FinancialForce.com, the cloud applications company, today announced the availability of FinancialForce Accounting Summer ’12. The newest edition expands on the collaborative interaction between Salesforce CRM and FinancialForce Accounting to eliminate gaps between service and finance functions and to improve customer service center profitability. FinancialForce Accounting Summer ’12 also includes several multicurrency enhancements and FinancialForce Community, a social and online learning destination for FinancialForce.com’s growing user and partner community.
Transforming Support from Cost Center to Profit Center
Companies are placing increased emphasis on the role of customer service operations, and their mission is evolving from a customer support line to an enablement organization providing a range of remote expert services. In response, service center operators have been introducing fee-based services that better address customer needs in a 24x7, multi-channel world.
This shift has created the need to automate workflow across service and finance functions to maximize profitability. FinancialForce.com has enhanced the salesforce.com Service Cloud experience with these needs in mind, providing service operations the ability to address different scenarios in a customizable way, including:
• Case-to-invoice: charge for a logged case based on a fixed fee or based on hours recorded against a case.
• Case-to-credit: enables a customer service rep to initiate a credit memo directly from Service Cloud to immediately address and resolve customer complaints.
• Case-to-project: allows a service rep to initiate a new consulting engagement or project in FinancialForce PSA when the scope of a case goes beyond standard support.
By embedding FinancialForce Accounting into the Salesforce Service Cloud, companies can automate the billing of support and service charges, empowering customer service reps to bill and sell add-on products and services on the spot.
“Customer service and finance teams have not been on the same page,” said Tom Brennan, VP Product Marketing at FinancialForce.com. “This is caused by having separate systems on separate technology platforms. We have removed the technical barrier by putting sales, service and finance on one cloud platform. FinancialForce.com has already enabled seamless connectivity between the Salesforce Sales Cloud, the finance department and professional services organizations. We saw the same need for Service Cloud users, and in doing so, the opportunity to provide an unprecedented view into the financial aspect of the customer relationship. This will enable contact centers to deliver high levels of customer service and profitable new revenue streams.”
CRM Meets FRM
The increase in service activity is creating the need for a broader, deeper view of customers including insights on the financial relationship with the customer. Customer service reps need to understand the total relationship, including the customer’s credit and payment status before extending special support. Similarly, sales reps need to have a real time view into cases and the resulting financial transactions from service activities to help upsell more comprehensive service contracts. Both groups need to be aware of collections activities and conversations with collections personnel before selling the customer any new products or services.
With Accounting Summer ’12, companies using Salesforce Sales and Service Clouds can go beyond the traditional 360-degree “CRM view” of customers to also get a Financial Relationship Management (FRM) view. Sales and service personnel can get see the complete financial picture of the customer on Force.com, including the ability to see outstanding invoices, payments and credits on the account, regardless of where the transactions originated. When this FRM perspective is joined up with the sales, service and social capabilities of the Force.com platform, companies benefit from the most holistic perspective of their customers available on any system today.
“Achieving the 360-degree customer view has always been the gold standard objective for organizations, but until now that was primarily focused on the front office,” said Christine Dover, Research Director, Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce at IDC. “FinancialForce.com has brought together the combination of FRM and CRM to provide the ultimate 360-degree view of every customer interaction across an organization and from the front to the back office.”
FinancialForce Community is a social and online learning destination designed to serve as a central meeting place for FinancialForce.com users and partners. It is embedded in all FinancialForce applications, allowing users to log cases, find answers and offer product enhancement ideas directly from within the application. Customers and partners will also be able to easily navigate to FinancialForce Xtra to find documentation, release notes and the growing catalog of training videos.
“Our vision is to create a single destination where customers and partners not only can find what they need, but also enable them to easily interact with both our support team and other customers,” said Brennan. “This will allow everyone in the FinancialForce.com ecosystem to form more collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships.”
FinancialForce.com is the cloud applications company. We focus 100% on building business applications for Force.com, the world’s leading cloud computing platform from salesforce.com. Our applications include Accounting, Billing, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Services Resource Planning (SRP). We serve fast-growing organizations and dynamic enterprises, helping them to align Finance, Sales and Service in a way that enables profitable growth. We are backed by two of the biggest and best players in the business, UNIT4 and salesforce.com.