OpenGate Consulting- The Technology for Next

Alec Elmore President & Founder OpenGate Consulting

Salesforce management is an integral part of the businesses. Over the years, it has changed the way people run businesses. Now what exactly is salesforce management?
To put it in simple words, salesforce management is a system of sales management that which helps the businesses to translate the marketing plan into marketing performance. Moreover, how would the sales be if not for CRM?

Founded in 2003, OpenGate Consulting brings impactful enterprise technology solutions to its clients. In 2008, OpenGate Consulting completed its first Salesforce project for a client wanting to build a custom solution to help it scale.  OpenGate Consulting provided an alternative approach, build on a platform (Salesforce), that will be the foundation for growth. Over the next few years, OpenGate Consulting continued to work with many different technology solutions including SharePoint, SAP, Epicor, but Salesforce stood out as the solution where business and technology truly created the most value. In 2013, OpenGate Consulting made the strategic decision to focus the firm 100% on the Salesforce platform and ecosystem.

The Journey of OpenGate Consulting

Conquering the Challenges:

Initially, the biggest challenge OpenGate Consulting faced was something that sounds easy but is hard to achieve; focus! With a team who have broad and deep backgrounds, OpenGate Consulting could help with many different challenges for their clients.  However, they could no be all things to all people, so deciding where to focus became critical to growing.   The market was clearly shifting to natively cloud based solutions and OpenGate’s recent successes with Salesforce made it the obvious focus.

Initially OpenGate chose to focus on Salesforce’s value proposition, which was to keep the solutions “code-lite”, e.g. configure as much as possible.  In the Salesforce world, it is referred to as “Clicks-not-code”. The driver for this was to create solutions that would scale with their clients as they grew and not create “code debt”.  The approach is core to how Salesforce drives value and impact in an organization. 

Over the last twelve years, OpenGate Consulting has worked on hundreds of Salesforce projects. As the experience has grown, OpenGate Consulting identified another opportunity to refine its focus, industry.  Salesforce began to create more refined vertical solutions and OpenGate followed suit.  While the team had worked in almost every industry, OpenGate aligned it’s expertise with Salesforce verticals and has developed a deep set of business and technology skills in the following inustries

  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Financial Services
  • Manufacturing/Field  Service
  • Non-Profit Organizations 

For OpenGate, the size of the client is less relevant than how speed of scale.  OpenGate Consulting works with small, rapidly scaling organizations to large multi-billion dollar companies – the common theme is the client’s focus on growth & scale. 

The common thread is our clients are constantly improving and adjusting their business and looking to leverage the Salesforce platform as a key element to that growth.

The Long-Standing Success-

The growth of OpenGate was driven by 3 key factors:

  • Salesforce’s popularity was an immediate catalyst for helping OpenGate build out the practice.  In the last 10 years, Salesforce has become a known and trusted organization and OpenGatewas able to marry its mission with their solution to drive client value.
  • The shift from IT buyer to business buyer – Salesforce shifted much of the enterprise software purchasing decisions from IT to the business.  While it has swung back to a more balanced model, 10 years ago, OpenGate’s ability to sit with business people and talk technology pulled them into more conversations that have led to long term client relationships.
  • OpenGate has always been focused on business first.  Even though they work in a technology industry, the focus is on how the technology will help an organization reach its goals. You can do almost anything with Salesforce, but the real question is “should” you and the answer should have its foundation in the business drivers and value.

OpenGate’s ability to understand business needs combined with the delivery speed of low-code platforms like Salesforce have allowed them to deliver impactful solutions to their clients like never before.

The Products and Services of OpenGate Consulting

OpenGate’s services are entirely centred around getting the most out of Salesforce.

We look at SF like any other asset a company has that should drive efficiency and growth.

OpenGate’s Salesforce services include-

  • Strategy
  • Global Design
  • Implementation
  • Managed Service
  • Custom Development
  • Health Check
  • Center of Excellence

OpenGate believes the upfront design and business alignment is key to clients realizing the most value from their Salesforce investment. During the design process OpenGate works with the client to identify the key areas of challenge and opportunity to then bring to the table options for implementation.  OpenGate Consulting believes it is important to share the options and approaches that you can take with Salesforce. This builds the client’s confidence in the recommendations being presented and builds a deeper relationship with the client,making them more self-sufficient in the long run. 

The Road Ahead-

“We NEED to understand the client’s expectation of a Salesforce investment, be it better performance, efficiencies, new products or services, improved engagement.”

Three key elements of Salesforce are changing how we will engage with our client’s different going forward:

  • Salesforce is a “Platform” at its foundation.  And as a platform, there is a tremendous amount of functionality that can be delivered with minimal code and mostly configuration.  This means Salesforce is far more than a CRM solution, it is the window into all of your constituents, Customers, Partners, Employees.  It can automate, integrate and drive your business.  And because of the low-code focus, changes are happen in a very rapid fashion
  • Clients are looking at Salesforce as an asset and assigning internal resources to manage it much more proactively.  This is taking the form of internal & formal “product management”.  Clients are focusing resources on governance & processes  to ensure they are realizing the maximum value and impact possible from Salesforce.
  • SAAS – this continues to be THE delivery format for organizations to scale.  It puts more control in the hands of the business users and increases the expectations of how fast things can be done.  Businesses change rapidly and there is an expectation for the software to adjust as quickly.

The impact of these three elements for OpenGate’s services is significant.  While OpenGate will continue to see Implementation Projects drive initial engagement projects with clients growth will come from two key areas:

  • Managed Services:  This term carries many definitions, but for OpenGate’s clients it is about delivering new, frequent and impactful capabilities to the business. OpenGate Consulting works with the clients to understand what is happening in the business and translate that into new Salesforce capabilities.  Fundamentally, they are delivering a Continuous Improvement approach to your Salesforce investment.
  • Product Management: While many clients conceptually understand what it means to “manage” software, most do not have the experience to implement a proactive Product Management structure.  This includes solution oversight, user engagement/adoption, executive visioning etc.  OpenGate helps clients implement and manage an effect Product Management strategy and ensure it is incorporated into daily operations. This will bring deep expertise in Governance, Product Design & Architecture, and Technical skills to leveraging this asset called “Salesforce”

We work side by side with our clients to establish a product cadence that is outcome driven for our client’s businesses.

As businesses accelerate their adoption of technology as the mechanism for growth and scale, OpenGate will continue to bring its deep business & technology experience to ensure the value of the Salesforce investment is realized.

Alec Elmore- Leading the Way

As a career consultant, Alec Elmore is the President and Founder of OpenGate Consulting. Alec started his career at the age of twelve at an oyster farm and mowing lawns. In his college days, he took worked at  Arthur Andersen – with their emerging technology consulting practice.  Studying at a liberal arts college made him realize that even though he was working in technology, the type of consulting he was doing was all about ‘People’. Working across various industry sectors and designing & implementing ERP solutions, he concluded that no matter the industry, it comes down to ‘People’,

I have worked across many industries and while they all have their uniqueness, the people dynamics are very consistent.

Alec Elmore- President & Founder, OpenGate Consulting

In 2000, at the peak of the Internet bubble, Alec left Arthur Andersen and joined a small dotcom company.Later, he joined a Supply Chain software company – Prescient where he led Professional Services and eventually moved into Product Management/Strategy. While he thoroughly enjoyed his professional life, a constant travel schedule took him away from his and the desire to be around them more often motivated him to start his own business. As such, OpenGate Consulting was born.

Building OpenGate and staying true to their core values has been the greatest achievement of Alec’s professional career. Why?

The Impact:  OpenGate’s clients have shared over the years, that OpenGate’s approach to working with them not only gets the tactical project done, but has long term impact on the organization.  It really comes down to thinking of the client’s Future in everything we do.

The Longevity: OpenGate Consulting has grown out of the ashes of the dotcom bust, and grew thru the recession of ‘08/09 and is now weathering the storm of COVID19 with the anticipation of further growth. 

Their Loyalty:  Our client’s stay with us, they come back to us with new ideas and look for opportunities to work with our team.  We have relationships with our clients that go as far back as 10+ years where we continue to engage long after the initial project.

As an entrepreneur, you set the tone with the team and the customers.  And you must be proactive in setting that tone, otherwise it will set itself..  Tone is best managed by remembering, “Everything communicates”.  Every little thing you do or do not do communicates.  This includes the email, the meeting notes, the presentation, the body language etc.  Our clients engage with us because we have built Trust and we work hard every day to build that Trust.

The Team of OpenGate Consulting

Demand for talent in our space is fierce, so taking care of the team is critical.  We work to stay connected with the team and listen to what they are looking for in their professional career and align them with the opportunities with OpenGate’s career path.

Empowering our team to make decisions, interact with clients and be a key contributor to our growth and impact is critical.

Flexibility – the world of consulting is not a 9-5 job, and requires some odd and long hours depending on the project.  We recognize that and provide the team the flexibility to manage their schedules and get their work done.

I think what makes our team unique is that we are not trying to make everyone the same, we come from a diverse set of experiences and our job is get the team operating from their strengths and learning every day.

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