CASE STUDY
FirstBook
Our subject matter experts helped First Book sync thousands of records between Magento and Salesforce, then we helped them migrate to Magento 2.
Industry: Nonprofit, literacy, membership

The Problem
Nearly three decades ago, First Book began distributing books and educational resources to children in low-income communities. Today, the non-profit reaches an average of 5 million children every year. With 1,000+ members joining First Book's network every week, the organization needed a reliable way to sync data between its e-commerce platform and CRM system.

"As an organization, we rely really heavily on Magento to help us meet our mission of delivering books to kids in need," said First Book IT Director Katherine Dean. "We also had Salesforce as our CRM application. We needed the two of them to be able to talk."

In 2017, First Book discovered PowerSync's Magento + Salesforce integration. They haven't looked back since. According to Dean, PowerSync CEO Igor Krasnykh was "very straightforward and honest" when explaining how the integration works out of the box and outlined additional customizations that would be required to meet their needs.
Business Outcomes
"We always have high confidence, not only in the product but also when we're quoted something, that PowerSync is going to be able to meet those work estimates," Dean said. "It's really great because you don't get into a relationship and find out that, you know, what you purchased maybe doesn't always meet your needs in the way that it was sold to you," Dean said.

Also setting PowerSync apart is its subject matter experts that know both Magento and Salesforce inside and out. "From the get-go, you're having really in-depth conversations about all of the products that are in your architecture and how PowerSync is able to be able to meet that architecture," she said. "Those are really in-depth conversations that you don't get with, you know, a salesperson."

PowerSync's Magento + Salesforce integration also enables First Book to analyze data and pivot quickly. "It's not atypical for us to get thousands of orders in a day, and we actually are able to sync orders every 15 minutes, which means we get near real-time data when members are purchasing," Dean said.

"We're able to use the power of Salesforce in terms of being able to report what's happening in e-commerce with our members. It really gives us a full view of how our customers are shopping and interacting with our site, what they're interested in from a title and category perspective, what they're putting in their cart, what they're thinking about. If we see that a category or genre is popular or not popular, we're able to emphasize or deemphasize so we're getting the sales results we're looking for."

Spanning several years, Dean said PowerSync has consistently provided quick and reliable support when a need arises.

"The greatest part is that there's never been a dip or a low point," Dean said. "We're always able to get timely answers — the right answers — in the timeframe that we need them for our business."
Updates & Additional Projects
PowerSync/TechNWeb solutions are designed to grow with you as your company achieves its potential in the marketplace. The reliability of the PowerSync software guarantees the credibility of the TechNWeb team and we rely on long, healthy, and constructive relationships with our partners.

So, when FirstBook upgraded its e-commerce platform in 2020, First Book transitioned to the Magento 2 version of PowerSync's Salesforce integration. They also enlisted the help of Krasnykh and his team for assisting with the organization's M1-M2 migration.

Katherine Dean said she was part of an evaluation team that gave PowerSync's integration a second look. "We decided it was still the best tool for us to integrate our data between our CRM and our e-commerce system," Dean said.

"I worked with Igor to understand what customizations were needed to move forward into our new architecture. Then we worked as a partnership to be able to deliver the enhancements that met our business needs in this new e-commerce structure.

Like many other PowerSync customers, consistency, dependability, and transparency are among the qualities that have kept First Book doing business with them.

"I really enjoy working with the whole PowerSync team because I feel that they're definitely subject matter experts — not only on their product but on the tools that they're integrating with — and it's really great to have that type of partnership. I know that we are going to continue that moving forward."
In her own words,
"We're always able to get timely answers — the right answers — in the timeframe that we need them for our business."

- Katherine Dean, Director of Information Technology
Click here to read the full video transcript.

"We're always able to get timely answers, the right answers, in the timeframe that we need them for our business.

First Book is a nonprofit organization. We rely really heavily on Magento to help us meet our mission of delivering books to kids in need.

We also had Salesforce as our main CRM application. We needed the two of them to be able to talk. When we did our research, we found that PowerSync was able to bring all of the data from our e-commerce system to our CRM system.

So, probably one of the best things that I've found with working with PowerSync is that over the years, there's always been a continuous supply of subject matter experts, not only from the Magento side, but also from the Salesforce side, and that we're able to reach out and get the support and assistance that we need to keep us up and running.

The greatest part is that there's never been a dip or a low point. We're always able to get timely answers — the right answers — in the time frame that we need them for our business.
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