Astound Commerce helps iconic and innovative brands grow revenue by enhancing their online relationships with consumers. They create complete commerce experiences for global brands—fueling discovery, purchase, and loyalty.
The following case study highlights the challenges Astound faced implementing professional services automation, emphasizing the value of a well-thought-out design and implementation strategy. It also imparts wisdom that Astound is gaining from an intentional “crawl, walk, run” approach.
The Power of the Pilot
As a dynamic business looking to streamline its processes, Astound chose Certinia (formerly FinancialForce) PSA and FFA for professional services automation and revenue recognition.
For a period of time, using ‘out-of-the-box’ (OOTB) configurations, Astound ran several pilot projects in parallel solutions—Certinia PSA and legacy systems—to help evaluate and prioritize any additional PSA configurations that might be needed to meet their strategic objectives.
The pilot quickly revealed challenges lingering from legacy processes. Some of their core challenges centered around constrained resource management (e.g., lack of visibility into resource availability, plans, and assignments), over-engineered processes, and reporting complexity due to data siloed across multiple systems. At a macro level, they knew they needed more out of the system but weren’t sure how to best use all of the Certinia PSA functionality.
To help define and implement their foundational configuration for a global MVP launch of their PSA, Astound engaged CLD, leveraging their expertise implementing the feature-packed tools in Certinia PSA (Professional Services Cloud).
Skillfully Crafting the Best Certinia Solution for Astound
With a strong partner like CLD, who has successfully implemented configurations of Certinia PSA for numerous clients, Astound was able to quickly decide on the best combination of options for achieving efficient professional services automation in their MVP.
By bringing project financials together into one system, Astound gained improved visibility into performance across all projects. With delivery data unified in their PSA, they were also able to easily create reports and leverage PSA billing events to support invoicing in their existing financial system.
Astound opted to use Salesforce Flows to handle project creation, leveraging data from the Opportunity products. Budgets tracked costs (as-sold) and revenue (as-delivered). Apex was better suited and used for project roll-ups.
Astound’s approach to security and permissions in PSA was rigorous, comprising a large number of user personas, each requiring a specific set of permissions. A permission set group was created for each persona and assigned standard out of the box (OOTB) PSA permission sets as a baseline for permissions. Each permission set group was then assigned a custom permission set to provide custom field permissions and to grant additional permission lacking in the OOTB permission sets. As a result of this, it was necessary to implement a “muting” permission set for some personas to override some of the non-applicable OOTB permissions. While challenging at the beginning, it ultimately contributed to a secure system organized by a clearly mapped-out approach for better security management.
Post-implementation, Astound experienced significant operational improvements. The new solution in Certinia PSA provided holistic visibility into resources, improved efficiency, and enhanced data access for reporting.
Why Astound Was So Successful
This project, like many other implementations, employed the best practices that CLD brings to all of our clients. In particular, two aspects of this project are worth noting. First, Astound’s overall active engagement and ownership within the project and second, their robust user acceptance testing (UAT).
To the first item, the Astound team ‘owned’ their implementation and worked in total partnership with CLD throughout the project. CLD facilitated the design workshops in the beginning, which fostered relationship building and cross-functional team collaboration. The Astound team actively engaged and responded during the workshops and the entirety of the project, which enabled a successful Certinia PSA launch, and continues to have tremendous positive downstream effects. Additionally, Astound did their homework, leveraging CLD’s Certinia Implementation Pitfalls white paper to inform their planning and engagement.
To the second point, even great solutions need thorough UAT. In this case, Astound set the bar high and built out a great baseline for their UAT. They dataloaded all of their user stories into the sandbox and used the FFX UAT tracker to track the status and execution of test scripts by user and persona.
These two factors strongly positioned Astound to maximize the value of and to continue maturing their PSA solution.
A Most Effective Method: Transforming Challenges into Success
Astound’s case study exemplifies the transformation achievable with a great platform and a great implementation partner. By addressing specific challenges, reshaping business practices, and collaborating closely with CLD’s team, Astound successfully implemented Certinia PSA, bringing about positive and measurable organizational change.
Astound is right where they want to be: working in a unified system employing and testing streamlined processes, and ready to tackle future phases. This journey from challenge to success stands as a testament to the effectiveness of the “crawl, walk, run” approach and the power of tailored PSA solutions.