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CPQ for Enterprise Services

Zimit and CLD announce partnership 

Zimit and CLD Partners are pleased to announce their partnership. Together we provide the Zimit CPQ Integration with FinancialForce PSA. It’s the perfect CPQ for Enterprise Services. 

Zimit fills a quoting gap that has long existed in the CPQ landscape for estimating enterprise services. CLD has a long history of implementing FinancialForce PSA and professional services estimation solutions for enterprise companies. And now, CLD is the preferred implementation partner for Zimit.   

In this post, we lay out the issues and challenges you (and everyone else) has with CPQ software and services estimation. Then we share how the CLD solution solves this problem with Zimit CPQ for enterprise services and FinancialForce PSA.  

Estimating Enterprise Services is Different

Quoting enterprise services is different from quoting products. Most CPQ solutions were designed within a product mindset rather than with services in mind. But not Zimit. 

Zimit offers a CPQ solution built specifically for Services. Zimit CPQ allows enterprises to configure, price and quote enterprise services with simplicity because it streamlines the processes most companies use when estimating services. 

And Here’s Why It’s Different

Services estimation requires an understanding of the roles, tasks, schedules and costs of the people doing the work. We’ve learned through the years that these are the common issues that companies grapple with when estimating services:

  • Roles and Schedules – It starts with knowing the resource role that is to be employed along with the number of hours that will be needed. Complexities around start and end dates, utilization allocations, shifting schedules, and so forth can impact billing and revenue (e.g. “bill rate per hour”) as well as cost rate considerations (e.g. “cost rate per hour”).
  • Rate Cards – Many companies define standard selling rates and cost rates for each resource role. Additionally, most need the flexibility to deviate from the standard rates when building proposals. Defining processes to support this often involves challenging data management and process requirements.   
  • Billing Schedules – Defining schedules for billing and linking to other project deliverables are often outside the scope of the pure “product pricing.”  Defining when and how much to bill, within the scope of a services proposal, is often a moving target that needs to be managed along with resource schedules.
  • Tasks – Employing project tasks during the proposal process is often a requirement.  Task templating and task schedule manipulations can be quite laborious. Further complicating the process would be tasks that have interdependencies with the resource schedules and billing schedules.
  • Proposal/SOW Generation – Auto generation of proposals, statements of work, and even contracts saves time. These documents source dynamic content from the estimate details along with standard text for product descriptions, legal terms, etc.
  • Project Generation – A purpose built services estimation solution can greatly assist in the generation of a project in PSA. In addition to reducing the complexity of project setup, the service estimation offers a ‘baseline’ for project financials and schedule.

I Already Have a Product CPQ. Can I Still Use Zimit?

Yes! Zimit has strong subscription and technology pricing capabilities, but if you already have CPQ in place for products, Zimit can seamlessly integrate services quoting with product quoting.  When it’s time to quote services, go to Zimit to build the services quote. The services quote can be added to the product quote in Salesforce (for a consolidated product + services quote) or the services quote can be kept separate.

The Big Picture

Our clients need to track both products and services on the Salesforce Opportunity. Instead of relying on Excel (which later has to be reviewed for accuracy when generating a Statement of Work), we integrate all aspects of the estimate into our clients’ Salesforce org. 

Understanding how the details of services-based CPQ rolls up to the Opportunity amount (and possibly Opportunity Product) is intricate. And sometimes linkages between the CPQ and the Salesforce Pricebook may not be straight forward (e.g. is each Rate Card a Product in Salesforce?). Yet we know, accurate services estimation is vital for generating an integrated quote that lives in Salesforce. Because most enterprise services companies use the Salesforce Opportunity information to set up a project, track project delivery, and report on financials. And this allows them to have a comprehensive end to end view of their services operations — from estimation to execution.

That’s where the extraordinary value of the CLD solution is realized. CLD excels at helping clients work through these tough decisions to make their services departments more profitable and streamline the Sales to Delivery handoff process.  

The Solution – Zimit & FinancialForce PSA Integration

CLD’s Zimit/FinancialForce PSA integration solution is the perfect quoting solution for enterprise services companies who need to estimate services, quickly generate an accurate SOW, and create projects in FinancialForce. The best part? You don’t have to use any spreadsheets because you can manage it all directly on your Salesforce platform. We created the CLD Zimit/PSA integration in collaboration with the Zimit product team.   

The solution provides an “on platform” integration that links Zimit to SFDC resulting in data living on the Salesforce platform and ready for PSA. Additionally CLD’s integration supports the auto-creation of PSA Projects right from your Zimit quote.    

With our solution users choose whether to automate the creation of a PSA Project using the quote data as the baseline to manage the “As Sold” attributes of a PSA Project. Our integration framework allows companies to get up and running quickly with a CPQ built for services integrated seamlessly with FinancialForce PSA.  

Let’s Get Started

Do you have questions about your current services estimation process? Contact Us for more information on the CLD Zimit CPQ and FinancialForce PSA integration. 

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