The world has changed a lot since the launch of the AppExchange platform in 2006. Enterprise technologies were pubescent, and the strategies underpinning them were widely barebones by today’s standards. Businesses were only just beginning to recognize the first signs of challenges such as scalability, flexibility, and interconnectivity. But as these technologies have matured, we’ve seen these barriers slowly start to fall away. And Salesforce has been leading this charge.
Salesforce has evolved beyond being a sales-specific solution to include HR, customer service, and ERP functionality through apps. FinancialForce was among the first enterprise apps native to the Salesforce platform that truly connected business departments and functions. It brought ERP into Salesforce for the first time, allowing businesses to put customers at the center of their operations. Today, it’s become much more than that.
As the Salesforce ecosystem grows and evolves, so do the companies that operate within it. FinancialForce is no exception. With a Services-as-a-Business (SaaB) platform that connects all aspects of services operations – from estimation to delivery, customer success management, and financial planning – the name “FinancialForce” no longer represents the full scope of what the company offers.
That’s why FinancialForce is announcing it is rebranding to Certinia: the platform for services business. Because its comprehensive platform is designed to help companies deliver excellent services, improve the customer experience, and accelerate growth – going far above and beyond the Finance department.
What Is ERP in Salesforce?
The ERP system is the backbone of a company, collating all the essential business processes and information in a single place. Everyone in your company works together better if they can rely on a single platform to see information on everything from inventory management and sales to accounting. That’s exactly what happens with ERP integration with the Salesforce CRM, while also allowing for direct interactions between data that can iron out key business processes.
For example, invoicing and accounts receivable can be highly inefficient processes for businesses with multiple separate systems. It’s a painfully long task if a member of an accounting team has to update data in a spreadsheet, cross-reference it against countless other spreadsheets, and then migrate that data into a system for invoicing. That’s without considering the inevitable errors that come from manual data entry, and the subsequent need to correct them.
Finances in a Salesforce-native ERP system are a lot more time- and team-friendly. Invoice generation can be automated and the Salesforce workflow engine can automatically generate collection notices to help teams to stay on top of the process. The flexibility and scalability benefits of Salesforce as a cloud-based platform are obvious and only sweeten the deal.
However, there are some limitations with ERP systems. Those in the professional services industry – roughly one in four businesses in the UK – often need to use systems that are better suited to the added complexities of managing service finances, projects, and operations. PSA (Professional Services Automation) has been the tool of choice in these cases, but in recent years the distinction between the two has blurred.
Salesforce as a Unifying Infrastructure
As more traditionally product-oriented companies have expanded into the business of “X-as-a-service”, key functions have become increasingly complex. The general consensus is that the most effective way of managing this is with a single platform that unifies ERP, PSA, CRM, and all other essential business systems.
There are several clear examples of this. A single platform approach helps companies to easily manage and comply with rules around revenue recognition such as IFRS 15. The system can automatically identify revenue from the order, contract, and invoice data – even for cases involving multiple revenue allocations – by pulling data from source objects in the Salesforce platform.
The Salesforce platform is unique in its capability of offering a single source of data for multiple solutions, including Certinia ERP Cloud, Certinia Professional Services Cloud, and Certinia Customer Success Cloud. The master customer record is shared across all your applications in real-time to provide a single view of your customers.
This means all teams can see reliable, real-time customer activity in one place – finance teams know when to bill for projects; sales can seamlessly hand customers over to service teams; executives can accurately see overall performance.
If your organization does not have a unified data model or a unified view of customers and projects, you could benefit from the increased visibility and insights you get from running your professional services organization on the Salesforce platform.This is why Certinia uses Salesforce as the platform upon which its ERP, PSA, and customer success solutions are built.
Using the Salesforce data set as a unified infrastructure, the platform functions as a ‘single source of truth’ and actionable insights while complying with modern security and privacy standards.
The Customer at the Center of Business Certainty
Besides the Salesforce platform itself, a unified infrastructure centers core business systems around one thing: the customer. This ensures that customers are catered to and cared for throughout every point of interaction with a business, with this successful customer experience supporting better outcomes and business performance.
Although a lot has changed since the launch of the AppExchange in 2006, there are some parallels. Now, like then, businesses are faced with market unpredictability and a growing need for certainty – certainty that won’t come from individual systems working in silos.
After more than a decade of supporting businesses worldwide with a name synonymous with a leading cloud-based ERP solution, Certinia’s new brand reflects how the company helps today’s businesses: with a Services-as-a-Business (SaaB) platform that helps deliver certainty in an ever-changing, and ever-uncertain, world.