Product Reviews

5 Reasons to Use Blackthorn | Payments to Charge Credit Cards in Salesforce

We implemented out Blackthorn | Payments for a client, and they love it. It’s an intuitive, reliable solution their team was able to start using within a day.

As part of a recent enterprise Salesforce implementation, Port & Starboard configured Blackthorn | Payments (formerly Payment360) for a tech-savvy team of 35 who needed a payment solution, and here’s why:

1     Ease of Use
Our approach to training users is this: you shouldn’t have to spend a whole bunch of time training users. No one trains users to use Google or Facebook — users figure it out because the interface and experience make enough sense that almost every can figure out the basics. Same goes for products like Blackthorn | Payments. Once we deployed it (in record time, using their brilliant Quick Start guide), it took about 10 minutes to show 30 people how to use it, and we were off to the races, charging about a hundred credit cards within the first day.

2     Customer Service
When we encountered a confusing step in the configuration of Blackthorn | Payments, a knowledgeable member of their team set up a call with us within the hour. Over the course of a few days, the same team member was available via phone and email while we worked through some minor bugs. It was refreshing to get such quick support and from the same person, who was already familiar with our use case!

3     Reliability
Our client has been up and running with Blackthorn | Payments for eight weeks now, and we haven’t heard a peep from the users about any problems. Credit card transactions are being processed without issue every day.

4     Flexibility
We determined we needed to generate some additional records for the client’s accounting system and commission payment process. We were able to use the Lightning Process builder to kick off some automation upon the successful completion of a payment transaction, as well as update or roll back those records upon refund of a payment.

5     It’s Free!
Blackthorn | Payments is free to install in your Salesforce org. Payments are processed through Stripe, so you’ll only need to pay the standard Stripe fees for your transactions!

Our views and review of Blackthorn | Payments are our own and based on general payment processing requirements. If you’re in the market for a payment processing solution in Salesforce, please contact us today! We’d be happy to help you evaluate solutions for your company’s specific requirements.

Four Things We Love About Hoopla

hoopla leaderboard

We tried out Hoopla for a client, and we love it. It’s a simple, lightweight solution that perfectly meets their needs.

Port & Starboard provides analysis of alternatives as a service for our clients, which means we do all the research, contact the software sales reps, sit on the demo calls, negotiate the pricing, and provide our clients a recommendation and matrix of all the solutions we reviewed for them. In this case, we took a look at Hoopla, Ambition, and LevelEleven. Each of the three are exceptional products, two of the three offered a little too much functionality for what this particular client needed. In the end, Hoopla was the solution we recommended, and here’s why:

1     Look and Feel
Hoopla’s newsroom-inspired appearance is right up our client’s alley. It’s less “corporate presentation” and more “current events.” The slide transitions and ability to add custom slides, videos, and graphics was just what they were looking for. The channels will be playing in an office frequented by both their sales personnel, and their customers, so it was important to them to be able to communicate their message to both audiences.

What our client wanted:
A leaderboard to feature their top sales talent on the impressive flat screens in their multiple office locations
A solution that would allow them to pepper in videos, graphics and slides that compliment their branding and decor in each location
Something simple and affordable – they weren’t looking for a complex dashboard, analysis or coaching tool
The ability to display real-time or recently updated data from Salesforce
Scalability — the ability to implement the solution in future office locations as they grow

What our client didn’t need:
Fancy user-specific dashboards
A solution native to Salesforce or accessible through Salesforce
Complex data analytics
Management or coaching tools

2     Salesforce Integration
Hoopla is not built on the Salesforce platform, but it does offer a fairly simple integration, allowing customers to broadcast live Salesforce data as part of any leaderboard. It has a direct connection to Salesforce, so the use of a third-party middleware is not necessary. The integration enables Hoopla Users, Teams, and Leaderboards to be managed through the use of reports stored in a single folder in Salesforce. We were pleasantly surprised (and impressed!) by Hoopla’s Salesforce connector. The connector makes two to three API calls per report per sync, and settings allow administrators to choose the frequency that report data is updated.

3     Ease of Use
Whenever possible, we build a proof of concept of solutions we recommend to clients with their data, so clients can get a true feel for what the product will do for them. We set up a trial version of Hoopla, connected it to our client’s Salesforce org, and created a few leaderboards within two hours. Our client already had their Salesforce reports created, which made it really easy. We estimate it will take 6-10 more hours of set-up time to truly get them up and running for each office, but the initial set-up and proof of concept was really easy.

4     Standalone App
Based on our client’s requirements, the fact that this app lives outside of Salesforce is actually a better fit for them. There was no need to install a managed package and a bunch of new objects in Salesforce to meet their requirements. Doing so would add a layer of complexity that was just unnecessary for this client’s use case. This lightweight, standalone app with a connector gives them just enough functionality to meet their needs, and nothing more.

Our views and review of Hoopla are our own and primarily based on a single client’s needs. Ambition and LevelEleven are additional products we would recommend, depending on your needs! If you’re in the market for a leaderboard solution integrated with Salesforce, please contact us today! We’d be happy to help you evaluate solutions for your company’s specific requirements.