Case Study: Column Five (Media and Communication)

Column Five sees 100% productivity increase.

Column Five Media is a leading creative agency that helps brands educate, engage, and inspire their audience through powerful visual storytelling. Column Five has worked with hundreds of clients representing a range of industries, such as GE, Intuit, Microsoft, Sony, eBay, and the World Bank. Their work has been featured in Fast Company, the Atlantic, TIME, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, GOOD magazine and Communication Arts. With Skuid, Column Five has transformed the user interface of all its apps to create a seamless user experience across the Salesforce Platform®, including AppExchange apps.


Challenge

Column Five needed a great CRM and business operations platform with an awesome user interface that would encourage team participation and collaboration around projects. Instead of viewing CRM, project scheduling and time reporting as necessary “evils” imposed by operations, Column Five wanted an integrated platform people could rally around, even having fun in the process of entering and viewing mission-critical business data.

Although Salesforce.com was an early contender, according to Operations Manager, Kaede Holland, there was a problem. “At Column Five, we make beautiful things,” says Holland. “We are a design agency that specializes in data visualization and generally making information beautiful. Out-of-the-box Salesforce would not have gone over well with our designers or producers.”

However, the Salesforce Platform had significant advantages over competitors, such as scalability, an open architecture, flexibility, and a low total cost of ownership. Column Five wanted all the benefits of the Salesforce Platform, including access to its ecosystem of integrated enterprise apps. But they did not want the complexity and clumsiness of a fragmented user experience. So Holland began searching for a way to solve the user interface problem, and found Skuid.

Solutions

According to Holland, “When we found Skuid, we made the decision to bring the whole organization on the Salesforce Platform, because we knew that we could just Skuidify everything and it would work the way we wanted it to.” Column Five chose the salesforce.com Sales Cloud as its CRM, along with several other AppExchange apps.

With Skuid, Holland applied principles of design thinking and the agile Scrum method to quickly create some prototype screens for users. She says, “It took me about one day to really get the hang of it—and now I can build new pages in a matter of minutes.” Based on user feedback, Holland transformed the user interface of salesforce.com Sales Cloud. Once users at Column Five saw “Salesforce on Skuid” they were thrilled. Holland then moved on to radically alter the user interface of other apps from the AppExchange, like FinancialForce PSA.

Results

The results have been astounding. According to Column Five CEO, Jason Lankow, “It is refreshing to have such clean, quick navigation. The team at Skuid has been extremely helpful and great to work with from start to finish.”

Column Five users adopted the new “Skuidified” salesforce.com system very quickly, with very little effort. In fact, rather than the typical grumbling associated with new system implementations, everyone wants access.

Users are very happy with the Salesforce Platform and Skuid. With Skuid, Column Five has transformed the user interface of all its apps to create a seamless user experience across the Salesforce Platform. “Being able to tab out related lists instead of stacking them in one forever long page has been such a time saver,” says Kaede. “Using Skuidified list views has saved me tons of time as an admin. I also decreased the frequency of using data loader for changing large sets of records.”

“Skuid is a more beautiful Salesforce,” summarizes Holland. “Skuid is hands down my all-time favorite app on the AppExchange. I’m not kidding.”

“Skuid changed everything. I feel sorry for people who aren’t using it.”

Kaede Holland, Operations Manager, Column Five