History and FAQs
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about akaCRM.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about akaCRM
Tell us about the company name, akaCRM, and its logo. If you have ever branded a product, service or company, you know how many challenges there can be. We knew we wanted a name that conveyed the message that we were about CRM. We also recognized that many people and companies are participating in CRM without even knowing it... thus "aka" or "also known as" CRM. Our logo represents the traction that can be gained by organizations properly deploying CRM for their constituent audiences.
- How is akaCRM different from other salesforce.com system integrators (SIs)? Have a look at our leadership team and the years of experience in this ecosystem. Beyond just experience, there are three things we believe make us different: First, akaCRM is the third Salesforce system integrator firm started by our company CEO. Consider akaCRM to be "SI 3.0", with a more agile business model and greater focus on what matters to clients and partners. Second, we will say "no" to a project that doesn't make sense, so you can have the confidence of knowing if we take on your project, that our skills and the underlying technologies are a good fit. Lastly, we are committed to bringing you senior staff that have years of experience in this industry.
- Why Salesforce? The CRM landscape continues to evolve. While there are other choices in the market place, in our opinion, none represent the promise of salesforce.com and its ISV and Consulting Partner ecosystem. Because Salesforce® is a platform, it is extendible. Other hosted and on-premise CRM solutions simply cannot extend in the same way; in most cases if the vendor doesn't provide the functionality, good luck. As we have told many clients before, "I'd hate to make the career limiting move of recommending a solution that can't expand and grow with the organization." The reality is, that you can judge the cost alone as the deciding factor. Usability and impact will have far greater costs and benefits than the cost of the software and related implementation services. In the last 9 years, salesforce.com partners have done well because their clients have done well.
- Do you have professionals in my city? Great question. We learned from years of experience that partners are better off concentrating more resources in fewer locations than having a few resources in many locations. Because of the nature of Salesforce projects, we typically spend more time working off-site than on-location. Having colleagues to leverage during the off-site work is highly beneficial and leads to more effective sharing of best practices and problem solving. As a result, we will concentrate our resources in a smaller number of cities and states and expand over time as justified by local demand. You can expect we will offer on-site resources for all projects during the discovery and training portions of the projects. We also offer video and Internet conferencing solutions.
- What industries does akaCRM have experience with? Our team has decades of experience with Salesforce® and the Salesforce App Cloud™ deployed successfully in a broad range of industries including: Business Services, Communications, Construction, Education, Energy, Entertainment, Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Media, Retail, Travel & Transportation, and Software & Technology. We also have experience in serving non-profit organizations and customer care organizations.
- How quickly can you start our project? We learned that the better question is, "How quickly can you be ready?" Prior to beginning your project, we will provide you with a pre-meeting checklist of materials that you will want to have available or have begun to gather in order to make our kick-off and discovery sessions together go smoothly and have maximum impact. Taking a few extra days or weeks upfront to prepare will ensure that your project is finished on-time and on-budget.
- We are about to implement Salesforce®. What skills/job profile does our internal system administrator need to have? Assuming you have akaCRM or another partner do the initial set-up and deployment for your salesforce.com project, we recommend that the system administrator you assign has: (i) a good understanding of your company, its people and the roles they play; (ii) comfort with web-based solutions like Google search, Amazon.com, Facebook, etc.; (iii) the general respect of the people they will be supporting; (iv) common sense - just because something is possible to do, doesn't make it a good idea; and (v) attention to detail. Depending our your company and the specifics of your deployment, we will recommend other skills. For every system administrator, we recommend administrator training from akaCRM or salesforce.com. See our article on selecting system administrators.
- Have you ever integrated salesforce.com with "...." before? You can have the comfort of knowing two things: First, the Salesforce App Cloud™ is an open system and can connect to just about anything; the big question is normally, "Does the other end-point have an application programming interface (API) or webservice enabled or have an open database that will allow connectivity? In most cases, the answer is "yes". Second, even if a system integrator had years of experience with a given end-point (e.g., Hyperion, IBM Websphere, JDE, MS SQL Databases, Oracle Databases, SAP, etc.), the differences between software versions, configuration and existing integrations can vastly change the project. What is most important is that your integrator understand what the integration needs to accomplish and standard industry methods for exchanging data. See our article on integration.
- Do you have a partner program? akaCRM has a bi-directional referral partner program in place that encourages joint selling and delivery of projects. To be considered for a partner relationship, we will often want to become a user of a partner-solution, if applicable, in order to fully understand and evaluate its merits and usefulness to our clients. Contact us to learn more about becoming an akaCRM partner.
- We are a Salesforce ISV (Independent Software Vendor) partner. Will akaCRM represent my solution? If you are just looking for a reseller for your solution, than that isn't akaCRM. If on the other hand you are looking for a system integrator that can deploy your solution (and provide some level of lead support in the process), then we want to talk to you. Contact us to learn more about becoming an akaCRM partner.
- What Salesforce partners do you have experience with? akaCRM hand selected a group of core partners, most of which we have known for years. In addition, there are other Salesforce ISV partner solutions we are well acquainted with and have a great deal of respect and admiration for, but we have elected not to parter with them because in most cases they represent a point solution that benefits too small of an audience. We are happy to refer you directly to these companies if applicable.
Didn't find your question? Contact us so that we can answer you directly.