FinancialForce.com today announced a solution for media companies that integrates Salesforce.com CRM, ad servers, and FinancialForce Billing in the cloud.
FinancialForce for Media automates selling, tracking, and billing for online advertising. Basically, it enables online publishers to track all stages of sales, ad serving, and the billing cycle. The solution is designed to work with all Force.com applications and synchronize with other ad servers and enterprise resource planning systems.
“We were seeing this pattern with a lot of media companies of different types: They are doing a good job with Salesforce CRM and the sales process, but then the integration into ad servers was not very good,” explained Tom Brennan, vice president of product marketing for FinancialForce.com. “On the back end, accounting teams were struggling with getting the billing out the door in an accurate and timely way.”
The product took about a year to develop, and, according to Brennan, “dozens” of media companies have signed on, and the product is ideal for anyone who is thinking about online advertising. “There is a real opportunity out there to improve automation for media as the print world is moving online,” he said.
U.S. News &World Report was one of the first customers to implement FinancialForce for Media to improve efficiency and account visibility. “We were able to reduce our billing cycle by two weeks,” Yingjie Shu, vice president of information technology at U.S. News & World Report, said in a statement. “We are far more efficient, and have dramatically improved the billing reconciliation process.”
The cloud is key for media companies and “really solves the problem,” Brennan said. “Their CRM is in the cloud, their ad tracker and servers are in the cloud, so why not tie the whole loop out with a cloud-based solution and see everything in one cloud platform? If they are doing it on-premises, that’s probably four or five systems.”
Shu said that cloud computing has helped U.S. News & World Report “differentiate themselves” in the competitive and ever-changing media landscape. “FinancialForce.com’s media solution is providing the data, process efficiencies, and insight we need to optimize ad sales and deliver the best service to our clients,” he added. “We picked the right company to support our business.”
FinancialForce for Media is available now, and a yearly subscription starts at $50,000. The solution also can integrate with a variety of operative and ERP ad server systems, including Peoplesoft, Oracle, and SAP.