Building a scalable end-to-end digital sales and marketing platform to drive growth

Columbia Road built a scalable digital business platform with admirable professionalism and a vision for driving concrete sales results. We could always trust their expertise and delivery. Now Valokuitunen is ready for growth. Katariina Aaltonen, ICT Manager, Valokuitunen


Key objectives

Valokuitunen is a company that owns, sells and provides physical fibre optic connectivity to customers living in individual households and small housing companies. These physical fibre connections enable a world-class broadband speed already to 20 000 homes in Finland. Valokuitunen is a joint venture by Telia Company and Capman Infra, and started to operate as an independent company in spring 2020, and consequently, was faced with the challenge to implement their own, holistic business platform in a strict schedule.

Valokuitunen was looking for a service provider that could act as a strategic partner to help them with the challenging implementation project. Even though the project focused on building a new platform, the end goals – enabling efficient sales and better customer experience – acted as our key objective in all steps of implementation and work prioritisation throughout the project.

Our main goal was to build a new platform during the half-year transition period. The starting point was newly refreshed business processes and requirements that guided the platform implementation. The project was not just about replacing the old disparate systems with a new platform, but building ‘greenfield’ capabilities, validating and further improving the new business processes.

Our approach

We set out to build a platform that fulfils broad end-to-end functionalities from both external customer experience and internal business stakeholder perspectives. In addition to end-to-end flows, we focused on fulfilling the specific needs in each functional area: online and field sales, website and customer portal, marketing, fibre area management, customer service and management reporting.

We started the project by breaking down business requirements, forming a prioritised list of capabilities and a plan for delivering them iteratively keeping in mind the tight cutover schedule. Early on, we recognised mission-critical development themes and tasks with major dependencies, and prioritised them based on business impact and effort. Our guiding principle was to utilise the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, different Salesforce clouds available in the ecosystem and the Dell Boomi integration platform as much as possible.

Columbia Road’s expertise in digital sales and utilising the Salesforce ecosystem to build the end-to-end solution were central in planning and further defining the development items throughout the project. Making decisions in a tight-knit team about whether to embrace the Salesforce ecosystem’s out-of-the-box features and adapt business processes, or to follow set business processes and customise the features, was fundamental throughout the project. Finding an optimal balance between these two approaches made it possible to stick with the given schedule, expectations and investment decisions.

The project was a complex undertaking and required active participation across the organisation as well as system and business partners. The team was composed of Columbia Road’s developers, Salesforce business analysts, marketing technologists, project manager, and designers. From Valokuitunen, the team was complemented with product and business owners, as well as the whole organisation spanning from sales, marketing, customer service, finance and fibre construction operations.

Thanks to the tight-knit cooperation, despite having a clear set of business requirements to start with, the efficient collaboration and flexibility in the Valokuitunen and Columbia Road -joint team enabled us to also add new business requirements to the implementation. The epitome of the platform’s scalability and teams’ cooperation and dedication to the mission, was the introduction of a completely new business model – selling the fibre connection as a monthly subscription.


Impact

As a result, we successfully implemented the holistic digital sales and marketing platform in the target timeline. The platform enables Valokuitunen to have world-class capabilities to scale sales and improve customer experience. The platform encompasses all Valokuitunen’s business and customer-facing processes: commercial planning, sales, marketing, customer service, website and a customer portal.

Instead of the siloed and loosely integrated systems of the past, the current platform is able to gather and utilise all business-critical data: full life-cycles of customers and fibre areas, marketing, sales and customer service activity data, all on the same platform. Utilising the data gathered across the whole customer journey enabled huge opportunities for creating business impact and grow in the future.

During the 6-month project period, we went from zero to live with:
  • Valokuitunen.fi website, including an ecommerce flow from availability search through secure identification and credit check to purchase and order tracking in customer portal – all built on Salesforce Community Cloud
  • Customised field sales mobile application for Valokuitunen sales, utilised by 150 field sales representatives
  • Sales Cloud implementation for both B2C and B2B sales and lead generation
  • Lead capture, lead and customer communication automations with Pardot
  • Managing fibre area and related network data and lifecycle using Salesforce platform and Dell Boomi to integrate with network and residential data
  • Omni-channel customer service for Valokuitunen and partner customer service agents using Service Cloud
  • Half-a-dozen business-critical integrations implemented on Dell Boomi’s integration platform, working as a middleware between Salesforce and various 3rd party systems
  • Capabilities to develop customer experience with Salesforce Surveys data on NPS and other key customer satisfaction metrics.

The solution is in daily use by almost all employees of Valokuitunen and key customer-facing partners. Columbia Road continues as Valokuitunen’s strategic partner in the further development of the platform while also utilising growth hacking methodology for measurable business impact.

Technologies utilised in the project

  • Salesforce 
  • Community Cloud
  • Sales Cloud
  • Service Cloud
  • Pardot Marketing automation
  • Salesforce Maps
  • Salesforce Mobile
  • Salesforce Platform
  • Dell Boomi’s Integration Platform as a Service (iPaas)

About Valokuitunen

Valokuitunen is a company that provides fast fibre network connections directly to Finnish homes by planning and building the fibre optic infrastructure. Valokuitunen is a joint venture between CapMan Infra and Telia Company, and started to operate as an independent company in spring 2020. Since 2016, Valokuitunen has been providing connections to residential areas in Finland, and currently has plans to invest around 200 million euros in building fibre connections.

www.valokuitunen.fi


Download reference case whitepaper


Online sales strategy and an actionable growth roadmap for a jewellery brand

Online sales strategy, a roadmap, and a great deal of knowledge transfer for one of the most beloved Finnish jewellery brands in six weeks.


Digital sales transformation for a global engineering company

A digital sales transformation program for Vahterus, including building new digital services for highly specific needs in a very complex sales environment.


One experience across multiple markets – scalable ecommerce that tells a story

This is how we built a scalable ecommerce solution enabling expansions to new markets anywhere in the world in just a few days.


Building an ecommerce platform that scales for multiple product and customer areas

This is how we built a trustworthy and versatile platform and infrastructure for selling numerous product areas with various use cases online.