We launched FinancialForce for Media in June. In developing the cloud solution, we were struck by the progressive nature of firms in this industry but also by the complicated nature of the business and how many of their problems can be solved through cloud computing. This is particularly true as many media organizations are still struggling to transition from the world of print advertising to the new digital world in terms of connecting inventory, traffic and billing systems based on old technology.
At this year’s Dreamforce event, two FinancialForce.com customers in media, Pandora (Internet Radio) and US News and World Report, presented their success stories. Quite an endorsement from both of them, and what we’re really proud of is that our solution for Media has been built working very closely with US News in particular, to combat the specific problems they are facing so they can maximise advertising income and attract and retain customers.
Mark Brennan, Senior Director of Information Services at Pandora talks about the company’s rapid growth and how FinancialForce.com supported it when it went Public in June this year. Mark starts presenting at 12:22. He says that he used to see the Salesforce AppExchange as an “itty bitty” thing, but says that it’s a “different thing today”. The company needed to upgrade its systems to support a rapidly growing organization about to go public, so they searched for ERP, but as Mark says, they were looking for “quick ERP, not necessarily big ERP” which discounted the large traditional vendors. Pandora is very proud of the fact its systems are developed on and operate from the same cloud platform. It has meant that they were up and running very quickly, with all systems working together, which meant that during their first ever earnings call a few weeks back, Pandora could take all the numbers from the FinancialForce.com application without hesitation. Take a look at the recording to hear Mark’s comments for yourself. In his own words, he “could talk for hours about their FinancialForce.com implementation, but the short story is we’re delighted with it.” That’s what we like to hear.
In working with a number of media organizations over the months, we’ve found that they have very specific systems requirements related to managing unique online campaigns on behalf of clients. FinancialForce for Media was developed based around these, and US News and World Report was instrumental in this.
US News also spoke at Dreamforce in a session called Inventory, Traffic and Billing Integration Success Stories, recorded here. (See 20:35 then the Q&A at 43:45). The move to online advertising, booking and billing has caused the industry problems for a number of years and it took some time for US News to decide that its old print booking system was not going to make the grade. The move to digital among other things increased demand for reporting in new ways, including vertical ad analysis. As a user of Salesforce CRM and Google DoubleClick, the company looked for a cloud solution. By integrating the FinancialForce application, they have:
- Combined print and online advertising booking and billing
- Integrated Salesforce, FinancialForce and Doubleclick
- Streamlined reporting and billing processes
- Made it possible to operate from one set of numbers on Force.com
More benefits are highlighted by the customer including the fact they have reduced the billing cycle from two to three weeks, to two to three days,
It has been a pleasure working with these organizations and learning more about the industry. Cloud computing is demonstrably providing a contemporary solution to contemporary business problems.