Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

The Cloud is Exploding


By Steven Horwitz – Chairman & CEO – Astadia Consulting

We move into 2011 on a strong wave of validation from partners and clients.  At the same time, the Cloud is moving rapidly from a potential option to full adoption. We’ll be naturally propelled forward to greater opportunities — like building on our first-mover momentum in Service Cloud, as well as advancing our reach deeper into verticals like Telco, Media and Construction.

We’re not only creating more ways for the Astadia story to support the Salesforce message, we’re more in synch with Salesforce than ever on delivery because our track record and honed methodologies reinforce our leadership role on the platform. We’re constantly listening and launching, including a new data assessment practice, and as always, linking up the very best in cloud partners for the benefit of our clients.

I am encouraged by these developments and ready to deliver on the promise of Cloud that we have been building together.

Stay connected with me by following me on Twitter or joining the Astadia group on Facebook.

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What is Your DeaLiQ?


By Pablo Zurzolo – Vice President, Product Marketing

Most marketing organisations concentrate on the “L” and ignore the rest. What do I mean by that?

Ultimately, all marketing problems begin and end with bad data. Purchased lists with incomplete fields, trade show attendee data dumps and legacy CRM system information. Add to the pot a marketing automation system that produces single-touch, content-weak campaigns, and what are you left with? A pile of “marketing qualified” leads that are promptly rejected by sales.

Hence, most marketing organisations rush to nurture their leads, but forget to cleanse and qualify their data.

Want to be different? Come and meet me at this year’s Dreamforce – Astadia Booth 513 – to learn how we can help you! At Astadia we understand it’s not enough to have your Salesforce.com CRM integrated with a whizz-popping Marketing Automation tool. Work needs to be done to your data before you plough into Lead Nurture campaigns.

Shoot by the booth and we’ll be happy to explain how our three step DeaLiQ program can help you!

Database enrichment and cleansing

  • Data assessment, gap analysis and hygiene
  • Data enrichment activities for contacts and accounts
  • Best practice data maintenance strategies
  • Integration with CRM and marketing systems

Lead nurturing and campaign management

  • Marketing Automation implementation and full CRM integration
  • Business Process Reviews and Training to get you up and running
  • Best practices from over 200 clients
  • Multi-touch lead generation and nurturing campaign guidance
  • Outsourced campaign management

Qualification and scoring

  • Post-campaign analytic support, including executive reporting/dashboards.
  • Continuous Improvement methodology to fine tune marketing/sales alignment
  • Outbound appointment setting to further qualify campaign leads
  • Solutions to better manage prospecting and outbound teams

 

Astadia showcasing the ITX ROI Calculator at Dreamforce 2010


By Cory Vander Jagt – Director of Cloud Transformation

Over the last 2 years, I’ve witnessed an explosion in Cloud applications; the pace of growth is amazing as more and more people realise its benefits. The biggest annual event in the IT industry’s calendar is testament to that – Dreamforce. Now everyone’s talking Cloud! We all want to benefit from:

  • Elastic IT Infrastructures
  • Access to shared resources
  • Rapid innovation and enhancement
  • Predictable cost, and
  • Decreased administrative burden

However, the question I’m finding more prevalent than ever is:

How much can I really save/benefit by moving to the Cloud?

Hard facts, concrete cost savings and black and white numbers will always be the foundation of any decision to change. Hence why, we at Astadia created an ROI calculator specifically designed to give you that level of granular analysis.

Whilst the overall benefits of Cloud computing are clear, we understand that your business is very different, with its own nuances and individuality. Therefore, to determine with any real relevance, the true benefit to your business, you’ll need a tool that allows you to analyse each segment of your IT environment to understand what cost savings you can make when moving it to the Cloud.

At this year’s Dreamforce 2010, Astadia will be showcasing the ITX ROI Calculator. Why not have a play with it and pop by the booth (#513) to talk more about how we can help you move to Cloud.

Is Marketing generating the leads your Sales team wants? 3 Steps to Sales-Marketing Alignment


By Christie Turner – Astadia Marketing Director

No tool or benchmark can tell you what a qualified lead looks like for your company. Only sales people can define that. They’re the ones who have to close the leads, so they are your experts in lead qualification.

Well, it’s no secret that the relationship between sales and marketing teams is often…strained. How to move forward?

Here’s a 3 prong approach to move the conversation forward–by strengthening the correlation between marketing activities and revenue generation.

Item 1: Start a regular, ongoing conversation.

Here are 4 icebreaker questions for that first meeting between your company’s sales and marketing leadership.

  • What are the best–and worst–leads we’ve sent you?
  • What are the characteristics of a lead you’re excited to work?
  • What are the must-have characteristics for a lead to be worked at all?
  • What must your pipeline contain for you to make quota?

If your team most recently asked these questions more than 3 months ago, some answers have changed.

This conversation should engage the highest-ranking sales leader and the highest-ranking marketing leader in the organisation. Marketing-sales alignment is too important to delegate.

An outside moderator may be helpful, if the relationship has been rocky.

After the initial meeting, the marketing team should re-evaluate its lead scoring programs, list and lead sourcing strategies, and the marketing plan itself. Where could they be adjusted to better deliver the pipeline needed?

Item 2: Build the lead management process together.

For its activities to be relevant, marketing must align its tactical go-to-market plans to the territory battle plans of the sales team.

Sales should also align its workflow to fully leverage the groundwork laid by the marketing team’s activities.

Here are 4 icebreaker questions for the lead management process discussions between sales and marketing.

  • Who should be working on the leads marketing sends to sales?
  • What information do the sales people need to follow up effectively after we run a campaign? Who will compile and deliver that information?
  • How quickly can sales follow up on new inquiries?
  • What can be automated or simplified to enable faster sales follow-up on new leads/opportunities?

Clearly defining how a lead gets into and out of each stage is essential.

Item 3: Work from the same set of measurement reports.

Review the entire pipeline together, regularly, using your jointly-defined lead management process and terms.

Bottom line: if your leads are going to be turned into revenue, it’s the Sales team who will do it. Find out how you can make them more successful, and they will make you more successful.

For more marketing insights, download our white paper:

10 causes of Marketing Automation failure (and what you can do about it).

Inaugural Quarterly Newsletter from Astadia EMEA


Welcome to Cloudburst!

CloudBurst is Astadia EMEA’s new quarterly newsletter designed to keep you updated about what’s going on at Astadia, how our latest projects are going and what challenges we’ve met along the way, and how we’ve resolved them. The aim for CloudBurst is to bring interesting articles about the technology we work with, the industry and the people who help pull it all together.

Our inaugural edition highlights some of the important points to look for when evaluating a service solution and buzz acronyms, such as ROI for the cloud, and what that actually means. We also take a look at the changing shape of  Marketing Automation (MA), andnew developments on the services front within the Astadia Sales Cloud.  We also take a look at the recent Cloudforce event in London and what stood out most to us from the keynote.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading it and welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Happy reading!
The Astadia Team

Astadia Launches first-of-its-kind ROI Calculator for Cloud Computing


Inviting I.T. Pros to Take the ROI Challenge for Building Applications at Cloudforce 2010

Press Release News!

Today, at the Cloudforce London 2010 expo, we will be offically announcing the UK launch of the Cloud IT Transformation (ITX) ROI Calculator. Results are available in British Pounds Sterling and in US Dollars at www.astadia.com/roi .

Many I.T. professionals know that the business case for the Cloud is compelling. A 2010 report on I.T. spending priorities by Kaufman Bros. shows a strong trend of I.T. infrastructure consolidating or rationalising software applications, servers, data centres and back-office functions to cheaper web-based software applications.

Many I.T. leaders struggle to assess the Cloud platforms that are right for their needs. Others lack time or resources to build the business case to move specific technologies to the chosen platform. The ITX ROI Calculator gives a fast estimate of which pieces of an I.T. infrastructure and application portfolio will cost less and perform better when moved to the Cloud.

“This new tool shows how much money I.T. departments could be leaving on the table,” says Cory Vander Jagt, Director, Astadia ITX. “Premise based I.T. solutions leak money at three different inflection points whenever a company gets bigger or smaller. Standardising an application environment in the Cloud consistently provides elasticity at all three points.”

The ITX ROI Calculator is a free service from the Astadia I.T. Cloud Transformation (ITX) practice, which helps enterprise I.T. teams navigate Cloud implementations on every major Cloud computing platform: Amazon Web Services, Google and the Force.com.

Astadia helps business leaders and I.T. teams accurately estimate the financial returns of their cloud computing projects. Then, Astadia makes sure the projected ROI actually materialises. Astadia’s 4 step ITX process for doing this is described in more detail at www.astadia.com/itx.

Possible Change of Dates for Cloudforce London 2010


CLOUDFORCE LONDON – POSSIBLE CHANGE TO  WEDNESDAY 8TH

Due to planned tube strikes in the capital set to commence on Monday 6th September, Salesforce.com have the difficult decision to make of whether they should move the date for their Cloudforce 2010 tour to Wednesday 8th September.

The last thing any Marketing department wants on the eve of a Bank Holiday weekend is to start the mammoth task of changing plans for a conference the size of Cloudforce. However as news broke that Rail unions the RMT and TSSA would be commencing a 24 hour strike starting Monday 6th September at 17:00 until Tuesday 7th September 17:00, this was precisely the task that lay ahead of the Salesforce team and all its partners.

Similar action also set to start at the same time on Sunday October 3; Tuesday November 2, and Sunday November 28, which will no doubt bring the capital to a grinding halt yet again.

Members of both unions voted in favour of strike action over 800 proposed job cuts and reduced ticket office opening hours. Most of the proposed job losses are among ticket office staff, although 50 management and administrative posts could also be axed.

Safe to save, Salesforce and their partner network are resilient – The conference is still set to go ahead and whether it’s Tuesday 7th or Wednesday 8th we’ll still be there! To register to meet the Astadia team – Simply visit this site.

We know and understand the difficulty this late change may bring to anyone who was planning to attend, but we’ll still be there whether it’s the 7th or the 8th and we hope to see many you out in force.


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