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The Obama campaign centered itself around voters, just as successful businesses today are becoming more customer-centric, Bellville said. And just as the campaign operated in a very dynamic environment, the speed of business today is forcing many companyies to take a new look at how they do things -- and that often starts with IT, Schlicksup said.
Schlicksup joined the Obama campaign in September 2011 and was in charge of implementing and managing the 120-seat Salesforce system. Custom applications were developed on top of Saleforce to manage the campaign's correspondence, budgets and call center, as well as to coordinate campaign surrogates, the Obama supporters serving as spokespersons.
Bellville was in charge of campaign correspondence, which totaled more than 5 million items during the life of the campaign.
Before the campaign, Schlicksup had some experience working with Salesforce for a startup. Bellville worked on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and 2010 midterm elections campaign for the Democratic National Committee.
Schlicksup attended a Saleforce Cloudforce event in Chicago last year and encountered Randy Rodriguez, Bluewolf managing director who was establishing a Chicago office and was looking for talent with Salesforce expertise. Rodriguez contacted Schlicksup to hire him right after the election when the campaign was winding down. "It felt like a very natural fit," Schlicksup said.
Schlicksup recommend that Bluewolf also hire Bellville, as well as bring on board John Chiodo, a campaign intern who is also now a Bluewolf consultant.
At Bluewolf, Schlicksup oversees Salesforce implementation and optimization projects for customers, determining business process requirements, and overseeing acceptance testing and training. "Translate," defining business processes, "transform" and "transcend" are the watchwords for what Bluewolf does, he said.
Bellville meets with customers and helps them identify their business requirements and streamline their business processes and workflows.
There are a lot of similarities between how things were done on the campaign and how Bluewolf works, Schlicksup said, including efficient project execution and relying more on face-to-face meetings and less on paperwork. "Bluewolf is a very agile company," he said.