• April 11, 2011
  • By Koa Beck, Editorial Assistant, CRM magazine

Appirio Acquires VMG

Appirio, a cloud solution provider, has acquired VMG (Velocity Made Good), a structured, cloud-focused training and learning programs company.

VMG has been a partner of Appirio for the last two years. VMG assisted Appirio in  building out the company's Google Apps and Salesforce CRM training. Appirio plans to use VMG throughout sales, delivery, and solution architect teams to ensure user adoption and increase customer satisfaction.

Glenn Oclassen, Jr., the former CEO of VMG, will now join Appirio as the vice president of cloud adoption. Oclassen said on the VMG blog that "old school" training companies don't truly understand the multimodal approach that’s needed to driver user adoption in the cloud-based world.

"Although traditional customer training will certainly remain a critical part of the equation, driving user adoption is a much more multidimensional and dynamic exercise," Oclassen said. "It requires a true relationship with the customer—addressing their needs in the moment, anticipating future needs, keeping content current to the latest release, helping them redefine processes as needed, and nurturing emergent best practices. The shift from training to customer success represents a much more holistic approach to ensure customers derive constant value from their SaaS investment."

Oclassen added that many successful vendors "break down the traditional technical and organizational silos" to engage with their partners and customers. He observes a "realignment" with regards to customer service teams that he describes as "a more cross-functional approach to providing customers with a consistent and positive experience with every interaction." 

"This is great news for the customer, and it makes sense for the service providers as well," Oclassen notes. "In terms of what we see customers doing right and wrong, the biggest mistake we see is to focus solely on the technology and forget about the user experience. Companies may have a core team actively involved in defining the most elegant customizations and configurations, ideally aligned with their business goals, but if they don't prepare the other 95 percent of the company for its arrival, no one is going to take time to figure it out, let alone use it. And since SaaS subscriptions are nowhere near as confining as traditional product licenses, they're going to blame it on the technology and move on."

 Oclassen says he plans to bring many ideas to his new role, but asserts that Appirio’s customers will now have a more varied approach to reach enterprise goals.

This is Appirio's third acquisition in three months. In March, the company acquired Infowelders, a full-service salesforce.com implementation consultancy specializing in sales cloud, service cloud and custom cloud development. A month prior to that, it acquired TRE3 Group, which brought Appirio deep expertise and an active community that can help customers create high-performance sales operations, sell more collaboratively, and implement successful social CRM strategies.

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