the business cannot necessarily be supported by their current system. Concurrently, if you’re looking to expand your marketing efforts, it may be time to consider the best strategy to enhancing your CRM with a Marketing Automation integration. Does choosing a CRM sound like a full-time job? It certainly can become one. Seek out an unbiased party to filter through the promotions, reviews, and solutions that won’t be a fit for you. Not only can they be of help in the decision stage, but they will be vital to the implementation process. When you invest in your research, you will save your company and yourself from future headaches.

Highlights of Infor CRM Formerly known as Saleslogix, Infor CRM has not only experienced a name change but has modernized the look and feel of the platform as well. Infor has focused heavily on improving mobility and providing top-notch access to customer data for the on the go sales person.

About the Author Michelle Klein is a Marketing Manager at Blytheco. She is passionate about digital media and technology, with experience in a variety of Industries. Connect with Michelle at http://LinkedIn.com/in/mklein3.

Want to explore CRM options further? Compare even more top CRM software at www.blytheco.com/compare-crm. Not sure if it’s time to switch CRMs? Take our quiz to see how your CRM is performing for you: www.blytheco.com/crm-quiz.

Using Loyalty


for Customer Retention by Mike Gill


egardless of the size of your company, odds are you’ve invested a wealth of time and effort on customer acquisition, which is to be expected. But how much time and effort have you spent on customer retention?

Data compiled by Invesp suggests only 40% of companies practice an equal focus on customer acquisition and retention. This is despite the well-established fact that it costs multiple times more to draw in new patrons than it does to retain your existing ones. If your company isn’t operating a loyalty and rewards program, you’re missing out in a big way. Below, we’ll briefly detail why, and offer some best practices.

The Benefits of a Loyalty and Rewards Program There’s a couple significant points to make behind the “why” of a business loyalty and rewards program: Cost-Effective. Many loyalty programs are designed for small businesses and are cost conscious. Convenience. The 21st century customer expects convenience at every point. Fortunately, physical gift cards are quick and easy to give and review as a reward. Even better, e-gift cards – which are expected to blossom to approximately $18 billion in the U. S. by 2018 – can be purchased and delivered to the end user instantaneously. Data Tracking. Contemporary digital loyalty and rewards programs enable the automatic tracking of customer data, including purchase activity. This makes it simple to monitor the efficacy of your efforts.


Bellwether | Summer 2017


Best Practices of a Loyalty and Rewards Program Now that you understand some of the benefits, here are a few best practices to get your business started with its loyalty and rewards program: Be Goal-Oriented. What’s your end game? What is the goal you wish to reach with your loyalty and rewards program? It might be boosting average order size or reducing customer attrition. No matter what, ensure you have your goal outlined at the outset plus ways to measure the results. Use Gift Cards Instead of Gift Certificates. Gift certificates and gift cards aren’t created equally. While gift cards (physical and e-gift) are electronically activated by a business employee—and absolutely worthless before that point—gift certificates require no such special activation. They can be easily photocopied, raising security issues. Further, gift cards are seen as a more polished, professional solution that should enable you to “win points” with your patrons. Promote Your Program. You can’t simply roll the ball out on the court and expect to compete, so to speak. Creating a loyalty and rewards program is wonderful, but promoting it is equally important if you expect it to have the impact you desire. Ensure you adequately promote your offerings through your website, via your email lists, and through your social media channels. Develop awareness! And don’t neglect mobile technology. With 56% of all web traffic arriving to U.S. websites coming from mobile as of 2016, you may want to consider a loyalty program that integrates app usage and text messaging to leverage this powerful trend and experience maximum returns.

About the Author Mike Gill, is President of Fusion Software, which now offers a suite of digital marketing & customer engagement tools that is fully integrated to their existing Fusion Software Point of Sale system. Learn more about Fusion Software and ask about the gift card app and Loyalty Program at www.blytheco.com/fusion.



Comparing Marketing Automation Platforms:

Salesforce vs. Act-On

by Michelle Klein



If you are looking for software to help you market and manage your business today, there is a plethora of technology options you can choose from. With so many choices, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine what will be the best fit for your business. And if you are shopping for marketing automation tools, this is especially true for you.

Marketing Automation KPIs Similar to choosing an ERP, HR or CRM system for your business, selecting a marketing automation platform requires a careful vetting process. Before you sign the contract, take time to analyze how the platform will perform in key areas for your company by asking critical questions such as:

• Will it provide the sales department with visibility into buyer behavior?

• Will it provide valuable data around email campaigns and track emails?

• How will this integrate with your

social marketing tools or does it provide its own?

• Are the reporting features adequate for all aspects of your marketing initiatives?

• Can the software connect to business intelligence (BI) reporting tools?

• Is this software able to properly

facilitate account-based marketing (ABM) activities?

• Can this software seamlessly integrate with your current CRM system?

There are certainly more questions you can ask, but this list is a great start. With your checklist in hand, it’s time to compare. In this article, we’re looking at Act-On and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud The beauty with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is that you have all your customer and prospect information essentially in two extensions (clouds) within the same platform. Its hallmark is allowing you to create 1-to-1 journies with your customers, empowering you to present the right message and offers at the right time. B2B customers should note that Pardot is your Salesforce marketing automation solution, designed with your needs in mind.

Act-On Act-On’s marketing automation platform is a comprehensive tool offering email marketing, lead management, scoring rules, and website traffic reporting, as well as various analytics. Act-On is versatile, and businesses can segment customer data in a variety of categories. The software is flexible enough to be used by single marketers within small companies to bigger teams at large companies such as LEGO. Continued on next page



How They


Marketing Cloud


Marketing Automation Email Marketing Lead Management Dashboards & Reports Social Sharing Workflows Approvals Customizability A/B Testing

Marketing Automation E-mail Marketing Lead Scoring Website Visitor Tracking Reporting & Analysis Social Publishing SEO Forms A/B E-mails & Landing Pages


Syncs customer journey with other Salesforce Clouds

Easier to use than most Account Based marketing platforms

Best Suited for

Companies already using Salesforce

Companies already using Infor CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, and Netsuite

Customer Support

24 hours a day, Monday – Friday (Ending Friday at 8PM ET)

24 hours a day, Sunday – Friday (Starting Sunday at 6PM PT) (Ending Friday at 5PM PT)

Industry Specialties

All Industries

All Industries

Works Best for

Mid Size Businesses Small Size Businesses

Mid Size Businesses Small Size Businesses


Average Subscription

Average Subscription




Supported Operating Systems

Mac OS Web Brower (OS agnostic) Windows 8

Mac OS Web Browser (OS agnostic) Windows 8

From the comparison chart, both systems have comparable features. Your ultimate success with Marketing Automation is largely dependent on what processes you currently have in place. So be sure to evaluate Marketing Automation platforms and make your selection with longevity in mind. For additional information and assistance comparing systems, download our Marketing Automation RFP at www.blytheco.com/rfp.

About the Author Michelle Klein is a Marketing Manager at Blytheco. She is passionate about digital media and technology, with experience in a variety of Industries. Connect with Michelle at http://LinkedIn.com/in/mklein3.


Bellwether | Summer 2017

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THE STATE OF SALESFORCE: Company and Product Direction for 2018 and Beyond by Christa Krompulcas


Bellwether | Summer 2017


We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Who is Salesforce – The Company? Salesforce was founded in February 1999 and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. The company has rapidly become the most recognized CRM solution with over 100,000 customers worldwide. Fortune Magazine has ranked Salesforce #8 in their 2017 Best Companies to Work For listing. This #8 ranking comes from several attributes including, promoting an open and transparent culture for their employees, training programs for their employees to improve their skill set and advance them in their careers, and continuously recognizing their employees for their work and dedication to improving their communities. Another contributor to the company’s success is the 1/1/1 philosophy. Every year employees are given paid days off to volunteer 1% of their time. In addition, 1% equity is put back into the community in form of grants and educational programs. Finally, 1% percent of product profits are donated to local community improvement initiatives, to non-profits, and to higher education. Each year, Salesforce gathers its community of users and product enthusiasts together for its annual conference, Dreamforce. The 2017 edition will be held November 6-9th in San Francisco. The event is an exciting mix of training and information sessions, product demonstrations, networking, and Salesforce fun!

What is Salesforce – The Software/ Platform? Salesforce has advanced beyond being a traditional CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution. It is a robust cloud-based business management tool with various components (or “clouds”) which can be seamlessly integrated to give you unparalleled insight into and control over your company. Sales Cloud – The traditional CRM component, the Sales Cloud helps you convert leads, predict forecasts, and close more deals smarter and faster than ever before. Service Cloud – This cloud provides customer information at your support agent’s fingertips, and customer self-service so your clients can get answers to their concerns on their own time. Service Cloud also offers multiple ways of communicating with your customers: social media, phone, text, email, and possibly even smoke signals! Marketing Cloud – Now you can develop personalized campaigns for your customers and prospects. Use social media to highlight the latest products in your catalog. Track your lead generation. Pivot your strategy instantly based on insightful data. And that’s just the beginning of Marketing Cloud. Community Cloud – Community Cloud is where your partners, customers, vendors, and distributors can meet in one place and get the critical information they need from your organization. Interactive online collaboration creates more powerful business relationships. Analytics Cloud – You and your team will be feasting on the amount of data which can be manipulated any which way you like it. You will have the insights to make splitsecond decisions on that next major milestone in your organization’s growth. Continued on next page



What to Expect in 2018 and Beyond Salesforce continuously invests in their solutions through development and acquisition activities. Their focus is on improving the customer experience, as it is a differentiator for many businesses. Salesforce’s product roadmap promises exciting features being released in the near future for all users and will greatly improve the 360-degree visibility into your organization and your customer base. By the time this article is released in June 2017, users should be basking in Salesforce’s Summer ‘17 release. Highlighted improvements include List Sharing (Sales Cloud), Classic case comments in Cases (Service Cloud), Facebook reviews in Social Customer Service (Service Cloud), and Merge capability with Person Accounts (Sales Cloud). With Winter ‘18 release right around the corner, starting September 8th, there will be more to look forward to. However, please do keep the Safe-Harbor statement in mind.

Lightning If your company is not using Lightning, now is a good time to consider flipping the switch. Lighting is a more streamlined organization of your data and you are able to toggle between it and Salesforce’s classic view. It is possible that Lighting may affect any custom code you have written so check with your Salesforce administrator before making the switch. But with the new features and enhancements being added with each new release, now is a great time to begin using it if you are not already. Highlights of features to come in Sales Cloud and Service Cloud include reoccurring calendar events, divisions, open tracking for email, opportunity – product schedules, opportunity – opportunity splits, and archiving in products and price books.

Anticipate other new features such as case teams, topics, live agent, service contracts, and entitlements coming in the Service Cloud. No exact dates have been announced for the enhancements listed but there is lots of buzz for these features to be released.

Einstein Salesforce introduced Einstein in 2016 to help solve business pains. Available in all the clouds, Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes the data in Salesforce and “translates” it into information you can use to make more intelligent decisions for our organizations and even automate many time-consuming tasks. Inside Sales Cloud, this data can help a sales rep determine which opportunities are going to close and the reason they will close. Inside Marketing Cloud, Einstein analyzes social media conversations and delivers the understanding into your customers. Adding Einstein to the Analytics Cloud might cause you to be overloaded with so much data; but on the other hand, it is a data lover’s dream come true!

IBM Salesforce purchased 10 companies in 2016 including DemandWare, MetaMind, and BeyondCore. Most recently Salesforce formed a Global Strategic Partnership with IBM. According to Salesforce, the partnership is “to deliver joint solutions designed to leverage artificial intelligence and enable companies to make smarter decisions, faster than ever before.” (Salesforce Blog, 2017) One thing is for certain with this partnership, there will be genius overload as IBM’s Watson and Salesforce’s Einstein will be partners. Salesforce continues to lead the way in innovative ideas. Expect the unexpected to come from this industry leader in 2018 and beyond.

Works Cited Salesforce Blog. (2017, 03 07). Retrieved from Salesforce.com: https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2017/03/ibm-salesforce-strategic-partnership.html 1 Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other presentations, press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase our services should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available.

About the Author Christa Krompolcas is a certified Salesforce Administrator. Her background is in Network Engineering and she’s been a part of the Blytheco family since 2008. Connect with her at www.linkedin.com/in/christakrompolcas.


Bellwether | Summer 2017


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Love It or Leave It? by Denise Renee Phinn


alesforce has become one of the most popular SaaS companies in recent years. It seems like virtually every modern company uses the robust business software platform. Difficult to ignore, even companies who are not Salesforce users take at least a cursory look at the program, if only to see what they are possibly missing out on.

When you do take a closer look at what Salesforce has to offer, it is hard not to get excited. Case in point: I attended the 2016 Salesforce Connections event in Atlanta with a healthy dose of skepticism. Before the two days were over, I had a chance to see many of the capabilities first hand and was blown away. I had officially “drunk the Kool-aid” and was now one of Salesforce’s newest advocates. Salesforce wouldn’t be the company it is today without having a strong (almost fanatical) user base who loves the program. But with all the love, is it possible that Salesforce could have some “haters” in the ranks? While it may be challenging for die-hard Salesforce lovers to believe, but the answer is yes. In fact, an informal survey I conducted revealed that the answer to the question, “Do you love Salesforce or would you rather leave it?” pendulums between true love and absolute frustration.


Bellwether | Summer 2017

If your company is considering Salesforce, hearing what other users’ experiences have been can be insightful while you are making your own decision. So here, in their own words, is what users in a variety of roles across various industries have to say about their Salesforce user experience. Tim McManamon who works in finance at Cox absolutely loves Salesforce. Primarily using the software for managing customer records and lead opportunities, Tim says, “Salesforce is probably the best software I’ve ever used. They make it so easy your mom can use it!” Similarly, Martin Weinberg thinks Salesforce is a game changer. In his administrative role at Xamax, Martin also uses Salesforce to manage sales activities and data. He says, “[Salesforce is an] amazing product and is well thought out. They have great support and customization is easy. We plan on using it in unintended ways.”


[Salesforce is an] amazing product and is well thought out. They have great support and customization is easy. We plan on using it in unintended ways.”

L.B., who is in a sales and marketing role, only feels “so-so” about Salesforce. L.B. shares, “I think it is best for B2C as opposed to B2B, as it is very ‘transaction’ oriented. Our B2B sales cycle is very long (6 months - 2 years). Salesforce is poorly optimized for our process. Also, Salesforce is really is not suitable for a small user base (2-3 people) because we cannot dedicate a resource to establishing set procedures and customization. Getting the most out of Salesforce requires a fair level of customization, and ensuring that each user follows the same procedures for documentation. It is probably best if you write your own ‘internal manual’ for usage.” Similarly, J.K., who provides sales support, has mixed feelings as well. “Salesforce is ok,” J. K. says, “but not always so handy for sales support like bid function or project management.” Those who have their frustrations with Salesforce are very expressive about what they dislike. Brian Cline, a developer who works at Spinify, shares these frustrations about limits: “Sometimes, hitting the limits results in days or weeks of work having to be discarded because it isn’t always obvious that there’s a limit or you wouldn’t think you would hit that limit.” Cline continues, “Tests and subsequently deployments fail frequently for reasons that don’t appear to be documented and then they may work again in another test run. This can result in quite a few hours being wasted trying to fix a test that just fails intermittently.”

Chelsea Ellis, another Salesforce developer, shares her frustrations with limitations in the program. “In just the past month, I have discovered that Salesforce does not allow approvals on several standard objects. It also does not allow Forecast Categories to be removed, just renamed. Sales Quotas must be bulk uploaded by an admin. These may seem like small inconveniences, but they are constant and they add up. It gets tiresome explaining to stakeholders why you can’t quickly complete tasks inside the program that should be easy.” Another downside to Salesforce, according to Chelsea? The service level received compared to the cost. Companies spend $1800 per user, per year or more to use the software. Many businesses assume services such as support for mass emailing, click to call, quote to cash, and other features are included but they require additional charges. When exploring any software, you will always have a wide range of responses concerning what people love and dislike about the product. Take user feedback seriously as you consider what industry you are in, what your workflows are like and how much you have to invest as you decide what solution will work best for you. Enlist the help of a consulting firm that represents a variety of solutions to aid you in the vetting process because you’ll have a better chance of receiving unbiased recommendations based on your company’s unique needs.

About the Author Denise Renee Phinn is Blytheco’s Content Marketing and Social Branding Specialist. She is a copywriting geek who likes to share motivational thoughts, personal branding, and career tips on social media. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @MeetDeniseRenee and on LinkedIn at www.LinkedIn.com/in/DeniseReneePhinn.



Customer Profile: How Norpak Corporation Used Salesforce to

Improve Communication & Collaboration

by Patrice Ruane


ewark, NJ based Norpak Corporation is a manufacturer and supplier of a full range of paper products and converting services for use in production, packaging and distribution. They have had a longstanding relationship with Lavonya Sandlin, a Senior NetSuite Implementation Consultant with Blytheco. She partnered with them throughout a two-year project to implement NetSuite, and after the NetSuite go-live, Norpak turned to the next to-do item on their technology roadmap: Salesforce.



The Challenge Prior to implementing Salesforce, Norpak never used a CRM tool. They were using disconnected software (including Outlook and Excel) to manage tasks that would traditionally be handled within a CRM. The lack of a centralized repository of information regarding leads and opportunities required manual workarounds and a heavy reliance on “tribal knowledge.” This kept the team at risk of losing valuable client information in the case of employee attrition. Team members were unable to easily track lead and opportunity statuses, and the lack of automated tools required them to use a labor-intensive approval process for custom orders.

The Project Goal

Norpak’s team uses Salesforce to collaborate on pre-sales activities such as pricing quotes, and uses the Live Chat function to manage and track inter-team conversations. Another significant part of their project was the addition of the Celigo Salesforce Connector, which allows them to integrate the two systems but still control the information housed within their ERP and CRM. Andrew Crumrine, Norpak’s NetSuite Administrator, says that the ability to customize how NetSuite and Salesforce interact with each other was a big plus for their business: “We purchased the Salesforce Connector from Celigo with the intent on using Salesforce for all CRM functions and NetSuite as our system of record for all sales orders, items and customers. We wanted to keep all prospective accounts and opportunities/inquiries out of NetSuite until we received a purchase order.”

Norpak felt that a traditional CRM would help increase collaboration and communication within their internal team, ultimately improving their ability to turn leads into clients. Due to the established relationship with Blytheco and our team’s extensive knowledge of their NetSuite environment, Norpak chose to partner with Blytheco to implement Salesforce.

During the implementation, Blytheco’s Salesforce and NetSuite teams worked with Norpak and Celigo to ensure that any issues or concerns were addressed in a timely manner and to Norpak’s satisfaction. Although most of Norpak’s needs were met using out-of-the-box functionality, Andrew says that Norpak spent time with Blytheco, Celigo, and the team to configure an elegant solution that fit their business needs.

The Solution

“Our business needs did require some light customization. We needed Celigo to create a few custom objects and triggers in Salesforce. As far as I know, the connector does not natively support connections between custom records/objects. The out-of-the-box connector allows an admin to toggle preset connections between Salesforce and NetSuite, so even if a connection is not configured by Celigo, it can be toggled later. Overall, the project went smoothly. A majority of the time invested with the Celigo team was focused on our customization work (both discovery and validation).”

Norpak and Blytheco implemented the Salesforce Sales Cloud Enterprise Edition, which includes features and functionality such as:

• Workflows related to issuing quotes and orders

• Management of security/permissions • Approval workflows to enhance their custom orders

• Availability of web-based APIs

Blytheco’s goal is always to build long-lasting partnerships and help grow our clients’ businesses. We love witnessing our partners’ successes. Norpak went live with their Salesforce solution in late 2016, and we at Blytheco are excited to see where it takes their business!

About the Author Patrice Ruane is Blytheco’s Proposal Analyst. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and has over ten years of business writing experience, focusing on business development, sales, and proposals. Connect with her on LinkedIn: www.LinkedIn.com/in/Patrice-Ruane-a0344425.



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Bellwether | Summer 2017

TECHNOLOGY Advertorial

Has WebMerge

Ended Manual Data Entry Forever? CRMs are designed to simplify processes and help teams close sales faster. They work best when data is accurate and complete. Too often though, teams find themselves having to manually key in data into their CRM, or copy and paste from documents and spreadsheets. Manual data entry is an open invitation for errors and it can be easy for different team members to utilize different processes which could also corrupt data. Even when sales teams outsource routine data entry tasks to admins, those admins could still be wasting countless hours preparing documents such as contracts, invoices, letters and more which help move the sales process along. WebMerge has created a solution to help streamline paperwork so your team can stop wasting valuable time. WebMerge’s solution is an online platform that allows users to easily collect data from a variety of digital sources (such as your CRM, online forms, billing systems, etc.).

Many WebMerge users – such as Front Range Shuttle, Max Tax LLC, and Maddison Ousebank – report gaining multiple hours per week of productivity being returned to their business since starting to use WebMerge. Better still, they are also experiencing improved customer communications trust, and – most importantly – improving profitability! WebMerge works for companies in a variety of industries, but it is most popular with real estate, legal, healthcare, education, and non-profits. See how WebMerge can help your business experience similar results by signing up for free at WebMerge.com.

The data is then used to populate frequently used documents, such as invoices, sales orders, purchase orders, reports, contracts, letters, and much more. No more manual, error-prone data entry! Once your document is populated, you can setup workflows to automatically email documents to customers for signature (for example), to save in cloud storage, and other tasks. Can you imagine how many hours can be returned to your team’s workday? WebMerge integrates with over 100 popular programs and web applications which serve as data sources, including Salesforce. Salesforce customers are able to easily setup templates within their system and pull data directly from any standard or custom object. Generating documents in Salesforce takes seconds with an easy click of a button from any record. Take a look at how Salesforce works well with WebMerge on YouTube https://youtu.be/_X8bnuNRjGs.



NetSuite’s CRM and Salesforce by Apryl Hanson


alesforce is a leader in customer relationship management (CRM) software. NetSuite is considered one of the premium cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems. Many customers considering NetSuite wonder if they should integrate it with Salesforce or use Netsuite’s native CRM. The best part of being a provider of both solutions is that we are able to give an unbiased comparison so you can make an informed choice about which is best for your company.


Salesforce PROS

NetSuite is a great choice for an all-in-one solution. Your CRM data will be fully integrated with your ERP so you don’t have to worry about managing sales, forecasting, and other data in different systems that don’t talk to each other. NetSuite offers seamless data availability within all the components you may be running.

Having Salesforce in your company’s software arsenal means you’ll have your hands on an industry standard, award-winning solution. Salesforce comes with a wide variety of options. The App Exchange is an ever-evolving store of ready-built applications that can easily be added to your Salesforce product to extend functionality.

Using NetSuite’s native CRM saves money; there is no additional cost to implement it. If there is functionality that isn’t available out of the box, you can customize the software to meet your business’s specific needs. You can either utilize SuiteApps to increase functionality or work with a partner to customize NetSuite with javascript.

One of Salesforce’s major advantages is that there is a clear distinction between leads (people who haven’t purchased from you yet) and accounts (people who have purchased from you). This allows you to set up relevant marketing messages in your marketing automation tool.

Another advantage of remaining in the NetSuite ecosystem is having complete visibility into the full customer lifecycle: from lead, through sales, to invoicing. There will never be a piece of information that isn’t at your fingertips. There are many canned reports available, and if you have administrator level rights, you can add saved searches for common lookups performed. NetSuite supports up-sell/cross-sell rules to help guide the sales team as to what opportunities should be available on various accounts. Representatives can quickly generate quotes and easily convert them into sales orders. Also available: automated contract renewals with alerts to sales so representatives can offer up-sells. If you want to incentivize your representatives, NetSuite offers advanced sales performance and compensation management. Finally, NetSuite’s SuiteApps are certified and are automatically upgraded. You’ll never worry about features and functionality not being available to you.


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Case management is another standout feature; it has extensive capabilities to manage cases, resolutions, and customer service issues. Chatter is available on all records so you can make notes for other people in the company who work on that same account. Finally, Salesforce is heavy investing in infusing artificial intelligence (AI) into the software. Over time, this transition will help automate a variety of common tasks sales people complete, helping them to work smarter and close deals faster.


NetSuite CONS

Salesforce CONS

With NetSuite, you don’t get the seamless marketing automation integration that Salesforce has with its Marketing Cloud. You will need a 3rd party integration, and that may require customization. Often, these integrations may have iFramed data which means you can view information from another program inside of NetSuite, but you can’t perform any meaningful functions with the data inside of NetSuite.

One of the big downsides to Salesforce is how much it costs per user; it is one of the most expensive CRMs on the market. Certainly, some customers have been able to negotiate deals to reduce some of the cost. If you don’t select the correct version and go with one of the base packages, you could be charged each time you want to integrate something new or customize the database.

NetSuite utilizes the same record for a lead, prospect, and customer. As the lead progresses through the sales cycle, the record transforms over time. Some users find this confusing and would prefer to see leads and accounts as separate entities. There is also no collaborative tool for multiple team members who touch the account to make notes. Customers have categorized the integration with email juggernaut Outlook as weak. An email string must be initiated inside of NetSuite in order to capture conversation history. Additionally, if a note is generated outside of NetSuite, it won’t be available to be viewed inside the system.

If your CRM isn’t integrated with your accounting solution, you will have duplicate data and will be double entering information, which wastes time and invites errors. Also, you will have to set-up all of your products in Salesforce; you will need to maintain pricing, products, and inventory in two systems. Additionally, Salesforce doesn’t support up-sell/cross-sell rules to help guide sales and support staff to new revenue opportunities. It can be more difficult to measure sales performance and tie it to financials in order to measure the cost of the sale. Features that support incentive compensation requires additional costs. Although artificial intelligence is built into Salesforce, unlocking it’s potential is an additional cost. It also requires an extensive setup procedure in order to have it achieve the goals you want.

Choosing the right software solutions for your business is never an easy process but we hope this honest comparison helps guide you in the right direction.

Although there are plenty of options on the AppExchange for Salesforce to expand your product, Salesforce doesn’t guarantee the security or quality of those solutions. The vast majority of these apps have fewer than ten downloads. Also, there is no automated upgrade mechanism for the AppExchange software so you download and use them at your own risk.

About the Author Apryl Hanson is Blytheco’s Senior Director of Customer and Partner Strategy. She has more than 15 years of management experience within the software industry, including service as Director of Partner Programs and Development and Director of Sales at Sage. Connect with her on Twitter @AprylHanson.



How a

Data Warehouse

Maximizes The Salesforce Experience by Joni Girardi


just under 20 years, Salesforce has quickly become a gold standard for sales automation with its rich features and vibrant support community. As businesses dive deeper into Salesforce, though, they come to a fuller realization that sales data needs the context of all other business information, whether it is housed in Excel files, payroll systems, or ERP systems. Some Salesforce users realize the limitations of the native reporting because they can’t see the sales information alongside ERP data, for example.


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TECHNOLOGY One executive who came to us for help overcoming this challenge is David Wieder, the sales manager at NPC Global, a New Jersey-based logistics provider. A key part of his role is tracking meaningful metrics and watching what makes a difference. “We’re pushing for behavior,” Wieder says. “What are my sales people doing, and how does that result in sales? A given number of calls, attempts, meetings and RFQs should mean a proportionate number of sales.” Wieder prefers to access information at click of a button. “Digging through records and multiple interfaces never works,” he says. For each of his 14 sales people, he would spend 30 minutes pulling records together in Salesforce. But his challenges extended beyond ease of access. Wieder needed a way to combine data from Salesforce, his ERP, and Excel files so he could have comprehensive insights into performance. Researching invoices was also time-consuming. Wieder says, “Customers would call asking, ‘Hey, I bought a 7-by-10 from you last year. What was the price then and what is it now?’ The salesperson had to look at every single invoice and drill down for the answer.” There was also no way to quickly generate period-overperiod comparisons. Every month, each salesperson wanted to know how they performed in the same period the previous year. Often, they gave up searching before they get a meaningful report. Common sales metrics include the close ratio, but tracking proved challenging because the actual sales data lives in the ERP. Weider recalls an opportunity worth $100,000 that was invoiced $10,000, which skewed the KPIs dramatically. “If actual sales figures are not inside Salesforce,” Weider asks, “how in the world can you track win ratio?” Without integrated Salesforce sales activity and actual sales data from his ERP, forecast reports were incomplete. He wanted information broken down by sales activities, ERP sales, and new customers, along with forecasts from Excel files. That would show everyone’s productivity and anticipated results. Weider also imagined each sales

person getting the report automatically via email and seeing it on an office display. “It pushes reps to do more when they can see who’s on top, who’s making the most calls, and who did most of the work this week.” Wieder and his CEO began their search for a better way to access and work with their data. A common approach is to place an add-on to an existing tool. But NPC Global understood in the long run an add-on would burden their system with unnecessary complexities. They decided that the best option was the strategic one: a data warehouse that bridged Salesforce, their ERP, Google Analytics, and other systems which generated their business data. In a data warehouse, information from all sources is held in an analytics-ready state — trusted, consistent, and permanent. Building their own data warehouse would have been timeconsuming, so they decided to work with DataSelf Analytics, which comes with a pre-configured data warehouse for Sage and Salesforce. It also comes with a variety of preformatted reports in Tableau — Gartner’s top-rated visual analysis tool for each of the last four years.

I use DataSelf every day, now all my data silos come together at the click of a button.”

“I use DataSelf every day,” Wieder says. “Now all my data silos come together at the click of a button. It helps me analyze hidden trends. One distribution customer, for example, had an impressive $1 million in sales, but a deeper look revealed a big drop in sales. My team caught it early enough to win a reverse of that trend. Before DataSelf, that would have been impossible. I can’t imagine working without it!”

About the Author Joni Girardi is founder and CEO of DataSelf. He launched his venture 16 years ago to help small and medium-sized businesses get value from their data. Learn more about DataSelf Analytics at www.Blytheco.com/DataSelf.



How Process Mapping Helps

Manufacturers Put

Customers First by Joe Bisaha


anufacturers obsess over cutting costs, improving accuracy, and increasing productivity. These are important, but if customers are not first, none of that matters. When making process improvements, it is vital to consider every touch point that directly affects your customers. It may seem impossible to find solutions that keep everyone happy while reaching profitability goals, but this can be accomplished. A process map is a lean manufacturing tool you can employ to help you keep customers first while improving your operations.

Using a Process Map to Find Value Process mapping identifies your current processes, finds problem areas, and creates new procedures for increased performance. According to legendary engineer W. Edward Deming, “If you can’t describe your work as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.” The process map isn’t just about finding steps in your process that cost you money; it is also about finding steps that add value. Traditionally, the value stream is the set of processes your product goes through starting with raw materials and ending with delivery. Measuring the value


Bellwether | Summer 2017

stream means gathering information such as stock levels, lead times and other KPIs (key performance indicators) that can be used to analyze the overall flow. A key measurement of “value” is its importance to the customer. Value-added steps usually include things like a physical change in the product that the customer is willing to pay for, or doing a job right the first time. It can also include reaching regulatory compliance. Items that do not add value are meetings, inspections, products sitting in inventory, and features the customer is not willing to pay for. Your goal should be to reduce or eliminate steps that don’t add value.

INDUSTRYNEWS Measuring Value in Your Customer’s Experience Manufacturing isn’t limited to what happens on the production floor. As a part of your process mapping, you should consider the touch points in operations that directly affect your customer. That means expanding your value stream to include the first point of sales contact all the way through to customer service and maintenance. Begin by selecting one process and ask key questions to evaluate the experience.

Identifying your current processes and creating a map of your ideal future state are worthless activities unless you can follow through and implement changes to eliminate waste. One way to eliminate waste is to automate manual processes. Fully automated operations can eliminate errors in materials and inventory handling and provide you with accurate, real-time data that can make spotting errors faster and easier.

Order Methods

It’s hard to improve on systems when you can’t pinpoint the gaps. Manufacturing automation systems can improve your access to critical process data so that you can identify problem areas early and quickly develop solutions. If there’s a bottleneck, you can find it fast. If there’s a delay, you can investigate it immediately. Using an integrated automation system with your ERP, you can implement business processes and make decisions that can increase revenue.

• Are orders easy to place? • How do orders flow to your Order Entry Department? • If orders are not electronically connected to your order entry system, what is the level of order accuracy?

Increased Process Visibility Improves Customer Satisfaction

Sales Process • How quickly are quotes produced? • Are the estimates accurate? • How many estimates result in a sale?

Shipping • Are the orders on time and accurate? • What are the number of return orders and why? Customer Service • How quickly are requests fulfilled? • Is there a standard method for addressing complaints? • Is it easy for customers to communicate with you?

Companies with better manufacturing automation have a competitive advantage that should not be underestimated. Sometimes it’s one of only a handful of things that set you apart from your competitors. Whatever you can offer to win business, you should. With automation solutions, you can remain highly competitive and offer your customer better information and thus, better service. It may seem like a small thing compared to other factors, but it could be the deciding factor with an important customer.

Mapping out these processes can help you find ways to increase customer satisfaction levels and gain more business.

Using Automation to Remove Waste After creating a current-state process map and identifying value-added steps, you need to create a future-state process map. Theoretically, this map will only include steps that add value. However, it should also be based on reality; perhaps you create a 90-day future state and a long-term map as well. Knowing what you want to achieve will give you clear vision of the direction that you need to go.

ONE Software Solution combines Sage 100 with industry-leading manufacturing and warehouse automation products that can help you reduce waste and create more value for your customers. Learn more at www.Blytheco.com/OneSoftware.

About the Author Joe Bisaha is the creator of the manufacturing solutions offered by Scanco Software, LLC. He is a recognized industry leader and has worked with Sage Authorized Partners and their clients for 20+ years to design, implement, and support streamlined processes.



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Combating Data Breaches with


Integration Security by Bob Richter


ndeniably, cyber attacks are on the rise. Though large and small companies continue to increase their security precautions in an effort to create stronger and better data defense systems, their attempts have had little impact; cybercrime continues to be a common news item. That is because businesses are using out-of-date, static security measures that lag behind the state-of-the-art, cutting-edge hacking techniques criminals use. In order to stay several steps ahead of data pirates, data security needs an upgrade.

Software Integrations Can Create Security Gaps Information technology experts agree that, among the many dangers in today’s cyber security environment, integrations have some of the highest potential to be the weak link in a business’ overall data security. This is because some integration developers often create their flow of data by exploiting and widening inherent flaws in database systems. They may also place sensitive information on insecure testing platforms while they set up their integrations. Professional information thieves know exactly where to look so they can quickly find and exploit the loopholes. Security must be a primary concern to integration teams. Business leaders must ensure that any database system loopholes and backdoors are patched and protected. Experienced system integrators will always take steps to ensure that no vulnerabilities are created during the integration process that could expose their client’s network or critical business applications to hackers. 40

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INDUSTRYNEWS Static vs. Dynamic Security Methods In the past, data security was a relatively static process involving set interaction patterns and access points. Users would enter and store data within a closed, non-Internet-connected system. Only authorized individuals using assigned, on-premise computers and servers could access the data for later use. In today’s cloud-driven environment, ERP and CRM databases are directly connected to the Internet for increased mobility, productivity, and anytime access. Databases are now typically accessed in ever-changing, dynamic patterns, by practically unlimited devices from an unlimited amount of locations. By definition, static security measures cannot keep up with dynamically accessed and updated systems. According to leading IT research firm Gartner, “relying on perimeter defense and rule-based security is inadequate, especially as organizations exploit more cloud-based services and open APIs for customers and partners to integrate with their systems.” The best way to protect data today is to use a modern, dynamic security method.

Adaptive Security: The Best Defense Against Data Breaches Static security systems typically identify anomalous data-access behaviors using pre-defined “blacklists,” which are exhaustive tables that include all questionable system behaviors. Once identified, these systems log anomalies and notify a security engineer to handle the problem. In contrast, dynamic security systems typically identify anomalous behaviors based on a whitelist, known as a “policy.” Policy-based security systems list all acceptable system behaviors in a table

and log all activity that doesn’t match. Like static security systems, policy-based security systems will log incongruous behavior and forward it to a human for a response. Adaptive security takes dynamic, policy-based security one step further, empowering the system itself to not only identify strange behavior, but also to act on it. An adaptive security system can react to malicious attacks within milliseconds, “adapting” to changing security parameters on the fly so that data is immediately insulated from hackers, and the business – plus the people it serves – stays protected.

Ensure a Secured Integration Experience Consolidation and data integration is a business standard today. Companies thrive when data from their various business software systems can be easily shared. The next time you are in the market for an integration partner, be sure to choose an experienced developer who will not inadvertently leave the backdoor to your data open to hackers. Characteristics of a developer who makes data security a top priority include:

• They have years of proven secure integration experience.

• They understand today’s cutting-edge security best practices.

• They use a secure database integration system.

Through careful research and asking the right questions, business owners will be better prepared to select an integration developer who enhances database security through their integration and protects valuable company data at all times.

About the Author Bob Richter is the CEO for ROI Consulting, Inc, the market’s leading Sage 100 integration specialist. He is the primary creator of IN-SYNCH and has more than 25 years of Sage 100 integration experience. Learn more at www.blytheco.com/insynch.



Current Trends in

Cloud Computing by Salim Khalife


recent Forrester Research brief* outlined 10 critical developments in cloud computing. The researcher asserted that those key developments will shape the industry in 2017 and beyond. The important takeaway for me was the emphasis on industry innovation and responsiveness to customer. There are four key areas from the Forrester Research brief that I believe businesses utilizing cloud computing – or those considering taking that leap – should keep on their radar:

1 2 3 4 42

Innovation Breeds Innovation Cloud computing, itself a significant development, is driving additional innovation. The boom in cloud computing has led to an entirely new software genre: cost management SaaS tools. These applications (Cloudability, Cloud Cruiser, CloudHealth and Cloudyn) are relatively inexpensive and help organizations reduce the costs associated with increased cloud usage across the enterprise.

Biggest Isn’t Always Best The mega cloud vendors including AWS, Google, IBM and Microsoft may be setting the pace for innovation, but they are not the only significant players in the game. Smaller, regional cloud companies can offer more personalized service levels, have the ability to pivot quickly to market changes and can innovate faster to meet the needs of a specific vertical market. In today’s market, customer service is king so cloud vendors of every size must maintain high satisfaction levels to remain competitive and successful.

Shun the Complex Suites Enterprises will shun large, complex and costly private cloud suites, favoring purpose-built tools that minimize the costs of components and software licenses, while providing precise functionality that businesses ask for. Simple, straightforward functionality that is easy to use and easy to maintain will prevail.

Security by Design As more companies push their workloads from on-premise to the cloud, data security is an increasing concern. Customers are demanding robust security measures from their cloud service providers, prompting the roll-out of cloud security gateways (CSGs) that bring sophisticated data protection measures to the cloud.

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The Industry’s Response to Trends Enterprise companies continue to favor cloud services and SaaS applications over on-premise solutions. In response, software publishers continue to migrate their applications to cloudbased deployment models, and develop new applications native to the web and accessed as a service. For our team at Paramount WorkPlace, these trends have caused us to drive further innovation in mobility for requisition and approvals, to support busy managers and C-suite leadership teams as tablet and mobile phone usage outpaces laptop usage. Our newest mobile release gives procurement users the ability to enter a requisition from a list of pre-defined catalogs and submit the

request from their mobile device, even when there is no internet connection; syncing automatically occurs when the mobile device is back online. Users can also approve transactions and check the status of submitted requisitions on their mobile and tablets at anytime. As cloud computing reaches critical mass, software publishers in all industries must respond to consumers’ demands by continually innovating and improving their offerings, and by adapting their technologies and services to respond to concerns or they risk being left behind. It’s heartening to me that good old fashioned hard work and customer service are still trending in 2017 and beyond.

Forrester Research, November 2016, Predictions 2017: Customer-Obsessed Enterprises Launch Cloud’s Second Decade, Ten Key Developments In Cloud Computing Shape The Industry In 2017 *

About the Author Salim Khalife is the founder, president and CEO of Paramount WorkPlace, a technology company that develops, sells, and supports advanced web-based and mobile requisition, procurement, and expense software solutions for mid-market organizations. Learn more at http://www.blytheco.com/paramount.



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Salesforce Admin

Contracting a Consultant


Ready? Set? You’ve launched Salesforce! Now what? It’s exciting to implement a new business tool like Salesforce, but your new system won’t run itself. Managing a CRM system requires continual training, developing customizations, implementing new applications, and maintaining your company processes.

Does that sound like a full time job? That’s because it is and someone has to do it. As you begin to work with the Salesforce cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, it is customary to entertain the idea of hiring a full-time Salesforce Administrator. But what works for one company may not work for another. There are certainly benefits to hiring an in-house Salesforce Administrator as well as benefits to contracting an independent Salesforce consultant or firm.



Weighing the Benefits

Managing Your Salesforce Projects

Having an in-house Salesforce Administrator ensures that your users will get the most out of their experience when it comes to the database. Your full-time Administrator will be able to run reports, clean duplicate accounts, host internal trainings, and help with various aspects of the organization‘s usage of the system on a regular basis. It could also be an economical option. It is important to keep in mind, however, that he or she is likely to be continually interrupted during their workday and in most cases, they may have more tasks on their plate than simply maintaining Salesforce. It’s much like asking your Uncle Bob to help you finish your basement. He will get the task done, but it may take more time and resources than you think.

Once the scope of your projects has been determined, the search for the right consultant can begin. It’s a frequent misconception that hiring a consultant creates a leaner budget. While at times that is the case, it is also greatly dependent upon how many Salesforce projects you foresee encountering. By predetermining the scope of your projects, you’re able to better assess what needs to get done and in what order, and the priority level so that you can budget accordingly.

Alternatively, contracting a certified Salesforce consultant entails medium cost with the highest value. It may cost a little more upfront in comparison, but you are more likely to experience ROI faster. With an outside consultant, you have options. You can determine which company you work with, which projects receive priority handling, and you will have a written commitment as to how many hours that project is going to take. You will be getting dedicated help on the projects that matter most to you.

3 Flavors of Salesforce Contractors When exploring the contractor route, your first step to hiring a consultant is to evaluate the nature of the projects you need completed. There are three types of project categories which your consultant could fall under: The Salesforce Solution Architect: Identifies technical needs and solutions for current problems, and provides a framework for the project(s) which they communicate back to the stakeholders. The Salesforce Developer: Engineers the shape of the Salesforce database for the end-user experience. They are heavily involved in the back-end coding process. The Salesforce Administrator: Generates content for the company, trains departments, determines user dashboards, runs reports, cleans data, and other tasks that fall in line with daily usage of the software.

Consultants will also provide you with laser focus on projects. Their goal is to complete specific tasks, whereas an in-house Salesforce Administrator is continually inundated with “urgent” requests, while maintaining their daily Salesforce tasks.

Your Return on Investment Hiring a full-time Salesforce Administrator can cost $65,000+ per year, considering the total compensation and benefits package you offer. In most companies, this person is likely to be tasked with also administering other programs, which can dilute their Salesforce focus. In contrast, hiring an outside consultant will increase focus, but will likely increase overhead fees involved in the total cost. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to Salesforce administration. Hiring a consultant versus a full-time Salesforce Administrator is largely dependent on the structure and needs of your organization. If you have a full-time Administrator, it may be time to see if you can supplement that position with a consultant who can provide support and offer a fresh perspective on processes.

Blytheco offers a Rent An Admin program, where you are guaranteed a set number of consulting hours dedicated to administering, developing, and/ or maintaining your Salesforce platform. It’s the hassle-free way of bridging users and deploying customization that are tailored to your business needs. Rent your Admin today and let Blytheco become an extension of your team! Call us at 949-268-4371 for details.

About the Author Michelle Klein is a Marketing Manager at Blytheco. She is passionate about digital media and technology, with experience in a variety of Industries. Connect with Michelle at http://LinkedIn.com/in/mklein3.


Bellwether | Summer 2017



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Salesforce PROS and CONS | Bellwether Summer 2017  

We are excited to deliver this Bellwether that is focused on a deep dive around Salesforce. With such a strong name in the industry, and man...

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