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Case Study: SF Board of Appeals Creates a Future-Proof Application

Client Background

The San Francisco Board of Appeals (BOA) is a quasi-judicial body that provides the public with a forum for resolving disputes and appealing decisions made by the city on a wide range of permits, licenses, and other entitlements.

Business Challenges

The BOA uses an Appeals Management System to track the hundreds of appeals that come through their office every year. The application had originally been developed in-house using a mix of Microsoft-based technologies. Several years later, the BOA learned that the technology could no longer be supported since the underlying technologies were being phased out. After considering their options, BOA decided to migrate their application to Salesforce.

BOA wanted to partner with a company that could customize Salesforce to replicate core functionalities of their legacy system, including reporting and document generation. Several years’ worth of data would need to be migrated onto the new application and correctly mapped to ensure a seamless transition. Finally, since they were not familiar with Salesforce, BOA was also looking to ensure that the platform would be easy to use.


I’m very happy with the overall end product. EightCloud worked closely with our team to create an easy-to-use product that’s helped to streamline a lot of our processes. I didn’t realize how great it would be for our reporting. We’re able to provide information to the public far more quickly now. We’ll eventually be able to integrate our new application with our tax collectors payment system. This will finally allow us to accept credit card payments for our filing fees, a definite plus.”

 – Julie Rosenberg, Executive Director, San Francisco Board of Appeals


What We Did

  • Interviewed key stakeholders and conducted a needs assessment to gain an in-depth understanding of BOA’s regulatory requirements.
  • Conducted a thorough assessment of BOA’s legacy system. 
  • Customized Salesforce to duplicate core functionalities of their legacy system and support Conga reporting. Designed new features to further streamline their workflow.
  • Provided critical project management expertise and staffing resources to support planning and developing the architecture needed to create their Salesforce environment.

Key projects completed by EightCloud: 

  • Seamlessly migrated all the data from their legacy system onto the new Salesforce platform.
  • Created a number of templated documents that are generated during different stages of the appeal process. The new templates significantly streamlined the document production process by automatically incorporating data from Salesforce, reducing errors and data entry time. BOA can also export these documents to Microsoft Word for further editing as needed. 
  • Added several new functionalities, including the ability to easily keep track of rescheduled hearings as well as linking historical hearing data to new appeals. 

Results

Replaced manual tracking of hearings with a streamlined, automated system. BOA reviews approximately 250 appeals per year. The hearing dates for these appeals are often rescheduled for a wide variety of reasons. Since the legacy system did not have a built-in way to keep track of these rescheduled hearings, BOA staff had resorted to manually logging rescheduled hearings on a Word document located in a shared drive, a time-consuming process. The new Salesforce application automatically tracks rescheduled hearing dates, updating upcoming agendas as needed. The new application also monitors critical deadlines, ensuring the staff remains in compliance with tight regulatory timeframes.

Improved reporting capabilities, adding the ability to create ad-hoc reports on demand. BOA employees no longer have to export data to an Excel spreadsheet for subsequent analysis. The new application includes powerful, flexible reporting tools. BOA can now quickly respond to public information requests as well as compile the required statistics for their annual reporting with far less effort.

Streamlined data entry that improves data integrity and employee productivity. The new application allows BOA employees to store contact information for everyone who is filing an appeal with the Board. This speeds up the data entry process when the same company or individual party files a subsequent appeal.

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We have been using EightCloud for over a year. They are an amazing partner, always there to help at any moment no matter how large or small the problem. They take the time to back track and explain the entire concept so that we are better prepared moving forward to handle similar issues on our own. They empower and encourage. We have been more than satisfied with our partner."

- Jessica B.

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