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The Art of Building Repeatable Solutions

[This is the third article in a series.]

For firms who have embraced micro-verticals the next step is a logical one: how do we use our expertise to discover, productize and iterate on repeatable solutions that will provide value to our customers and our business.

What are Repeatable Solutions?

Repeatable solutions are standardized, customizable offerings that Salesforce SI firms can use as a starting point for multiple customers. Repeatable solutions are developed using product development methodologies so they can be installed with a few clicks into any customer environment. 

You may have different business models for repeatable solutions – ranging from free and open source all the way to proprietary SaaS subscription models, and quite a few points in between. This will be the topic of the next post in this series, but first we want to focus a bit on how to find and create appropriate solutions for your micro-verticals.

Finding your Repeatable Solutions

Finding the right innovative, repeatable solutions for your firm requires taking a step back and encouraging your leaders to ask and answer questions and giving them some small amount/budget of time to innovate every month. Teams focused on micro-verticals should sit down with top sales leaders, architects and developers and ask some of the questions below. 

  • Where are the biggest areas where we are constantly repeating our work even if it is a set of small tasks?
  • Are we expert enough to build a solution that is technically feasible and highly impactful?
  • How profitable would we have been in our previous projects if we had a solid solution that we could deploy with just a few clicks rather than the hours we currently spend?
  • How much tech debt might we and our customers avoid if we could reduce or eliminate mostly-duplicated-but-slightly-different solutions?
  • How could we value-price this solution and how long would it take us to recoup our investment?

These are tough questions and creating the space to make this investment may require some convincing of the owners of your firm. But armed with the answers to these questions, a compelling business case will likely emerge. If it doesn’t, ask yourself this final question: if we are truly experts, why have we not captured our expertise in repeatable solutions?  Either you are not deep experts yet or you are not investing… yet.

Repeating with Flexibility

Building repeatable solutions does not mean sacrificing flexibility and customization. Many customers hire consulting firms because of their ability to take a platform and adjust it to a unique set of needs. However, many firms take this flexibility too far and have not climbed the learning curve of building components that allow them to move fast while retaining customizability. 

Tools like Cumulus Suite allow for solution development approaches that are modular, customizable, and flexible. Well-architected solutions can be customized after installation without sacrificing the repeatability that makes them so efficient to deploy.

Have you built repeatable solutions in your firm? What was easy or hard? How did you decide where to start? How do you budget for investing in repeatability? What did you learn?

Next week we are going to talk about what it means when you are able to sell solutions and “move beyond (only) selling hours.”  As always your feedback is very welcome.

The MuseLab Team

Authors David Averill, Jon Stahl, and Jason Lantz are old friends and co-founders of MuseLab which helps ISVs, SIs and enterprise customers build products and solutions, with less effort, lower cost and greater speed. They formed their friendship serving hundreds of ISVs, SIs, and at least one really big enterprise platform company you might have heard of.


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