Lamborghini didn’t take the most conventional route into Salesforce technology. While many organizations start with a core enterprise app like CRM, the luxury car manufacturer’s introduction was steered towards the vendor via the Heroku development platform.
Lamborghini’s Unica mobile app, which is built on Heroku and runs on Community Cloud, improves customer service and retention by monitoring how users engage with the brand. The app was the starting point of the firm’s journey with Salesforce, according to Lorenzo Cavicchi, Head of IT & Commercial Support at Lamborghini:
Everything started back in 2017 when we decided to have a customer app. We called it Unica because we wanted to have just one app. If you look for any brand, you will find tens of different apps, official apps, and we wanted to have just one. We made a decision to invest in Salesforce, especially on Heroku and on the Salesforce Communities...If I talk to friends and colleagues, nine out of 10 would say they started with the CRM, so with Sales Cloud. We did it a different way, we started with Heroku, we deployed our customer app. It was a success.
Lamborghini first attended Dreamforce in 2018, where the then Salesforce Chief Sales and Marketing officer introduced the Unica app on the main stage. Cavicchi recalls:
That was the start of everything. At that time, we did not expect this visibility and also the enthusiasm that arose around this. So we decided to build up a strategy that resulted in our digital platform today. We wanted a unique digital platform, where we could implement each and every module, one by one, and digitalize our processes.
Before embarking on its digital strategy, Lamborghini assessed a number of technologies on the market, and found that Salesforce matched all its requirements. As it was a cloud-based solution, security was one of the biggest factors as the business was first within Volkswagen Group to implement Salesforce (Volkswagen Group owns Lamborghini via its subsidiary Audi). Cavicchi notes:
We went through a very detailed security assessment. At that time, VW was very positive with Lamborghini implementing Salesforce, because we could be a first adopter among the group. That was another strong reason to move ahead.
Salesforce technology is the foundation of VW Group sales and marketing processes. After Heroku, the next addition to the Lamborghini Salesforce stack was Sales Cloud back in 2019. This was followed by MuleSoft, which is now the backbone of its infrastructure, Marketing Cloud, and then Service Cloud this year.
Prior to the Salesforce investment, Lamborghini’s tech landscape was very fragmented. Every process was dependent on a different tool, from Adobe and SAP among others, and the company was running a lot of custom and legacy systems. One of the core goals was standardization and consolidation on a single digital platform. Cavicchi says:
From an IT point of view, this was probably the most important benefit. Every time we are adding a module to our platform, we are switching off legacy systems. That means we are simplifying my life, and also the lives of my colleagues from infrastructure. Because when I say legacy systems, that means these systems are not cloud-based, but are on-premises.
There were also the hardware and software costs associated with running those on-premise legacy systems, he adds:
With Salesforce, we pay the license but we don't have to worry about all the rest. It's a matter of moving our budget from operations to innovation.
Owning your own data
The biggest achievement with the Salesforce technology from a process point of view is that Lamborghini is now the true owner of its data:
In the past, we didn't have a single source of truth. We had different bases, and it was very disruptive for our business. I'm totally confident about it now.
At the 180 Lamborghini dealerships around the world, implementing a digital platform that consolidates all the features and processes into a single point of entrance has been a huge benefit for staff. And for customers, the app means the car maker can design a different journey and experience for each individual user.
The mobile app gives customers the ability to do everything they need in just one place. They can connect Unica to their car, check mileage, record where they've been driving, share that on Instagram, and get information about events and campaigns on offer to customers.
One of the latter was an event for customers to drive a Lamborghini in the snow, and the firm had photographers and video makers capturing the action. Cavicchi explains:
Before the end of the day, our customers were getting those images on their phone. For them, it's fantastic. You spend a wonderful day on the snow driving the Lambo, and then before going back to the hotel you have your pictures on your phone.
While the Unica application is generally available on the iOS app store and on the Google Play store, there is an enrolment process, which means users have to be identified as a Lamborghini customer to get access. Cavicchi adds:
The enrolment process is 100% working. We are quite sure that everybody getting access to Unica is a true customer.
While Lamborghini attended Dreamforce in 2018 and 2019, Cavicchi hasn’t been to the Salesforce user event since 2013, when he was working for a different organization – but he’ll be at the show today:
I'm very curious to get back personally because it's been ten years from my last time in San Francisco and at Dreamforce. I remember it as a very big event. I'm sure that in ten years it’s probably at least twice as big now.
While he wasn’t personally at Dreamforce in 2019, a delegation from Lamborghini was there to present a proof of concept about blockchain. Cavicchi notes that every year at the big tech events, there seems to be a fresh technology taking center stage, like blockchain and then NFTs:
Every time it looked like it was that technology would change the world and change our strategy forever. To the contrary, in both situations, it was not true. Both melted down quite quickly.
This year, it's the turn of generative AI to take the spotlight. While Lamborghini is not in production with AI tech yet, the firm has developed some proof of concepts that will roll out in 2024. Cavicchi adds:
Dreamforce 23 is very much around AI. I have the feeling personally and professionally that this trend is not going to melt down soon. This time it could really be the one technology that will change the way we work and live.