Unfortunately for Salesforce.com it's becoming an all too familiar story...
A Salesforce.com customer decides that, on receipt of their high-priced renewal invoice, they don't wish to renew and will, instead, take a look around the marketplace for an alternative CRM provider. The potential new provider asks whether a full copy of their data would be available and the Salesforce.com customer says they will check and calls Salesforce Customer Services.
Bear in mind that, in this instance, the individual in question, making the call, is the Managing Director of the company. For the sake of argument, let's call her Julie. Remember, Julie is THE person who makes the ultimate decision as to what her company does.
Julie calls Salesforce Customer Services and tells them that she wants to hand in her notice of the use of Salesforce and that her company will not be renewing when their current contract period expires.
Customer Services inform Julie that she will need to speak to Brian, her Salesforce.com Account Manager, and that they will arrange for him to ring her later that day.
Brian does, indeed, ring Julie back and, during their conversation, Julie tells Brian that not only is she handing in her notice, but she would also like a copy of her company's data to take to a different CRM system. Brian informs her that, in order to achieve this, she will have to call Customer Services in order for them to take the next steps.
Julie again calls Customer Services and tells them, as she had Brian, that she wants to take her data out of their system and into another CRM solution. At this point Salesforce.com Customer Services tell her that, due to the subscription level at which Julie's company is using Salesforce.com, there will be a charge for her to get an export licence to allow her to take her data out of the system.
Not only that, but the resulting data file will take 9 working days to be sent to her.
Ask yourself this question.
If you were Julie, what would you be thinking, right now?
At this point Julie has been left feeling that the CRM company she has trusted her company's data with (and let's make this clear, it's her company's data, not Salesforce.com's) for the last several years (and paid for the privilege) are now, in essence, holding her data hostage with a ransom being given for a delayed release. She's not impressed.
An hour later one of her employees, John the Marketing Manager, who has a login to the Salesforce.com system, receives a telephone call from Salesforce.com informing him that his licence for Salesforce.com is due to expire in the next few days and would he like to request the renewal be put through? Not only did they call John, they started systematically working their way down the list of Salesforce.com users in Julie's company's system, asking each one if they would like the renewal to be actioned.
Julie was told about this by the employees who had received the calls. She immediately got on the phone to Salesforce and, eventually, got them to stop calling her staff.
So what have we seen demonstrated here?
- Salesforce.com don't care how long you've been a customer. If you are on the wrong subscription, you have to pay for a copy of your data, end of story.
- Salesforce.com believe that the data your organisation puts into Salesforce.com systems is theirs - otherwise how else can they justify charging you for the data?
- Having agreed to pay for the data, it will take 9 working days to get the data to you.
- Once you tell them you want to leave, they will try stealth tactics to get one of your colleagues to overrule your decision and agree to the renewal, at which point you're going to have a legal battle on your hand to overturn the now accepted renewal request.
If you are already a Salesforce.com customer, you could be open to the above activities when you come to leave.
If you're not yet a Salesforce.com customer, but are considering it, it may be worth while thinking about how important quick access to a copy of your data is.
If you are looking to migrate from Salesforce.com to another system and time is of the essence, you will need ensure that you plan in for the 9 days delay in getting your data from Salesforce.com
The above story is true. The names have been changed to protect the people involved, but all time-scales and activities by Salesforce.com are actual.
It is worth mentioning that, with our hosted solutions, a FREE copy of your database is available to you not only at the time you may wish to take your SugarCRM system in house or move to a different solution, but also during the course of your hosting contract.