Navigate Your First Implementation
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Describe the expert services B2C Commerce provides.
- Explain the high-level discovery (HLD) process for new implementations.
- Define the Site Readiness Assessment (SRA) process.
Get It Right the First Time
You’ve mapped out your staffing needs and assembled your team. And they’ve studied up and passed their trails and certifications. You’re ready for your first B2C Commerce implementation. Where do you start?
The B2C Commerce Professional Services team wants your first implementation to be as successful as possible. We’re here to help you deliver a solution that exceeds your customers’ expectations. What better way to start your relationship with those customers?
Every customer has different needs, so we can’t offer you a single blueprint for the perfect B2C Commerce solution. But we can help you understand the best practices that other B2C Commerce partners have used to deliver results. We also can give you access to technical experts and resources that can help you and your customers make the most of your solution when you launch.
Our services team can help you scope out your project before you make your proposal and provide guidance at every step of the implementation. We help your customers get to know their B2C Commerce site when it’s finished. On top of that, we actually work with your staff on your first few implementations, providing you with tools and advice to help you succeed.
In the last unit we mentioned the importance of putting together a plan for training your team and recruiting the right people for it. Your team’s education doesn’t stop with the initial enablement and certifications, though. Keep your team’s certifications current so that you stay up to date as the platform evolves.
Get Expert Help
The best way to learn how to do something is to get out there and do it, but that doesn’t mean you have to learn all the hard lessons yourself. B2C Commerce has everything you expect from a full-fledged ecommerce platform. To meet the needs of different customers, it’s highly customizable and chock-full of specialized options.
Can B2C Commerce do what you need it to? Definitely. But when you’re deploying it for the first time, it helps to have some experts around who can help you make the decisions that shape your solution. Our Client Services team can do just that.
When you become a B2C Commerce consulting partner, you work closely with Client Services. After you assemble your team and have an interested customer, contact Client Services for assistance writing a statement of work.
The Client Services team provides you with experts who work alongside your staff: experienced B2C Commerce architects and functional architects. They help you make the most of your first implementation.
How do these experts contribute to your project?
B2C Commerce architects lend technical expertise to your team, making sure that you’re addressing the technical needs of your customers. Here’s a look at the typical activities for a B2C Commerce architect over the course of a project.
|What a B2C Commerce Architect Does|
|Discovery and Design||Implementation||Testing and Launch|
Meanwhile, B2C Commerce functional architects focus on the business aspects of your project.
|What a B2C Commerce Functional Architect Does|
|Discovery and Design||Implementation||Testing and Launch|
Your architect and functional architect spend different amounts of time on your project in different phases. The actual numbers vary with the complexity of the project, but client services works with you to determine appropriate levels of effort.
There’s nothing like a great Cloud Commerce solution that does exactly what your customers need. Our architects and functional architects provide you with guidance that supplements your own team’s experience, covering both the technical and business needs of your project.
Get the Lay of the Land
Now that you know what you’re getting into, it’s time to look at your first implementation. First things first: Find out what your customer needs, then put together a proposal for a B2C Commerce solution.
Before you start writing your proposal, determine your project’s scope—that is, what you aim to accomplish. The scope of project determines how much work there is to do and keeps you and your customers focused on the essential elements.
B2C Commerce teams use a process called high-level discovery (HLD) to determine scope. A HLD typically involves a 1-day visit to a prospect’s site. In this visit, you work with your prospect to:
- Identify gaps between any existing website and the proposed solution.
- Determine what the project team looks like.
- Discuss risks and obstacles to the project’s successful completion.
- Estimate the cost of the implementation.
You should work with the Salesforce services team on HLDs for your first few projects. The team can help you conduct your HLD for prospects who need help clarifying their requirements or for projects that involve a lot of risk. The HLD process gives you early insight into a project’s complexity, preparing you for what’s ahead. The value and risk mitigation is well worth the small cost.
After your HLD, you have everything that’s required to put together a proposal. Before you send a finished proposal to your prospect, we recommend you engage with the Salesforce services team to help you add the finishing touches. If you choose to request their help, send a draft of your proposal to your B2C Commerce client services director for a review. The director gives you feedback on your project’s scope, effort, and timeline and identifies any outstanding risks.
Your proposal demonstrates your experience and expertise to your prospect, so you want to show them your best effort. The services team helps you present an accurate and polished plan to your prospect, paving the way for a smooth working relationship and a great implementation.
Get Guidance Before Launch
When you launch your customer’s B2C Commerce implementation, you want it to go swimmingly. Everything we’ve discussed so far can help you launch successfully, but it never hurts to have some external feedback from a trusted source. Fortunately, we’ve built this feedback into our implementation process: The Salesforce services team conducts an ongoing review of your project that begins with the project’s kickoff and ends with its launch.
We call this a Site Readiness Assessment (SRA). It has two stages.
- Specification review—This is a comprehensive review of all the early activity in your project: site design, architecture, data modeling, and overall project readiness. The specifications of your project determine what you actually build, so it’s important to get them right.
- Launch gate—This is an assessment of what you’ve built once you’ve built it. The launch gate stage includes high-level code reviews, performance assessments, and reviews of your support and operations. This stage identifies prelaunch issues so that you can address them before your implementation goes live.
Here’s a look at the SRA timeline for a project.
The SRA sets you up for success. The B2C Commerce project team conducts the review, so they have a stake in your project. During the review, you get to meet B2C Commerce experts and tap into their knowledge, which helps you build experience.
The SRA is a great way to detect significant risks prior to launch and helps you learn and apply best practices. And let’s face it—every significant project benefits from an external review. By the end of the SRA, you know what you have to do before you launch.
One more thing: The SRA doesn’t cost you anything—it’s built into your customer’s B2C Commerce agreement.
Get Your Customers Trained, Too
Your team does most of the work to implement the project, but your customers also play a big role in a successful launch. For them, we offer a 2-day launch readiness boot camp (LRBC) that prepares them to launch and manage their B2C Commerce storefront.
The LRBC includes:
- A hands-on workshop led by your B2C Commerce functional architect
- Materials and processes to prepare for the site’s launch and to set up the storefront
- Training for how to assemble merchandising production data
Your architect can offer guidance on custom implementations.
That's a Wrap
To learn more about the programs, resources, and tools available to B2C Commerce partners, log in to the Salesforce Partner Community and take a look at the B2C Commerce resources there.
The Delivery Success team is here to help you on your journey as a B2C Commerce partner. Your first implementation is a big deal. If you work with us and with your customers, you can be proud of what you deliver. As your practice grows and your customers thrive, we all share in your success.