Dorcas is a Christian organisation that provides humanitarian assistance and facilitates development cooperation. Dorcas invests in sustainable change in the lives of those in need who are marginalised due to poverty, exclusion or crisis. As an international foundation that is is active in fourteen countries in Eastern Europe, East Africa and the Middle East, it is important to be open and transparent. Good project administration is crucial in this respect. Thomas de Bruin, Manager IT at Dorcas, explains in this blog how their Salesforce partner Vloeiend IT, and in particular their Salesforce SharePoint integration FILE 365, contributes to this.
Donors and shops
Dorcas has been providing support to people in need for more than forty years. In the event of a disaster or crisis, we provide humanitarian assistance and we support communities to rebuild themselves. At the same time, we invest in structural remedies for poverty and social exclusion. We can do this thanks to the support of donors and with the income generated by the 43 Dorcas shops. As Manager IT, I support, with my team of six employees, our stores, the fundraising departments in the Netherlands and the offices in the various countries by providing them with the right technology and good hardware.
Uncertainty about the latest version
Every year we do hundreds of projects in the fourteen countries where we are active. As a foundation, keeping good project documentation is crucial, from the project proposal to the final reports. To keep track of all that documentation, we implemented Salesforce three years ago. Salesforce is leading for us, we have to store all final documents there. This is very important because as a foundation we often have to deal with audits. In practice, we saw that part of the documentation was kept in Salesforce and part in SharePoint. As a result, we had duplicate documents and there was often uncertainty about what exactly the latest version was. So a lot of ambiguity. Another challenge we faced was having external access to our documentation. This is not very easy to arrange in Salesforce.
Impressed by Vloeiend IT’s Salesforce qualities
In my search for a solution I came across FILE 365. File 365 is a Salesforce SharePoint integration that had just been developed by Vloeiend IT and I invited Merk de Jager and Auke Jutjens to come and give a demo. At that time I did not immediately choose to start with FILE 365, but I was impressed by Vloeiend IT’s Salesforce qualities and decided to partner with them.
New feature: Site Per Record
As the collaboration progressed, our need for a solution that integrates Salesforce with Microsoft 365 became more urgent. However, the way of document storage in FILE 365 was not quite what we wanted. By default, documents are stored in one folder, containing all records of that type. For this reason Vloeiend IT developed a new feature at our request: Site Per Record. This created the possibility to store all documents belonging to a specific project – a record in Salesforce – on a separate SharePoint site. This makes it easier for us to arrange the security of documents.
More clarity and fewer administrative actions
We implemented FILE 365 in November 2022 and we are really pleased with it. In an international organization, it always takes some time and energy to successfully onboard a new solution, but that is now the case. Thanks to FILE 365 we have a better oversight. Previously, employees had to check regularly if the final versions of, for example, contracts and project proposals were in Salesforce. That is no longer necessary. We can also bypass all those extra administrative actions: downloading, editing, saving, uploading and searching for the right version. This way we get much more value out of Salesforce. We are currently investigating whether we can further implement FILE 365.
Short communication lines
Besides the fact that FILE 365 is a valuable solution for our organization, the collaboration with Vloeiend IT as a Salesforce consulting partner is also very good. Not only do they think along with us about the design of our processes, but they can also automate things. The fact that they have knowledge of both Salesforce and Microsoft 365 is a bonus. I have been through integration processes before and know that it can be quite a difficult process. For one solution you need party x and for the other solution you need party y. Going back and forth between two organizations causes a lot of hassle. Now everything is in the hands of one party. A party with short communication lines and that is quick to act.