Today, United Virtualities’ chief wordsmith Morgan Friedman jumps onto his personal couch and flings his laptop open to call Cassio Lacerda, a Salesforce Commerce Cloud developer and all-round digital solutions architect. The scope of their sit-down revolves around Salesforce integrations. Enjoy!
(… If videos are not for you, and you prefer the written word, we’ve got you covered. Check out the transcript of the interview below. Enjoy!)
Morgan Friedman: Hey everyone! Welcome to Recursive Business, the UV podcast. Lately we’ve been going through a bunch of our developers talking to them about interesting things that they’re building, and problems they’re solving, and challenges, and everyone keeps on talking Cassio. It reminds me of the keyboard I had when I was a kid, so I’m happy to finally be talking to you almost face to face.
Cassio Lacerda: Yes, hi Morgan. It’s a pleasure to talk to you and now our audience!
MF: So let’s jump in. Cassio you were just telling me about some interesting project you’re working on, tell us all about it, let’s go.
CL: This is a project about health products and it has the integration with almost all clouds from Salesforce. We are integrating Salesforce Commerce Cloud with OMS with other clouds like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud and so on.
MF: We often have an integration between this one and this one, but it’s exciting to bring so many different clouds together. Salesforce markets itself, and they always talk about how all these different clouds are easily integrated, it’s all part of the same back-end system, but because they actually bought these separate companies. Sometimes I wonder if is it really just branding? Or is it easy to do an integration between these clouds already?
CL: Well for Salesforce Marketing Cloud there is a cartridge connector that you can easily install in a Salesforce Commerce Cloud project, so for the main transactional emails it will be done more or less automatically. You just have to import some metadata and do a small setup and everything is going to be okay. Some adjustment in terms of front-end to the emails templates and so on, but you know, Salesforce Commerce Cloud as you know is an ecommerce platform and Salesforce OMS to handle orders in terms of fulfillment, invoice, shipping process till the order completed, you know. And Salesforce Marketing Cloud will be able to trigger transactional or no transactional emails from order, payment, shipping status to the newsletters, subscribers and marketing and mail and SMS campaign, you know, among others so if you are using all platforms… also we have in this specific project Service Cloud that allows us to make agents much more efficient and also integrated with other Salesforce Clouds to check and handle other issues and also process orders on behalf.
MF: I’m trying to envision in my head, this cloud connects to these different ones, this one to these different ones, and just thinking about it, all the cables are getting mixed up in my head.
CL: Yeah it was very good to design the diagram, the diagram is very good. I’m going to send you the diagram at the end of this call.
MF: I have a tangential question just because I find it interesting. In my past life I’ve seen lots of projects where they’ve come up with these complex charts but then as the project evolves, it changes but they never keep the charts up to date. Do you keep your charts up to date?
CL: Yes, I try to keep because I am in more than one project, you know. I never stay on just one project. So my time has to be precise, has been very accurate and for the team to know the right guidelines, I’ve always been updating.
MF: That’s great; makes me want to hire you. I have to think a little bit of documentation and just keeping things up to date, magically go so far and it’s incredible how few people do that.
CL: Yeah it’s a good idea for any project because you know, if you don’t have the right guidelines the people don’t know what to do, so it seems to be time spent in a wrong way. So yeah, I always try to have this very well documented. We have our Wiki page, that’s our Confluence page, from where we put everything and every time that I do some update that I also copy the people on the notes and so on, so I try to make sure that everyone is taking a look at that.
MF: I’m happy to hear it. I didn’t know about that part of the process, but it’s great. Question: Marketing Cloud has a module for Commerce Cloud to allow for the easy integration for these transactional emails to flow through it so that makes that integration easy. Which of the integrations in this cable windy diagram did you find the opposite? And the most complex, more than you expected?
CL: Well, actually the entire process for me is not something new. But we handle one situation that was about the first part of integration between Salesforce Commerce Cloud and and Salesforce OMS. The first part is done by Salesforce, it’s not done by us. But we discovered that this is a one-way direction integration, you know. For example the orders are created in Salesforce Commerce Cloud and it goes to the OMS but there is no way back. For example in the OMS the order we will change the status, the shipping will change the status, the payment can be changed also, you know, and there is no integration back so we have to create this manually. This was like a surprise.
MF: Wow, you learn something new every day.
CL: Yeah every day!
MF: And this is what I learned today. I’ve been hearing about and and spoken to some other developers about the Salesforce OMS integration, but I never realized it was unidirectional.
CL: Yeah, you will be able to see once I send you the diagram. But yeah we had to create some jobs to have all this connected also we have some jobs to connect to the shipping providers, to the payment gateways and so on, you know. But yeah, this was like a surprise, that the orders just goes in one direction and we had to create manually the structure to update orders in Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
MF: I see. So just to be super clear because I’m 99% sure I understand. I want to be 100% sure because I’m annoying. What I think you’re saying is the this one-way integration from Commerce Cloud to the new Salesforce OMS… the one-way part is what’s automatic; it happens out of the box so you can still get the information in the other way and like have account pages with the status on the site, but you just need to do all that as manual work.
CL: It’s done by API calls, right? But the first part is done almost like magic for Salesforce staff, so we just have to create the… but this is what we are here for, right? UV is here for solving problems.
MF: Love this spirit and the approach! This is great and of course everyone at UV has that same spirit. But more broadly, I often tell potential clients, anyone that will listen to me, that if you just want to click “out-of-the-box”, simple and it works, you may as well use Shopify than Salesforce! Salesforce Commerce Cloud is much more powerful, but as a result of that there are lots of decisions and customization and personalization to be done.
CL: Yes, you know, the most complexity in this project I could say, that each client has his own way for handling fulfillments, shippings, invoices and returns. So the customizations are, in my opinion, the most complex thing. But as I told you, we are here to help that.
MF: Was the client already using the Salesforce OMS or is part of the project transitioning them from their current OMS into the Salesforce OMS at the same time?
CL: Yeah, no, they were using before another platform. I forgot the name right now, sorry! But they were using another and now they are more or less migrating. So it’s not a real migration because they want to recreate everything from scratch. It’s basically that. But now they bought the entire platform so they have everything that they need from Salesforce.
MF: And did we help out with the migration or recreation process as well. How did that go?
CL: Well for some migration, about data, we are getting information from a place exporting as a CSV file and then we can generate some xml file to import in the Salesforce Commerce Cloud. It’s not a big deal because right now we are bringing just the catalog. The customers, as far as I know, will not be necessary to migrate. They are going to be recreating that. But even if you’re not we are prepared for that. We have all payloads that can be generated from the previous platform.
MG: I love the advanced preparation; being prepared for migrations that may or may not need to happen.
CL: You’re always one step ahead.
MF: You probably have like eight different backup platforms, including this cold storage and a nuclear bomb facility.
CL: Yeah. I already have done some migrations. I did in the past from the VTEX platform. I also did for Magento but I’m more specialized to work in Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
MF: Hey, I have a question for you. VTEX, they’re Brazilian.
CL: Right, yeah, yeah.
MF: And you’re Brazilian from your accent, it sounds like it.
CL: yeah I’m Brazilian, yeah.
MF: Being in the same country, is there any gossip news, like are they, like, are they the ones hiring all the bad developers. I always hear about VTEX; I personally don’t know them well. What are they saying?
CL: Well, I hope that they increase their sales and so on, but, you know, I’m Salesforce Commerce Cloud. I’ve worked also in Europe and there, we didn’t hear too much about VTEX. But here in Brazil, in South America, we have much more spread, you know. But even if that, as I told you my thing is about Salesforce, also an entire cloud of Salesforce. And that is what I want to do in the future, and I’m doing right. But, yeah. I like the companies from Brazil. I know that the team, that is made from Brazilian guys, is a team that we have to take care about, they are a strong team, you know? But even if that, I’m working on this Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
MF: It’s a great response, and it’s great you’re at UV because we’re all about Salesforce Commerce Cloud as well.
MF: This has been super interesting. Do you have any other thoughts or comments you want to say about the integration, the project you were talking about, or is that enough for today?
CL: I could say that the greatest advantage of integrate is to have complete solution walking through order creation, customer communication, customer services, handle order steps to delivery. Or in some cases to handle returns or refunds, everything happens in the same Salesforce environment. Different clouds. Different integrations but in the same Salesforce environment. You know, selling a product is just a beginning and it ends with the delivery and the final customer satisfied, you know? So it’s a complex thing that needs a complex tool, you know? And more than one cloud for solving each problem so it’s that what I think was the greatest advantage of this integration.
MF: This all makes sense and that sounds great. It’s very common for clients just to do this one or that one, so it’s exciting to see someone that can take advantage of all the different moving parts in the crazy Salesforce world.
CL: yeah, it’s good.
MF: This was fun, definitely one of my top podcast interviews so far. Let’s do it again in about a month!
CL: Yes, every time you want.
MF: If we do this too much, your clients will never get to see you as well and I know they want you even more than I do because their website is down. It was great talking to you, to be continued.
CL: Okay thank you!