Loaded with over 150,000 customers as of May 2016, Salesforce has become a well-known name in the digital market. Many companies have launched multiple instances of Salesforce to cater to their expanding needs. Some have rolled out instances to respond to acquisitions and mergers while in other companies, instances have been launched by different business units or intra-company departments. There can be some benefits to opening up multiple instances like diverse licensed editions, security and code/API call. However, enterprises must weigh the advantages of using a single platform for their multiple orgs before initiating multiple instances. Those companies which set up multiple instances to cover the categories of product, division, function and business units should note that Salesforce allows companies to construct apps within apps through its built-in features.
Initially, companies might find the costs (administrative and overhead) of a single org burdensome. These generally include on-going administration costs, licensing payments and implementation fees. However, one must keep in mind that over time, the costs of managing multiple orgs could start weighing heavy on the company, especially the 3rd-party apps and integrations.
Here are 10 benefits of choosing a single org instance over multiple:
- Smoother Administration: Management of a Salesforce ecosystem is a consistent process that requires different types of resources. The management tasks include maintaining of the user base, handling the business operation coalitions, gathering of data and creating reports. Gradually, businesses evolve and they foster new needs which would involve keeping track of updates occurring many times every year. If you have multiple Salesforce instances, then you would need these resources for each of the org while managing a single org will allow company resources to fulfill the needs with greater efficiency.
- An Economic Choice: Licensing- The licensing scheme of Salesforce is according to per-seat. While using a single instance, there will be convergence on the licensing fees. These are applicable especially in cases where the access of multiple orgs is undertaken by executive or management and by functional posts across departments.
- Ease of Introducing 3rd Party Apps: When Salesforce is extended through an AppExchange app or by integrating products like CTI solution or Marketing Automation, then every Salesforce org would need a 3rd party application. The latter would need installation, configuration and continuous management. In cases where there is a one-to-one relation with the Salesforce org, the company will have to configure and manage not only the Salesforce orgs but also the multiple instances of the 3rd party app.
- Uniformity of Data: When you use a single instance of Salesforce, you can cater to various business units, companies and departments through an app. Within this app, you can employ a singularly structured data scheme with same fields and identical values in the fields. Once there is a change in any of the fields, there will be corresponding changes in the other fields as well. However, if you use multiple instances, you will confront complications while tracking changes. How does the change of value in one instance impact the others? For instance, suppose a company uses Yes, Maybe, No for classifying contacts (with regard to conversion rate) while a certain division uses numerical ranking (1 to 5). How do we correspond the number to category? With a singular platform, you can receive uniform data.
- Light-on-the-Budget Integrations: In cases of integrating Salesforce with other business apps (like HR or ERP), having multiple orgs is a huge disadvantage. This will exponentially pull up the energy and reduce cost linked to implementation and maintenance of these integrations.
- Seamless User Experience: If every team member has to log into different instances for performing a task in totality, then the productivity will automatically reduce. Moreover, going through different ecosystems for a single task can become cumbersome and tedious. For this reason, it is best to have a single platform that provides tools for managing the task effectively.
- United Reporting: Using Salesforce gives you access to the latest Cloud powers such that you can create and run reports on live data from across the world. When you use a single instance of Salesforce, live data is available under a single platform and all you have to do is to organize them into a report. With multiple instances of Salesforce, you must bring together the reports through manual entry or Excel sheet. You could also maintain a master data warehouse or invest in a BI tool which would take care of the consolidation. However, this would pile up to huge costs over time across the multiple orgs.
- Standard Processes: Generally, every business has a set of defined procedures for operating the company. For instance, your company could have laid out a functional blueprint for sales representative that is to be followed across branches. When you have a single instance of Salesforce, such standardized procedures can be applied across the departments and divisions.
- Strong Social Networking: If your company uses a social networking tool like Chatter, then it is best to employ a single Salesforce instance to coordinate interaction across multiple divisions and departments.
- Holistic Viewpoint: Using multiple Salesforce orgs allows you to segment the data for every client and the relationship to them. By creating many instances of Salesforce (according to department and function), the sales representatives are kept away from data which could give them insight into potential issues that customers can face.