Last week we hosted our user conference, Conga Connect, in the beautiful One Marylebone in London. Almost 200 customers, partners, staff, investors and those looking to learn more about Conga all gathered for the day-long event and attended keynote speakers, spotlight sessions, and Conga University classes. Demo and solution stations were also available for deeper dives into the Conga Suite and dedicated support. If you missed the London show, never fear! We’ve rounded up the highlights and a few of our favourite moments here.
Conga Product Keynote
We kicked off the day with a keynote session that highlighted a few of the products in the Conga Digital Document Transformation Suite. Will Spendlove, VP of Product Marketing, deep dived into one of the newest products in the suite, Conga Collaborate. He showed how both the sales rep and the customer can collaborate in real-time and stay fully engaged throughout the entire sales process, even from their mobile devices. Spendlove followed with a demonstration of Conga Grid, and how it works alongside Conga Contracts for Salesforce. He showed examples of the redlining and True-up® functionality, then provided an update on the two new Conga products now being offered by Salesforce: Conga Quote Generation and Conga Invoice Generation. Doug Rybacki, Chief Product Officer, also spoke during this time, sharing his extensive experience working with contracts, and how in 30 years he’s seen essentially four waves of contract management. In order to build solutions for contract management, Conga looks for the problems businesses are trying to solve, then tries to find the best way to leverage technology to solve those problems. “Contracts are the most important documents in anyone’s business,” said Rybacki. “That’s where you make money, save money, and reduce risk in your business.”
Spotlight Session: CPQ & Billing
Tim Clarke and Tom Davis of Salesforce presented our CPQ & Billing spotlight session. Clarke opened by discussing how customers are driving business model changes, and that these changes are requiring companies to transform themselves. He explained that traditional quote-to-cash systems present multiple challenges, including complex integrations, overly-manual contract processes, and the use of different quoting systems depending on the product. Instead, companies are now moving away from “quote-to-cash” to “quote-for-renewal” to reflect new business models, which focus on building recurring customer relationships. Tom Davis stepped in to give demonstrations of Salesforce CPQ and Billing. He showed how Conga’s eSignature and redlining features work throughout the quoting process, and how the new Conga Invoice Generation product works with Salesforce data to create professional invoice templates.
Spotlight Session: Implementing Salesforce CPQ & Conga with makepositive
The next spotlight session was presented by the CPQ Lead of makepositive, Olaitan Malomo. His discussion covered the implementation process, beginning with what CPQ buyers should do before engaging with a partner to ensure the smoothest implementation possible. Malomo suggests aligning with the different internal stakeholders—be sure each first understands the company’s current processes, and the problems with those processes they’re looking to solve with a CPQ solution. He also recommends challenging those current processes and looking for ways to simplify them first before trying to solve them with a tool where simplification may do the job. Malomo then explained how the makepositive implementation process works. He walked the audience through their “define and design” and “deliver and deploy” steps, then showed how they plan for success throughout the process.
Spotlight Session: GDPR Compliance
Conga’s VP of Privacy and Compliance, Mary Sparks, presented the final spotlight session on the topic of GDPR. She began by discussing the key elements of GDPR, and emphasized that what businesses need to focus on now is how they will demonstrate to their customers that they are accountable and compliant with GDPR requirements. Sparks highlighted the different data practices that now require stringent documentation before moving on to discuss Conga’s commitment to GDPR. “We will operate our products and services in such a way that will enable you to be compliant – that is our commitment,” said Sparks. She then announced that Conga will be one of the first companies to register to the French commitment to data privacy before the end of 2018.
Conga’s Roadmap: 2020 Vision
Chief Product Officer, Doug Rybacki, returned to the stage to present Conga’s product roadmap. Rybacki opened the discussion with the mega trend of digital transformation, and how Conga’s solutions are helping companies transform their document processes. Rybacki explained how, as we think about digital document transformation, the part Conga focuses on most is how data flows through different systems. He announced the 2019 release dates of the upcoming Conga AI products, which will allow customers to leverage their historical contract and document activity and data to better manage their processes. Rybacki also touched on eSignature and how it fits into the complete, end-to-end document process. This lead to the announcement of the Conga Composer Enterprise Edition package, which will include both eSignature and redlining functionality. Rybacki looked even further ahead to 2020, with Conga’s plans to build a unified app where customers will be able to use all of the suite’s capabilities together.
All-Star Customer Panel
The customer panel is always one of the most engaging parts of Conga Connect. In London, we sat down with Raquel Amador from Zoopla, Emma Cherrington from Brightpearl, and Alex Small of WPP. After using Google Docs to manage their cancellation and protection process for over 1,000 transactions and amendments each month, Zoopla knew they needed a better process. Just by switching to Composer, Zoopla have saved 160 hours every month! Brightpearl began as a Composer customer, then looked to expand their usage to eSignature. They were happy with Conga’s excellent customer support, and wanted to simplify their eSignature process, which involved using two separate buttons through DocuSign. Cherrington highly recommended taking advantage of Conga University courses when going through implementation. “It’s my first port-of-call,” she said. “The Google of my Conga world!” WPP is a global media and advertising company, and the parent company for many agencies. Due to the size of the company and nature of the business, WPP often has its own agencies competing with one another for the same business. With Conga, they now have a centralized contract management system that gives their internal agencies more visibility than they’ve ever had in the past. Agencies can search within the system to see if anyone else within the group, either locally or globally, has pitched for a deal with the client they’re looking to secure, or just search in general to see if existing contracts are in place. Additionally, the increased visibility has also helped with risk management. Legal teams now have better access to the terms of the contracts to ensure clients aren’t signing for a condition that isn’t acceptable. The first benefit WPP saw, however, after switching to Conga was simply the physical space they got back after getting rid of all of their paper documents. “There’s a particular meeting room at our head office that I want to rename after myself,” said Small. “I’m just so pleased to have the space back!”
Conga Connect London closed with a keynote from Pascal Matzke of Forrester. Titled, “Closing the Experience Gap Between Digital Offerings and Digital Operations,” Matzke discussed the evolution of the digital transformation movement. Most companies begin their digital transformation journey on the front end, updating functions more for aesthetic purposes. But, as soon as they try to scale up their core processes, according to Matzke, things begin to fall apart—most core processes are not built for change. “If you can’t connect digital customer experience with digital operational excellence, then you are going to face problems,” Matzke said. “If your data structure doesn’t correspond with each other, then you’re going to be unable to fulfill.” Companies will spend five times more digitizing their core systems than their customer service systems, but it’s a combination of both that will make a true difference. Digital transformation is business transformation, and everything should be built through the lens of the customer, with the end customer in mind. Part of this process should include developing insight systems that are truly end-to-end, focusing on how to use the integration of data through the entire ecosystem. Matzke stated that true digital businesses in 2020 will differentiate by:
- Putting delivering new customer value at the centre of what they do to break down the silos
- Simplifying the operations, processes, organisation and technology to be more nimble
- Shortening cycle times and using external partners delivers value faster
- Create a “sense and respond culture” and agile processes to understand shifts in behaviour
- Turning data into business insights to optimise the business
Finally, Matzke noted that we are not building digital transformation to say in two years: “Okay, we are done.” Digital transformation is not a “one and done” process. Instead, we should continue to rethink the way we work rather than optimise the way that we already work, starting with what the customers need and value, and working backwards from there.
Join Conga at Our Next Event
Thanks to all who joined us for another successful Conga Connect! We will be back on 5 December 2018, in the Atrium of Salesforce Tower London at 4 P.M. for an evening of CPQ: From Opportunity to Revenue! Register now to hear how customers Smart Focus and Haymarket have transformed their quote and billing process using the Salesforce platform and how they have implemented, extended and integrated solutions from Conga, Jitterbit and makepositive to achieve amazing results.