United Virtualities’ wordsmith-in-chief Morgan Friedman (who also goes by the title of CMO) recently sat down with our Partner & Managing Director of Commerce and Enterprise Solutions, Oscar Gonzalez, to share a virtual coffee and thoughts on Salesforce’s order management system, and it’s integration with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
(… 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: Hi Everyone, I’m Morgan. In the latest addition of the UV podcast, back with us today is Oscar Gonzalez, known as OG, or “the Old Gangster” around these parts. He’s our Director of the Enterprise Practice and Salesforce Commerce Cloud Master. And he’s here today to talk to us all about SFCC and Salesforce’s OMS and integrating them together. Some very exciting developments here.
Oscar Gonzalez: Yeah, we want to discuss a little bit more of what happened early last year, where Salesforce started promoting a product they catalog as Salesforce OMS. In a lot of the new implementations, they are going to start promoting a package, that includes the OMS and the idea is to reinforce integrations that were missing in the past and also compete with solutions like Shopify or Magento that have a better way to handle orders
MF/OG: <So, btw comment about high level> What is an OMS, for all the SFCC newbies here?
<comments about beginning>
OG: It is a way to handle and divert orders in the backend systems, the fulfillment systems. And this is usually more needed when an order needs to run different processes and there’s a bigger team in the organization that handles the status of a given order on a given day.
MF: Can you give us an example or two of these sort or more complex processes that might need to be run on some orders?
OG: Yeah, for example if you need to differentiate which shipment provider is going to handle your orders, right? If you need to also have a better visibility on what the orders status are and provide that visibility to your customer services representatives. All that in the past it used to be sent to another system and usually it would mean that there was a bigger cost with Salesforce saying “We don’t handle that part” and then leaving the clients to their own luck trying to find a better solution.
MF: I see, so traditionally there were 3rd party solutions to do this and you just had cartridges to just send the information over.
OG: Yeah, more than cartridges, the OMS is usually a system on its own. And this comes into play when you have multiple stores, you have a 2 omnichannel solution, then you might not necessarily know where an order comes from: It could come from the website, but what if the order originated in one of the stores and you want your users to return that via the website. How do you communicate that? And so…It is a system that specializes in managing orders, from status to how do you route them, how do you interact with them and the reason you separate it from the Commerce Platform is because as you grow, as solutions grow you start separating them by concern.
The Commerce Platform is, at the end of the day, a store. All you need to do is to sell, right? Now how is that order routed , how do you merge different orders from other stores? That’s usually not the concern of your Commerce Solution. That should be in another system that…think about that warehouse, right? That decides where is this order going, who do we assign this order to, and things like that.
MF: So until Salesforce started doing this, what were the most common, other platforms that you’ve seen historically used for Order Management, alongside Salesforce Commerce Cloud?
OG: The Salesforce OMS is usually, or, it is mainly based on a product called Mainstreet.
OG: Mainstreet OMS, so that’s an acquisition that Salesfroce did a couple of years ago. And there are many other products: Netsuite is one of them, probably a combination of OMS and REP. So there are many products out there in the market that specialize on this and I think that what I wanted to highlight though is that other platforms already have an OMS, like Shopify will come with an OMS and that’s why it was important for Salesforce to provide an option that helps clients get into having an OMS because it’s important for them going forward
MF: I see, that makes sense. And it’s also interesting that this is part of the classic Salesforce strategy of buying a company and integrating it. I hadn’t realized that this was Mainstreet.
OG: Actually, a couple of years ago we used Mainstreet with another client and a lot of people already know the in and out of the OMS because of that.
MF: So Salesforce bought Mainstreet a few years ago. Now, knowing that, what is the “new-news” or what’s happening now between the Salesforce Order Management System -formerly Mainstreet- and Commerce Cloud?
OG: I think now it’s integrated within or on top of the Lighting platform so if you use other Clouds, say the CRM, Sales Cloud and Service Cloud then you have everything in the same place, you know? And that’s great for a team that doesn’t want to be jumping from one screen to the other in order to achieve a goal. In general it’s a better solution and also if you have a team in house that works with your Salesforce Clouds, you are able to customize it and modify it to your needs.
There’s also an automated integration between the Commerce platform and the OMS. With other products you would have to do the integration yourself. With Commerce Cloud, it’s just a matter of requesting the integration and the support team on the Salesforce side, will do it for us.
MF: So Salesforce is really pushing the integration using both parts together so as a result now you can just ask for it and it will magically happen
OG: Yeap, exactly.
MF: Is Salesforce charging for the OMS use separately from the Commerce Cloud use?
OG: I think you can opt it. I think that this year it’s gonna be particularly -I don’t want to say “cheap” because that depends on the budget- but I think it’s a good time to get into the product and start learning.
MF: And what makes you suspect it’s a good time to get into the product this year?
OG: It’s an introductory offer, you know. Once the product is solid, and everyone has it, you usually see the demand dictate the price and also the price of talent. With more people knowing it, becomes more specialized…But right now I think that it’s a good time.
MF: Ok, that’s great. This is a great intro to OMSs and the Salesforce one, and the two married together. Any final thoughts to wrap up today’s mini interview?
OG: I think that one of the things that it’s particularly good about the OMS is that you don’t have to drastically change how you work to incorporate it. If you have a normal OMS or an average OMS implementation, it’s gonna be super simple to use the product as is and then grow from there. It’s also a great way for you to merge different clouds that might be working separately now into one BU (Business Unit) where you decide how everything moves back and forth.
MF: Ok, this is great. Love the brief intros, we’ll do it again soon. Thank you everyone for watching and thank you Oscar for humoring me with this. To be continued soon!