Why Templates and Accelerators Are Not the Same as Industry Apps

Why Templates and Accelerators Are Not the Same as Industry Apps.

Nov 5, 2014 by David Schmaier
CEO & Founder
6 minute read
Templates and Accelerators

In my first blog post Introducing the Industry Cloud, I covered who we are at Vlocity, where we have been, why we started the company, and what is The Industry Cloud. Now that we’ve defined the opportunity, it’s time to talk about the various alternatives that customers have.

Today, technology companies and consultants alike offer “Templates” or “Accelerators” to help you get up and running on ‘customized’ solutions to run your business. They entice you with industry specific functionality, beyond the general Salesforce platform, but are these solutions designed for the long term? Before making the jump, ask yourself a few basic questions:

  • Is there an experienced development team dedicated to the template or accelerator?
  • Will there be on-going enhancements?
  • How is the template or accelerator supported —today and in the future?
  • What is the provider’s track record building industry specific apps?  Do they have the required software development and industry domain skills and expertise?
  • Is there training, documentation and a well-developed community network to help with adoption and on-going management?
  • Is there a warranty?

Here are the Top 6 Elements that make industry application development a challenge and why it makes sense to go with experience, and industry-specific apps expertise in particular:

  1. Robust industry data models. Vlocity has years of experience building industry- specific data models designed to support omni-channel customer interactions and best practices across B2C, B2B and B2B2C channels. Our data models support industry-specific functionality such as billing management and asset-based orders for communications, policies, claims and benefits plans for insurance and benefit case management for public sector – all out of the box.  In addition, Vlocity has built a modular architecture that provides a common set of reusable objects, services, and components across industry apps called Vlocity Industry Core.
  2. Industry standards compliance. Vlocity integrates regulatory compliance and industry-specific initiatives into our software through embedded workflows, activity plans and business processes.  Vlocity complies with these standards today and will tomorrow as the standards evolve and change.
  3. High fidelity native mobile and cloud apps. Customers expect a seamless experience across all channels and Vlocity Industry Cloud Apps were created to deliver just that. Your users have a comprehensive view of your customers’ interactions with your organization anywhere, anytime, enabling your sales, marketing and service reps and partners to be connected and responsive. Our Industry Mobile apps are metadata-driven, meaning you can continue to configure your Vlocity desktop/cloud and mobile apps via Salesforce, and their changes are automatically brought down to the mobile app.
  4. Delivering Industry-Specific Configurable Price Quote (CPQ). Capturing the Perfect Order is unique to your business and for most, these processes are complex and differ by industry. Vlocity’s team of industry experts understands your business – from communications and media to insurance, health insurance, government and more. Whether you’re generating quotes and orders with complex product bundles as a service provider, offering 3rd party pricing for healthcare, or integrating with back office systems to obtain a real-time price quote, Vlocity Industry Cloud Apps offer the industry-specific processes you need to generate revenue out of the box.
  5. Back office integration. Most, if not all, companies and industries have older on-premise systems in which they’re heavily invested. It’s costly and time consuming to just replace them. Vlocity’s industry and technology experts know these systems well, whether billing and provisioning in communications, policy and plan-rating engines in insurance, entitlement rules systems in government, and more. We tightly integrate with these systems using integration technology and pre-built connectors to ensure mission-critical business processes are maintained across the enterprise and leverage existing data and transactions.
  6. Industry-Specific Analytics. No industry-specific list is complete without analytics. Vlocity builds industry-specific dashboards, reports, analyses and predictive recommendations into each of our industry apps. This makes our apps smarter to enable users to make better, faster, well-informed decisions.  Vlocity Industry Analytics are out of the box, continuously enhanced, and rapidly delivered.

Vlocity is made up of experts who have spent their careers developing CRM and mid-office applications for your industry while focusing on improving the customer experience. We understand your industry, we know how to build and continuously enhance packaged cloud apps, and are here once again to take customer experience to a whole new level. I hope you’ll join us on our journey to redefine industry applications in the cloud and ultimately reshape your customers’ experience.