Lightning Experience Has Revolutionized the Consulting Delivery Model

Robert Hogervorst

Salesforce has long been regarded as the premier CRM platform for companies looking to effectively and efficiently implement digital solutions. Their investment in the next-generation Lightning Experience platform is creating substantial benefits and fundamentally changing how organizations are realizing value from their digital transformations.

Lightning Experience (or LEX) simplifies the design and build of Salesforce-hosted solutions by utilizing no-code, drag-and-drop, pre-configured components to enable business processes. Salesforce and its consultant ecosystem have produced a growing library of more than 850 of these exclusive Lightning-compatible Components, Bolts, Apps, Web Apps and Flows. Constructed to specifically address common business challenges and use cases, these assets allow customers to unlock real business value faster than if they had built a custom solution from scratch.

The model of building once and reusing, which the Lightning platform enables, is reinventing how consultants should approach delivering their services.

The biggest difference between the firms that have evolved with LEX and those who haven’t is the creation of libraries containing pre-built Bolts, Apps, Flows and Components.

These partners are able to pull from a selection of pre-configured assets to supply a majority of their solutions, and then fill any remaining gaps with custom code.

At this point, it is important to note that Lightning does not eliminate all requirements for custom development. But a good partner will understand and advise when a proven asset should be used as a starting point to address a unique use case and when a custom build is needed.

7Summits has exemplified this willingness to adapt to the strengths offered by Lightning. It is the foundation upon which we built a solution for an American manufacturer known for its plumbing products. This client needed a modern partner community strategized, designed, built and deployed in less than 15 weeks, with the end result enabling collaboration with dealers, wholesalers, designers and customers. After robust planning, we utilized the reusable building blocks within the PartnerFirst Lightning Bolt to create an experience that integrated with the existing web CMS and featured key functionality for news, events, content repositories, announcements and lead management. This example provides a tangible look at how Lightning’s plug-and-play simplicity benefits the companies and consultants that use it.

Choosing to build on Lightning also incurs less risk. Because the assets used by your consultant are proven to work with the current version of Salesforce, any necessary remediations from previous versions have already been remedied. Companies can have confidence that they’re getting polished versions of the product that solve their business challenges.

Additionally, when clients want to make incremental improvements to existing solutions, LEX makes ongoing maintenance easier for the end user thanks to its system of clicks not code. Your team may be able to make these adjustments independently, reducing the time needed to implement your evolving needs. And because the Bolts, Flows, Apps and Components are unmanaged packages, you own the code. That means you don’t necessarily have to return to the consultant if you can’t configure a change yourself; your internal tech resources are likely able to handle it.

Lightning Experience has not only impacted how solutions are designed, but also how those solutions are delivered. Historically, companies found cost savings by balancing their mix of onshore and offshore resources. With the new model, cost savings and speed to market are achieved by creating and leveraging reusable assets.

In fact, analyst group Forrester recently quantified some of those impacts:

  • Productivity improvements of up to 25%
  • Time-to-market reduced by 50%
  • Drastically lessened developer turnover
  • Lower training costs due to LEX’s reduced complexity
  • An overall return on investment of 341% over three years

While benefits like cost and time-to-market are easy to quantify, subtler effects like Lightning’s impact on project delivery reinforce the importance of choosing a system integrator with the knowledge and expertise to take advantage of all the efficiencies that LEX offers.

When selecting a consultant, it is vital to pick a Lightning Accredited Salesforce partner. You should also look for the following:

  • Do they have a robust presence on the AppExchange?
  • Do they have an additional library of Components, Flows and Apps not available for public purchase?
  • Can they effectively meet both your out-of-the-box configuration and custom development needs?

Choosing a partner like 7Summits can be the difference in achieving accelerated returns on investment and improving your customer experience solutions to meet business outcomes.

Robert Hogervorst is a Senior Director with 7Summits. Rob has more than two decades of experience helping clients uncover business results using transformational digital business solutions.

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