Ian Gotts, Co-Founder & CEO, Elements.cloud CatalystIan Gotts, Co-Founder & CEO
Every enterprise is transforming itself to disrupt the market and gain competitive advantage. Digital transformation is at the center of every CEO’s strategy, which is why the Salesforce platform is seeing such rapid growth inside organizations in every industry.

The phrase “Salesforce@scale Dilemma” was coined by Forrester, the industry analysts. Internal success in an organization breeds demand for more and more. The complexity of scale then crushes Salesforce’s responsiveness. As Salesforce use grows, innovation slows and flexibility evaporates. Why? Every app change risks breaking one of hundreds of data and process customizations, integration links, and third-party add-ons. The Salesforce@scale dilemma is a challenge for customers to overcome, not an inevitable outcome of a Salesforce implementation.

What Admins and Consultants have been searching for is a simple, easily implemented and repeatable approach for clean up and documentation. It also needs to work for new builds, no matter the size or complexity of Org. And it must be sustainable as the Org evolves.

Enter Elements.cloud. Their Catalyst tool has been designed to support Admins and consultants clean up, document, and drive adoption of their Org. The app enables organizations of any size to reduce the costs and risks of business transformation, systems implementation, and regulatory compliance.

The Inception

The Elements.cloud founders (Ian Gotts, CEO, Adrian King, COO and CTO, and Richard Parker, Chief Customer Officer) are serial entrepreneurs who have been together 20 years. After the success of their last company which was acquired in 2011, they were not willing to hang up their boots but instead decided to focus on supporting the Salesforce ecosystem. They have built a team over the four years that has created Elements Catalyst. Designed to support Admins and consultants to deliver Salesforce projects more effectively, it needed to have enterprise scalability and security built-in and be architected to work with the most complex organisations with multiple Salesforce implementations.

The book sets out a simple, practical, and achievable approach to understanding what has been configured and how to document it

But it also needed to fit seamlessly into Salesforce Setup rather than be seen as an external 3rd party tool. The success of Elements Catalyst shows they have hit the bullseye.

Firstly, it analyses the entire Salesforce Org configuration meta data to pinpoint areas for clean up. But it also highlights the implications of deleting any meta data. Before Elements Catalyst, this has been almost impossible to do with confidence. Elements Catalyst is also central source of all documentation and collaboration for end users, business analysts, development teams, and auditors. Finally, it can drive effective user adoption by extending the Salesforce help with training content such as notes, videos, PDFs, and webpages as in-app, pop-up help for any object and field. Admins can respond to user feedback by quickly updating training content which reinforces the adoption cycle.

Rapid Results and Chaos to Control

An organization with no clear documentation of what and why it has been configured makes the whole clean up process a daunting, lengthy task. The question that every Admin asks is “How do I get some quick wins?” Elements has got a quick fix with its book, RAPID RESULTS. “We wanted to enable Admins to get tangible user adoption results in under an hour. The book sets out a simple, practical, and achievable approach to cleaning up page layouts and providing more useful in-app help,” explains Gotts.

For those embarking on a more comprehensive clean up exercise, the team have written a book, CHAOS to CONTROL. From migrating to lightning, running a clean-up project, building integrations to external apps, to implementing new functionality, the book provides a simple How, Why, Why approach. “We recognize that getting started is the most difficult step. So our approach enables the clean-up exercise to be delivered in manageable, bite-sized chunks. These are driven around operational areas, such as “the lifecycle of an opportunity,” explains Gotts.

Sky High Success Streak

Despite the teams 20+ years experience across 1000+ client projects, they have listened to their customers. This has shaped the product roadmap and helped accelerate their growth.

Joanna Iturbe, the Salesforce MVP at the University of Colorado Boulder terms the tool as a great, affordable solution for behind-the-scenes insights! “We are kicking off a big org clean up, and Elements Catalyst has been so critical to seeing behind-the-scenes of what’s being used, how much, and where! And it’s so affordable! We’re looking forward to diving more into the process mapping for documentation after we are able to get the org cleaned up!” states Iturbe.

"One of our customers put it best ‘It is as if Salesforce Setup got a huge upgrade’"

Richard Cunningham, a Blendery consultant working with Fortune500 clients, describes his experience of using the tool as, “It is a great tool for field auditing as well as process mapping. I’ve used Elements.cloud for diagramming process flows, and always liked its hierarchical approach. The top-level diagrams show the stakeholders what we intend to develop, and developers like to use the lower level diagrams with the details.” He further adds that now his company is cleaning up the fields in its app, and needed to know what refers to the 400 fields in one object. Elements Catalyst is the first tool he has seen that shows what reports use each field, as well as workflows, validation rules, page layouts, etc. It has saved his company hours checking each field in Force.com IDE so that the development team can focus on improving its app.

In another instance, Adam Schoolsky, Senior Consultant at Sadhana Consulting describes the tool as invaluable for his clients. ”For a pittance of a price, Elements will bring clarity to the chaos that we see, as consultants, to so many existing Orgs. Firstly, the ability to clearly map out a business process is something that is not often done. Now, our customers may have mapped out the steps in Salesforce, for a training document, perhaps, but the connection from the 'HOW' the business works, to the 'WHAT' is done in Salesforce to accommodate the process is entirely absent. Further, six months, or a year down the line, no one has a clue 'WHY' something was done a certain way. Elements makes those connections, easily,” he explains. He is also impressed with the support, “Run into an issue, or have a question? The Elements team is on it in a flash. For half the cost of a Starbucks coffee each day, you can have peace of mind and order in your Org. Awesome!“

Future-Proof Roadmap

Elements Catalyst has gained huge traction in the Salesforce market. But it is running on AWS and is therefore not limited to the Salesforce ecosystem. It is able to support the business process mapping and documentation of other applications such as Microsoft Dynamics, Workday, ServiceMax, SAP and Oracle. “We have built an app that the CIO can rely on to understand their entire application landscape from a business process, configuration and integration perspective. That is hugely exciting and a massive opportunity,” asserts Gotts.
- Joe Phillip
    July 26, 2019