A Long-Standing Partnership
The relationship with Salesforce dates back to 2001 for company leadership, barely a year after Salesforce launched its product. In the past nine years alone, akaCRM has been involved in over 4,000 Salesforce initiatives, which underlines the expertise most players in this space lack. akaCRM’s leadership stood as a trusted partner as Salesforce evolved from a small private start-up to a multi-billion dollar public company (NYSE: CRM) with similar expansion in the platform, features and customer base. Delving further into this partnership, Mellow says, “We selected the Salesforce solution because of its uncanny ability to conform itself to the simplest and smallest of deployments and scale to highly robust and multi-national complex environments.”
"We help clients improve relationships with their constituent audiences including customers, partners, suppliers, and employees"
One of the defining reasons for akaCRM being an obvious choice as a Salesforce system integrator is its ability to bring together superior technical skills with business functional skills. This is reflected in the firm’s move away from the standard market practice of hiring primarily on technical knowledge, and instead emphasizing the balance of technical and business functional expertise amongst its consultants. To ensure that clients continue to enjoy market relevant expert services, each consultant undergoes ongoing Salesforce certification maintenance. Mellow himself brings more than 28 years of experience in sales, marketing, partner management, finance and infrastructure to the company and has an impressive number of Salesforce certifications to his credit.
Our certified Salesforce consultants provide value and passion for our clients’ successes
akaCRM provides a comprehensive suite of services for the Salesforce platform including new implementations and support and enhancements for existing implementations including granular training, data services, integration services and application development. The company has its own growing inventory of applications developed on the Salesforce platform that it makes available to clients. Among the various services provided, data services are an integral part of akaCRM’s offerings as often client data resides in different places like Outlook, Excel, and various enterprise systems. “To ensure that our client is off to a running start and to avoid considerable time re-entering data, we help clients make the decision on what data to migrate to Salesforce and what data to integrate.” akaCRM also ensures that training offered to clients is customized for administrators, executives and business users.
akaCRM also works with clients for system integration since information in various enterprise systems becomes much more valuable when brought together. akaCRM offers out-of-the-box integrations for solutions like Harvest’s time & expense tracking system and custom solutions to connect clients’ Salesforce applications to their data warehouses, ERP systems, accounting solutions and other enterprise databases.
“With Salesforce maturing as a platform, we also find numerous opportunities to provide consolidation services where clients need to merge two or more instances of Salesforce, either as a result of an acquisition or because they grew independently in different departments,” notes Mellow.
Salesforce Making a Difference
To enable partners to perform their best, Salesforce makes significant investments in a partner community that keep its partners well informed about new features, technologies, and the company’s roadmap. It offers various resources exclusively to partners to help them deliver programs and services in innovative and efficient new ways. “One of the most important things an organization should look for when hiring a Salesforce consultant is an actual sanctioned partnership with Salesforce – ensuring the consultant has access to key resources provided by Salesforce,” explains Mellow. As the Salesforce application continues to grow, the ability to access the tools and training provided in the partner community could spell the difference between an outstanding and unsuccessful client project. This is particularly the case for two of the many sectors that akaCRM caters to—education and nonprofits.
In addition to the education and nonprofit sectors, akaCRM also caters to a broad array of industries including Business Services, Communications, Construction, Energy, Entertainment, Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Media/Telecom and Software/Technology. Each sector has many client success stories. One such client, Mellow points out, spent 40-hours each quarter generating reports for its quarterly Board of Directors meeting. On being approached, akaCRM enabled the client to generate that same level of information in real-time at the click of a button. This not only helped the client save the 40-hours it spent per quarter previously but allowed it to have better intelligence throughout the quarter in real-time, facilitating better informed decisions and reduced manual errors.
When Customers Matter the Most
Customer satisfaction has always been the topmost priority for akaCRM. Once a project is completed, Salesforce as well as akaCRM follow-up with customer satisfaction surveys which help to foster a strong relationship with its clients. To this Mellow adds, “The majority of our business comes from satisfied clients that expand to new areas or through people, whom we have served, joining new organizations and engaging us at their new company.” In addition, akaCRM also receives innumerable proposals each year from independent software vendors (ISVs) or web-based application providers looking to partner with the company to develop business. Mellow, however believes in steering the company with undivided focus, “akaCRM succeeds by concentrating on best-of-class solutions such as Salesforce where we get better as a result of our ability to do many engagements in this platform instead of a few engagements across many ISV solutions.”