SMS originally implemented SharePoint solely as a document repository, allowing its staff to store, access, and share files on the platform. As it grew to more than 300 employees, the company’s use of SharePoint matured as well. The platform is now utilized by staff for program management, and the company’s developers created widgets and workflows that allow for better collaboration and increased efficiency.
At the same time, the company’s sales staff utilizes the customer relationship management (CRM) software Salesforce CRM from salesforce.com in order to track and store information about sales opportunities. Similar to SharePoint, the company built workflows into Salesforce CRM to ensure opportunities move through the sales pipeline in the way they are supposed to.
While both systems were useful to employees, helped keep track of projects and opportunities, and increased productivity, the existence of two separate systems began to pose a challenge for SMS. “Because our sales team was using Salesforce CRM for opportunity tracking and the rest of our staff was using SharePoint for document management, we were finding that information was becoming siloed – existing in either one area or the other,” said Shi Ming Chung, Business Analyst at SMS. “In order to maximize efficiency for our staff and ensure that all teams had access to the most up-to-date, relevant information, we had an immediate need to make the two systems communicate.”
Since neither SharePoint nor Salesforce CRM offered native solutions to connect data between the two systems and the organization needed to solve this challenge faster than the six to eight months of development and testing required to build a solution internally, SMS began a search for a third-party solution.