Barret Hartman: Hello. Good to be here today.
Jennifer Capestany: We’ll also be speaking to Ken Castello. Ken is Chief Operating Officer at MST solutions, where he strategically guides the company’s customer acquisition, engagement, and retention strategies, effective at translating big visions to achievable plans. Ken also leads company culture, team development, and operational efficiency initiatives, driving MST solutions to exceed growth goals year over year. Ken has more than 10 years of experience in operations and business intelligence roles, and he holds a Master’s degree in Information Management from the Arizona State University. Welcome Ken.
Ken Costello: Thanks, Jennifer. Good to be here.
Jennifer Capestany: And we’ll also be hearing from Praveen Rapeti. Praveen has been a certified Salesforce consultant for over 13 years, holds nine Salesforce certifications and has over nine years of domain experience in the semiconductor industry. He’s our Practice Lead here at MST, managing all projects under the Manufacturing and High-tech Sectors. Thank you for being here Praveen. Welcome.
Praveen Rapeti: Thanks Jennifer. Hello everyone.
Jennifer Capestany: So now I think we’ll jump right in. Ken, maybe you could start us off with the scope of today’s webinar.
Ken Costello: Thanks Jennifer. It’s good to see everybody on the call. So, as I said, we know Microchip and , got together to work on a Salesforce implementation to help improve some of the sales processes at Microchip. And those processes are pretty unique and, Mike and Barret, will get into the details to discuss that with us in a little bit, but Mike, I’ll hand this over to you, so you can talk a little bit about the planning, implementation and change management processes that we did and talk a little bit about the history of Microchip.
Mike Malinas: Thanks, Ken, and Jennifer. And thanks to MST for hosting this webinar and allowing us to share our mutual success story. It’s been a fun journey and we love sharing the success that both teams have had.
So, a little bit about Microchip. We’re a leading provider of semiconductor products that are smart, connected, and secure. And our company’s solutions serve over 120,000 different clients across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense communications and computing markets. We have about 19,000 employees worldwide, and we’re headquartered here in sunny, nice and warm, Chandler, Arizona. Our journey began a little over 10 years ago. As a company, one of our guiding values is continuous improvement. So, we’re always looking at ways of how we improve the systems that we have inside our company that both improves the lives of our employees, as well as the experience that our clients have. And we kind of have a saying that we say, “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results that it’s designed to get.” So, if you want to get better results, how do we improve the process?
So out of one of our strategic planning sessions, we ultimately came to a conclusion that one of the areas that we wanted to improve had to do with collaboration and uplifting and putting our Microchip client engagement process into one tool that was ultimately spread over many different tools throughout our history. And we were making acquisitions almost yearly. I think at last count, we’re up to 19 different acquisitions over the course of the last 15 to 16 years. In each of those acquisitions, the company that we were acquiring also had a CRM system, so we all got to see what good looked like, we got to see what not so good looked like. And we took a lot of mental notes along the way, because we knew eventually, we wanted to find a solution that would work for us. So ultimately our goal was to make the effective execution of our client engagement process simple for every user. As I said, it was complex, because it was in different systems, it was in different forms, et cetera. Collaboration was a little clunky. We were typically using the phone; we were using email and knowledge bases were in SharePoint sites. They were in homegrown sites, et cetera. So, it was very hard to find different ways to collaborate around one thing. So, we wanted to make sure that we incorporated all of that into one system we would ultimately name “Compass”. And we chose the name “Compass” for the reason of the pure textbook definition ‘to show direction’. Our need was to increase collaboration across our sales process, and we wanted to coach it and prescribe the next steps, ultimately showing our sales client engagement managers and our embedded application engineers’ direction through our journey with our clients. So, we wanted the users to have access to all these resources that we have globally that no longer are just in your little region that you’re covering in the part of the world that you’re in. Our resources, our specialists, our knowledge is spread across our whole community with Microchip as a global company. And we also wanted to onboard new team members quickly. Through acquisitions we were bringing in new employees and just through organic growth, we were hiring new employees. So, reducing the time that it took for a new employee to come up to speed with client engagement and collaboration with our business units was longer than it needed to be.
I’d like to hand it over to Barret, to share some more specifics around those key issues.
Barret Hartman: Yeah. Thank you, Mike. So, actually, my first day at Microchip happened to be the first day of the Microchip and MST engagement. And immediately upon joining Microchip, some Microchip specific challenges and also some industry-wide specific challenges became apparent. And while there wasn’t any one particular root cause of why those challenges were there, the end result was the presented barriers to internal collaboration at Microchip, that allow us to take advantage of our vast amount of global technical talent, our global design talent, global sales talent that Microchip had to offer our customers.
So internally we have a little bit of a buy versus build type decision, that needed to be worked out. Four years ago, cloud-based applications were not prevalent in Microchip and our internal IT department had a tendency to build a lot of homegrown web applications that were built internally and maintained internally. But not really for the kind of audience that we were looking at with this particular endeavor. So, if you think about our sales staff, it’s a global mobile sales team that isn’t always chained to the desktop. We are traveling onsite at customer’s and needed a more mobile targeted solution.
In addition to that, Microchip is a global company with regional teams across the world, and a lot of process standardization issues makes it harder to train, get consistent results on the backend. And also, as Mike talked about, our Microchip client engagement, wasn’t really in one particular system.
So, we had a pricing and quoting system that had been kind of customized over time to serve as a CRM. But in addition to that, we had individuals storing collateral on their individual machines. We use a lot of different collateral and different formats, whether that be Excel or PowerPoint or Word documents, taking advantage of different document management systems like SharePoint or Box or what you have.
So, information was all over the place. We did have a one particular industry wide challenge that we can speak to here. And that’s common for our end product solutions to get designed at one particular location and then transfer across the globe for other work, such as additional engineering work could be to add software to the product or even contract manufacturing.
So, with that, it promotes the need for heavy communication from beginning to end in order to make sure that our customers design stays intact throughout that process. And speaking to that process, I mean, our typical life cycle design from concept to production is about 18 months on average.
So, when you’re talking that kind of length of design product life or design life cycle there’s a lot of challenges with keeping information current making sure sales and business units, and engineers and managers are all seeing the most recent information at the time that they need to.
So that kind of communication is a large complexity. And then as Mike alluded to, we’re also acquiring a lot of companies and going through a lot of merger and acquisition over the past 15 years and bringing new employees into existing systems.
So, at times those employees, probably felt that the processes and systems that they were coming from were more mature than what we had at Microchip. Some ways they were, but we had the opportunity to see a lot of that. And we felt that the CRM implementations that we saw didn’t really align with the spirit of Microchips’ employee focused culture and customer focused culture.
We knew we needed a solution that was going to be something that the business wanted to use because they felt like it was their own and that was providing value to them. So, when you take all of that and put it together, there’s all sorts of factors and challenges; that you could have more expense and onboarding because of all the different processes and systems in place.
And even with that, you could add inconsistent execution at the end. You were more susceptible to losing knowledge when employees leave the company because all that collateral being stored on different formats and personal laptops, in too many systems and too many local processes obviously can hurt quality control and create difficulty and tracking compliance and measuring results can also lead to gaps in data and reporting.
And then, another big one is our design teams; where you’re talking about sales, collaborating with business units and engineers. Four years ago, the environment was probably more prone to people working with local resources instead of taking advantage of top Microchips talent across the globe. And when maybe there’s someone on the other side of the world that was more appropriate to answer a question. So, with all of that, those were the challenges that we faced four years ago and tried to address with this initiative. So, I think I’ll hand it over to Ken now, to go over some more industry challenges that he sees.
Ken Costello: Thanks Barret. And as we worked with Microchip, we did notice some challenges that are common this industry. Well, Microchip had some that were specific to them. There were also some common ones that we see with other customers. There were three main ones.
The first one being that this industry is in deep acquisition mode. If you’ll look back over the history of the industry, you’ll see that Microchip and others have been aggressively hiring or acquiring other organizations. This means that the system had to be built in a way or any system in the industry has to be built in a way where we can quickly onboard large numbers of people as required.
As Barret mentioned, the second point is that the sales pipeline is long in this industry. If you think you have a part that’s going into a medical device or a chip that’s going into a medical device, a vehicle, or any other device, that requires a lot of testing that takes a lot of time. So, opportunities have to be tracked over months and years, as opposed to days and weeks in other industries.
And then the last common issue that we see is around the aging out of large numbers of people within this industry. It’s an established industry and that has great retention rates. But as a result, there are now a large number of people that are getting close to retirement age.
So, we wanted to make sure any system we built can capture that knowledge that’s in these people’s heads and rolodexes and email accounts and cell phones and put that in a centralized system and then create that system so that it’s easier to onboard new people who are coming in to replace those that are retired.
And so, they’re just some of the points that we see across this industry.
Back to your Jennifer.
Jennifer Capestany: Thank you, Ken. So, with all those considerations in mind I think it would be really good to talk about how you went about the process of assembling a taskforce, identifying the most critical business needs, and creating an implementation plan.
Mike, if I could hand the baton to you to start us off on that.
Mike Malinas: Sure. Thanks, Jennifer. This is really where the rubber hits the road, right? All the talk, all the vision that we had ultimately had to equate into a lot of work that a lot of us had to do at some point in time. But to get started sales leadership, myself, my boss, and a few others had to partner with our IT leadership and confirm the challenges that we were seeing and define the goals and define what success looked like and design what that way forward was.
As Barret said, we came from a culture in IT – build versus buy. We thought that we had the people, we had the resources, let’s just build what we needed. In this case with the technology and how quickly it had moved in the complexity of the sales operating process and the things we wanted to do along collaboration, which wasn’t an option. And IT acknowledged that early.
So that was a good buy-in for us to work collaboratively, to then go to our CEO and our executive staff to gain buy-in. So, we presented them with the problem statement that we had and the possible solutions and what our plan was to move this continuous improvement piece forward. And we got their buy-in.
And more important than just getting their buy-in, we asked their help as we were going to roll through this. From a change management perspective, we needed them to help guide the organization, coach the organization, talk about the investment that Microchip was going to make into this tool and why it was good for the company and also see them active in the tools as well.
So as part of that, we developed the core team, what we called our advisory council, and we would get together weekly and understand what were the big things that we were going to go after. How were we going to do it? How are we going to choose a partner? How are we going to choose the platform vendor that we wanted to align with, et cetera?
And as we started to massage all that different information and lots of it, because we had, in some cases, some of the CRM vendors calling on us for 10 years, trying to sell us, their tool. We started to gravitate towards the Salesforce solution. We recognized early on that they offered a lot of flexibility that we needed to customize something to ultimately support our client engagement process that was unique to us, as Ken said earlier. Which meant we had to have the flexibility to outline what those processes were, the steps through the funnel process, how our clients make decisions, how we use resources along the way, how we can present and serve up knowledge at the time of need. Those were all the things that we wanted to tackle that, but we really didn’t recognize the ability for other platforms to do that for us. In Salesforce ultimately, we saw that we could do that. So, as I mentioned earlier, we named the tool “Compass.” We wanted to have a name because we didn’t want to talk about Salesforce, or we don’t even like using the acronym CRM. So, the name Compass was something we all, as a company could rally around, right?
And ultimately, because we’re a global company, that name also had to mean something culturally. So, we went around to all of our different teams in Europe and all of our different teams in Asia. And we all came back with the same conclusion that Compass meant something in all the different native languages as well.
Even though we operate on in English, our local teams still speak their native tongue, and we wanted a tool that meant something to them. As part of that, we also wanted this tool to be mobile. As Barret said, we have lots of client engagement, folks around the world that are seeing clients around the clock. Some folks can be sitting in a lobby. Some folks can be on a bus or a train. You could even be boarding an airplane and still be doing your work and collaborating and moving the ball forward on behalf of our client. We also wanted to make sure that our sales process, our client engagement process was a guided one, a coaching process that took our sales folks, our client engagement managers, and our embedded solutions engineers down a path, down a journey with our sales, with our customers, ultimately to help them move their designs forward and remove a lot of those barriers and challenges that they were facing.
And then lastly, serving up content in the forms of training material, product collateral, information that a user would need at the time of getting a question from a client or getting prepared to go into a client meeting, making sure that those things were either served up at the time of need or easily searchable in a knowledge library that made it easy for a person to find that information again at the time of need.
So, with all of that in mind, we also wanted to make sure that our users had lots of buy-in. So as part of that, we said from day one that we would invite users into be part of the development, the design, and the criteria that we needed to garner from them on how to do their jobs better around client engagement, around collateral, around user resource utilization.
So, we invited in large teams to help us down that path. And those folks then became advocates for us in the future. We had many meetings and Barret will talk in more detail on this a little bit, but many meetings where we were just collecting information from them and asking simple questions, how do you do this? Why do you do this? When the customer asks for this, how do you do your job? How do you respond? And we would just soak in the information and ultimately, we collected all of that information and built all of that into Compass to help them do their job better. But as we were doing that, we knew we couldn’t do this alone.
So, as we nailed Salesforce, we also had to find a partner that can help us design, develop and ultimately deploy this tool out to our company. And that’s where we looked at, who was local in the area that can help us from a system integrator standpoint? We interviewed three different companies, MST being one of those and we ultimately chose MST. And a few of the items, and few of the reasons that we chose MST was, number one first and foremost, their people and their culture aligned very well with Microchip. From the early meetings that we had with them; we saw that they have values as a company. They had self-drive, they had the experience and the knowledge that we needed to move our platform forward.
They also follow the agile project management process. And while we were a waterfall, the agile process looked something very unique for us to implement this with. Biting these chunks of development off into two-week sprints, was something that was meaningful to us because we wanted to roll this out in a phased approach anyway; so that aligned with what we were looking for.
And then MST also delivered with Salesforce, a proof of concept. So, they actually took what our processes looked like and showed us what it could look like in a Salesforce environment. And that really struck a chord with us at Microchip. So, lots of elements there that I talked about and more details that I’d like to hand it off to Praveen to share the early planning of Compass.
Praveen Rapeti: Thank you, Mike, thank you for choosing MST as your trusted partner. At MST, we use a general methodologist approach planning, project management and delivery. So early planning revolved around assembling a team with domain expertise in the manufacturing and high-tech sectors and as well as the technical expertise to tackle this project. Also appointing a project manager to oversee all the deliverables and an architect to strategically design and configure integrations between enterprise systems and also taking time to get a thorough understanding of Microchip’s critical needs, processes, and existing systems. This step is key to ensure that the resulting configuration is an exact fit for the client’s desired business outcomes and has little scalability.
Back to your Jennifer.
Jennifer Capestany: Thank you, Praveen. So maybe now Praveen, you can take us through implementation and some of the specific solutions utilized to configure Compass.
Praveen Rapeti: Sure, Jennifer, thank you. Compass was created using the full power of Salesforce Lightning, and a suite of customized apps and a third-party tool, addings to bring Microchip sales process fully into the cloud and integrate with their existing textile. It pulled together the full project, a full client project funnel, project history, and vital operational data onto a single pane of glass.
We used a specific set of goals that came out of early planning to create a series of Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning customizations, including enhanced account management functionality and an account scorecard tool, which is a customized one. And as Ken mentioned earlier in this industry, we have a long sales pipeline. We have created a customized, guided sales process for the Microchips’ engagement team and also regarding integrations between Salesforce and their ERP system and revenue management systems, et cetera. Also, we have created a customized, intelligent knowledge library tool that will serve up knowledge the right time the team needs.
And also, as Mike mentioned earlier about the mobile functionality, we have created the whole functionality that is mobile friendly and a few workflow automations that we have created like estimators and meeting planner. Estimator is a custom scratchpad, and a meeting planner is something that our engagement team can plan, and they can provide all the details over there.
These functionalities were key to replacing multiple systems and creating an interface that allowed information to be shared among existing and future team members. Also, the key technologies included Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Salesforce CRM analytics, high velocity sales, and mobile experience within the Salesforce ecosystem. And also, other third-party app exchange apps that we have enabled for these additional features.
Handing off Ken to talk about the change management.
Ken Costello: Thanks Praveen. The one thing I would really like to spend some time on is the change management component. In my experience, that’s what truly makes the Microchip technology project stand out.
And it’s behind the very high adoption rates that Mike will be sharing in a minute. Mike, could you walk us through the change management process that you used at Microchip?
Mike Malinas: I will, Ken. And as you and I, and others have talked in the past, this was a huge topic for us and continues to be because we always want to be monitoring the cultural shift, the adoption and the change management, that we went through and continue to go through.
As I mentioned and Barret said, we were acquiring a lot of companies and we saw the CRMs that they had and, one of the reasons that we heard of the not so good instances, the not so good successes was the adoption of the product. And ultimately when you’re changing people’s behaviors; they’re used to those behaviors. Even though our processes were in eight different systems, people were used to using those systems.
So, when we moved their cheese, we wanted to make sure that it didn’t disrupt them either. So, we talked about this early on, and we gained information and knowledge from our CEO and executive staff. And we wanted to make sure that culturally, the change management that we would be going through with the release of Compass aligned with our guiding values as well.
So not only aligning with the executive staff but we also aligned with our frontline managers, all of the sales and applications, engineering leadership. We got together and we created coaching guides and we got their buy-in because ultimately, they would be working with our frontline client engagement managers and ESCs that worked directly with our clients.
So, we wanted to make sure that there was a collaboration there between our leadership teams and our individual contributors. We never wanted this tool to be an activity tracker. We didn’t want people to feel that we were just asking for information so that we could see what they were doing on a daily basis.
That’s not the culture we have in Microchip. We empower our teams to do the right things for our clients. And that’s not about tracking what they did. So, we wanted to make sure that Compass was something that they wanted to use. So, with the amount of people that we brought into the process to give us input and feedback, we also invited them into the development, ultimately making sure that we solve their challenges, and it was a tool that they wanted to use once it got released. So that was huge.
Another big piece was, we did a four-month pilot before we went to production. So, some of those users that were part of the design, and the development were also invited to be part of the pilot. So, we had those users using it in real-world situation for four months prior to it going live.
We wanted to make sure that everything that we designed, that we thought was outstanding, actually worked in the real world. And we garnered some more input from that four-month pilot, we also did a lot of things in regard to how do we roll it out? How do we train it? How do we onboard it? How do we keep it live? How do we keep it alive within our tools? and Barret will talk more of that in a little bit.
Another big thing, too that ultimately led to the success of the platform and the adoption that we got is, early on, we used one of our executive vice presidents’ and we worked through organizational development type criteria.
And we looked at our definition of success and what roadblocks could come up that would keep us from achieving those elements of success. And we also designed plans around how do we go around? How do we go through, or how do we turn that roadblock around? so it doesn’t ultimately slow down the rollout, the implementation, and the success of Compass.
So that worked out very well. We spent a lot of time on that. We still review it to this day, making sure that we’re keeping it updated so that we’re overcoming challenges if they come up in the future.
Barret, would you like to expand on some more of those details?
Barret Hartman: Yeah, sure. Thanks Mike. So as the IT project manager representing Microchip in this engagement, and as Mike kind of alluded to, there was a lot of detailed planning that went on with the change management.
And I got to work hand in hand with MST Project Manager, MST QA Lead, MST Development Lead to really work out the schedule in addition to the people in Microchip’s. So, Microchip was very engaged as well with product owner or sales training teams, other managers, sales management outside, inside of Microchip to work on this overall plan.
And from the beginning in addition to top level executive buy-in and our product owner buy-in we try to get as many people as possible from the business involved so that they felt like their voice was being heard, felt accountability with the change that was going to happen. And I think Mike spoke a little bit about this, but we started off our project with a large joint application design session where we brought over 50 people from around the world, from the business representing different roles, different geographies, and got some of those early feedbacks as far as how do you do your job today? What challenges do you face today? And those kinds of topics. From there, we got a little bit smaller team. But still, a good-sized team of about 20 people from the business still represent multiple geographies and roles within Microchip. And I became part of our ongoing sprint team. They would come to regular meetings to help get input, to answer questions.
As part of our agile development process also became part of our user acceptance team. So, they would see demos and give feedback and perform user acceptance testing. And they stayed with us for over a year while this development was going on and constantly given us consistent feedback from the same people that really stayed with us from the beginning and learnt the tool and knew what was happening inside the environment and could give really valuable feedback because of that. So, they really became our product champions at Microchip. Wanting to continue having top level executive buy-in we did timely quarterly demos where we would also show some of the progress that was happening with development screenshots and those kinds of things to show progress.
And then we also did a pilot before our go live. We had over a hundred people that had early access to our Salesforce Compass production environment before our official rollout. So, they became our early adopters, helped us uncover any last-minute changes or no showstopper type items that we wanted to address before we rolled this out to the entire company.
And then when the came time for our production rollout, Mike, myself, and the MST engagement manager – we hit the road, and we went to seven different countries performed about eight to 10 in-person trainings over the time period of one month.
So, including everyone that attended those classes we reached about 600 people in person. They got two days of on hand orientation inside of our conference sandbox, which was a production like environment that had production like data. And then even when those two days were over, we left the sandbox open for those people to go back and do continual practice in the new business environment before the actual go live date. On the back end, we also had our sales management leaders create a coaching guide for our sales management leaders on how to have conversations with their staff and drive conversations in the tools. So, a big part of this implementation was getting the Microchip client engagement process, our custom process inside of Compass.
And how do we know that it’s there, how do you take advantage of that? And then after our go live, so that first week we had round-the-clock phone support. So, the IT and business representatives hung out in a conference room with a phone line open, and our user community could call in and answer any questions.
So, some people, some users decided to stay on and not ask any questions but just listened to all the questions. Some people were very vocal, but all in all, everyone had a chance. Now that they had the new tool that they needed to do their jobs with, they had an opportunity to get support.
So, a lot of those processes that Microchip and MST developed together for change management before production go live were things that we saw a lot of good and things that we carried on into our post go live maintenance mode. So, we’ve been live for over two years and there’s things that we still do.
We have really strong collaboration between the IT and business. One of the things that we like to do to help educate our user community is do something called power hours, where we just pick a specific topic. In the past, it’s been like a deep dive into how to get the most out of chatter? or how to create a Salesforce report? How to use the Microsoft outlook plugin? or any of the several custom Microchip client engagement process modules that have been built; and really do a deep dive into things that go beyond what you would find in a Trailhead website or class and customize it to Microchips’ business needs.
All of those trainings, we store them, we record them, document agendas and timestamps, post those as knowledge articles inside of our Compass tools so that people can go back and watch them at their convenience. They’re easily searchable inside the system that they work in, on a day-to-day basis. So, no better place to put that information. And then, we also schedule bi-weekly help calls for all of our users. So, close to 2000 users all are invited to these calls. We do them every other week and it’s helpful, especially when we have maintenance releases and want to discuss new features that our team has implemented do specific trainings and you still get a lot of new users and people that are new to Microchip through acquisitions and things like that.
And new hires can call on and ask questions there too. When we have too many of those groups, we often do customize trainings and periodic trainings for new hires to bring people up to speed on what’s happening inside of Compass. And throughout Microchip, we’re really a strong proponent of and user of chatter.
We have a lot of groups and really take advantage of being able to tag specific audiences. And as an IS manager, I love it, because it’s a great place to store release notes and communicate changes that were implemented and make the business fully aware of what’s coming, when we’re going to have a system outage, what features are coming down, the sales pipeline and things like that, especially, a great place to answer questions and get a lot of visibility. And then in the spirit of continuously maintaining an executive level buy-in, we have several meetings, some are IT meetings, some are business meetings, but the topic of Compass, its progress, and new features that we’re implementing are often presented on a quarterly basis to our executive staff. So those are the measures that we take to keep the buy-in going.
And yeah, Jennifer, those are some of the main change management objectives and processes that we follow today.
Jennifer Capestany: Well, thank you, Barret. And I think that’s probably a really perfect transition into talking about the benefits. So, after all that meticulous planning, the extremely thorough change management, how has Compass proved itself so far to be an effective engagement and collaboration tool? And I think I’m going to hand the relay to Mike to start us off again, please.
Mike Malinas: Yeah. At the end of the day, it had to mean something that was productive for all of us. So, we also wanted to make sure that we were getting the return on the investment that we made into the investment of going down the path with Salesforce and MST and getting the results that we wanted. So ultimately in our world of client engagement, revenue is key, right?
Growth and revenue.
The leading indicator for growth and revenue is our funnel. Since the release of Compass, a little over two years ago, we’ve seen our funnel growth grow more than 20%. So that’s a leading indicator that we see that the tool is helping us engage with our clients better, making sure that those resources are being fully utilized. The full suite of the total system solution that we can provide and help a client is being fully offered to the clients. We also saw that our onboarding period for new hires, either from new organic hire or from the acquisition, which used to be two years was cut in half. So, bringing them into the Compass environment where they were quickly able to learn the Microchip client engagement process, understand where they had to go in for information and for training in collateral and then who are the key resources around the globe that can help them, their clients grow mutual success.
We have over 2000 employees now successfully onboarded into Compass, and we have an adoption rate of 90%. I know in speaking with some of the salesforce folks, as well as MST folks, this is a very high adoption rate compared to the average that they normally see. We have an internal goal of a hundred percent adoption rate that we continue to work on, specific areas to bring some of those users into the fold that are not as closely tied as our client engagement managers and our embedded solutions engineers. We also now have the ability to see how our specialists are – driven technology experts, business unit experts, problem solving experts, coaches in a sales coaching environment, et cetera.
We now have the ability to see how those folks are being utilized in one of the custom objects that we created called the Project Team. So, we now can see the makeup of those teams, we know that where Microchip has the most success with clients. We have a high rate of utilization of those specialists in the Project Team. We now have a way to look at that monitor and guide our teams on how to better use those resources. And we also have the ability for the mobile piece, which was something that we didn’t take for granted early on, right? As all of us are used to using our cell phones or iPads, or laptops, allowing those people to be effective while they have downtime or while they’re sitting in a car, like I said, on a train or in a customer lobby, right? There’s no longer downtime. They can open up their app on their phone, their Salesforce app, they could open it up on their iPad- compass works seamlessly. They can be looking for what they need. They can be updated, updating client projects, et cetera. So that’s still a huge piece to the ROI that we continue to see, to make sure that we’re being effective along the client’s journey.
Barret, would you like to add to some of the success and the personal growth stories that we’ve seen along the way?
Barret Hartman: Yeah. Sure. Thank you, Mike. I joined the engagement as an individual contributor as IT project manager and got to work with a lot of talented people from MST, their project manager, their solution architects, development leads, business analysts that really helped me because even though I’ve been in the semiconductor industry for 16 years at the time, and in IT for that long, I was relatively new to Salesforce.
I really leaned on them to learn the Salesforce ecosystem, learn what was possible. And it was really valuable working with the talented people at MST that really gave me a chance to grow and then start to gain the trust of other people at Microchip. The internal workings and processes inside of Microchip, along the way to the point now where I’ve grown from the individual contributor level to managing and leading the Salesforce/ Sales Cloud team at Microchip. It’s a team of 11 dedicated Salesforce employees that we still meet regularly with our business users and do regular scheduled maintenance and new projects for compass even today.
And then the other thing that I have observed is that not only do I have personal growth, but a lot of the people from the business for example, the 20 QA people that have said that were part of our regular user acceptance team for that year. A lot of times working on IT projects can be scary for people, coming from the business cause you’re not sure if your job will be there when you get back? But we actually found the exact opposite. So, as we went into production and then the time to do maintenance releases and go back in and fill out the user acceptance test team, we found that people that we had relied on in the past by representing a one role or another were no longer there because they had been promoted into other roles.
And we had to go and find a new people to represent the positions that they came from. So those were some of the things that we saw and was great to see along the journey.
I think Praveen, you’ve got some items that you’d like to talk about.
Praveen Rapeti: Sure, thank you Barret.
I began work on this project as a Salesforce Consultant Architect and ended down the line managing the whole project as a Senior Project Manager.
So, from the MST side, I went on to be promoted from Senior Project Manager to Practice Lead for the whole manufacturing and high-tech sector. Right now, I’m taking care of all the project deliverables that comes under our manufacturing and high-tech vertical.
Thank you. That’s it from my side and off to Mike.
Mike Malinas: Yeah. Perfect. And I think it’s good to mention the crossover influence that MST had on Microchip a much bigger company especially with the agile process, that was something that internally at Microchip we weren’t utilizing but we are now. And now agile project management is offered as a class within Microchip for employees to take and then start utilizing the agile process. And it was one benefit that we got not only with the great collaboration that we had with MST to design, develop, and deliver this product, but the influence that you guys have had on our processes. So, it was greatly appreciated.
Jennifer Capestany: Pretty cool. Thank you very much. I think it’s a really amazing journey to not only build Compass, but then also, the growth that both the organizations and individuals experienced related to the journey.
So, we already have questions. I think it’s a good time to actually bring the questions that people have up and see if we can get them answered. So first we have a question asking, “How long did the project take from the decision to move forward from inception to full adoption?” Who wants to take a crack at that one?
Mike Malinas: Yeah, Jennifer. I’ll take that one.
I talked about the conversations in the journey starting more than 10 years ago within Microchip. We finally put the investment dollars down, it was about four years ago, and we had a project plan of getting the tool, stood up at least for phase one within two years. And that’s what happened. So about four years ago, we started the development. It was a two-year development process, which included the four months of pilot. And so Compass now has been in production for two years. So hopefully, that answers the question.
Jennifer Capestany: Thanks, we have another one, it’s kind of a two-parter, some of which you touched on, ‘were you able to determine ROI after implementation?’ You did touch on that a bit, during conversation, but also what were some, if any, financial considerations that could have stopped the project and if so, what were the metrics or criteria that you put in place?
Mike Malinas: That’s a tough one. I probably won’t answer it exactly the way the person is intending to get a reply, but we have a lot of discussion around the dollar aspects, right? Anytime you do an implementation of this size, it’s never going to be less expensive than you want it to be, if that’s a nice way to say it.
So, we knew what our budget was. We had an idea on what Salesforce costs, either based on past experience of the acquisitions that we had, or just through working with our local salesforce folks. We also knew potentially how much it would cost to work with a system integrator and MST was very good partner in regard to being upfront on how much things cost both onshore and offshore and in the timeframe that we had for development; we were able to model what this ultimately would cost. So, we were always within range of what our budgets were. We exceeded in key areas where we had agreement it was the right reasons to exceed in key areas but ultimately taking over the product from MST was always part of our plan.
And as we built out Barret’s team, that factored into the cost equations as well; how things ramp up and how things ramp down to when you take over the product yourselves as a company. So hopefully that answers the question. I would definitely spend a lot of time modeling this across the number of users you think you may have in the future as your organization grows, what does that look like? What does it look like to develop the product? How do you sustain it? How do you look at quality architects, developers? everything that you need to t support design and improve the tool moving forward.
Barret Hartman: I’ll add on there. So, one of the things that helped along the way with costs and, is when we worked with MST together really closely on our requirements and got everything into MoSCoW diagrams; your must haves, your should haves, your could haves, your would haves and came to an agreement on what we wanted to accomplish with the project. And then using that, it makes it easier to go back and assess what kind of staff and timeline is needed to get there. And then once you’re there, you have a better idea of the cost.
Jennifer Capestany: Well, thank you. How about, ‘what advice would you give to other organizations considering a similar modernization or operational efficiency project like this?’
Mike Malinas: I guess I would take a stab at that and say, be patient. Fully understand what business challenge you’re trying to solve; is it a sales process issue? Is it a business issue? Is it something else? when you fully understand that, go off and get lots of feedback and ideas from your company, from users, from different business units that might have a different perspective than you. Sometimes when you’re too close to the challenge, or to the process, you don’t see everything as well as you should. So, I would say, take your time, understand your business challenge, and then go look for the solution that helps you solve that challenge.
I wouldn’t say that ‘one shoe size fits all’. There’s lots of ways you can solve challenges with the technology that’s available today. We chose Salesforce, they fit the need. They solved the challenge. They gave us the flexibility and the customization that we needed. And that’s why we went down that path.
But that took a lot of collaboration as we talked about internally to get to the point from a ten year ago discussion to a four year ago discussion to a two year ago deployment and then ongoing with ‘how do we continue to make it better for our users?’
Jennifer Capestany: Cool. We might have time for one more question. ‘What’s next for Microchip with regards to transformation, what do you do?’ Where do you take it from here?
Mike Malinas: That’s an ongoing dialogue within our company. And Barret and I were talking this morning; I’m looking at my whiteboard on all the different roadmap items that we’ve talked about or look to add in the future. So, we have an internal roadmap of things that we want to do or bring into the tool.
We always get continuous feedback from our users on how to tweak and enhance business processes. And sometimes our processes need to be changed for client behavior or change of business processes, et cetera. But we have a whole roadmap. That’s going to keep us very busy for a long time to come.
Each release, we do four releases a year, always typically has two to three large rocks, as we call them, in those developments and releases that we tackle to continue to improve our processes, both by client engagement, and then the collaboration internally.
Barret is there anything else I would have missed there?
Barret Hartman: No, I think that covers it. Great. I mean, yeah, as our user community has seen the tool and got more experience inside Compass and Salesforce and their confidence has grown, so has their appetite for enhancements. And we have an Azure backlog that is definitely filled and will keep us busy for time to come.
Jennifer Capestany: Thank you both. So, we want to be sensitive of people’s time and close it out for now. We have a couple of questions that haven’t been answered yet. We have not forgotten. We will go ahead and prepare that and give answers available to the questions that we don’t have time for. And we’ll also have some resources available for folks to dig into around transformation in this industry.
And I really, I want to take a moment to thank all of you panelists for agreeing to come on today and tell your story. It was pretty amazing and we’re real appreciative. So, thanks a lot.
Mike Malinas: Thank you.
Barret Hartman: Thank you. Good to talk with you.
Jennifer Capestany: Thanks all.