The Power of Apps: Aprika apps
By: Sergey Erlikh, Netherlands Nonprofit User Group Co-Leader and Solutions Architect at Cloud for Good, Nederland
In post 6 of The Power of Apps series, we’re talking to Colin Johnson, Managing Director at Aprika and Chris Woolcott, Development Director at Aprika. The dynamic duo have been working in the Salesforce eco-system since 2003 and set up Salesforce ISV Partner, Aprika in 2010 with the goal of developing cost-effective, intuitive and easy to use AppExchange solutions. Colin is an active member of the Salesforce Community and runs the Surf Coast User Group in Australia. He has also been a key team member in organising the Australian Surfforce and Snowforce events. Chris has been the Technical Architect & Development Lead on hundreds of local Salesforce.com projects, integrating with a wide range of 3rd party systems, such as Google Apps, SMS Messaging Providers, Payment Gateways and ERP systems.
What apps does Aprika offer?
Aprika has three solutions on the AppExchange. Mission Control is a project management / professional services automation solution built natively on the Salesforce Platform. Developed originally for our own internal purposes back in 2011, it actually originally started as an MS Excel Spreadsheet Colin created 14 years ago. It was then launched on the AppExchange in 2012 and has continued to push the boundaries of project management functionality on Salesforce. It’s now used by customers in over 25 countries around the world. Mission Control can be used in both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience.
Then we have Mercury SMS which provides a two-way text messaging solution operating natively on the Salesforce Platform that integrates with the MessageMedia delivery gateway. We originally developed Mercury SMS as a result of having to deliver a few custom solutions for customers after not being able to find a suitable solution on the AppExchange. The brief for Mercury SMS was to deliver a sophisticated solution that was easy to implement. It now boasts some unique features including a real-time ‘Message Feed’ and ‘SMS Inbox’ and processes millions of messages. Mercury SMS can be used in both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience.
Lastly, we have IntelliMail, which was the first ever app that we developed. Its sole purpose is to allow Salesforce customers to email their reports and dashboards to non-user recipients. It’s a great little ‘set and forget’ utility tool that helps customers share their valuable business information with their extended teams, including staff, stakeholders, customers and partners. IntelliMail only supports Salesforce Classic.
How did you get started working with nonprofits? Any stories you could share?
Sure, from the first day that we launched IntelliMail back in 2011, we’ve always been conscious of providing our solutions to nonprofit customers at an affordable price. Some of our first nonprofit customers include: Metro Ethernet Forum, Homeless Link and Walcot Foundation. We have always tried to emulate the philanthropic approach put in place by Salesforce. From day 1, we offered nonprofits a 50% discount on subscription fees for our solutions. When speaking with nonprofit customers, it’s really apparent how much of a ‘shoestring budget’ some of them operate on. We believe all ISV partners should do what they can to support the great work of the nonprofit community. Whilst we’ve always discounted our products to nonprofits, Aprika will officially be making the ‘Pledge 1%‘ pledge at Dreamforce ’17.
We asked two of our nonprofit customers to share a little about their use cases and the impact of using Aprika apps.
Global Action Plan – London, UK (using Mission Control App)
Global Action Plan is a charity on a mission to tackle the throwaway culture and the harmful effect it has on the health of young people and the planet. They are an Environmental Charity working with young people to reimagine their relationship with stuff and dream up very different ways of living and working. With the help of innovative companies and funders, Global Action Plan supports young people to demand and drive a happier, healthier future for themselves and the planet.
“Before Mission Control we were using lots and lots of spreadsheets for Project Management,” said Clair McCowlen, Technical Development Manager at Global Action Plan. “We were constantly finding the information was inaccurate due to links between documents being broken and collaboration was impossible as only one person could access the document at any one time.
“Mission Control has helped us to develop effective procedures and operational insight. Time sheets are now linked directly to projects, so we can ensure we are delivering to plan and budget. Projects now link to our Salesforce Contacts so we can ensure we have the correct information to hand. Using Mission Control has brought a lot of elements together for us -making managing our projects much more effective. Within the Mission Control framework we are able to track not just the status of our projects, but the impacts they are having.
“Going forward we will be using the data we have in Mission Control and Salesforce to develop greater analysis and reporting to deliver key information to those staff members that need it in an effective and timely manner.”
Camp Quality – Sydney, Australia (using Mercury SMS)
Camp Quality believes every Australian child impacted by cancer should have every opportunity to thrive. They do this by providing innovative programs and services to develop life skills and strengthen the wellbeing of children aged 0–13 years growing up with cancer, and their families.
“We were looking for a tool to integrate sending SMS into our CRM to avoid having to manually export data to our existing SMS suppliers,” said David Aitken, Business System Manager at Camp Quality. “After considering a number of other options, we chose Mercury SMS as we found it excellent value with the nonprofit discount and we like that it is a locally based company and had all the functionality we needed.
“The app has helped us boost the attendance rates at our events, both through SMS invites and reminders to participants. All with minimal additional work for staff, all they need do is type the message. No lists to export, no manual processes.
“Since implementing the app we have increased attendance rates at programs by our beneficiaries by using SMS to invite them to events, and remind them of events. This results in more effective use of our resources, by being able to either reduce numbers with vendors, or invite people on our waitlist to events. In addition, we have just implemented an automated volunteer interview SMS reminder system which we hope will have a similar positive impact on the attendance of volunteers.”
How can nonprofits get started with Aprika apps?
We offer 14-day free trials on all of our products. To get started, the best place is the AppExchange. You’ll find demos, test drives and factsheets for each product. If you do want to take a trial, simply click the ‘Get It Now’ button:
Like reading about apps? Check out the rest of the apps covered in the Power of Apps series.
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