DevOps – The Next Best Solution for CRM
Platforms for Customer Relationship Management and Customer Experience (CRM/CX) are currently the world's largest and most important software market, and the growth isn't slowing down! In fact, CRM software will generate more than $80 billion in sales by 2025.
Here are some of the most important CRM stats to be aware of in 2021.
It's incredible to see the CRM sector grow at such a rapid pace. Why? CRM is at the heart of every business that wants to provide its customers with the greatest possible experience. It allows businesses to get a real-time 360-degree views of their customers in order to provide consistent, trustworthy, personal, and customised experiences throughout the customer journey.
Furthermore, advances in cloud computing technologies such as, serverless computing and hybrid cloud computing, as well as the availability of multiple service models such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, are driving this sector.
CRM & the Cloud – The Transition
New Cloud CRM innovation has accelerated as a result of the need for digital transformation, and solution trends are emerging to help us all adapt and succeed in these times. Many marketers and business leaders around the world are embracing the “Digital Imperative World” to enable organisations to constantly reinvent themselves so they can adapt and grow in the face of any unanticipated issue and opportunity that occurs.
Everyone wants to communicate the correct message to the right customer at the right time and via the appropriate channel. To accomplish this, an organization must be particular and make use of the capabilities of cloud-based CRM/CX platforms. You might be interested in learning how a cloud-based CRM platform differs from traditional CRMs.
Areas of Improvement in CRM Deployment
It's easier said than done to implement a CRM system within an organization. The following are the most pressing issues confronting businesses today:
- Manual Deployment: As part of the deployment procedure, solution files are manually extracted and imported to the target.
- Quality : For deployed solutions, there is no unit testing or validation.
- More Errors: Multiple deployment processes are used across release environments, resulting in increased errors. For example, the solutions are manually migrated in the Dev and SIT environments, while DB comparison is used to promote changes in the UAT, Pre-Prod, and Prod environments.
- Confusion and Code Loss: Changes are overwritten by multiple developers in the same organization.
- Integrations and Validations: CRM is a project; thus, the team must work inside the API's exposed parameters to automate it.
Of course, there is a SMARTER Way! – Here comes DevOps for CRM/CX
DevOps accelerates the end-to-end agile cycle and ensures value throughout the delivery process of new products.
The goal is to automate error-free builds that can then be deployed in specific situations. When merged code quality control measures are applied on a continuous basis rather than the more traditional approach of applying quality control near the conclusion of the process, software quality is increased, and the DevOps deployment process is faster.
Remind me again, what is DevOps??
Development and operations are referred to as DevOps. It's a method for combining development, quality assurance, and operations into a single, continuous workflow. Agile and continuous delivery approaches are a perfect fit for this strategy. More about DevOps principles here
DevOps, CRM, and SoftClouds
The most widely used cloud-based CRM/CX platforms of today (like Oracle CX and Salesforce) have deployable code that is heavily customized for the customer. SoftClouds is an expert in CRM/CX and understands the issues with code deployment and quality of delivery.
SoftClouds uses next generation DevOps tools and processes for continuous integration with code control tools like GIT. The developers drop the code in GIT and the code is automatically deployed through the dev/QA/production servers based on the process that is setup by our DevOps teams and customer needs. Version control and automation of code deployment is the future for CRM/CX solutioning/management!
Some of our Implementations & Use Cases of DevOps in CRM
Use Case 1 – Salesforce & DevOps
The client is a multinational company that develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, software, telecommunications equipment, and other high-tech services and products around the world.
The Client has Salesforce as their CRM but without a DevOps solution they were facing synchronization challenges and many merge conflicts in their data sandboxes. Additionally, the frequency of releases was not sufficient. There were also no automated deployments, which resulted in too much manual data entry and manual overhead, which lead to inefficiency.
Solution – SoftClouds intelligently enabled CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) pipeline by leveraging Agile methodology Quality, and Compliance rules. SoftClouds partnered with another promising company, Copado, that helped lift user stories and functional requirements. SoftClouds reduced inter-dependencies for parallel deployment, automatic conflict resolution and organization specific pipeline for seamless deployment.
After implementation of this innovative solution & process from SoftClouds, the Client now has a seamless integration with GIT and metadata has been easy to manage among Salesforce orgs. They have fast lane deployment, and their releases are bi-weekly. They also have a dedicated Salesforce Org as a Copado Governance model for deployments.
Use Case 2 – Oracle CPQ Cloud & DevOps
The client is the world's largest IBX data centre and colocation provider, specializing in financial, content or rich-media, enterprise, and cloud networks.
SoftClouds helped the Client modernize their quoting experience by replacing Siebel quoting and ordering with Oracle CPQ Cloud. Though Oracle CPQ is a robust CX solution offering customization and coding, it lags in some important software development practices like version management and flexibility in deployment.
Solution – The solution architects at SoftClouds introduced DevOps with a source code control system (GIT) that helped developers manage and track code changes. We also Implemented Jenkins with RPA that helped to automate and streamline the deployment process.
Use Case 3 – Oracle Knowledge & DevOps
Founded in 1920, this global automotive OEM manufactures and sells commercial vehicles, cars, and automotive parts. The Client, headquartered in Japan has operations in North America, Europe, and Japan.
The team at SoftClouds fully customized the Oracle Knowledge Management interface for the Client with development done in Java. The solution had multiple integrations internally and externally.
Solution – An extensive DevOps process was defined to manage the code quality, deployment, and testing from Dev to Test to QA to Prod. This resulted in reduced confusion, higher quality, and better project and source code management.
Use Case 4 – Oracle Engagement Cloud & DevOps
The client is a market leader in the sourcing, distribution, and management of comparator medications and pharmaceutical supplies for clinical studies around the world.
The solution created by SoftClouds involved an integration between Oracle Engagement Cloud (OEC) & Oracle CPQ Cloud along with the Client’s ERP systems. Like other Oracle CX/CRM products, OEC doesn’t provide any version control management. Developers must go through a lot of pain whenever they need to track or revert changes. As a result, only one developer can work on one functionality. Their outdated applications were also reducing sales performance and there was a lack of lead assessment and qualification process.
Solution – The architects at SoftClouds implemented DevOps to reduce issues. This included version control management with SVN to help the developers track changes and ensure that multiple developers can work on the same code without any issues. Implementing code quality check systems like CodeNarc made sure that the quality of the code was top notch and reduced any vulnerability.
Use Case 5 – Oracle Service Cloud & DevOps
The Client is a nationwide on-site vaccination clinic provider that has vaccinated over 3,000 businesses and over 3M employees. Our client is diligently working towards vaccinating populations to the level that creates a zero incidence of influenza in every workplace. This goal can only be achieved and maintained by constantly providing quality healthcare services, superior pricing, and convenience to their customers.
This was a multi-year project that had Oracle Service Cloud (OSvC) as the main platform, with multiple integrations and a well-defined process. OSvC only allowed storage of the current and last version of the customer portal code and no version management for agent desktop changes.
Solution – Implementing a professional DevOps practice and process helped the team gain confidence to deploy any new changes. The solutions experts at SoftClouds implemented BitBucket for code management and SonarQube for code quality. We also used Jenkins for continuous integration with BitBucket, SonarQube, and Selenium automation testing for customer portal Element Manager with Jenkins automated Agent Desktop deployments.
The Future of DevOps, CRM, and CX
As businesses speed their digital transformations, DevOps will become more important than ever; analytics, AI, and machine learning will continue to disrupt both Dev and Ops; and businesses will place a heavy emphasis on value and value stream management.
These are my top predictions that will take place very soon:
Customer Value Delivery will be reinforced by Hybrid Product Teams.
As more hybrid (remote/in-office) product teams arise, upskilling and online training programs will become increasingly common. As the push to sell products and services through e-commerce sites, apps, and SaaS solutions rise, the lines between product and engineering teams will blur, resulting in cross-functional, multidisciplinary teams that must learn and evolve together. The criterion by which product and engineering teams will be judged will be customer value created rather than features or products created.
Microservices migration will be mandatory.
For all companies on their Digital Transformation journey, migrating from monolithic to microservice and containerized architecture will be a must. It will no longer be a choice or an option. This is when Kubernetes usage will skyrocket, and enterprises will adopt multi-cloud more aggressively.
Predictive DevOps will be the Next Business Value Delivering Transformation.
This is about implementing AIOps approaches throughout the supply chain in order to be more effective in delivering continual value enhancements to the company. DevOps teams will shift their focus from monitoring the application or infrastructure to monitoring the business in order to gain meaningful value. As a result, many dev and ops organisations will discover they lack the necessary skill sets to comprehend what matters most to the business. Rather than being a consumer of digital, people will become part of the team that delivers it.
DevOps will expand from Product Delivery to Value Based Delivery.
DevOps will go beyond product delivery to include business value and value stream delivery, allowing for a more comprehensive digital transformation. This necessitates a shift in perspective from the business goals to the people, processes, and technologies that enable them. We'll see more collaboration between business stakeholders and delivery teams, as well as better alignment of goals and measurement of the right business KPIs including customer satisfaction, usage, and transaction rates, as well as continual improvements in procedures and technologies.
Finally, I want to emphasize that in an all-digital world, the future of DevOps resides in self-service capabilities, hybrid architecture, prioritising edge, AI, ML integration, and becoming cloud centric. SoftClouds possesses the ideal mix of innovation and experienced problem-solving skills to assist our customers on their path to the future. If you are interested to know more about our DevOps capabilities, please message us, or visit us at www.softclouds.com and schedule a meeting with us today!
. . .
. . .
This post was written by a Brian Friedman, VP Global Strategic Sales at SoftClouds. Brian has a background in technology, business development, corporate management, and sales. Brian has been responsible for the creation and growth of numerous companies developing successful long-term relationships that have resulted in double-digit sales growth and continuing business expansion.
SoftClouds is a recognized leader in CRM/CX transformation with experience in numerous Service Cloud Implementations with pre-configured best practice business processes for multiple verticals/domains.