This is the first in a series of blog posts capturing my conversation with Steve Baines, Forcivity’ s Founder and CEO, on his path to Salesforce™ and his journey to becoming the 261st Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA).

After serving in the United States Air Force as a medical technician, Steve, a self-proclaimed tinkerer and computer enthusiast, worked his way into a technical role at small family owned business as their database analyst. Realizing his desire for a career in tech, he secured a position with a New England based manufacturing company, EqualLogic, who had recently signed on for a newly formed cloud-based CRM called Salesforce. Together with the marketing director, Steve was charged with implementing Salesforce in tandem with another (then mostly unknown) SaaS company, Eloqua. In just a few years he had grown the team to over thirty and made significant advances within the company. Ultimately EqualLogic was acquired by Dell, Inc. and as with many acquisitions, a reorganization of the IT department was planned.

Baines, who possessed irreplaceable knowledge of the Salesforce CRM was an exception. Rather than simply sign on with the tech giant, Baines leveraged his expertise and intimate knowledge of Salesforce to initiate his first Salesforce consulting contract with Dell, Inc. in July of 2008. Within five years the small startup, Poised Solutions, had sustained over fifty clients and was thriving. As the demand for Salesforce services grew so did the interest in Baines’ portfolio. The startup was acquired by another Manchester-based company, Silvertech, where Baines became the COO and later CTO leading their Salesforce consulting and marketing automation initiatives.

An entrepreneur at heart, Baines knew his next venture would focus on product development, while maintaining his roots in Salesforce consulting. Enter- Forcivity. Incorporated in December 2015, Forcivity, Inc. was formally launched in March 2016 and was quickly registered as an Independent Software Vendor with Salesforce. Built on a foundation of considerable consulting partnerships, Forcivity joined Salesforce as a consulting partner in August 2017 and within only fifteen months achieved the status of Silver Consulting Partner with the Salesforce™ Alliance Program.

Baines’ success in nearly fifteen years of Salesforce consulting are evidence that his designs and methodology work. “So why get Salesforce certified?” I asked. He told me his ah ha moment came to him during a session at TrailheaDX lead by Suzanne Ferguson from Salesforce.com, focused on the many benefits of the Salesforce Trailhead and Certification programs. The way he sees it, these certification programs serve as an endorsement from one of the most well-known FORTUNE 500® companies on earth. Coupled with unparalleled products and services, this is how we can demonstrate Forcivity’ s value to our clients, colleagues and community.

We end our conversation where his journey to becoming a CTA begins and pick back up in June of 2017. Watch for the second post in the series where Baines gets serious about getting certified.

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