Google DevRel Implements Salesforce Service Cloud and Supercharges Partner Support with Lab5

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Four+ months of implementation time saved
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Countless Google team resource hours saved and reapplied to core business
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A new, searchable knowledge base with almost 6,500 article views to store accumulated knowledge in one place and help support agents with Q&A
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Higher daily issue resolutions, taking 3 days on average
Google Developer Relations

We're familiar with the consumer products provided by Google like search, Android, Maps, and Youtube. There are countless companies, software and otherwise, that develop products on Google technologies (Google Cloud) or for Google platforms (Android). Google works with a cross-industry network of partners to ensure that developers at marquis partner companies can seamlessly build, release, and run their software on Google-provided infrastructure. The Google Partner Developer Relations team, or "Partner DevRel" is the support team behind the magic that keeps those machines running smoothly.

Partner Devrel needs a powerful service cloud to streamline support agent workloads, build knowledge, handle cases, and free up time, all in one central and powerful hub. Google Partner DevRel works across the U.S. and in Tokyo, Japan.  

Partner DevRel came to Lab5 with an urgent request: set up Service Cloud on Salesforce to maintain partner support and satisfaction, before their long-standing internal email and support tool was deprecated (in two months’ time!).

The Challenge

The Partner DevRel team spends their days answering questions, working on unique support cases, and facilitating client comfort around Android projects and apps. 

So, when their long-standing internal email support tool announced it was shutting down, they needed to act quickly. Plus, as their team grew and time passed, the tool wasn’t serving them in the way they needed. They wanted to find something better.

This was a particularly high-stakes challenge. What hung in the balance? Their important Android user relationships, their institutional knowledge, and an intensive, time-sensitive demand on their resources. 

“When we needed an alternative tool, Salesforce was the obvious choice, but I was a little skeptical,” said Randi Gumacal, program manager at Partner DevRel. “No one on our team had any idea how to set it up. We knew it would take time to really understand it and get up to speed.” 

Randi and her team looked at internal Google tools, and considered other options. When another Google manager recommended Lab5, they set up a meeting. 

“Salesforce was the tool that, for the most part, had everything we needed, but we lacked the support to be able to set it up and run it ourselves,” Gumacal said. 

“I didn’t know anything about Salesforce. I needed a timeline to figure out how long it would take to spin up. Meanwhile, our deadline to spin it up was only a couple of months.” They needed a solution that would enable them to deliver fast, personalized partner support. Plus, they were open to learning about other ways to level up. 

After meeting with Lab5, Partner DevRel decided to move forward with ambitious plans for a new customer support system on Salesforce.

Lab5’s Approach

“Lab5 met with us right away. They were super helpful and super efficient,” Gumacal said. 

Lab5 drew up a proposal to lay out everything Partner DevRel would need, and the associated cost and timelines. Once approved, they got straight to work. 

Randi met Lab5 engineers who dedicated themselves full-time to the project. Lab5 also trained the Partner DevRel team and wrote playbooks for common use-cases in Salesforce.

“The Lab5 team was great. They worked across time zones and went out of their way to work on our schedule,” Gumacal said.  

When launch day neared, Lab5’s team flew out to Mountain View to provide onsite support. They conducted in-person training, as well as virtual training with the Tokyo-based team. They stayed onsite for a week to answer questions and troubleshoot. The Lab5 team also did significant work porting over old cases and streamlining documentation storage and searchability. 

Post-launch, Lab5 dedicated resources to meet with the Partner DevRel team weekly, to discuss ongoing knowledge management innovation and success. While the Lab5 team worked quickly to get Salesforce up and running on time, they also laid the foundation for long-term, continued success with the platform.

“Once everything was up and running, I worked with a Lab5 engineer to fine-tune all of the different aspects of our Salesforce instance. We looked at bigger implementation. We looked at installing a knowledge base, which was something that had always been on the wishlist but had never been realized. We looked at optimizing instead of just getting by,” Gumacal said. 

The Results

“There’s no way we would have been able to get Salesforce going with all the configuration in the background without Lab5,” Gumacal said. “We just didn’t have the time. It would have been a totally different timeline with totally different results.” 

Gumacal estimates that without Lab5, her team would have taken six months or more to implement Salesforce, not counting all of the additional time required to learn the ropes. Instead, with Lab5’s help, they got it done with time to spare: “We had the base operations running for everything we needed. And we even had extra time to make sure everything was moved over and functional,” Gumacal said.

Lab5 also set up the Partner DevRel team for future successes, long after the launch had finished. To this day, they ensure that the Partner DevRel team can focus on core work, while reaping the benefits of the latest innovations from Salesforce. 

“I’m not a big fan of ‘maintenance mode’”, Gumacal said. “I want to make sure we’re enhancing whatever is happening in Salesforce. We want our knowledge base and partner management to be progressing and working to the fullest extent possible.” 

That’s why Gumacal checks in with Lab5 frequently, to ask which tools in Salesforce can benefit her team. Drawing on Lab5’s subject matter expertise, they’ve implemented several functionalities that make day-to-day operations easier.

Lab5 and Partner DevRel continuously create space for conversations around support wishlists, new developments, and issues that need help. They’ve tackled several items that had been on the back-burner but lacked Google resources to implement.

One of the best things to come out of these conversations has been the knowledge base, which they launched over time and which serves as a key information hub for support agents: “Setting up a knowledge management system is one of the biggest things we’ve been able to accomplish,” Gumacal said. 

Lab5 used DevRel’s previous body of cases and resolutions to create a system wherein support agents could look up similar questions and cases. They collected information from a multitude of disparate folders and documents, and streamlined them into a central database. This change resulted in better canned responses, increased issue resolution times, and less active time spent on each issue.

They also started tracking the most-used knowledge base tools and documents. They looked into which documents were referenced daily, and which documents weren’t being used anymore. As a result, Partner DevRel got better, cleaner information, and surfaced the most important data for support agents. 

 “I don’t use Salesforce but my vendors do. So I need to make sure it’s working, while freeing up time in my day to get back to business,” Gumacal said. 

By using the playbooks that were created specifically for Partner DevRel, Gumacal doesn’t need to worry about learning curves or institutional knowledge that’s hidden away in one person’s head or Google Drive. 

“Simply put, Lab5 just made things easy for us,” Gumacal said. “They’re the ones that built this system. And then they walked us through it. To have that support, and to have it all written down, has been nothing short of a blessing.”

Support, Knowledge Management, and Self-Service
Business Process Improvement and Automation
Program Management and Impact Measurement
Branded Experiences for Customers & Partners
Seriously, I can’t praise Lab5 enough. They’re so easy to work with and so accommodating. They ask, “What do you need?” and go from there. Some vendors are cagey about the cost and scope of work. Lab5 is the opposite. They give you a straight answer and then say, "Let’s talk about it."
Randi Gumacal, Program Manager, Google Partner DevRel
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