A Method to the Security Madness
Today, our client, a global leader in cybersecurity, supports more than 75,000 customers in over 150 countries with an array of industry-leading services and solutions. But, finding the right mix of tools and technologies for each customer’s needs at the right price for their budget can be a daunting task for the company’s global sales teams—especially when it means manually compiling solution packages and delivering custom quotes.
The company originally implemented Salesforce CPQ to handle simple service subscriptions and straightforward product quotes. But as customer expectations and business demands changed, their leaders recognized the opportunity to reinvent its product sales efforts through bundled packages instead of standalone services.
“As our product packages became more complex, we had to find ways of tying together base pricing, applicable discounts, and provisioning in the same quote,” their CPQ team leader also stated. “We quickly reached the point where a bundling structure to streamline the process was the only answer, but realized we couldn’t afford to take the system offline every time there was a release or make unnecessary mistakes in the process.”
Achieving Faster, More Convenient, and Reliable Quotes
Prior to Prodly, they lacked the visibility into developers’ sandboxes to make sure they were working from the right versions and had very few options for running QA to find configuration errors. For example on one occasion, an extra space in the CSV was inadvertently pushed to production during a manual release causing a default category discount to fail to apply to quotes, leaving the team scrambling to patch the issue with Apex so their reps could keep quoting.
“Even the smallest release could take us three hours just to align the data and there was still no guarantee it would even work. And since we were running releases to production every two weeks, any issue we didn’t catch in a sandbox could quickly lead to a host of other problems we’d have to rollback and try to fix on the fly.”
Worse, the team leader stated that the combination of massive data sets, a relatively small CPQ admin team, and disjointed sandbox seeding often meant taking the CPQ tool completely offline for up to six hours—a substantial blow to the productivity of a global sales team working virtually around the clock. Automated releases creates more transparency and fewer errors.
“Ultimately, we needed a way of streamlining data set management, and accelerating our deployments to keep up with the needs of the business,” he explained.
Automated Releases Creates More Transparency, Fewer Errors
Their CPQ team adopted Prodly AppOps Release to better manage releases for new product rules, features, and bundles because of the solution’s automatic data deployments, data set builders, and advanced duplicate prevention.
According to the development lead, one of the biggest advantages to using Prodly is that the team can abstract data for a particular release to data set templates and seed individual developer sandboxes so everyone’s working from the same data set version. Importantly, the tool also encrypts data in transit and doesn’t require any information storage.
“The configuration change history is extremely important for our troubleshooting efforts. Sometimes after a big release, we’ll see some issues in the production, and with Release we can look at those records and reverse engineer what’s been changed to identify the problem and fix it.”
Big changes for a big company
The CPQ team lead explained that AppOps Release has been a revelation for the CPQ team by standardizing and accelerating previously time-consuming and occasionally error-prone manual release processes.
“AppOps Release has significantly shortened our development and release time by as much as two-thirds by simplifying how we manage and manipulate huge data sets,” he said. “That has a significant impact on how often and how long we have to take the system offline, increasing its availability for the sales teams so they can stay productive while we do our work.”
More importantly, AppOps Release has helped the team methodically plan, develop, and deliver vital feature updates and upgrades with far fewer errors.
“The ability to copy already verified data from the sandbox eliminates many of the manual steps where errors occur. AppOps has helped us reduce our deployment errors by more than 20%, which is an important accomplishment when we’re undertaking a project that will ultimately affect our teams and customers around the world.”