Our VP of Partnerships Zak Pines recently interviewed Ryan Johnson, President & Founder of Majente, as part of our ongoing Partner Interview Series. Their conversation covered everything, including the maturation of Financial Services Cloud, where the name Majente came from, and how Ryan’s love of barbecue sparked a partnership between Majente and Salesforce. Here’s an abridged transcript of the chat.
The Origins of Majente
Zak: Who is Majente?
Ryan: We are a Salesforce consulting and ISV partner.
Zak: I think that’s the most concise answer I’ve ever gotten to that question. What is the backstory?
Ryan: I’ve done CRM and data my whole life. I’ve always led development teams. I know how to organize development and data delivery.
I created the company because of an opportunity to implement Oracle Sales Cloud for RioCan, a large real estate investment trust. At the time we started to implement the product, and we thought we were sitting on gold working with this new, next-generation Oracle product and one of the first implementations in Canada. Well, the product wasn’t very good. Basic things, like search, didn’t work. There were some fundamental product issues.
We moved over to Salesforce which has a major presence here in Toronto.
Zak: How did that go?
Ryan: With Salesforce, you need to start at the bottom and work your way up. I managed to get an intro to an offsite they were having—an hour north of Toronto. This would have been 2015.
My passion is cooking—smoked meats, barbecue. I went to the offsite with a brisket and pulled pork. I hit it off with them at this offsite, and we ate meat and played hockey. And as I was driving back the next day I got a text message that they wanted to work more closely with us.
Zak: Wow, all because of meat.
Ryan: That was definitely a big part of it. We came to be known as a very technical-focused partner. We’re the partner you bring in for the tough, technical projects and integrations.
I then got connected with Beju Lakhani. Beju is a former Salesforce AE, and we had worked together in different ways over the years. Beju came over to join us in 2019 to help grow Majente. In February 2020, we generated $5,000 in pipeline across two deals. In February 2021, we generated $400,000 in pipeline across 30 deals. We are seeing the impact.
Zak: How do you characterize the culture at Majente?
Ryan: It’s evolving. I have identified our core values—transparency, hard work, and education.
Zak: How does the Salesforce team think of Majente?
Ryan: We’re often at the cutting edge. We just got looped into to work on a project with Consumer Goods Cloud. We hadn’t worked with it before, but we were asked to lead a scoping call. We will always be transparent when we are working on new things. I’ll say, “we haven’t worked with this, but it’s similar to many things that we have worked on.” It’s the methodology that matters. We’ll be able to figure out the syntax.
The Maturation of Financial Services Cloud
Zak: Do you have specific vertical focus?
Ryan: We implement all of Salesforce’s Applications have been all over the board. Beju has us focussing on Financial Services and Manufacturing recently.
Zak: Are you working with Financial Services Cloud (FSC)?
Ryan: Yes we are. We have two certified consultants. We have built projects called KYCs which stands for “Know Your Client” and online digital on-boarding for financial services firms.
Zak: How have you seen FSC evolve over the years?
Ryan: FSC changed substantially for the better in December 2019. Salesforce added in relationship groups which was a breakthrough. It created a model to households with financial products, and then the people within products, and the concept around groups and how the data rolls up.
They released action plans. Action plans are very useful. They allow an advisor to create a plan for a customer, and over the course of the year apply that plan to a set of contacts, and create things to do. It’s a great concept that would apply to other Clouds as well.
Zak: That does sound very useful.
Ryan: At that end of 2019, they expanded across other verticals. Financial Services Cloud started out for wealth advisors. With that release, it expanded to support banking, insurance, and commercial mortgage.
Zak: You’re on the cutting edge of Salesforce. What is hot in your mind right now?
Ryan: Lightning Web Components have been game changing. The challenge with CRM has always been the user experience. That is now changing. Before that, if we ever wanted to build a unique user interface, any of the functionality had to be written through Aura components with lots of data connections.
Zak: This is why you and your team are such natural fits for Formstack for Salesforce. You can do powerful UI configuration of our forms in that exact way.
Before we wrap up, can you share where the name of the company comes from?
Ryan: It’s a name that derives from my wife and daughters names. My wife Jen, and my daughters, Maggie and Kate.
Zak: What are some of your personal interests or hobbies?
Ryan: I love to cook. I love to smoke meat. I have eight barbecues. I also like sports. I play hockey. I’m an outdoorsy person. I grew up in the prairies camping, canoeing, and water skiing.
Zak: That’s a great list. Can you share your favorite productivity tip?
Ryan: Tech Tools are everything. I struggled with inbox zero forever. All I ever did was fail at it.
I’ve moved over to Slack recently after Salesforce bought Slack, and I’ve liked it. It’s easy to manage what conversations I need to view, reply to, or get rid of.
Zak: What is your favorite TV show?
Ryan: Seinfield and the Simpsons.
Zak: Me too on Seinfeld. What’s your go-to lunch during the workday?
Ryan I just made my two minute egg sandwich.
Zak: Speaking of sandwiches and meats, let’s wrap things up with Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Ryan: My wife loves hot dogs. We eat a lot of hot dogs, especially hot dogs and poutine in Quebec. When we lived in Ottawa, we’d drive across the bridge to Quebec where the bun is top sliced, and there is grilled cheese on both sides. And it’s most definitely a sandwich.
Zak: That is the most visual answer I’ve ever gotten. I’m now hungry, and I think once and for all we have a definitive winner of an answer to the question. And this interview has gone full circle with meats.
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