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ATG and Prodly team up to accelerate ROI on Salesforce Billing

Tori Bealer

June 26, 2019

Accidental errors when billing a customer are embarrassing and can affect your company’s professional image, potentially resulting in lost business. Salesforce Billing is a helpful and powerful tool to streamline your billing process; however, reference data within this application needs to be updated regularly to reduce the risk of billing errors. If the reference data is out of date, your sales and billing teams are forced to make manual changes—that’s only if they’re aware of the error.

This is why Prodly and Advanced Technology Group, A Cognizant Company (ATG) have launched a new Moover Toolkit for Salesforce Billing to help Salesforce Admins prevent these errors with Moover’s lightning fast deployment capabilities and duplicate record prevention measures.

Billing reference data dream team

Sonia Flamm, ATG’s Salesforce Billing Practice Lead, and Dave “Stuff” Stufflebeam, Prodly’s Sr. Solutions Engineer, collaborated to develop the toolkit, which is designed to help companies using Salesforce Billing to succeed with the app self-sufficiently. Sonia is known throughout the Salesforce community as a Salesforce Billing evangelist and guru. She has traveled the world to train hundreds of Salesforce implementation consultants and admins on the ins and outs of how to implement and maintain Salesforce Billing. Stuff, who leads Solution Engineering at Prodly, is a reference data deployment expert and trainer. He has trained hundreds of Salesforce architects, admins and consultants on how to deploy Salesforce CPQ reference data and is responsible for creating Prodly’s Moover toolkits for Salesforce CPQ, Billing, Advanced Approvals and Field Service Lightning.

Salesforce Reference Data: Use clicks, not code

Reference data define the set of permissible values to be used by other data fields. Within Salesforce applications, reference data are how admins are able to use clicks instead of code to configure their Salesforce environments. If you are a Salesforce CPQ or Billing administrator, and configure things such as Price Rules and Product Rules, this ends up as record data, not meta-data and cannot be deployed using a change set. Moover and the Moover Toolkit for Salesforce Billing are purpose built to deploy Salesforce Billing reference data from your Billing developer org to QA, UAT and eventually into production.

Implementation and ongoing deployment

During the initial configuration of Salesforce Billing, many companies utilize an implementation partner, like ATG, to ensure that the application is properly set up. On implementing Salesforce Billing, Sonia Flamm remarked, “Billing is not simple. [It] has a lot more relationships between all these objects. There’s a lot more interdependencies.” So while there is tremendous value in a well-implemented and perfectly configured instance of Salesforce Billing, it takes time, work, and expertise to get to that point—and can take even more time, work, and expertise to maintain it.

Both initial configuration and ongoing deployments of Salesforce Billing reference data are best performed using a series of sandboxes. Once the application is working in the sandboxes, it’s deployed to production, where it will become live and be used by employees to automate billing processes.

Reference data must be reviewed and updated regularly. For example, billing schedules may change from monthly to quarterly, and any changes to tax law will need to be reflected in the reference data for accurate billing. Not every object in Salesforce Billing contains reference data; some objects, like quote, refund, and payment authorization, contain transaction data, and others still are for internal use only.

Salesforce Billing objects that contain reference data

There are 70 objects total in Salesforce Billing, and 22 of them contain reference data. These reference data define the permissible values each of the objects, ensuring that all bills generated with Salesforce Billing are accurate to your business.

Moover_Billing_Data_SetsYou can find a full list of Salesforce Billing objects and their data types in the Moover Salesforce Billing Reference Data Deployment Guide.

Managing Reference Data Deployment in Salesforce Billing
Keeping up with reference data updates is difficult using a data loader and spreadsheets. Admins must remap the lookup IDs between related records before they can be moved from the source org to the destination orgs—a process that’s slow and error-prone. Additionally, preventing duplicates can add hours of work mapping formal external IDs before updating the reference data in a given org, as well as weeding out duplicates that had slipped through the cracks once the update is complete. Prodly Moover was purpose-built to eliminate the challenges associated with reference data deployment, including three external ID upsert methods to simplify this error-prone aspect of the deployment process.

“It’s almost ten times more important in the Billing platform to [deploy reference data] correctly in the right order, or else you’re going to mess up your billing information, which is a really big deal,” said Flamm on updating reference data. “Prodly helps somebody who may not be an expert in Salesforce Billing.”

Prodly’s Toolkit for Salesforce Billing makes our productivity-enhancing reference data deployment tool, Moover, even easier to use with Salesforce Billing. The toolkit contains prebuilt data set templates that simplify the deployment process, as well as our complete deployment guide and expert support.