Cloud Technologies Empower Businesses in the New Normal

May 7, 2020 Rebecca Whitlatch

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a host of challenges for organizations of all sizes, from small manufacturers and retailers to multinational corporations. Every day, business leaders wrestle with questions such as:

  • How can we continue to cultivate brand loyalty and support customer relationships during a global crisis?
  • How do we balance today’s critical focus on business continuity with the need to continue innovating across the business?

A new Boomi recorded webinar, “Adapting and Overcoming Business Challenges During a Challenging Time,” offers perspective and inspiring success stories for addressing those questions from two chief operating officers — Blake Thomas, the COO of Boomi customer Corkcicle, and Boomi COO Chris Port.

The webinar candidly explores coming to grips with an epic disruption — and brainstorming and creatively adapting to sustain the business and strengthen relationships with customers.

“This is a life-changing event,” as Port says in the webinar. “There is no playbook. It’s a day-to-day adventure, and we’re figuring it out together.”

Corkcicle Innovates With Agile Cloud-Native IT

Corkcicle, a fast-growth, 50-person company that makes and sells wine chillers, insulated drinkware, cooler bags, and more, is leveraging the agility of its cloud-based IT infrastructure and applications to support business continuity and roll out innovative programs that support its network of independent local retailers.

The Florida-based company launched a “Support Local” program to help local retailers that have temporarily shut physical stores. Shoppers on the Corkcicle website can select a local store to support, and Corkcicle will route profits to that small retailer. In addition, Corkcicle has set up new drop-ship programs by which it will fulfill orders placed through retail partner websites. This saves the partners from inventory and fulfillment costs.

“It’s little things like this that help us keep the relationships and the values and the partnerships we’ve built with independent retailers over the years,” Thomas says.

Such innovations are readily achievable because of the flexibility that Corkcicle has in running Boomi for integration and NetSuite for financials, inventory, and distribution. The combination of Boomi and NetSuite cloud-native platforms has helped Corkcicle make the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies for three consecutive years.

“We’ve been able to leverage systems that we had already built with NetSuite and Boomi,” Thomas says. "Platforms that we built in the beginning are helping us through times like this. Our business is a cloud-based business... we’re getting the benefit of decisions we made before the pandemic."

Watch the on-demand webinar, “Adapting and Overcoming Business Challenges During a Challenging Time,” to learn how to bring more agility to your organization during challenging times.

Boomi’s Focus on Customer and Community Success

For Boomi, priorities have included ensuring the health and safety of a 1,200-employee workforce, and engaging with customers to help support them in difficult times. Like Thomas, Port credits the cloud-based IT systems Boomi runs on with supplying business agility and work-from-home flexibility that's been vital throughout the crisis.

“Our focus has been how can we make our 11,000 customers successful — today, tomorrow, next week — and how can we partner with them as we all learn our way through this?” Port says. "What we’re trying to do as a business is become that much more agile and really skate to where the puck is in terms of reaching customers and finding opportunities for engagement.”

To that end, Boomi is doubling the size of its customer success team. It’s accelerating projects with "tiger teams” tasked with a rapid 10-day timeline to completion. Boomi is setting up a jobs board on the Boomiverse community to aid IT professionals in need of work, while Boomi training and certification continues to be freely available.

“Having those [cloud-native IT] skill sets is incredibly valuable, and we want to accelerate that and enable people who are looking for work to run up the curve even faster,” Port says.

And as Port notes, Boomi has rolled out Answers on Demand, a free FAQ chatbot that helps nonprofits, schools, healthcare organizations, and others keep pace with an influx of questions from their communities. The tool is the result of Boomi brainstorming sessions that generated more than 100 ideas in just 24 hours on how Boomi technology could help amid the ongoing crisis.

Answers on Demand is part of the Boomi for Good program, which also offers the Boomi Veteran Academy, which aims to train 1,000 service members, veterans, and their families on Boomi technology by 2025.

Cloud IT: ‘Not a Luxury, It’s a Need'

Demand for cloud technology skills will grow as more organizations, prompted by the ongoing crisis, accelerate migration to the cloud from inflexible legacy on-premises systems. The pandemic is making clear that cloud computing “is not a luxury, it's a need” for business agility and continuity, Port says.

Yet business continuity — "keeping the lights on,” as Thomas puts it — needs to be balanced with ongoing innovation. Businesses risk setbacks if they can’t figure a way to keep innovating despite today's pressures.

“If you’re not building your next 'bicycle,' if you will, then when you come out of this you’re going to be behind where you were three months ago,” Thomas says. “So innovation is unbelievably important.”

Thomas notes that the disruption creates opportunities for organizations to step back with a positive mindset and strategize. For example, businesses can revisit drawing-board products that might need a jump-start, and zero in on additional efficiencies that could be realized in both business and IT.

“Look at things that you weren’t spending time on, but which you knew might not be operating as efficiently as they could," Thomas says. “Make sure you’re focused on even small decisions that can make your business better for the long term and bring value to the table."

Emerging From the Crisis Better and Stronger

As Boomi’s COO, Port has made it a priority to ramp up daily communications with the Boomi leadership team, while the company as a whole has been ramping up communications internally and with customers. A focus on agility and making informed data-driven decisions are integral in Boomi’s approach.

“Agility and being able to react with the best data you can pull together to make a decision has become that much more crucial,” Port says. “Brands that take care of core customers and make sure they’re successful will come out of this better and stronger on the back end.”

Watch the on-demand webinar, “Adapting and Overcoming Business Challenges During a Challenging Time,” to learn how to bring more agility to your organization during challenging times.

About the Author

Rebecca Whitlatch is a senior partner marketing manager for Boomi supporting the NetSuite partnership.

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