To say Forever Living Products runs on a global scale is not an overstatement. This health and beauty company is the world’s largest grower and distributor of aloe-based products. It has operations in more than 150 countries with a network of ten million-plus independent business owners.

In this latest “IT Visionaries, Andrew O’Hare, the VP of Digital Technology at Forever Living, shares how his team built a custom Salesforce community to connect business owners in a single platform supported with real-time data.


1. What’s been the big initiative of late for your department?

FLP360 is a completely branded, custom Visualforce experience that merges numerous best-in-breed cloud solutions into a single platform that is seamless to the end user. From our backend mainframes, we're pushing all of the events that are taking place in the system (sales, volume calculations, incentive qualifications, etc.) to Salesforce three times a day so our business owners can get a global view of their businesses. We have close to 15,000 global users in the system on a daily basis. It's really empowering for those users to have real-time data in their hands so they can make correct, timely business decisions.

2. Let’s talk more about the data.

We're a data-rich company with a high-volume distributor base and a large number of unique events that take place across our different operating companies around the world. We use Heroku and Heroku Connect to process back office Salesforce data so senior management and business owners alike can drill down into every detail. The entirety of FLP360, including its front end CRM system powered by Salesforce, can also be accessed on the go via a native iOS and Android mobile app, which is extremely beneficial for our users.

3. How did you go about rolling out FLP360?

We took everyone by surprise and released FLP360 in 46 countries on day one. Within ninety days, it was in 100-plus countries in 31 languages. Historically implementations done by IT have gone country-by-country, region-by-region, but that process can take years, and oftentimes a higher priority project would take eventually precedence. Now with the Salesforce App Cloud, we're able to iterate and achieve at a much faster pace to deliver at the rate people want and need.

4. What are the keys to this kind of development speed?

We don't have to create the security model, deal with building workflow, integrate to an email provider, or set up an infrastructure. The App Cloud does all these things for us. By utilizing the cloud-based tools in the App Cloud, it allows us to achieve at a pace that can't be duplicated anywhere else.

5. What’s been the response from your business users?

We've had numerous comments from top business leaders within our company saying it's making a real impact on them. It gives them a great deal of leading indicators that are actionable, rather than a trailing type of model where they feel, "Wow, if I’d only known, I could've achieved that." For some of our top people, it will literally mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional bonuses now that they’re able to have a real-time global view of their businesses.

6. Have you built anything else with Visualforce?

We’ve also used Visualforce to create a completely customized and branded UI on top of Salesforce’s Service Cloud. Unlike an out-of-the-box solution, App Cloud workflows are in the specific order our employees need. Plus App Cloud lets us pivot based on user feedback. Our applications stay incredibly relevant because we’re continually improving them.

7. How about scalability?

I have more confidence in our Salesforce-related projects than I do in most others. Our ability to scale and roll out projects in an effective, proficient manner is unparalleled to other systems we’ve used. In the past when we tried to custom build at a vast scale, we didn't have the people or the resources to get it done in a timely manner.  Now that we’re using App Cloud, those factors are no longer an issue.

The role of technology within an organization is rapidly evolving — and so is the role of the CIO. So how can IT leaders manage this transition and take advantage of rapidly emerging opportunities? Download this e-book to meet 12 visionaries who are leading IT transformations in their organizations.