About Sightlines Group - Improving Organizational Systems and Processes
Sightlines Group, founded by Chris Barber, works with foundations, community-based organizations, and global technology and banking firms by helping them develop custom software, and by designing and delivering leadership development programs. Sightlines Group works with technical teams or with entire organizations who need to build better relationships with their constituents, track outcomes, research their impact, and tell their story. Furthermore, they provide leadership development and coaching work, including the design and delivery of hundreds of courses to clients including HSBC Bank, Hitachi Vantara, and The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.
FileMaker - The Flexible CRM
Early on, Chris and his team developed some opinions about the role of customer relationship management (CRM) software, especially for foundations and nonprofits. “Often CRMs box people in and get in the way of adaptation,” says Chris Barber. Sightlines Group works most often with the FileMaker and Salesforce platforms to experience greater flexibility and scalability. FileMaker allows high flexibility, rapid prototyping, and rapid development. Salesforce allows out-of-the-box integration and enterprise scalability.
The Use Case - Syncing Data Between FileMaker and Salesforce
The CFE Fund (The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund: cfefund.org) is a national foundation that helps cities integrate financial empowerment into local government services. Their organization chose the Salesforce platform for its Case Management system which supports Financial Counselors located in cities across the country. First, however, the CFE Fund needed to transform and migrate several years worth of data from a legacy system into Salesforce. Sightlines Group used FileMaker’s rapid development tools to extract data from the legacy system and transform it into Salesforce’s data model. Rather than using traditional migration tools, they reached out to 360Works to see if MirrorSync could allow them to “sync” the data into Salesforce rather than performing a tricky one-time migration. This would allow the migration to happen over time, since data could be migrated to Salesforce, then inspected, and then further transformed from FileMaker, and then synced again to Salesforce.
The Solution - Using MirrorSync for FileMaker and Salesforce Integration
Upon first using MirrorSync, Chris and his team at Sightlines Group were pleased to find that they could trust MirrorSync to work reliably under the hood. “MirrorSync worked very well in the background, it has a lot of logic built in. Anyone who has worked with sync, knows that is usually not the case,” recalled Chris. The Sightlines Group team was able to be an important contributor to the use of this Salesforce configuration in MirrorSync for other FileMaker developers by providing helpful experiences they had while working. Chris shared that he was grateful for ongoing efforts from the 360Works team in always taking feedback and turning it around for improvements.
MirrorSync Provides Seamless Integration
MirrorSync was able to significantly improve the speed and efficiency in their workflow while accessing data between FileMaker and Salesforce. “Now, we can do this in a snap. We’ll work in FileMaker and watch it sync, using MirrorSync, to Salesforce a moment later. MirrorSync has made a big impact on our work. It's allowed us to merge the best that Salesforce has to offer with the best that FileMaker has to offer," shares Chris. He is very pleased with their new tight integration between FileMaker and Salesforce, he enjoys being able to hook in a variety of web services and have the choice of having them hook to FileMaker or hook to Salesforce.
Sightlines Group has configured their custom application for The CFE Fund to report back to FileMaker so they can take various actions based on the results in Salesforce, automatically. For example, they now have logic built in for posting to a Slack channel if there is any unexpected behavior within their application. It made their lives so much easier to receive clear information about what's happening back in FileMaker, without it feeling like a bulky add-on.
MirrorSync Manages Keys
The feature they enjoy the most is the way MirrorSync manages keys. “It automatically inserts, edits, and deletes child or parent records depending on your architecture. Salesforce keeps its own primary keys, so MirrorSync will take a new record in FileMaker, create a new record in Salesforce, get the Salesforce Id, and write that back to FileMaker, all automatically. If it did not work this way with managed keys, Salesforce would error out as Salesforce has strict key requirements,” reports Chris.
Final Result: A Complete, Synchronized Custom Application
MirrorSync is known amongst FileMaker developers to be an automated, customizable, and a fast-working tool. You can set it to sync just certain tables, fields, and records as needed - creating the most customizable synchronization solution. It even does bi-directional synchronization. It's a set-it-and-forget-it solution, and it's very fast. We can enter our data in FileMaker and 30 seconds later it propagates to Salesforce,” says Chris.
Chris and his team at Sightlines Group are experts in innovation. They work with millions of records in a single solution for The CFE Fund.
The technology they choose must be robust enough to handle financial data at a large scale, at all times. Using MirrorSync allowed them to
continue building the best possible, most reliable technology solutions for their clientele. “MirrorSync was a lifesaver! We have been using
it for about a year now syncing a few million records and 10 tables. It is nearly bulletproof, Chris reports. ”It allows us to get our hands into
the data in ways you normally cannot when working with nonprofits. With MirrorSync being bulletproof, we don't have to worry about the syncing, we can step back and treat the
application as one: Salesforce and FileMaker.”
Contact 360Works for questions or a free 14-day trial of MirrorSync's FileMaker and Salesforce (SQL database) configuration at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the MirrorSync product page!