Nara Balakrishna, vice president of marketing and strategy at Appirio, agrees. "Our advice, for the most part, is to do as much in configuration as possible," he says, noting that heavy customization adds administrative complexity and begins to diminish the agility of a cloud solution.
As Saideep Raj, a senior executive at Accenture and that company's SaaS lead, points out, "It becomes an enormous burden to maintain those customizations, especially as new versions of the software come out. You need to be careful."
Raj says companies who take on customizations must revisit them when an upgrade occurs to make sure they don't break. Modifications made via configuration, on the other hand, will continue to work and provide for a far more sustainable approach, he explains.
According to Salesforce.com, Accenture was the first global systems integrator to partner with the company.
Salesforce.com Integration Brings CIOs, Consultants Together
The need to integrate Salesforce.com with other apps also brings CIOs and consultants together.
Republic Services' integration points include a customer data repository, an Ariba vendor management system, and an InfoPro system for field operations, Halnon says. As for partner assistance, Bluewolf wasn't heavily involved with the core transport of data, he notes, but the firm handle the integration of Republic Services' Tibco enterprise messaging bus and Salesforce.com.
Commentary: DreamForce 2012 All About Sharing Customer Success
At K12, meanwhile, Conley says Appirio spent a lot of time talking to the IT team about how Salesforce.com would integrate with its legacy systems. K12 is using Salesforce.com's Service Cloud to support its student enrollment and customer care processes and call centers. K12 sought to integrate Service Cloud with proprietary systems that support its application approval process, enrollment and student information services.
Appirio, Conley says, provided advice on "how we would architect the integration and make it work," which included integrating Saleforce with K12's telephony system.
Salesforce.com integration at Nuance currently involves a connection between Salesforce.com and the Eloqua marketing automation platform, Horan says. That integration provides a lead-to-opportunity link. The company now wants to pursue opportunity-to-order integration, which will pull Oracle Financials into the Salesforce.com orbit.
Mike Lillie, Nuamce's vice president of information technology, says the company plans to tie Oracle Financials into Salesforce.com soon after its Salesforce.com deployment goes live. He says Bluewolf has participated in preliminary design discussions with the Nuance integration team.