Our VP of Partnerships Zak Pines recently interviewed Denis Horgan, Founder & CEO of Veltig, as part of our ongoing Partner Interview Series. Their conversation covered a wide range of topics, including starting Veltig in 2006, how Veltig has evolved, and the Formstack partner community. Here’s an abridged transcript of the chat.
Creating Veltig in 2006
Zak: Can you start by telling us about Veltig?
Denis: Veltig is a Salesforce, HubSpot, and Formstack partner—an implementation SI and an ISV. Our projects range from your basic implementations, like quick start, to full-blown implementation of every cloud, including custom development. We believe in the low-code/no-code approach.
Zak: You founded Veltig back in 2006. Can you share that story with us of how you came to create Veltig?
Denis: When I first came across Salesforce, I was doing call center consulting. At that company, they used Sales Cloud, and the director of support wanted to implement Salesforce for the service team. Service Cloud didn’t exist back then; it was just case management.
They asked me to help set it up, and I remember saying to myself, “Sales-what?”
I had to do some research, and I started a trial. We implemented the Professional Edition within two weeks but then realized that we really needed the Enterprise Edition. Another two weeks later, we had completed our mission. I had just done my first two Salesforce implementations within four weeks, and I was hooked. I focused on Salesforce as a consultancy from that point forward.
Zak: I’ve talked to many consultancy founders as part of this partner interview series, and it’s amazing how many start with a story like this—born out of a single project.
Denis: Back then, there weren't that many partners around, and Salesforce was eager to sign up new ones. They onboarded new partners regardless of the size of their practice, and so that allowed a one-man shop like me to become a certified partner.
Zak: How did you grow from there?
Denis: Early on, I found the need to be able to do custom development work. I am not a hands-on developer, so I hired Jason West, and he has been with me ever since—the past 13 years. These days, each Salesforce release comes fast and furious. There is a lot of innovation, and it’s hard to keep up with everything. It became clear that you can do way more as a team than as an individual. We built Veltig out as a team. We have subject matter experts in marketing, collaboration, sales, and service.
More on Veltig
Zak: Most of our partners specialize in specific verticals. Does Veltig?
Denis: We don’t focus on one vertical; we are still a generalist—Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Quip, Revenue Cloud/CPQ.
Zak: How have you navigated the pandemic?
Denis: We no longer have a physical office. Everyone works out of their home. We did have an office, but the lease came up, and we didn’t renew it.
Even when we had an office, we allowed people to work from home most days. We’d typically have people in the office one day a week. So it wasn’t a huge shift.
Zak: What are some of the practices you use for managing a remote team?
Denis: We’ve adopted Slack. We have a 30-minute daily team meeting, where team members provide updates and ask for help. People reach out to each other as the day goes along as they need help.
We also schedule social outings. We are all based in Southern California, although I’m from Ireland originally.
Zak: How do you approach growing the team?
Denis: As a company starting out, it was my network. Now we recruit from LinkedIn. We have a program where we bring inexperienced people on board and give them about six months to grow and learn Salesforce. We train them on the Veltig way.
Zak: You mentioned Quip earlier. How are you using Quip?
Denis: We use Quip to run our projects and give customers a central document so they can see what’s going on in real time. We also implemented Quip on a recent customer project. This customer wanted to use Quip for contract approvals and redlining documents.
Joining Formstack’s Partner Community
Zak: How did you come to work with Formstack?
Denis: We’ve worked with different forms and document generation products over the years. We joined the Formstack partner program last year. We liked having one partner to provide data collection, document generation, and digital signature solutions for our customers, and also to do so with both Salesforce and HubSpot.
Zak: You and Kirk Reinzuch both joined our partner Slack community. Kirk also stood out because on a partner event call we held earlier in the year, Kirk was problem solving along with another partner. He ended up providing some great guidance for a use case a partner was working on.
Denis: We like what Formstack is doing to build the partner community. You and your team put a lot into it.
Zak: In fact, we got paired up for this chat on a #donuts-chat on our partner Slack. What you’ll often find in that Slack is partners solutioning with each other or seeking guidance as they work on customer projects.
Denis: Our team is looking forward to continuing to participate in it.
Zak: Let’s close with the lightning round. What are some of your personal interests or hobbies?
Denis: I fly helicopters. I have my helicopter pilot's license. Although I haven’t flown since last year due to COVID.
Zak: Do you have a productivity tip you can share?
Denis: I block out time on my calendar to give me the time to focus on the work I need to get done.
Zak: What’s your favorite TV show?
Denis: I have a tie: “24” and “The West Wing.”
Zak: What’s your go-to lunch during the workday?
Denis: Sushi. Specifically, salmon sashimi.
Zak: And…is a hot dog a sandwich?
Denis: No. It’s a piece of meat in a roll. And a sandwich you need bread and butter. Coming from Ireland, we didn’t eat them like you do here.
Looking for your next step? Check out Formstack’s partner program for consultants, agencies, and tech partners.