Below is our recent interview with Ken Balog, EVP of Partnerships at CloudQnect:
Q: Ken, what is CloudQnect?
A: CloudQnect is a Richmond, Virginia-based Salesforce consulting partner focusing on Salesforce DevOps, DX, Integrations, Custom Development, and Marketing Cloud. We started the company in May 2017. Our clients include entities such as CarMax, Capital One, Dynatrace, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, ISC2, and USP Technologies, to name a few.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: The Inc. 5000 measures your growth over three years, and 2020 was a rough and challenging year. In February 2020, we signed a huge contract with a client that was to kick off on March 20th of that year. To prepare for that contract, we had to hire several new employees. We all know what happened on March 20th – COVID hit the scene. Much of the U.S. shut down. Our client put the contract on hold, which left us with a few choices. We choose to keep everyone we hired. Management took no pay or significant cuts, and some of our employees took smaller pay cuts. We also had other clients ask for temporary rate deductions during this time. It took about four to six months before business started to come back and pick up. The large contract changed to a piecemeal agreement that we are still helping our client complete.
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Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: All we do is Salesforce. Most of our clients are Fortune 2000+ companies, large non-profits, and federal, state, or local governments. Much of what we do is “behind the scenes.” Our team members are often Salesforce architects, developers, engineers, and admins, working with our client’s internal teams to integrate their tech stacks into the Salesforce, develop something custom, or transition their codebase from “Classic” to Salesforce DX. Some of our clients get started with us via our Salesforce DevOps Assessment. DevOps has always been our focus, and it has become a hot topic in the past year. Our DevOps Assessment is a four-to-six-week project that provides our clients with detailed reports on their current DevOps state, what a possible future-state would like, and a detailed implementation plan to get to that state. Every client who has us do a DevOps Assessment has hired us to help them fix and enhance their DevOps processes. On the Salesforce Marketing Cloud side, we are doing some cool marketing automation projects for our clients. For example, we are helping a few clients combine their customer and supplier interactions, whether by phone, text, social media, in-person, or any combination.
Q: What can we expect from your company in the next six months? What are your plans?
A: The next six months will continue to see us grow. Our DX and DevOps services are becoming better known, and many new clients are reaching out to learn more about them. Salesforce is continuing to grow significantly, meaning more companies will be looking for the expertise CloudQnect provides. We will need to add several new employees during this time, so we invite those with Salesforce experience to reach out.
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Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about you?
A: I’d say there are two things:
- Our recruiting processes are demanding. Only 5% of those who apply make it through our interviewing and testing parameters. Our interviews and testing ensure only those with the right experience are who we are putting in front of our clients.
- While the only thing we do is Salesforce, our team members will tell our clients when Salesforce may not be the best option for them. Along these same lines, many clients want to create something custom in Salesforce before thoroughly researching what is capable via “clicks, not code” in Salesforce. We ensure they understand and review the most straightforward path to reach their desired result.