HighWire Press

Case Studies

AllCloud Helps HighWire Press Redesign Salesforce for Business Gain

HighWire Press delivers an intelligent digital publishing platform for the research and academic market. The company’s product suite encompasses a broad range of tools to serve the unique needs of the STM market. Founded by Stanford University Libraries in 1995, HighWire Press was formed to help academic publishers host peer-reviewed content online. The company’s 140+ customers include American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the British Medical Journal, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and the American Pediatrics Association. The HighWire platform supports thousands of books, reference works and supporting materials. They are a global organization with offices in the US , UK and NI.


HighWire had been using Salesforce since 2012 to support sales, marketing and customer service processes globally. During those years, there were many modifications to the system by well-intended employees, resulting in a tangle of customizations which were difficult to manage. This situation also resulted in broken integrations with key applications such as JIRA (Agile development) and NetSuite (ERP) along with a poor user experience.

In 2016, the company was coming up for renewal on Salesforce and the executive team needed to decide upon a future strategy. They wanted to keep Salesforce, but upgrading on top of the heavily-customized version would only result in more issues. “We needed a partner to help us right the ship,” says Jim Longo, VP of Product Leadership at HighWire who led the effort. “Our goal was to get the best we could out of Salesforce without a ton of modifications, fix the integrations with critical third-party tools and have a manageable system which we could enhance and grow with over time.” The company chose AllCloud to diagnose the problems with the legacy build and then implement a new build of Salesforce that included integrations with NetSuite and JIRA.

Solutions: Redeploying Salesforce with HighWire’s critical processes in mind

In 2017, AllCloud began working with HighWire, starting with an in-depth evaluation of the company’s core sales and service business processes. These steps included conducting process review workshops to develop requirements and a governance model. The goal was to plan and execute the next version of Salesforce in a structured manner, avoiding the previous situation of ad hoc customizations. Importantly, the new system needed to easily scale up with business growth and complexity, such as future company acquisitions. The joint team designed the implementation around two critical HighWire processes: improving the customer ticket and resolution process and supporting the new sales pipeline process, “CustomerCentric Selling”. AllCloud customized Salesforce as minimally as possible to meet those requirements and used Boomi as the application integration platform. AllCloud needed to continually prioritize the scope and requirements, as the busy SME’s joined the team. Despite those complexities, AllCloud completed the 100+ seat implementation within two weeks of the projected timeline: less than five months.

Outcomes: Sales alignment, faster customer service and governance

Working with AllCloud provided HighWire the opportunity to be more strategic by documenting its core workflows across customer support, project management and sales. This exercise helped the company better understand how employees worked and their needs and to discover areas for improvement. Importantly, HighWire now has a system to support its new sales process, CustomerCentric Selling. “We have better alignment across our sales team around the state of our sales pipeline since that’s now aligned with our sales process,” Longo says.

Other benefits include:

  • Reduction in average time to close a support case: “Support cases are critical to our customer satisfaction scores and our new implementation gives us much better visibility into a metric we measure very closely,” Longo says.
  • Manageable process for approving, planning and documenting customizations: Instead of being at the whim of any ad hoc change a Salesforce administrator selects to make, now there’s a formal process for requesting and executing system changes.
  • Better way to communicate with customers: Instead of being at the whim of any ad hoc change a Salesforce administrator selects to make, now there’s a formal process for requesting and executing system changes.
  • Retaining platform of choice: Instead of continuing with a sub-optimal experience on Salesforce or enduring the pain of switching to a new vendor, HighWire was able to retain its preferred vendor while fully optimizing the software for users and core processes.


“We selected AllCloud over competitors due to the staff’s professionalism and deep understanding of Salesforce,” Longo says. “Our people are giving us positive feedback on the new system, because it’s now simpler and easier to use and matches their daily workflows. This means they can best serve customers whether during the selling process or resolving issues.”