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How the Salesforce Ecosystem Empowers Customers to Stabilize their Businesses in the Wake of COVID-19

Salesforce partners nCino and OwnBackup lead the charge in innovating for customers in crisis mode, stabilizing their own businesses along the way

It’s no secret that organizations have had to ramp up their digital transformations significantly in the wake of COVID-19. The world has now been grappling with the pandemic for the better part of a year, exposing the need for cloud-based solutions as companies have been forced to speed up migration projects in record time—solidifying the trend that cloud computing is here to stay. The Salesforce ecosystem is at the helm of that trend. 

Uniquely positioned to be trusted digital advisors to businesses in their response to COVID-19, our partners build solutions that extend the power of Salesforce’s cloud-based solutions to customers across industries, enabling them to respond efficiently to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. Two partners in particular were quick to develop solutions that enabled customers to stabilize their businesses, fast: nCino and OwnBackup. 

Solution Solving for Small Businesses in Crisis

nCino, an innovator in the financial services space, has been a Salesforce partner since 2011—and they’ve built their entire business on Salesforce. At the onset of the pandemic, nCino recognized the pain points specific to small businesses. Nationwide, institutions like family-owned restaurants, stores, fitness studios and more had to shut their doors while devising strategies to stay afloat. In response, the U.S. government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)—legislation that enabled small businesses to apply for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so that they could keep their workforces employed amid the pandemic. 

While this was great news for small businesses, lenders were inundated with loan applications. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, 4.9 million PPP loans were granted. Before COVID-19, many business owners seeking a loan would visit a bank in person and their  application would be processed manually. During shelter in place, this was no longer possible—making it imperative for banks to embark on their own digital transformation journeys practically overnight. 

“The main questions we got from our customers were, how can we continue business as usual while we’re all working from home? How can we accommodate the changing needs of our customers in a virtual operating model?” said Sean Desmond, Chief Customer Success Officer at nCino. “We’re a cloud-based company based in Wilmington, North Carolina. We’ve been through a number of hurricanes, meaning we’re well set up for disaster recovery—and so are our customers. We enable banks and credit unions to be flexible.”

nCino’s Bank Operating System® leverages the scalability and flexibility of the Salesforce Platform to knock down silos within a bank’s existing operating system, replacing them with a unified solution for onboarding, lending and account opening, and more—enabling them to connect with customers on one platform. At the onset of the pandemic, nCino realized that their existing end-to-end Small Business Solution could be augmented to empower banks and credit unions to handle the influx in PPP loan applications, so soon after the CARES Act was launched, nCino launched their PPP workflow, making it possible for lenders to simplify the processes associated with these government-backed loans by guiding them through credit and eligibility decisions. 

“When the government announced the lending program was coming and when the funding actually started, it was chaotic. People were applying for those loans around the clock until the money drained out. It was our goal to route as many of those applications through nCino as possible, because we felt strongly that we had the best customer-centric, streamlined experience,” said Desmond. “Ultimately, our customers processed over 350,000 applications during the PPP loan period, amounting to more than $50 billion in total funding that they were able to route to their customers. It was an incredibly proud moment for nCino to have participated.”

Providing Peace of Mind for Remote Workforces

OwnBackup—an ISV partner since 2015—has made a name for itself as a backup and disaster recovery system for customers across industries, providing automated daily backups, compare and restore for disaster recovery, sandbox seeding and replication, GDPR compliance, and secure key management. They’re committed to keeping their customers’ operations running around the clock with enterprise-grade, set-it-and-forget-it monitoring and recovery—both during the COVID-19 pandemic and over the long term. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, OwnBackup’s solution on Salesforce AppExchange—the world’s leading enterprise cloud marketplace—was added to the AppExchange COVID-19 Resources for Businesses—a resource page that connects customers to partner solutions tailored to help them navigate business decisions during this difficult time.

Sam Gutman, OwnBackup CEO

“As companies had to adapt to working remotely within days, they realized that there’s more that can go wrong with a remote workforce—teams are more dispersed, there’s less oversight, and some of the in-office security precautions like IP restrictions had to very quickly be loosened,” said Sam Gutman, CEO of OwnBackup. “When you combine those risk factors with the need to accelerate your digital transformation, the peace of mind that you can achieve success securely is imperative. Having OwnBackup in place allows you to be more confident in your acceleration.”

Partnering to Enable Digital Transformation through Unprecedented Circumstances

nCino and OwnBackup are two powerful solutions that can enable secure digital transformations in the face of any disaster—when paired together, banks and credit unions can streamline and back up their banking needs securely. 

Take Navy Federal Credit Union for example. Established in 1933, Navy Federal is a member-owned, not-for-profit credit union exclusively serving the military, veterans and their families. As the world’s largest credit union, Navy Federal has over nine million members and 341 branches worldwide. With multiple legacy systems managing various aspects of the business loan process, Navy Federal Business Solutions needed an end-to-end system that would streamline operations and reduce the time required to make credit decisions, allowing for agility and scale. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns of many small businesses and the government announced the CARES Act, Navy Federal Business Solutions received over 16,000 PPP applications in a matter of weeks. To put that into perspective, Navy Federal Business Solutions originated 700 total loans in the previous year. nCino helped Navy Federal Business Solutions process these applications in mass quantities in just days, helping to get funding into the hands of small business owners quickly. Without assistance, Navy Federal Business Solutions would have had hundreds of their employees’ process all their business members’ loan applications manually.

Prior to realizing the strains the pandemic would inflict on the banking industry, in 2019 Navy Federal had identified holes in their backup strategy as well as a need for tools to assist with development testing in their sandboxes. They turned to OwnBackup to address both.  After building their SBA PPP Solution through nCino, Navy Federal Business Solutions innovated on top of it quickly and confidently, with less risk having  OwnBackup securely in place. With the nCino Bank Operating System live within Navy Federal’s business services department, contact center and branches, backed by OwnBackup, the credit union experienced not only improvements in speed, including a 75% reduction in onboarding time, but improvements in business member services and growth.

“Innovating through trusted partners is a great way to drive success for customers, and our work with Navy Federal Credit Union and nCino is just one example of this,” said Gutman. “We love working with other partners in the Salesforce ecosystem and telling the story of how our solution plus other partner solutions can have a real and measurable impact.”

Finding Success Amid the Pandemic

Providing customers with the ability to stabilize their businesses has always been a focus for both nCino and OwnBackup—and it has proved to be a stabilizing mission for both companies. nCino celebrated their IPO in July, and OwnBackup’s most recent quarterly earnings have been record-breaking. Both companies attribute much of their success to their partnership with Salesforce—in addition to their partnerships with other organizations in the Salesforce ecosystem. 

nCino’s Chief Customer Success Officer Sean Desmond

“nCino has been built on the Salesforce Platform from day one—even back in 2011, leveraging the Salesforce platform was the best way to create an omni-channel banking platform,” said Desmond. “We do believe in large part we’ve seen accelerated growth due to the scale and depth of our partnership with Salesforce.”

While the PPP loan program has ended, the pandemic certainly hasn’t. nCino will continue to support banks through their platform, enabling them to respond to customer needs nimbly.

“Our platform enables customers to succeed end-to-end, from loan origination to account opening to the customer onboarding experience,” said Desmond. “But it also enables us to spin up solutions that are very targeted for specific points in time, with productivity efficiency, risk mitigation, and portfolio management in mind. Whatever chaos the pandemic brings, our solution will help our customers through it.” 

Innovating Across Industries for the Long Haul

Meanwhile, OwnBackup’s disaster recovery solution has been imperative not just for banks, but for organizations across all industries. OwnBackup has seen particular traction in the healthcare space. For example, athenahealth, a leading provider of network-enabled services and mobile apps for medical groups and health systems, has been leveraging OwnBackup to meet stringent requirements for their disaster recovery strategies to comply with several regulatory standards—from Sarbanes-Oxley to HIPAA. Driven by the desire for business growth and their need for compliance, athenahealth chose OwnBackup to provide automated, secure, daily backups as a comprehensive disaster recovery solution for its Salesforce platform. Both OwnBackup and Salesforce have been invaluable to athenahealth’s cloud first-IT strategy.

“We have customers in every vertical that Salesforce operates in, across every geography and every company size,” said Gutman. “And through the pandemic, we’ve realized that even though digital transformation journeys necessitate acceleration, customers need to think of their strategies as marathons, not sprints. There are no playbooks here, but we will continue innovating with valued partners to ensure our customers can succeed.” 

As winter approaches and the world braces for potential spikes in COVID-19, businesses that previously opened during warmer months may face closures again. Economic conditions will continue to be uncertain as the public anxiously awaits the introduction of a vaccine. More stimulus packages and loan applications could yet again be on the horizon, and organizations will continue to grapple with the challenges of working from home. The Salesforce ecosystem will be on tap to enable customers across industries to keep their businesses stable, no matter what the pandemic throws at them.

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