In this age of instant connectivity, it’s surprising that more than 2 billion people around the world still lack electricity or reliable sources of energy. Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, believes that access to energy is a basic human right and that today’s approach to energy management is unsustainable.
Schneider Electric makes bringing energy to everyone on the planet a core part of its mission — in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient, connected, and sustainable. By redefining power and automation — and by innovating at every level — the company invents connected technologies that ensure “Life Is On” everywhere, for everyone, at every moment.
Schneider Electric power distribution products and energy management components are installed in 40%–60% of buildings in all major cities around the world, prompting one company executive to call it “the world’s biggest invisible brand.” Still, to power its trailblazing mission and achieve its ambitious goals, Schneider Electric must continue to make energy ever more efficient and sustainable.
As these are ambitious goals, Schneider Electric relies on partners like Salesforce across its diverse business. In fact, using Salesforce App Cloud, the IT team at Schneider Electric is able to unite employees and partners in hundreds of countries with applications that transform how they conduct their business and share data across various departments.
The result: one powerfully seamless unified customer experience.
For nearly two decades, Schneider Electric has grown rapidly — both organically and through acquisitions — which posed two new challenges for the CIO and IT team. First, they needed to integrate the disparate systems of the newly acquired companies — an ongoing challenge. Second, any new solutions would also need to connect an increasingly mobile workforce — currently over 120,000 connected employees around the world — so that any employee could access these systems through a mobile device.
The company launched a global initiative to streamline and align front-office business processes while creating a global network of excellence to better serve customers and boost cross-selling. To make the initiative work, Schneider Electric needed to unite the company on a single agile platform that could be deployed quickly to tens of thousands of employees.
Today, everyone from the leadership team to Schneider Electric associates relies on mobile technology from Salesforce to work from anywhere in the world. “I spend more than 70% of my time on trips. My office is where I travel any day of the week,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO. “We operate the company as a team, but the team is really enabled by all the new data tools, the fact-based analysis that Salesforce supplies.”
Like with so many companies, Schneider Electric’s long history with Salesforce began when the company needed a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. In 2010, as part of the “One Schneider” strategy, the company launched an initiative to replace multiple vendors with a single solution shared by all employees. Initially, the goal was simply to give its global sales teams a 360-degree view of each of their customers and help teams collaborate across disciplines and geography. But the advantages unique to Salesforce — a secure, trusted platform for all the customer data and a growing array of tools to leverage that data — made a compelling business case for consolidating further on Salesforce.
“Before Salesforce, we had maybe a hundred different systems with little silos of customer data. Now, it’s one transversal customer platform,” said Hervé Coureil, CIO.
Initial attempts with a different CRM solution suffered from low adoption rates, but in less than two years, 30,000 Schneider Electric employees in 70 countries embraced Sales Cloud to drive sales and service performance worldwide. Over time, the company has added Service Cloud, Community Cloud, App Cloud, and more than 30 apps from the Salesforce ecosystem through AppExchange. Today the company has more than 43,000 Salesforce users around the world and 400,000 partners working together through Community Cloud.
“Our service capabilities are now operating with Salesforce. Our quality processes, going from a customer pain point into a resolution, are operated with Salesforce. Our digital channel management is operated with Salesforce. And as we connect product, our partner management is organised with Salesforce,” said Tricoire.
That means today, Salesforce’s highly scalable, cloud-based model is the customer platform that helps the company's sales teams learn more with every interaction — and that delivers the efficiency they need. With Service Cloud, for example, 4,000 service agents are now able to solve 10 million cases each year.
“Salesforce has completely transformed the way we manage our customer base,” said Chris Leong, CMO. “We now have one version of the truth to rally the company behind.”
Salesforce has become the foundation within the company for customer-centric employee collaboration — enabling an increased focus on solutions as well as connected products. That approach — solution selling, which accounted for only 10% of revenues as recently as 2009 — now accounts for more than 40% of the company's revenue. Customer satisfaction has also improved dramatically.
By strictly adhering to two of its core principles — creating a unique account for each customer and logging every customer interaction — the company built a repository of 3 million customer records and 10 million interactions. The Schneider Electric team plans to develop apps to mine the repository, which “totally changes the paradigm of collaboration,” said Leong.
Today, Schneider Electric is harnessing a new power source to drive business: data. For example, when a building averages 82% energy inefficiency, there is a lot of room for improvement — and leveraging data is the best way to find incremental efficiencies.
“Our value proposition is around efficiency, how to make a process or buildings more efficient — and you can’t do that without harnessing data, leveraging analytics, and turning it into information and predictive intelligence,” said Coureil. “We wanted to move away from a very process-centric, one-size-fits-all view of the world to a user-centric view,” he said. These users — whether employees, partners, or customers — are key to the new way of doing things for the company. “Schneider is a customer-first company. We start our executive committee meeting by reviewing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. So we place customers at the heart of everything we do.”
Salesforce helps Schneider Electric become more predictive with each customer. By combining all the customer data with product information, the company is gleaning insights that will inspire new products and services. “We can make a huge difference when we help our companies really connect the dots, connect data silos, connect process silos,” said Coureil.
Next on Coureil’s agenda is tapping the power of the internet of things (IoT) to integrate all the data connecting Schneider Electric’s millions of devices distributed worldwide. “IoT is not really something new, because we’ve been connecting products on the factory floor and on the production line for quite a while. What’s taken IoT to the next level is the cloud because of the number of connected products and the scale you can reach,” he said. “And then it’s the level of analytics, AI, and predictive algorithms you can put on top of the data.”
At every level of Schneider Electric, employees share a passion and mission for creating a sustainable world. “For a company like us, it's a revolution. We used to do just energy distribution. Now we are speaking about saving and sharing energy. We are tackling the efficiency of buildings. We are bringing predictive maintenance capabilities so that our customers don't have to suffer problems. We can prevent issues,” said Tricoire. “When you work at Schneider, you know that what you do is really, really useful to the world you live in. We serve the community around us.”