In May of this year, I accepted a job at a financial services company, where I still work today. My new role entails customizing and implementing Salesforce, as well as integrating with other systems, rolling out Pardot, and employing extensive process automation. As a self-taught admin who only entered the Salesforce ecosystem in June of 2016, it has been a busy, scary and exciting time.
What makes my project especially interesting is the fact that my employer chose to go with Financial Services Cloud, a package that was (and is) very new in the Salesforce universe.Why, you might wonder, would we purchase a new, expensive and untried system?
What does Financial Services Cloud (FSC) have to offer?
What’s in it for you?
The idea of creating a managed packaged to better serve the financial services industry makes sense on many levels. Catering to individual clients and their households is very different from working with business customers with many contacts each. So, what goodies does FSC offer?
1. Rather than working with person accounts, the unique FSC model of combining the account and contact record into a holistic view of the client is, in principal, a good one.
2. The ability to view the total AUM for clients and households (FUM for my fellow Aussies), or to see the value of all individual and household financial accounts, is useful.
3. Wallet share % for a household is a nifty idea, if you set up your accounts correctly and it all rolls up as it should.
4. Get your data feeds right, and you can obtain a most useful holistic view of your client and his or her household. If, that is, you get your data feeds right.
5. The financial summary section of the client record is a winner.
6. Some limited compliance features are built in – although not enough for my liking.
7. Wave Analytics comes free with FSC. Nice!
Below are some screen shots of the FSC data model.
Things to consider when implementing FSC
On the flip side, there are several inherent challenges faced by businesses implementing FSC. These include:
1. The account / contact model for the client has some advantages, but it can make life very difficult for document templates, process automation, and reporting. This is a significant issue.
2. Ditto for the client / household model! A complex and unwieldy beast at times, this model is a two-edged sword, easily turning from a blessing into a curse, and back again.
3. The data model of FSC makes it unique – and uniquely complex. FSC is significantly different to work with compared to Sales Cloud, with its traditional and familiar account / contact structure.
4. The rigidity of FSC makes it rather challenging to work with at times, as you are limited in what you can change. Also, Salesforce has a habit of changing the structure at each new release.
5. The online resources that are available for FSC are paltry compared to Sales Cloud, which is no surprise when you consider that FSC is still in its infancy.
6. FSC has required a great deal of customisation in our implementation, even though it is a package that has been structured for our industry.
FSC has great potential, much of which is yet to be realised. However, as each new Salesforce release comes out, more of that potential is being realised, albeit slowly.
7.What if you are thinking of migrating over to Financial Services Cloud? The license fees are considerably higher than those for Sales Cloud. The implementation is lengthy and expensive. Is it worth it?
Creating a business case for FSC
If I were you, I would ask several questions:
a. What does FSC offer me that I cannot get from a well-implemented Sales Cloud org?
b. Who am I going to use to customise and implement FSC? Many consultants are not yet familiar with this embryonic package.
c. Does my business case justify the extra expense of FSC?
d. Will the long-term benefits of FSC, fully implemented and automated, outweigh the inherent challenges and costs?
If I could do it all over, would I go back and choose Sales Cloud over FSC? It’s hard to say, and it’s immaterial, because I’m on this FSC journey now. For better, for worse.
“The only constant in the technology industry is change.” – Marc Benioff
CRM Project Manager, Fusion Group