Demandware Case Management Leaps To The Cloud

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Demandware Case Management Leaps To The Cloud

Case management: Why not take it to the cloud?

In fact, more and more businesses today — many in the high-tech sector — are doing just that. Organizations are shifting to the cloud to make their service operations faster and more efficient, while ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction.

But case management software has historically been run on-premise. How do today’s cloud-based alternatives compare? To learn more, I put that question to Donald Rivard, chief solution support architect at Boston-based Demandware, which provides a cloud commerce platform for retailers and brands worldwide, and which worked with Cloud Sherpas to implement Salesforce Service Cloud.

What drove Demandware’s push for new case management software?

We retired our old case management system when the community concept was becoming hot. We had built a ticketing system on top of a different solution. But after a while, getting everything we wanted and needed was becoming very time-consuming. We took a step back and decided to — first — look from a case ticketing point of view, and — second — look from a community point of view.

We evaluated a few systems, but ultimately chose Salesforce for features and also because we used it internally in other departments as a complete system of record. Using Salesforce for case management just made sense; we wouldn’t have to do any integration to pull all the data out and sync the systems. Instead, we would be able to give customers and partners the ability to look at their accounts, verify information and pursue related education and certificates quickly.

How does Service Cloud rate against other case management software you’ve used?

Very well. Salesforce is still growing into it, adding features and so on — and there are some quirky things. But a key benefit of Salesforce is their customization and development environment which lets you change the environment and customize it. You can make things work the way that you want them to work, and at some point down the road it may become part of the regular release.

We are able to leverage innovative features such as AppExchange, Visualforce pages, Site.com and the Canvas API. Other systems that we evaluated lack the APIs and thus pose challenges. We also really liked the Salesforce quota system and multi-tenant approach, which gave us confidence and peace of mind.

What sorts of cool things have you done with Service Cloud?

For starters, I built an entitlement management system: When a customer initiates a case, the entitlement manager figures out — based on severity, and a couple of other fields on the ticket — the entitlement level and number of business hours to attach to the ticket, all before the workflow gets triggered. That way, when the case gets saved, all of that information is already part of the ticket.

How have Demandware employees reacted to the new application, compared with what they used before?

They’re liking it. It’s a little different from what they’re used to, but overall it’s been a great success internally and in beta testing, in part because of the many new features, including workflows and case types. For certain types of cases, we automatically route them to the right people internally, and then they automatically come back without our having to manually start any of those processes.

What were Demandware’s business goals for the Service Cloud project?

With our new knowledgebase, for “case deflection” purposes, we are expecting that it will reduce by 10% or 15% the number of open cases, and for the types of case management tickets we see on a daily basis, I think we’ll see a 40% or 50% quicker closure rate — a meaningful improvement over our current close rates, which are already very quick.

The knowledgebase should also streamline bringing new agents online, who are still mastering all of the parts of the Demandware Commerce platform. Meaning that when the case comes in, they can hit the knowledgebase, attach an article to the case and let the customer take those steps, all of which should produce quicker case-resolution times.

The same goes with the workflow. Previously, when a case came in, it had to go to our operations team — or even finance or legal — where it would be put in the queue. With Salesforce, the workflow automatically pushes the case along. In addition, Demandware is now doing internal case management (e.g., when the security team needs the operations team to do something, or vice versa). We’ve now got internal tickets.

What was your experience of working with the Cloud Sherpas consultants?

It went great — they’re personal, but technical too. They kept us on track. We also brought them in again to work with other parts of the company.

What advice would you offer to someone just beginning to pursue this type of project?

When we started, Demandware looked at Salesforce case management and said, “This is really easy,” and in many ways it is easy. But it pays to take your time, focus on architecture and scope the project out in advance. That way, when you do need to code and create triggers and flows, you’ll understand exactly what you’re creating and why.

The single, overriding goal — and the Cloud Sherpas consultants really kept us on track here — is to keep Salesforce as “stock” [not customized] as possible, for easier upgrades and moving forward.

When it comes to case management, do you think there’s been a broad shift toward replacing on-premise tools with cloud software?

Yes, lots of people are heading that way because cloud is easier and more cost effective, and that’s why I think a lot of companies are looking at Salesforce instead of an in-house case management system. In my previous companies, for example, every time we wanted to change the internal case management system, it took 2 to 3 weeks, with 5 people building it. Whereas if you look at some of these cloud options, it’s so much easier to make things work and use the APIs. Demandware is a cloud company itself, and I hear it from our customers — they just love the ease of working with cloud applications.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Peasap.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.

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