Cloud computing is now part of every organisation’s IT strategy. COVID has accelerated their digital transformation initiatives from 5 years to 3 months. That has driven demand for a single view of customer data and the massive demand for Salesforce.com. Salesforce is now a strategic application, and its powerful configurability means it can support the demands of the business to be agile.
Due to this increasing demand for both agility and control, Elements.cloud entered the market to provide a platform that enables companies to drive their digital growth at pace and scale.
In the following interview, Ian Gotts, the Founder and CEO of Elements.cloud, sheds light on the journey of his company, its platform, and the future of cloud-based solutions.
Please brief our audience about Elements.cloud, its USPs, and how it is currently positioned as a top Salesforce.com solution.
Elements.cloud is a Change Intelligence Platform. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard that term before. It is a relatively new category. A Change Intelligence Platform manages all the business and impact analysis that SaaS applications need to be able to make changes with confidence.
With low-code and no-code apps being built more quickly through configuration, the implications of making changes without sufficient analysis can be catastrophic. Ask Facebook. A simple configuration change caused a six-hour outage and wiped $6 billion off Zuckerberg’s net worth.
Tell us more about Elements.cloud’s offerings and what aspects make it stand out in the competitive market.
Elements is the most comprehensive Change Intelligence Platform supporting the Salesforce. ecosystem. But it is architected so that it can be used for any application such as Slack, NetSuite or ServiceNow.
A Change Intelligence Platform is the single connected source of all change documentation such as user feedback, business requirements, business process maps, entity relationship diagrams, user stories (sometimes called work items), app metadata dictionaries, metadata impact analysis, metadata dependency analysis, and in-app help.
That sounds like a huge list, but this is all the documentation that every change project already generates. Often it is in disparate systems like spreadsheets, documents, or custom databases. The power is having a centralized repository that everyone can access.
Secondly, the connections between the documents hold the insights. For example: knowing that a business process relies on certain metadata that is being changed by three different business requirements.
Finally, there are now the APIs and computing power to analyze the metadata dependencies across all metadata, every night. Elements.cloud has analyzed over 10 billion Salesforce metadata items.
So, it all starts with a foundation of the metadata – building the metadata dictionary and the impact and dependency analysis. That provides a strong baseline for consultants engaging new clients, or for customers starting new projects.
What are the core values upon which Elements.cloud is built?
Trust is #1. Customers need to trust that they can make change decisions based on the intelligence we provide from their Salesforce org analysis. That confidence means that can drive changes faster without breaking Salesforce That fosters a trust between the teams running Salesforce and the business that uses it.
Considering the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face and how did you drive Elements.cloud to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees?
We took the decision early in March 2020 to move to remote working and standardize on the collaboration platforms that everybody will use; Slack and Zoom. We combined this with regular company all-hands meetings. This has massively improved productivity, team working and onboarding new team members.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the Salesforce solutions space?
Salesforce is such a broad platform, and its growth means that there is plenty of ‘white space’ to build a vibrant business. But to get started, stay focused on solving a problem for a small and well-defined area.
How do you envision scaling Elements.cloud ’s operations and offerings in 2022 and beyond?
We are ramping up our customer success team, extending the training content in our Academy, and delivering the advanced analytical functionality to provide even more actionable intelligence and a measure of the health of a Salesforce Org.
About the Leader
Ian was previously the founder of a SaaS business along with Richard (CCO) and Adrian (CTO). That business was acquired in 2011. Ian got the band back together and out of retirement to build Elements.cloud.
The focus was the Salesforce ecosystem as they had been Salesforce’s earliest reference customers back in 2001, when Salesforce was of just two employees, in a shared office in the UK. A Change Intelligence Platform is what Ian had always dreamed about to be able manage the company’s internal Salesforce implementation.
Ian is passionate about educating the Salesforce ecosystem. He’s written a whopping 11 books on business analysis and change management, speaks regularly at events, and has written salesforce training courses. His business analysis expertise dates back to 1986 from his first project with Accenture.