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JohnMason
JohnMason
5/29/2017 | 7:20:52 PM
Operations
I would think it would be the operations managers who would be reassuring the CFO and CEO that transfers to the cloud need not be disruptive to operations, not the CFO making that determination. Shouldn't the CFO be concerned with finances and expenses? If the cloud is cheaper, then the CFO would sign off on that aspect. Operations should then be saying whether the savings are true (that is, whether the move to the cloud will injure business in any way).
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
5/29/2017 | 9:37:46 PM
Back office
CFOs + back-office cloud have [relatively] long gone together.  There have been murmurings about the possibility of Salesforce.com reaching into the back-office market.  If that happens, look for the market to expand considerably.
Scott_Ferguson
Scott_Ferguson
5/30/2017 | 11:53:37 AM
Re: Back office
That's an interesting point @Joe and I think the CFO is under a lot of pressure to not only to save money for the company but to increase efficiency. It will be interesting to see if Salesforce can reach into that part of the company. I think they can if they want to. 
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
5/30/2017 | 10:51:50 PM
Re: Back office
@Scott: Indeed.  That "if they want to" is the big question.

I think that if it does happen, Oracle and SAP and those folks will find themselves quite disrupted.  While both are well respected (if not always beloved) cloud giants who have earned their place as such, Salesforce has the better "cloud" brand insofar as it has always been an SaaS company.

To wit, Salesforce is strictly a cloud company.  Oracle/SAP/etc. are tech companies that offer cloud services.  And I think CFOs/etc. will prefer to go with a specialist.
Scott_Ferguson
Scott_Ferguson
5/31/2017 | 7:33:08 AM
Re: Back office
@Joe: And to your one point, if you notice, I did interview someone from Oracle about this issue and Oracle has made selling to CFOs its main driver of sales. It doesn't sell so much to IT as much as the CFO, so they are very vested in that and if they want to get their clients over to the cloud and can use efficiency as a driver, then selling to the CFO makes sense. 
JohnMason
JohnMason
5/31/2017 | 11:53:27 AM
Re: Back office
Now I understand. If sales are higher when focusing on CFOs instead of just IT departments, then there can be no argument. Thank you.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
6/4/2017 | 8:45:00 AM
Re: Back office
@John: And it's not just this one use case and CFOs. Vendors are increasingly finding better sales success when targeting the people and departments who will actually use their solutions -- as opposed to running everything through IT/the CIO.
maryam@impact
[email protected]
5/31/2017 | 12:26:47 PM
Re: Back office
Scott, it's an excellent strategy often many initiatives stop at the CFO office making a concerted effort to market the benefits to the CFO will most certainly increase the close rate.
Scott_Ferguson
Scott_Ferguson
5/31/2017 | 12:29:34 PM
Re: Back office
@MaryAM: And to be fair, much of what Oracle does relates to how the CFO does her or his job, so they are the ones that need to work with it day-in and day-out.

 
maryam@impact
[email protected]
5/31/2017 | 10:46:45 PM
Re: Back office
It's a great targeted sales strategy that can create evangelists and remove barriers for all users and stakeholders.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
6/4/2017 | 8:43:45 AM
Re: Back office
@Scott: I've been hearing the same things out of Oracle and elsewhere. CFOs are increasingly interested in consolidating vendor relationships (compared to succumbing to lock-in fearmongering).

In any case, I strongly suspect that should Salesforce eventually make a move here, they will be a strong competitor to Oracle.
maryam@impact
[email protected]
5/30/2017 | 11:16:15 PM
Re: Back office
It makes perfect sense that the CFO should be involved in these decisions since overall budgeting and reporting rests with them. The influence and guidance of the CFOcnan help manage the IT decisions are made with both innovation and the bottom line in mind. They can also help in decision making when alternatives have different long-term balance sheet implications but similar technical value. Integrated decision made the best sense for overall company health.
Michelle
Michelle
5/31/2017 | 11:41:09 PM
Re: Back office
It can help avoid the dreaded "data silos" too. CFOs have more authority than regular IT folks as well.
kq4ym
kq4ym
6/8/2017 | 9:07:54 AM
Re: Back office
Yep, it can become quite a problem between what the boss wants and what the CFO is thinking is the best way and speed to move forward. Noting that the "CFO tends to be more cautious, especially if the moving of data disrupts the business," while the CEO has differing goals in mind, and maybe not quite so much fear, but on the other hand having not quite so much expertise, one wonders how best to get through that scenario with as little confusion and chaos as possible.


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