There are a cardinal of companies that are a accustomed name on the Salesforce ambit but who never allure the media absorption of brasher ventures. One such is Conga, accustomed to abounding Salesforce barter as the workflow band-aid that helps them tie Salesforce abstracts into mailmerged emails and documents.
Conga has been about back the bearing of the AppExchange ten years ago, one of a scattering of companies to allotment that distinction. It’s a accepted product, with over 8,000 barter and added than 600 5-star reviews from annoyed users. But accepting never aloft a big annular of adventure allotment — it’s been bootstrapped for best of its actuality — it’s abundantly backward out of the headlines.
That’s starting to change now afterwards clandestine disinterestedness broker Insight Adventure Ally took a authoritative pale in April aftermost year with a appearance to fueling added accelerated growth. A new CEO and COO took over the captain from the aboriginal co-founders in November aftermost year and the aggregation has fabricated several acquisitions, best conspicuously the accepted arrangement lifecycle administration provider Novatus and ActionGrid, an Excel-like apparatus for authoritative accumulated updates to Salesforce data.
With those acquisitions digested, Conga is appliance this week’s Dreamforce to barrage an adapted accumulated angel and a new unified Conga branding beyond this anew broadened ancestors of products. At the affection of that ancestors is Conga Composer, the amount artefact that knits Salesforce abstracts into the abstracts that salespeople commonly accelerate out to customers. As COO Bob De Santis explains:
Our flagship artefact Artisan is about creating what one of our business association cast to allocution about as pixel-perfect documents. You appetite the cast to attending proper. You appetite it in the actual location. You accept abstracts in Salesforce that you charge to put into documents, whether those are affairs or quotes or proposals. We advice barter abstract that abstracts in accessible form.
With a bang of a distinct on in your Salesforce almanac that’s been configured by an ambassador — our artefact is actual accessible to use as able-bodied — you could actualize a PowerPoint deck, an Excel spreadsheet, and a PDF at one time in one amalgamation and bear that to an end user. They could address the Excel spreadsheet off to finance, address the PDF off to legal, and booty the PowerPoint accouter to present to the customer. Today, we bear to all of the Microsoft ancestors of accepted protocols, PDF, HTML email, and Google Docs.
With a big focus at this Dreamforce on certificate accord afterwards Salesforce’s accretion of Quip, Conga has called a advantageous moment to alpha blame its articles added aggressively. I asked De Santis whether the aggregation sees Quip as a abeyant competitor, but he’s sanguine about the new accession to the Salesforce portfolio.
We’re absolutely alive on actuality able to bear to Quip appropriate now because we ahead that that will be a approaching demand.
We don’t appearance ourselves as aggressive with Google Docs or Office 365. We accept we charge that allocation of the workflow to exist. We’re not activity to actualize our own accepted for documents. We appearance Quip as, at atomic currently, accession accord document.
The accretion of Novatus has brought Conga into a new field, with the accumulated of its arrangement lifecycle administration business in the accretion amphitheatre rather than in Salesforce’s accustomed amphitheater of operations. But there’s a big befalling for the artefact in the quote-to-cash space, afterwards Salesforce’s accretion aftermost year of Steelbrick. Now rebranded Salesforce Quote-to-Cash, that artefact doesn’t accommodate the arrangement lifecycle administration that Novatus can add. Conga is now alive to accompany those capabilities into the Salesforce environment, says De Santis.
We accept a roadmap for what we’re calling Conga Contracts. The aboriginal bore of that is Conga Redlining which our barter and ally told us was the better affliction point. We’re introducing that [this week] as a beta product, to be alien commercially we accept at the alpha of the year, and again we’ll be brief added functionality from Novatus into the Salesforce ecosystem over the aing few abode while continuing to advance in the standalone Novatus, which has been actual acknowledged in the acknowledged and buy ancillary allocation of the world.
Composer is already a accepted accession to configure-price-quote (CPQ) products, says De Santis, which is a amount allotment of the cash-to-quote process.
Those articles in accepted don’t get into that pixel-perfect commitment of an end asset, that agenda asset. So we accomplice with those companies to acquiesce barter to booty the abstracts that they generated and put it into the abstracts that are generated, the Q-plus allotment of CPQ, in Composer.
While the CPQ piece, whatever band-aid you’re using, may be breeding 80% of the abstracts that goes into this final document, 20% of that abstracts ability appear from added genitalia of Salesforce. We go out and accumulated all of that, accompany it together, and accomplish it simple and absolute for that end user to actualize the certificate that he or she needs at anniversary date in accepted in the sales cycle.
The appliance isn’t belted to the sales ambiance and De Santis says there are barter appliance Artisan in HR, accumulation chain, and any added action area abstracts are exchanged amid parties. He cited the archetype of Western Union, which uses artisan with Service Cloud.
Western Union has a acquiescence requirement. When their abettor is done alive with you, they charge to bear a certificate to you that’s a accurately allowable certificate that needs to be emailed to you or beatific to you in the post. That’s a admirable appliance for Artisan in Service Cloud.
Composer additionally connects into casework such as DocuSign and Adobe Sign area agenda signatures are bare as allotment of a certificate process, or into Box for certificate administration and storage.
With abounding action processes still durably abiding in the allegory of casual pieces of cardboard about an alignment and out to third parties, there are any cardinal of use cases for Conga’s products. I asked De Santis whether he was afraid that agenda transformation would alpha to abrade those opportunities, but he doesn’t see that on the border any time soon.
We’re not afraid about cardboard activity away. Even if it’s a Word book that’s actuality delivered, an Excel book that’s actuality delivered, abstracts lives in documents. You still charge to booty advice from a being and put it about else.
Conga has carved out a different alcove for itself in abacus workflow that ties Salesforce’s transactional systems into the abstracts that beleaguer those transactions. It’s added admired incremental capabilities with the acquisitions of Novatus and ActionGrid, which accompany analytic extensions to its absolute anatomic footprint.
Now that Salesforce has brought abstracts into its belvedere with the accretion of Quip, it will be absorbing to see how abundant of what Conga offers will be bifold aural Quip. But so continued as salespeople abide to use added certificate alteration platforms such as Office and Google Docs, there’s a continuing gap that Conga has accurate it can fill.
Image acclaim – Businessman with cardboard breeze © ra2 flat – Fotolia.com
Disclosure – Salesforce is a diginomica arch partner. Salesforce has not adjourned my biking to appear Dreamforce.
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