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REA Group speeds up the development of its Salesforce function

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The Australian online real estate advertising company, REA Group is lining up the development of its Salesforce to match its other software engineering functions within the organization, speeding up the process from two weeks to two days.

The operator of realestate.com.au - and a range of other property-related sites - already considered itself “highly agile” as a whole, and although the Salesforce center of excellence bought into that culture, it could not match the speeds of some other parts of REA.

“We are agile to our core,” enterprise customer platforms executive general manager Shane Williams told Salesforce’s Dreamforce 18 conference.

“Our Salesforce CoE operates no differently - we take what we do seriously, we have to deliver fast, but we make sure we do it while we’re having fun

“All the teams other than ours had CI/CD [continuous integration/continuous delivery] on a standard toolset, yet for us we were operating on two-week sprints and fortnightly releases.”

Functional consultant Diego Carbonetti said the fortnightly release cycle for new features in Salesforce was “glacial for us”.

“We needed something we called ludicrous mode,” Carbonetti said.

“The rest of our organization can deploy to production within a day realistically, whereas we were every two weeks, so we needed a faster solution.”

Aside from wanting to align with other parts of software engineering, REA had another good reason to move faster with Salesforce.

Though the company is a formidable player in the property market in its own right, hyper-scale operators are circling, putting pressure on REA to be able to move quickly to maintain its commercial advantages.

“We’ve gone from being the disruptor to the number one and we know there are big companies who attract just as many eyeballs [as we do] who are starting to think about this market,” Williams said.

Technical lead David Dawson added, “this initiative was about bridging the gaps between our own Salesforce engineering squads’ tooling and development processes with that of non-SaaS focused engineering squads, as much as it was an intent to streamline and optimize our overall delivery process.”

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