When it comes to deploying cloud-centric customer relationship management (CRM) applications, integrator Bluewolf is a fierce competitor. Not only is it one of Salesforce.com's longest-standing deployment and integration partners — one "born in the cloud" — it holds the company's top partner status (Platinum) on three continents.
Indeed, Bluewolf very well may have completed more Salesforce migration and implementation projects than any other next-gen integrator — both for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) that are thinking cloud first, as well as massive global organizations, such as pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which is using the Salesforce platform on iPads with its sales reps to collect more insight about products while they are visiting physicians' offices.
"We are always thinking about the next evolution of cloud or social or mobile as a way of helping our clients focus on their clients," said Eric Berridge, co-founder and CEO of the New York-based firm.
Focus is one of Bluewolf's key differentiators: you won't really see the services firm work with competitive CRM platforms, but the company has slowly built relationships and skills for deploying at least 25 other cloud applications that are part of the Salesforce and Force.com ecosystem, Berridge said.
One example is the FinancialForce "accounting engine", which helps finance employees and get closer to customer data and intelligence.
You'll hear much more about Bluewolf's global aspirations in the coming 12 to 18 months, an agenda that is being driven by the needs of its top 50 clients, which envision a future wherein their global sales teams can operate on a seamless single platform. Right now, many CRM deployments — even those in the cloud — are still managed on a country-by-country basis, Berridge said. (Bluewolf has offices in North America, Europe, and Australia.)
"We see organizations really trying to realize the benefits of a single global instance," Berridge said.
Blueworld is building long-term relationships with its clients through a managed service called Bluewolf Beyond, which focuses on annual "innovation consulting" around cloud-centric technology approaches.
The company is also doing its part to promote skills associated with cloud computing, which are still difficult to find.
An example is its ongoing training program with Northeastern University to accelerate training on Salesforce and the Force platform. For the past several years, the integrator has given students the opportunity to work in its New York, San Francisco, and London officers. This month, 20 student applicants are being trained to earn their Salesforce certified credentials.
Bluewolf notes that "more employers are specifying Salesforce as a preferred skill set in their job descriptions". And the integrator is happy to help perpetuate those skills in the next generation of IT professionals.
Updated April 1, 2013: Clarified Platinum status information.