We come across lot of acronyms these days specifically with the abundance of new applications taking over our daily life. One such acronym is GDPR – a buzz word since May 25, 2018 – which is changing the way companies enable digital business transformation.

What is the GDPR?

The GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is a comprehensive data protection law in the EU that strengthens the protection of personal data in light of rapid technological developments, increased globalization, and more complex international flows of personal data. It updates and replaces the patchwork of national data protection laws currently in place with a single set of rules, directly enforceable in each EU member state.

What does the GDPR regulate?

The GDPR regulates the “processing” of data for EU individuals, which includes collection, storage, transfer, or use. Any organization that processes personal data of EU individuals is within the scope of the law, regardless of whether the organization has a physical presence in the EU. Importantly, under the GDPR, the concept of “personal data” is very broad and covers any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual (also called a “data subject”).

Does the GDPR require EU personal data to stay in the EU?

No, the GDPR does not require EU personal data to stay in the EU, nor does it place any new restrictions on transfers of personal data outside the EU. The key changes are the:

  • Expanded data privacy rights for EU individuals
  • Data breach notifications
  • Added security and accountability requirements for organizations

The GDPR also officially recognizes Binding Corporate Rules for organizations to legalize transfers of personal data outside the EU, and includes a 4% global revenue fine for organizations that fail to adhere to the GDPR compliance obligations. Overall, the GDPR provides a central point of enforcement by requiring companies to work with a lead supervisory authority for cross-border data protection issues.

Salesforce is Committed to Privacy

Salesforce was the first top-ten software company in the world to protect its customers’ data with binding corporate rules for processors approved by European data protection authorities. Salesforce was also one of the first companies in the world to certify compliance with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework.

Salesforce services have Trust and Compliance documentation published for each major offering. This documentation describes the architecture of each service, the security- and privacy-related audits and certifications the service has received, and the applicable administrative, technical, and physical controls.

Because of these privacy initiatives, Salesforce welcomes the GDPR as an opportunity to deepen their commitment to data protection. Similar to their existing legal requirements, compliance with the GDPR requires a partnership between Salesforce and their customers in their use of these services. Salesforce services will comply with the GDPR in delivery to customers. Salesforce is also dedicated to helping their customers comply with the GDPR. They are working to make enhancements to their products, contracts, and documentation to help support Salesforce’s and their customers’ compliance with the GDPR.

Mastech Digital & Salesforce

As a Salesforce Registered Consulting Partner, Mastech Digital, a leading digital transformation services company, is well-attuned to the changing data requirements of global corporations and the international regulations governing that data and its usage. We help our customers build a team, assess the organization to identify all systems where the organization stores personal data, and create a data inventory. In later phases, we assist customers in the establishment of controls and process, and the creation and compilation of documents to become and to remain compliant. As a result, the Salesforce practice at Mastech Digital is well-poised to make your organization data-savvy and future-ready.

Source: Salesforce.com

 

Shirish-Ashwat
Shirish Ashwat
Salesforce Practice Director



Salesforce® CRM is an award-winning solution created by Salesforce®, as part of its extensive sales and marketing solutions under the Salesforce® brand. It includes separate systems such as analytics, marketing, service, and community cloud.

As a CRM tool, the software helps you track all customer information and interactions in one location to follow more leads. The Lead Management, Marketing Automation, Sales Data, and Partner Management apps let you follow these leads until they are ready for conversion.

Our Salesforce® practice is helping companies understand how a CRM system can work for their business. If a Salesforce® application is configured correctly to manage data and improve data quality by making it accessible in real-time, users of the application are empowered to make more informed decisions, thus helping grow sales. However, CRM will not work to manage revenue, increase customer satisfaction, manage market share, or increase customer retention, as one needs to measure and report on activities that will influence these areas.

If you talk about hub-and-spoke implementation, Salesforce® could be the hub for a business or a spoke as a downstream application for a business. The hub could be a centralized data management system feeding spoke applications like the Salesforce® CRM application, ERP systems, and other applications. This could be very true to a company in the manufacturing industry, which has SAP installed as a hub, and other applications feeding off SAP data for orders, product information, or account information.

In some companies, Salesforce® could be the hub application while spokes are applications like Business Intelligence tools, home-grown applications, or pricing and quote management systems that feed off Salesforce® data. Any which way we view the implementation of a Salesforce® CRM application (hub or spoke), the push and pull of data between applications must be optimally configured based on business needs. This is easily configurable and possible only with cloud-based technology.

Given whatever implementation method or architecture one chooses to implement; clean data and data integrity are the key elements for any enterprise to ultimately drive business success. You may have heard, “Data is the new oil.” Unlike oil, the value of data doesn’t grow by merely accumulating more. It is the insights generated through analytics and combinations of different data sets that generate the real value.

Large Fortune 500 companies and small startup businesses alike turn to Salesforce® for their CRM needs. Mastech Digital’s Salesforce® practice, along with our Data Management & Analytics practice, helps many such companies implement the rightly-configured application with a heavy concentration on ensuring high data integrity. This has helped our customers derive meaningful insights from their information assets.

 

Shirish-Ashwat
Shirish Ashwat
Salesforce Practice Director



Back in the early 90’s, while working in India on a Data Networking project at Indian Railways’ Center for Railway Information Services (CRIS), we had embarked on setting up a so-called “Artificial Intelligence Database” for capturing data from the years of actual experience of train guards and conductors, and how their human intelligence played a role in reducing accidents. Our goal was to capture their knowledge so we could simulate the human thinking process to predict or prevent accidents. Our biggest challenge then, however, was limited access to computer processing power, robust data models, and data storage.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, and perform human-like tasks. Unlike years ago, today we have lots of data continuously being generated in abundance by the devices around us. With immense computing power (cloud computing) and robust data models available today, we are enabled to create smarter applications that aid humankind.

Albert Einstein’s famous formula, E=mc2, demonstrates the equilibrium between mass and energy. This equates very well to the relationship in the humongous data-hungry world we live in today. If the data you are accumulating in databases and staging tables has some intrinsic value when at rest, that same data when processed and analyzed in milliseconds by an intelligent tool, has incredible business value for individuals and businesses.

In my last blog, Empowering Business Users through Salesforce, I talked about Salesforce having a distinct advantage of showing instant results. Now, Salesforce combined with Artificial Intelligence introduces new functionality into its Einstein platform that further blends low-code orchestration with machine learning. However, that doesn’t quite answer the question of “What exactly is Salesforce Einstein?”

Salesforce Einstein is your data scientist. After a quick setup, it is ready to start making every customer interaction in Salesforce, smarter. With as little friction as possible, Salesforce Einstein discovers your company’s most important business insights, predicts what will happen next, recommends the best action to take, and ultimately automates certain tasks to free up your users’ time. Powered by advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing, and smart data discovery, every one of your company’s customer processes, workflows, and interactions will instantly become keener and more predictive with Salesforce Einstein.

To quote a few short blurbs, here’s how the Sales, Marketing, and Analytics Cloud will empower Salesforce users:

Sales Cloud Einstein: Guides sales reps to the best leads and opportunities so they can focus on closing the right deals

Marketing Cloud Einstein: Helps marketers create more personalized marketing campaigns by predicting what customers are likely to do next, and recommending content and products based on audience preferences and channel

Analytics Cloud Einstein: Automates and prioritizes the next insight you need to know

Did any one of us ever imagine a few years back that words like Big Data, Predictive Analysis, Machine Learning, and Salesforce Einstein would be part of our Statement-of-Work to help out Salesforce customers? Well, Salesforce Einstein will not help in writing our SOWs, but it has given Mastech Digital the opportunity to help our customers implement a powerful solution.

As a company specialized in digital transformation IT services, Mastech Digital and its Salesforce practice is ready to facilitate faster, smarter, and more effective customer relationship management initiatives for your organization.

Shirish-Ashwat
Shirish Ashwat
Salesforce Practice Director



I once was leading a requirement-gathering session to eventually rollout Salesforce at a client location. During a coffee break, I asked a business user, “What do you think of Salesforce? Isn’t it a neat application?” The answer I got was not sugar-coated at all, but rather, very candid.

The business user said, “Throw us any tool to use, and we’ll learn it. But, we’ll use it only if the data makes sense to do daily business, so I can get back to my customer with current order status or shipment location.” Upon hearing the business user’s prompt response, I asked myself, “How do I WOW this user, and others in the room, after the coffee break?”

So why Salesforce? Is it because it’s a trend in the market to implement a cloud application?

Salesforce has the distinct advantage of showing instant results, as it requires low coding, which helps deliver visual description much faster than coding. This, combined with relevant data from multiple data sources; integrating with Salesforce makes a business user all the more powerful.

In fact, a key success factor to increasing user adoption is having a harmonized application. This means concentrating on seamless integration with relevant data sources, and reducing data redundancy by not replicating data in multiple places. Giving a business user the assurance of accurate and consistent data is the greatest return on investment one can expect from an empowered Salesforce user.

In figuring out which tool to use for automating your organization’s repetitive business processes, Salesforce stands out as it provides multiple tools needed for the type of business process you want to automate with clicks.

Mastech Digital’s Salesforce practice has helped many of our customers eliminate the swivel-chair interface between applications, by rolling out one Salesforce application and integrating with multiple data sources.

Later, during the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase, I ran into the business user I met previously, and enthusiastically, he said, “I can beat the competition and get the product to market faster than before, as I have all the data to support me!” His excitement didn’t stop there as he likened the Salesforce search feature to Google search, to which my instant response was, “Yeah, it’s amazing, but it can’t help you order a pizza.”

Bringing best practices by experience, along with industry business process knowledge, is the key to rollout a successful Salesforce application, which Mastech Digital provides to many of our customers.

The benefits don’t stop here, however. New and exciting technologies including predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are now empowering professionals in ways unimaginable 20 years ago. That leads to the question, “What is Salesforce Einstein?”

Shirish-Ashwat
Shirish Ashwat
Salesforce Practice Director