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Q&A with John Schuler of CLD Partners, FinancialForce Community Star

The FinancialForce Customer Community is gathering strength as we enter February. Many of our customers are seeking advice and receiving it from not just our experts here at FinancialForce, but also from each other. Swapping ideas, sharing customizations, checking up on each other’s progress and problem solving issues is all part of the daily dialogue in there. If you’re reading this and you’re a customer that’s not using this great resource then you really should get involved as soon as possible. Don’t just take my word for it, our customers are spreading the word for us too.

John Schuler headshotEach month I’m spotlighting one of our awesome Community members. In these posts I explore how they use FinancialForce products and how they leverage the Community to get the most out of it.

Today we put the spotlight on John Schuler of CLD Partners. John is someone who quickly climbed the Community ranks of influence and has gained a reputation of bringing great tips and advice to the group and asking great questions of his own.

We threw a few questions at John and here’s what he had to say:

Tell us about CLD Partners?

CLD Partners is a FinancialForce implementation partner. CLD was the first implementation partner for PSA, and since then we’ve grown in our expertise implementing FinancialForce Accounting, Revenue Management, HCM and SCM.

We have a team of about 30 highly-skilled consultants and we do very large implementations as well as small and mid-size ones as well. FinancialForce implementations are CLD’s sole focus.

We work with customers to configure and implement the FinancialForce products, and we help customers with customizations, integrations (commonly with systems like SAP, Oracle, Concur, Workday and MS Dynamics among others). We also help with data migration to FinancialForce, training, ongoing support services, as well as ‘tune-up’ engagements for customers that have been using FinancialForce for a while.

What is your role there?

I am a FinancialForce implementation consultant, so I help customers with their full project lifecycle when implementing those products, from design and planning, config/dev and testing, to deployment and post-deployment support.

I joined CLD four years ago, and came from a background doing BA/IT support work with on-premise healthcare ERP solutions. I really enjoyed the transition away from on-premise tools to working with Salesforce and FinancialForce, where the platform gives you so much flexibility to configure/customize, and where you can focus on the business requirements instead of worrying about on-premise infrastructure challenges.

Which FinancialForce products do you currently use and how do you use them?

We use PSA to run our services business, FinancialForce Accounting for all of our financials, and HCM as our HR system of record.

How important would you say community is these days in helping product users become successful?

It’s been great to see the FinancialForce Community grow and mature over the past few years. It’s a really valuable tool for customers because it allows them to reach out for help, talk to other customers and suggest improvements for the products.

How often would you say that you visit the FinancialForce Community?

I visit the Community daily. I usually start off the day by reviewing the email digests from the Community groups to see what conversations/questions are posted that day, and then I’ll dig into the conversations that seem interesting.

What would you say is the most valuable part of our Community at FinancialForce?

To me, the most valuable aspect of the Community is knowing that you’re not alone on an island. You can ask questions and reach out for advice from other customers, and you can also get input from FinancialForce employees & the partner community.

It’s also a great place to stay up to date on the latest releases and dates for events/webinars.

As one of our top ranked members, how do you personally try to engage within the Community?

I’ve joined a bunch of the groups, so I get the daily email digests, and I keep an eye out for questions that I’ve had myself, or requirements that I’ve come across in the past that I might be able to chime in on. I’ll also post questions that I might have to see how others have handled certain scenarios.

I enjoy posting Ideas for product enhancements, so I try to post Ideas as often as I can, and review ideas posted by others so I can vote them up to be considered in future releases.

What tips do you have for our members on how to get the most out of the FinancialForce Community?

I’d recommend reviewing the groups in the Community and joining those for the products that you use (PSA, FFA, HCM, SCM, etc), and then also join the groups that interest you. When you join a group, check out the email settings so you can get daily or weekly digest emails from the groups to stay in the loop on conversations that are happening on the community.

Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions or share solutions, because there are probably several other people out there with the same question, or that could benefit from your solution. The more conversations happening, the more valuable the Community is for everyone.

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