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September 17, 2019
How to roll with the unexpected
By: Fiona Sevior

Fiona was just settling into what she thought was her dream job when Accenture acquired her employer, Cloud Sherpas. A couple of years later, she’s had the opportunity to work on projects she’d never otherwise have access to – and the best is yet to come.

It’s a big deal when you decide to leave a job and move on. I’d taken the time to find a new role in a boutique company I really wanted to work for, gone through the resignation process – and finally I was ready to move on to the next stage of my career.

So, it was a bit of a shock when less than three months after I started, Accenture announced it was buying my new company!

At Dreamforce2018

My initial reaction was “What the…?”

This wasn’t what I’d signed up for! But I knew I had to pivot my way of thinking. I’m quite matter of fact and take things as they come. I decided: “This is what’s happening. You’ve just got to get on with it.”

Once the shock wore off, I realised as far as the client work went, I would continue to work for many months on the same project, with the same team – all good.

Initially, I was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer size of Accenture – and all the acronyms! But gradually, I realised the advantages of working in a large community of like-minded people.

In Australia, the acquisition of Cloud Sherpas created a 200-strong Salesforce practice, and we can also draw on the expertise of 16,000 Salesforce-skilled professionals around the world. It’s a huge resource pool to tap into, to ask questions and get advice from people who’ve tackled the same problem before. We have subject matter experts in so many areas and people are always fast to respond and willing to help.

The culture of knowledge sharing is massive. I once had a client who wanted a bot as part of their solution. Within a day, I was on a call with someone in the US who not only answered all my questions, but also gave us a demo we could take to the client. That type of reach and speed is pretty impressive.

Can you tell I’m passionate about Salesforce? Check out my stickers!

It took me a while to understand all the different places you can go to for information. We have a learning portal, a people page and an amazing Salesforce wiki with information on projects in flight. Then there is also about 19 channels on ‘Teams’, including a ‘Help me!’ channel. We use Teams to connect and collaborate with people. It’s super handy for building relationships with people before you meet them.

We work hard, but we play hard too

We all share wins, birthdays and shout outs on the Teams 'Party Zone' channel and try to use our community budget at least once a month. In Melbourne, we recently had an amazing race organised around the CBD. Other times we’ll just order in pizza and have a Nintendo Mario Kart game off.

With the Melbourne Salesforce team

I’ve also had opportunities I wouldn’t have necessarily had in a smaller company. I’ve attended great training locally and internationally. For the last two years I was lucky enough to organise our World Tour event. And I recently took on training responsibilities – not something I’ve seen before in smaller practices.

Helping people is my motivation. I love watching projects evolve until we’ve found the solution. It’s a point of pride for me when we go live. And it’s fantastic when we do cool stuff and have it recognised externally. I worked on the Momentum Energy project that won the Salesforce Innovation of the Year award in 2017.

So, despite my initial misgivings, a couple of years down the track, I’m still here and still excited about a future where I can only see our practice growing and growing.


My advice if you get swept up in an acquisition

  • Ask yourself: What’s the worst thing that can happen?
  • Don’t get caught up in how other people are feeling. Look at how each day is for you and take it one step at a time.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s OK not to know everything.
  • Use your network.
  • Remember: everyone’s had to go through being new to the company. They want to help you.

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