Cloud Forward: Taking Salesforce Subscription to the Next Level

CIO VendorAlan Marcus, Founder
Marketing automation and Customer Communities are the buzzwords of today. While the Salesforce Customer Communities do not enjoy the same level of success as marketing automation, Salesforce’s acquisition of Pardot, a marketing automation software provider, is set to change that. “Communities are a home run,” comments Alan Marcus, Founder of Cloud Forward. Salesforce offers a combination of the Customer and Partner portal products into one offering, and Cloud Forward enhances it by providing high value Salesforce integrations and customized training programs to help companies get more value out of their Salesforce investments.

“We are running 110 percent of our business within Salesforce,” emphasizes Marcus. Being an original trainer from the Salesforce ADM 201 course, he brings a wealth of knowledge to the firm. Many companies claim they can op¬timize Salesforce in-house, and tend to overlook the importance of thorough training and its benefits. Cloud Forward gives businesses the ideal balance of training and customization to maximize the effectiveness of Salesforce. Without the proper guidance, Salesforce can be another solution that people end up calling bloatware. “We get to know our customers, what makes them tick, and provide training and the resources they need to succeed,” remarks Marcus. “Sales¬force isn’t rocket science, but it helps to have a guide,” he adds.

“We are known to the Account Executives at Salesforce as the consulting house that ‘teaches the customer how to fish,’” states Marcus. The people at Salesforce really appreciate what Cloud Forward does, because they can maximize the value out of any Sales Cloud Edition and can have real, applicable discussions with clients on what it means to up¬grade from Professional to Enterprise. “Once the Enterprise Edition
is upgraded we work on building out communities, which nearly 60 to 70 percent of customers need,” reveals Marcus. Cloud Forward has assisted a number of subscription software companies with their forecasts by utilizing Sales¬force product schedules. Most recently, Onavo the developer of Onavo mobile utility apps—achieved a 200 percent increase in forecast accuracy, which has been a benchmark in Cloud Forward’s Sales Cloud deployments. The company is currently building out three other Customer Communities for everything from customers logging in, buying a pass to registering licenses and renewing memberships. “90 percent of our Community engagements include a shopping cart and checkout using Authorize.net or Stripe,” says Marcus. Cloud Forward’s claim to fame is—they hand down knowledge and documentation that customers can pick up and run with. Marcus and his team combine this knowledge with a focus on marketing automation, Customer Communities and systems integration. “The strategy we employ is, always looking into the future of Salesforce and picking the technologies that are home runs—like the Communities,” Marcus adds.


Cloud Forward gives businesses the ideal balance of training and customization to maximize the effectiveness of Salesforce


Looking ahead, Cloud Forward will continue to exploit the right technologies that bring new opportunities. “With¬out looking at ‘new versus existing business’ a Salesforce consulting house such as ours will be fossilized in the past,” notes Marcus. The CEO intends to steer Cloud Forward in the right direction by leveraging the latest and greatest from Salesforce, as well as popular endpoints such as Totango and Mixpanel. “We will prove to users that we are the team that continually takes customers to the next level,” concludes Marcus.

Company
Cloud Forward

Headquarters
San Francisco, CA

Management
Alan Marcus, Founder

Description
Provides high value Salesforce integration and customized training programs.