NIST cloud-based storefront

NIST wants to consolidate its e-commerce in a Salesforce cloud

The National Institute of Standards and Technology plans to modernize its legacy e-commerce solutions on the Salesforce platform.

NIST sells a variety of products, including standard reference materials -- from canisters of southern oceanic air to bovine liver to zirconium alloys -- as well as instruments that measure voltage, laser radiation and time and GPS. It also offers calibration services help the makers and users of precision instruments ensure measurement quality.

The agency has several e-commerce systems, each of which has a unique customer database and custom-built processes for order execution, fulfillment and billing. Some of the solutions generate invoices directly, while others pass the information to NIST’s customized Oracle enterprise resource planning system, the Commerce Business System, for invoicing. Similarly, there are multiple interfaces with CBS that manage payment processing.

NIST recently implemented Salesforce Service Cloud and wants a single Salesforce solution that would eliminate redundant solutions, streamline business processes and improve the overall customer experience. It's looking for a NIST-branded storefront that would provide secure and authenticated access to a portal or community that featured searchable product listings, shopping cart functionality, invoicing and refund and return processes.

The system should also provide workflows for sales order and quote generation, draw on data in Salesforce account/contact records to limit payment options and  seamlessly connect with existing Salesforce case/customer service queues. The solution would have to integrate with CBS, Pay.Gov, SRM’s Business System and NIST Shipping solutions. NIST also wants information on an e-signature solution.

NIST said it anticipates issuing a request for quotations in the third quarter of  fiscal year 2018 and awarding a contract no later than the fourth quarter of FY18.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA from West Chester University and an MA in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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