There is no doubt that the predominance of cloud-based solutions is on the rise in businesses around the world. Enterprises are moving away from full hard drives, email attachments and Microsoft Office-based tasks. Now is the age of Salesforce, Oracle and SAP. The functionality and usability of these cloud solutions have permeated the workforce, enabling companies to collaborate across geographies, languages and time zones. The impact has been enormous, from 24/7 availability, security and quality to investment optimization and incredible speed.
While the business benefits may be obvious, working in the cloud may not hold as much significance for employees of these companies who have “made the move.” There are often a multitude of reasons why: “The browser is too restrictive and doesn’t provide enough functionality.” “Learning new processes will slow me down when I have deadlines to make.” “Important information isn’t accessible because it’s on desktops, emails or physical file folders, not in the cloud.” The list of excuses can go on and on.
After its implementation of Salesforce, Pace Industries was encountering such excuses and more as they tried to move their users to the cloud.
Pace Industries, North America’s leading full-service aluminum, zinc and magnesium die casting company, attempted to transition its cost modeling process from Microsoft Excel worksheets to Salesforce. Even though Pace’s upper management was strongly encouraging users to work in the cloud instead of spreadsheets, many departments and users remained in Excel. Information was scattered across personal desktops, emails, servers and the cloud. The lack of consolidation made it difficult for management to oversee and gain control of the process.
Many companies face a similar predicament when trying to rollout new software. In order to make their employees happy or simply to maintain data integrity, enterprises need to find a solution other than forcing their users to accept cloud processes. For Pace, their users wanted to continue working in Excel because they were familiar and comfortable with the powerful tool.
However, management wanted users to work in Salesforce in order to create accountability and visibility into the quoting and reporting process. After an extensive search for a robust and comprehensive solution that would connect Salesforce and Microsoft Excel, Pace Industries chose Apttus X-Author for Excel. With X-Author, users continued using the Excel user interface – complete with full Excel functionality – while securely working with Salesforce data. Through using their X-Author Apps, they were able to understand the benefits associated with working on the cloud.
For companies who are still struggling with Salesforce adoption and usage, convince your users that Salesforce can make their jobs easier; share these top 3 reasons for users to love Salesforce!
1. Quick access to all relevant information and templates
When users work and save information in Salesforce, then Salesforce becomes a central repository for data and templates, available to everyone with the relevant permissions. Data becomes available in real time for fast turnaround quoting, contracting and billing, decreasing sales cycle times. Also, departments like Sales, Marketing and Finance are able to make better decisions in areas like forecasting, account and market management. Having a centralized location for all data and documents ensures version control and prevents data leakage, keeping sensitive information safe, so users don’t have to track down different documents or worry about having access to the most up-to-date version.
2. Familiar UI
Instead of learning to navigate a new UI in Salesforce, Pace business users were able to work in the familiar Excel user interface, with all of the associated functionality, using X-Author for Excel. With the help of templates designed by Salesforce Admins that pull Salesforce data into an Excel spreadsheet, users can modify or run reports on record and instantly save all updates to Salesforce. Since they’re already knowledgeable and comfortable with Excel, users can stay in their preferred UI while quickly adopting Salesforce to keep their managers happy.
3. Reduce duplicative work
By working in Salesforce, users can include pertinent information and share that data with colleagues, partners and customers who have the appropriate permissions. For instance, as an employee working on his quote worksheet in the X-Author App, it grabs the rates structure from Salesforce and brings it into the spreadsheet, allowing him to determine costs before pushing that information back to the Opportunity on the proposal. Using Salesforce maintains data integrity and reduces potential human errors, which can take up time and resources, through enforcing Salesforce rules and permissions. Business users can start working on new projects, instead of being held up redoing old, inaccurate ones.
“Before Apttus, we were kind of overwhelmed and didn’t know how we were going to enter all the data on Excel spreadsheets into Salesforce to do advanced cloud-based cost modeling.” – John Wisdom, Director of Marketing, Pace Industries
In order to make the most of your Salesforce investment, your users need to get behind the idea of the cloud too. When they see that they’re being more productive and working with accurate data in an interface they enjoy, your Salesforce adoption and usage will skyrocket!
Learn more about how Pace Industries uses X-Author for Excel!