Recently at TrailheaDX, Tarun Bakhru, IT Manager of CRM at AGCO, discussed why his organization chose Enhanced Sandbox Seeding to meet their complex seeding requirements.
Tarun: Hello everyone. My name is Tarun Bakhru and I’m an IT Manager at AGCO. I’ve spent 22 years in the IT industry as a developer and later on as a project manager. For the past two and a half years, I also managed Salesforce while implementing application management processing around it. Today I want to start with a little background about AGCO and then talk about how we use Salesforce. And finally, how the new seeding tool is helping us.
AGCO is an agricultural equipment lab manufacturing company headquartered here in Georgia. We were founded in 1990, and currently have about 20,000 employees. Our vision is to provide sustainable hi-tech solutions to farmers through superior customer service, innovation, quality, and commitment. In the end, we want to improve all our farm income for our customers. We offer smart solutions across the agricultural values chain from preparing soil for planting to harvesting the crop and storing the grain. Our solutions help farmers protect and feed their livestock.
“Salesforce is one of the most critical applications...We had to put in disaster recovery management processes to make sure that service levels that were being demanded from this application could be met.”
We have all the major modules of customizations data from 2009 on five different divisions on five different continents. Besides providing CRM functionality, Salesforce is basically our customer master and other applications interface with Salesforce. So it's basically our end customer MDM.
Taking data backups and doing the restore was the most critical function we needed from the solution. But at the same time, with the advent of new digital programs, we have to be more nimble with our development processes. In some instances we had to take metadata backups and do the restore. What we were hearing more frequently though, was that our sandboxes were not adequately loaded with data. The challenge was that sandboxes needed the latest metadata from production with meaningful data, but when you actually refreshed the data in a sandbox, all the data would be lost and you would have to reseed them. That's where Enhanced Sandbox Seeding by OwnBackup came in.
OwnBackup quickly understood our requirements and told us that there was a solution in beta testing and that we could be a candidate for that trial. We began using that new tool back in February to do the whole seeding process.
To give some background about how complex our seeding requirements are, we needed to seed different levels for each object based on a filter criteria. We needed to traverse not only from one object to another in the hierarchy, but also other records within the same object. So for restoring the children accounts of the parent account, the new seeding tool allows us to go object by object and select data to restore using the filter conditions. It allows us to customize how many levels deep you want to go for each object, and it auto detects which other objects exist within that parent.
“As a result this enhanced seeding functionality has improved our seeding time. It has reduced the seeding time basically from two to four weeks down to 24 hours.”
There's literally no downtime for our development teams since the seedings are during the weekend. The developers, when they come back on Monday morning, the system is fresh and ready for them to use.
Dev boxes now have fresh data and the latest metadata from production leading to a better environment for our developers, and we are providing them a better environment for our dealer reps who have to be trained with a good slice of our production data. In some cases we have to train these dealer reps on a weekly basis. So we are able to refresh our environments weekly, which was not possible before.
Overall we have received good feedback from all the different programs that depend on Salesforce, and the other IT teams and the Salesforce team are very happy with this product.