June 8, 2016

Our marriage to Salesforce: Why we're still in love

TaroWorks Team

Our marriage to Salesforce: Why we're still in love

TaroWorks became available on the Salesforce App Exchange in December of 2014. Our android application allows for mobile users to work with data from the Salesforce database offline, and sync in updates back to the cloud database when the user regains access to network. Our app is seamlessly integrated to the Salesforce.com platform, and while that has come with its challenges, we still believe we’ve chosen the best partner to generate value for our customers.

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation

salesforce-1

 

THE GOOD

Shared Values – At TaroWorks, our mission is to improve product and service delivery to the last mile by bringing real-time data to any organization, anywhere. Through Salesforce’s Power of Us program, our customers receive 10 Enterprise edition subscriptions at no cost, and can receive deep discounts on additional subscriptions. We both want our customers to have access to the data they need to make operational decisions and inform their organizational strategy.

Software as a Service – Salesforce and TaroWorks are both technologies that are offered as a service. This means that our customers, who are often lean organizations trying to maximize their impact, don’t have to worry about managing hardware, data security or recovery. Storing data in the cloud can lead to increased transparency and information sharing across highly distributed organizations.

Highly Configurable – While Salesforce has a lot of pre-built functionality for sales teams, both the Salesforce database and TaroWorks can be configured to any context. We have customers who use some of these features to sell things like biodigesters and solar lamps. But we also have customers that use Salesforce and TaroWorks to deliver subsidized health insurance, to conduct capacity building around entrepreneurship or agriculture, or to carry out monitoring and evaluation of educational systems. Across our wide variety of TaroWorks use cases, our customers have the full suite of Salesforce features and tool at their disposal such as features for security, automation, and reporting.

 

THE BAD

Release Complexity – Salesforce is constantly upgrading and releasing new features. While this leads to increased value to our TaroWorks customers, at no additional cost, it also means that we need to perpetually ensure compatibility with these new features. This can also impact the timing of our TaroWorks releases, as simultaneous releases are not advisable.

Salesforce Limits – Most of our customers are not impacted by this, but Salesforce does have some app limitations that do put bounds on certain TaroWorks functionality. For example, a mobile user cannot sync infinitely, and there are limitations of the size of survey. (We recommend surveys have less than 300 questions depending on the complexity and volume of other information in the survey.)

Shared Support – We love our customers. When things don’t go according to plan, we allow each customer an hour of support a month at no cost, to make sure our customers are continually growing with our product. When there are questions or issues that require Salesforce support, that becomes a shared responsibility which is less in our control. However, to counter this, Salesforce has over 150,000 customers (not users), that can contribute their questions and solutions to their customer success community, so often answers don’t need to come from their support team.

 

WHY WE STILL HEART YOU, SALESFORCE!

In spite of the product and support complexities that our marriage to Salesforce creates, the value it brings our customers keeps our relationship going strong.

Many of our customers do not have a “technical” resource, and often times they’re coming to us because they needed to make better data-driven decisions… yesterday. Our integration with Salesforce allows these organizations to get up and running without building API’s, purchasing hardware, or hiring/contracting an IT department. For the amazing customers we serve, this is not only vital so that these orgs can focus on their core competencies, but for the quick realization of the ROI on the technology.

 

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TaroWorks

TaroWorks Team

TaroWorks Team

At TaroWorks we envision a world where it is as easy to manage across the last mile as it is across the first.

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