Written by Ian Gotts
91% of successful Salesforce customers have a Center of Excellence (COE). It is the key to optimizing your use of the Salesforce platform, unifying your processes, and driving success. With its power to maximize value, a COE has become a critical strategy for organizations looking to take their Salesforce management to the next level.
Last month at #TDX23 in San Francisco, we gathered insights and expertise from three industry experts who have successfully built and managed COEs: Vivian Ralls, Director and Architect of the Salesforce practice at J.D. Power, Ken Piddington, CIO and VP at US Silica, and Jitendra Zaa, Associate Partner, Salesforce Technical Leader at IBM.
They shared their valuable insights on how to build and maintain a successful COE that aligns with the organization’s goals and maximizes the value of Salesforce. In this blog post, we bring you the key points that the experts discussed. If you want to watch the full session, click here
Key components of a successful COE
There are 13 pillars that make up a Center of Excellence. Not every pillar needs to be in place for an early stage Salesforce implementation. But a complex, highly regulated implementation needs all 13. Ultimately you need to aim to have all the pillars in place as that will maximize your ROI for Salesforce. The 13 pillars are explained in this blog https://elements.cloud/blog/13-pillars-of-center-of-excellence/
Ensuring user adoption: best practices and strategies
The success of any Salesforce implementation depends on user adoption. If your users aren’t fully utilizing the platform, you won’t see the full value of your investment. Measuring key indicators of success can help organizations identify areas where user adoption may be lacking and implement strategies to address those gaps.
User adoption is key to the success of any Salesforce implementation. That’s why it’s important to involve end-users early in the process, and to provide training and support to help them fully utilize the platform.Vivian Ralls, Director and Architect of the Salesforce practice, J.D. POWer
But achieving high levels of user adoption requires more than just technical expertise. It also requires a deep understanding of the organization’s goals and processes, as well as creative problem-solving skills. Too often, there is insufficient business analysis, and the development teams do not build what is really needed.
This is where a Center of Excellence (COE) can be especially valuable. A COE can provide a framework for promoting user adoption by standardizing the business analysis approach, providing governance and change control, and establishing best practices for training and support. It can also promote a culture of innovation and collaboration, which can help users think outside the box and find creative solutions to problems.
By implementing a COE and following best practices for promoting user adoption, organizations can maximize the value of their Salesforce investment and achieve long-term success. But you need to think more creatively
A successful Salesforce implementation requires not just technical expertise, but also alignment with organizational objectives and a willingness to think outside the box. That’s why a Center of Excellence can be so valuable – it provides a framework for promoting collaboration and innovation across teams.KEN PIDDINGTON, CIO AND VP, US SILICA
Building a successful COE team
Establishing a Center of Excellence for Salesforce is a crucial step towards maximizing the potential of the platform and ensuring that it aligns with the organization’s overall strategy. However, justifying the business case for such an initiative and securing funding can be challenging, even when the Board is a true believer in the platform.
Our industry experts shared their insights and experiences on this topic, emphasizing the importance of a strategic and transparent approach that focuses on the organization’s current initiatives and goals.
It’s important to start with a clear business case that outlines the benefits of a COE in terms of increased efficiency, reduced risk, and improved collaboration.Jitendra Zaa, Associate Partner, Salesforce Technical Leader, IBM
A successful COE requires not just technical expertise, but also support from top-level executives. You need to be able to communicate the value of the COE in terms that resonate with business leaders.KEN PIDDINGTON, CIO AND VP, US SILICA
Establishing a COE is a team effort. You need to involve stakeholders from across the organization, including end-users, to ensure that the COE aligns with their needs and goals. And you need to be transparent about your processes and decision-making to build trust and buy-in.Vivian Ralls, Director and Architect of the Salesforce practice, J.D. POWer
Managing change and measuring success:
Maximizing the value of Salesforce requires more than just implementing the technology – it requires a focus on key indicators of success that are aligned with the organization’s strategic goals. Our industry experts shared their insights on how to measure the success of Salesforce implementation and establish a COE that goes beyond just the license cost.
Success with Salesforce is not just about implementing the technology – it’s about aligning it with the organization’s goals and processes. You need to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect the impact of Salesforce on the business, and track those KPIs over time to measure success.Jitendra Zaa, Associate Partner, Salesforce Technical Leader, IBM
Establishing and managing a Center of Excellence (COE) for Salesforce is a critical component of a successful enterprise architecture strategy. By following the principles of defining a COE, understanding its key components, ensuring user adoption, building a successful COE team, managing change, and measuring success, organizations can maximize the potential of the platform and deliver value across the business.
Maximizing the value of Salesforce requires a willingness to adapt and change. You need to be open to new ways of doing things, and willing to make the necessary changes to your processes and culture to fully leverage the platform.KEN PIDDINGTON, CIO AND VP, US SILICA
A COE is not a “one and done”. You may start small with only the core pillars in place, but you need to continually growth the support that the COE gives to your Salesforce program. It is the engine for continuous improvement in the way that you manage Salesforce. Ultimately you need all 13 pillars in place to reach operational or org excellence.
Establishing a COE is not a one-time effort – it requires ongoing commitment to improvement and innovation. You need to be constantly looking for ways to optimize your use of the platform and improve the user experience.Vivian Ralls, Director and Architect of the Salesforce practice, J.D. POWer
The final word
Success with Salesforce is not just about implementing the technology – it’s about aligning it with the organization’s goals and processes. You need to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect the impact of Salesforce on the business, and track those KPIs over time to measure success. By fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration, a COE can empower users to think creatively and find new ways to leverage the platform to achieve business objectives.
A Center of Excellence can be so valuable – it provides a framework for promoting collaboration and innovation across teams.KEN PIDDINGTON, CIO AND VP, US SILICA
Watch the full recording
Don’t forget to watch the full session of our industry experts discussing their insights and experiences on building and maintaining a successful COE for Salesforce. With the guidance and expertise of these industry leaders, your organization can take its Salesforce management to the next level and drive success across the business.
If you want to watch the full session, click here