How Appirio Built A Successful Business Using Salesforce

April 25, 2017 Rachel Illingworth

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. – Rumi

At Appirio, we do what we love, we help organizations run their businesses in the cloud. And in doing what we truly enjoy, we also practice what we preach — we run our business 100 percent in the cloud. But how do we make it look so easy? Simple answer: because we have the help of

Salesforce is a subscription software platform that is licensed out to users on a monthly basis. This dynamic service software is multi-faceted and can be used for communication, social collaboration, metrics, calculating finances, creating projects, and organizing all customer data. Salesforce establishes, maintains, and coordinates just about every inch of what a business does.

From humble beginnings …

Eleven years ago, Appirio used only two Salesforce licenses. Since then, and with Salesforce support, Appirio has grown into the very capable processing and data center it is today. Chris Bruzzi, Appirio VP of Technology, said, “Salesforce has enabled Appirio to scale gracefully over the last 10 years, from a 20-person startup, to today, at 2,000 employees.”

Today we think of Salesforce as our ‘data center’ in every respect. It provides connectivity to Appirio for employees all around the world at any hour, and it stores hundreds of gigabytes of corporate information,” said Appirio’s SVP of Global Services, and Chief Information Officer Glenn Weinstein.

Today, every single Appirian has a license to access and use the information housed within the Salesforce cloud. We truly run our whole business from Salesforce — from presales, to customer requests, to implementation and delivery.

Our custom Salesforce suite

You could say Salesforce is Appirio’s bread and butter. Just take a look at the list of Salesforce products that we use in every part of our business:

  • Sales Cloud — We use this for lead management, keeping track of metrics, and even forecasting where we will sit in the future.
  • Service Cloud — Customers connect with Appirio because this app gives us customized service.
  • Ideas — For Appirio to be more innovative, we need a hub where we can throw ideas for improvement and working better together. This app provides that hub for us.
  • Chatter — Social media is imperative for Appirians to connect, communicate, and engage. This app lets us boost employee morale, or just wish a colleague a happy birthday.
  • CRM Content — Organize and share all data and content across the company and through Salesforce, including Word docs, audio files, video presentations, and more.

The AppExchange line-up

We utilize over 75 integrated and custom Salesforce AppExchange apps that work to enrich our day-to-day business and integrate seamlessly with our Salesforce suite. We know the third-party apps on this list backwards and forwards, because we use them daily. Here is just a partial list of the apps we use:

  • Appirio Cloud Storage — Attaches large files onto any document or communication, whether in SFDC, Amazon S3, or Google.
  • Appirio Cloud SyncIntegrates Google and SFDC calendars, contacts, and administration capabilities.
  • Appirio CloudFactor — Allows access to all customer information within Gmail. This app strengthens your contacts and leads.
  • Conga ComposerUse Conga to review any presentation, Word, Excel, HTML, or PDF document.
  • DocuSign — Sign and send important documents, track contracts, edit papers — this app is meant for doing serious business.
  • FinancialForce Professional Services Automation (PSA)The FinancialForce PSA app can help you grow revenue, improve profit margins, and even deliver a project on time.
  • GetFeedbackBuild surveys directly into Salesforce, which then triggers a series of communications to the customer and creates reports and analytics from customer responses.
  • LinkedIn for Salesforce — Merge LinkedIn profiles with Salesforce records and easily update them without leaving LinkedIn.
  • MailChimp for Salesforce (MC4SF) — Design, send, and track data from marketing emails. Manage which Salesforce leads and Mailchimp subscribers read your emails.

With the additional help of the Salesforce suite and other integrated apps, Appirio is better able to tailor to and problem-solve for each customer’s specific needs. Utilizing the tools we sell and consult with makes it easier for us to speak to our customers with confidence.

Salesforce raises our value

Appirio works hard to have both happy customers and engaged employees. We strive to provide a Worker Experience (WX) that is second-to-none. We use Salesforce to ensure that Appirians, spread out across the globe, stay unified, inspired, and motivated. Here’s how:

  • Gamification systemAppirio’s Gamification Engine (AGE) is an internal rewards and recognition tool housed in Salesforce and built on Appirians earn points and badges on AGE for going above-and-beyond in their goals, reaching company milestones, and being an influential employee.
  • Product/project templatesOne of the keys to Appirio’s success is not “re-inventing the wheel” with every project that comes along. Project delivery templates at Appirio represent known successful patterns and describe the type of work we expect to do for common types of projects.
  • Asset library The Cloud Asset Library (CAL) is a repository for technology and documentation IP created by Appirians. These assets allow us to deliver projects faster for our customers.  
  • Customer Data VaultInevitably, our customers want to know “where else have you done x?” To help our team answer this question, we have developed a custom app called the Customer Data Vault (CDV) – a library of searchable customer stories tagged with technologies and other project metrics.
  • Mobile docsOur custom mobile library of our key documents, presentations, and videos.

As Weinstein (an Appirio co-founder) proudly stated, “[Salesforce is] part of the daily life of everyone at Appirio, from marketing, to sales, to project management, to data analytics.” In essence, we are successful because SFDC gives us the ability to do hassle-free business, stay organized, run analytics, and stay engaged. We use Salesforce for everything we do, every day, and it keeps us at the top of our game.

Learn more about how Appirio stays successful at our 2017 Appirio Worker Experience Tour! Hear how true WX innovations contribute to powerful employee engagement and a stronger company. Learn from industry experts and top business leaders, see current WX technology demos, and learn about the true ROI of investing in WX transformation, straight from the analysts at Forrester Research. Register now!

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