Adrian Mariadas, VP of global CRM at Barclays Corporate, has said the regulation and compliance in the financial services industry is ‘the biggest issue’ for rolling out Salesforce applications, including Chatter. 

Speaking at Salesforces’ Dreamforce event this week in San Francisco, Mariadas advised companies in the industry to compile a document containing all of the regulation information about a Salesforce rollout that may be required in order to rebuff any compliance challenges. 

“[Compliance] is the biggest issue in financial services regulation. What we did was involve our compliance teams early on and have open and honest conversations with them,” said Mariadas. 

“When we first started engaging with them they were coming up with questions, which we could answer. However, the next week they would have new questions. This would carry on and on.”

He added: “What really helped us is producing a whitepaper explaining what Salesforce and Chatter are. Explaining that this is how we will use it, this is how we will not use it, what the risks are and what the mitigations for these risks are. You get to the point where it’s all in one document and it addresses everyone’s concerns.”

Barclays deployed Salesforce’s sales cloud and all of its main objects, half of which are bespoke, in 2009 to 2,000 people in the UK. It then went on to deploy this globally to 4,000 people across 14 countries.

Mariadas also warned businesses about the lack of consistency across the European Union when it comes to the Data Protection Act (DPA), where local government bodies have not enforced its requirements in the same way.

He said: “With regards to international countries it differs a lot, so for us it was about connecting with a contact in the county. I know some guys that can give me a good overview about data principles, but even within the EU the DPA is interpreted differently in different countries.”

“Between the UK and Italy you have to do some different things, so it’s quite important that you get some local advice for each area.”

Finally, Mariadas advised companies that are looking to deploy Chatter, Salesforce’s core collaboration software, it is important to encourage interaction from senior figures within the organisation.

“One of the things we did to ensure adoption was successful was getting buy in from our top leaders. Making sure they are posting regularly. We even fed the top three things that happened in the last week to them for them to post. If needs be, even write the posts for them,” said Mariadas.

“Also make sure you have people throughout the business that can support your initiative – Chatter Champions. Don’t assume you know who the best change agents are going to be.”

He added: “I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the people in the older demographic in our organisation were really getting the most of it. Conversely, some of our graduate population fizzled out with their use quite quickly. Don’t assume too much.”