The City of San José Housing Department uses Own to ensure there’s no interruption for their loan management system
Chris Talley, Senior Systems Application Programmer for the City of San José Housing Department, works on the loan management system and uses Salesforce to track and manage loans granted to developers building affordable houses in the area. They are also using Salesforce Experience Cloud for owners of affordable housing to manage their properties.
There's affordability restrictions that are placed on these properties for a certain number of years and the City of San José needs to track those restrictions. Part of how developers get access to these loans is by making a section of their development available for affordable housing.
The internal application process through the loan management system includes a large volume of custom objects to help the team track the process of the loan, from when a developer applies for it to repayment, and the interim management of the properties.
When Chris started working for the City of San José Housing Department, he was tasked with refactoring their loan management system. This would involve changing and consolidating custom objects, which requires editing a substantial amount of production data.
“There were some design elements on the application that they [The City of San José Housing Department] weren't happy with. It didn't accurately model their workflow, so they wanted to change that. I came in and looked at what would need to be done, how much production data would be involved, and knew that this was not something I wanted to take on without a way to properly back up and restore data and metadata if something were to happen.”
Realizing that the City of San José Housing Department didn’t have a backup solution in place, Chris didn’t feel comfortable merging records and changing relationships of data.
“If data got accidentally changed or deleted, it would be a huge manual process– a nightmare. I have no idea how long it would take to restore, but it would be time consuming and painful. It's not even something I want to think about.”
The City of San José Housing Department has had the same Salesforce org for almost ten years and was under the impression that Salesforce was backing up their data.
Having used Salesforce since 2019, Chris knew that wasn’t the case. As a past customer of Own, Chris was very familiar with the importance of prioritizing data backup and recovery, so he made it his first order of business to reach out.
“I love the interface. It's super easy to use and I can set it and forget it. The only time I really need to use it is when I have an issue, which isn’t often. It’s like an insurance policy for our data, and in my industry that is extremely important.”
Other benefits of Own:
Easy set up that doesn’t compete for implementation resources.
Proactively alerts potential data loss or corruption.
Executes precision repair and easy-to-compare data snapshots. Reduces the time to recover lost data to minutes or hours, not weeks or months–if at all.
Chris also gets tremendous value out of the daily reports. He receives alerts when records have changed and can see how data is moving through the system. He now has insight into their data that he didn’t have before, helping him and his team make smarter decisions around updates to their loan process within Salesforce.
The City of San José Housing Department takes data security very seriously, and Chris has set the precedent for proactive protection of critical Salesforce data.
When the City of San José’s security team approached another department on how they were backing up their data, Chris could confidently share with them the solution he implemented, creating a center of excellence around backing up and restoring data. With each department acting siloed from each other, Chris recognized that they could create a uniformed protection strategy and it starts with Own.
Eventually, Chris and team hope to integrate Salesforce with their other systems. As of now, data is copied from one system and imported into another, so being able to create a bi-directional integration between all their systems will improve process, speed up delivery, and give the team time back to work on other projects. But system integrations can create data discrepancies, so Own will play a critical role when it comes time to execute on their plan.
“Once we get those integrations in place, having Own is going to be huge. In case anything happens with the integration, we know we can always restore it.”
From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San José has been a leader driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San José stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley—the world's leading center of technology innovation. San José is the 10th largest in the U.S., and is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, work, live, play and learn. San José is located in Santa Clara County at the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay, about 50 miles south of San Francisco, 390 miles north of Los Angeles. The local weather is hard to beat with moderate year-round temperatures. Residents enjoy 300 days of sunshine each year and an average annual temperature of 70 degrees. The City of San José operates under the council-manager form of government, a system that combines the policy leadership of elected officials in the form of a city council, with the managerial expertise of an appointed city manager.