The Professionals series showcases talented experts who support PayPay Group’s operations.
With its mission of contributing to the growth of the PayPay Group through technology, the System Division is responsible for the rapid in-house development of business systems that support all of PayPay’s operations. In this issue, we sat with three members who are driving the use of Salesforce to a further advanced level.
Leader, Salesforce Team, System Development Department, System Division
I joined a consulting firm after graduating from university, where I was engaged in the operation and maintenance of a CRM system. I joined PayPay in November 2021 after having implemented, operated, and maintained Salesforce for various clients. As the Salesforce Team Leader, I am in charge of overall team operations, while also handling multiple projects as a project manager.
Salesforce Team, System Development Department, System Division
2I officially became a PayPay employee in October 2019, transferring from Yahoo! JAPAN after first being seconded. I am a project manager and am responsible for defining requirements and providing support for Salesforce development.
alesforce Team, System Development Department, System Division
After graduating from university, I first worked for a Salesforce vendor, where I gained experience in requirements definition and all aspects of development, operation, and maintenance. I then joined PayPay in September 2022. While developing as a project manager, I am also an architect and promote the creation of mechanisms for Salesforce development.
The three of you joined PayPay in various ways, including referrals and transfers. What made you decide to come over?
I joined the company through a referral by a friend. I had been doing implementation, maintenance, and operation of Salesforce at my previous job, and my friend contacted me as PayPay needed to expand its Salesforce Team. After hearing many inside stories, I found out that the people I would be working with were very interesting, so that was the clincher for me.
My previous job was at a Salesforce vendor, and while there I had a growing desire to be involved in system development to expand a company’s own services. Another factor why I chose PayPay was because I thought the company’s huge mission to beat cash as a payment method was appealing. Also, I was just about to have a child, so the WFA system (the system which allows employees to telecommute from anywhere in Japan) was an additional reason to switch jobs.
I was previously involved in ad services at Yahoo! JAPAN. At a time when I wanted to try out B2C services as well, there were positions on offer with the launch of PayPay. Two people I knew had already joined PayPay, and I heard from them that it was tough but fun, so I applied to join and was transferred to PayPay after being seconded.
Tell us about your current responsibilities
I have two major roles. The first is as architect, in which I optimize and standardize Salesforce development. The second is as project manager, where I oversee the development of systems for the sophistication of sales activities.
As a project manager, I am responsible for systems dedicated to contact centers. I provide support from organizing requirements to development and rollout. Recently, I’ve also been involved in license upgrades.
I am the team leader, mainly responsible for creating a comfortable working environment for my team members and managing the team. I act as a project manager when we have limited bandwidth, but I oversee the team’s overall mission of optimizing Salesforce.
Adopt Ideas while Trying Them Out
Could you tell us in detail about your recent initiatives?
We’ve been optimizing since I joined the company, and it’s still continuing. Salesforce is used by numerous departments and in multiple operations, but because we focused so much on development speed until recently, there were no rules or documentation. With countless functionalities and screens scattered throughout the system, we began standardizing it by deciphering and documenting each component in order to understand the system in its entirety and create a sustainable and efficient development and operational framework.
Salesforce itself is undergoing changes and upgrades as new features get added, so we provide advice for development and operation while maintaining a balance between the use of new features and existing systems. We come up with and propose optimal processes for creating systems in PayPay, picking the areas where Salesforce’s philosophy and PayPay’s objectives intersect.
Until now, we have been using Salesforce’s basic package and combined it with PayPay’s in-house development, but in view of our rapidly growing organization and the need to promote overall optimization and sophistication, we are upgrading our license so we can use the best practices provided by Salesforce. Among those, I am in charge of the ones related to call centers.
When do you find your work fun or satisfying?
I am currently in a Salesforce renovation project to upgrade sales performance. This is the biggest project in the Salesforce Team right now, and maximizing PayPay’s sales performance depends on it. I am responsible for improving sales activities towards small businesses, or independent stores, and this involves a broad spectrum of tasks.
Even though this is the domain of independent stores, I am certainly on the lookout for parts that overlap with the sophistication of sales operations geared towards large-scale merchants. The scope of support is wide, from internal extensions and updates of Salesforce to integrating Salesforce with other systems. We also enabled the analysis of collected data for the MBO (management by objectives) approach, and support the “frontlines” with the power of technology, considering for them the cost of registering data onsite, UI design for convenience, and other behind-the-scenes aspects that they are not aware of. So I would say I derive satisfaction from PayPay’s growth and expansion.
It’s quite plain and simple for me; when someone says, “Thank you.” Recently, there was a project where we had to upgrade licenses and rollout new features at the same time, and thanks to excellent teamwork with two development engineers, we were able to release without a hiccup. Afterwards, we received words of gratitude from folks using the system. The last time we tackled a similar project, there were quite a few development-induced incidents. It was quite disheartening because the more incidents there are, the more trouble there will be for people involved. Because of this, the “thank you” we received in the recent project made me happier than usual.
At the same time, I assume there are challenges and difficulties. Can you share some examples?
Usually, development starts after the requirements are defined, but in most cases, PayPay’s Salesforce development proceeds simultaneously as we define requirements. Many projects have a fixed release date due to the start of a new service, legal requirements, and so on, so we have to start our tasks immediately if we want to meet that deadline. We don’t give shape to a concrete idea and tailor it to PayPay, but rather create a bespoke system or feature. It’s very PayPay. It is definitely a challenge to optimize things, starting with areas we can work on despite the many unknowns—certainly more than waiting to begin until we have a clear-cut idea—and this requires good communication.
Along the lines with what Maruyama-san said, PayPay is unique in that we use a relatively large-scale system for Salesforce. Also, we don’t develop something for which the design or requirements are set in stone. What was said yesterday may change today, and while the core objectives remain the same, what the end users see also often change, so we always need to be up to date. On the other hand, sometimes prioritizing work efficiency and the needs of the people working on the ground can lead us away from the real challenges that need to be solved, so sometimes we have to proceed while paying close attention to the pertinent points without losing sight of the core objectives.
Asking Sharp Questions Is Key to Getting to the Bottom of the Problem
What would you like to accomplish or try in the future?
As a team, I would like us to become one where we can teach each other what we can do and help each other grow. We are aiming to create a team that can grow its capabilities through all members sharing knowledge with each other, whether it be technological or about business operations. We are also currently in the process of building a team structure that can handle a huge volume of large-scale projects, so we are actively looking for people who are interested in creating organizations and standardization, including establishing development standards and rules.
Ultimately, I want to try building a mechanism for system renovation that does not depend on people. Because we have a history of high-speed system building, nobody understands the entire system, and there was no documentation left behind. This ultimately leads to a hyper-specialization of the system, which makes us dependent on its expansion, operation, and maintenance on a specialized few. Through recruitment, we would like to not only expand our bandwidth, but also break away from the current siloed structure and put more effort into creating a framework and rules for standardization.
I want to continue strengthening the security of information handled on Salesforce. I think there is much room for improvement in the system in terms of managing information according to the defined security classifications. It is not an easy task to make modifications while ensuring security and not interfering with on-site operations, but I certainly am up for the challenge.
Which of PayPay’s 5 Senses speaks most to you?
“Be sincere to be professional.”
As a team of Salesforce experts, I want us to be a team that keeps developing the best systems. I also want to create an environment where we can daily study the latest technologies and trends so that we can always remain professional in our work.
“Work for life or work for rice.”
Daily tasks are very small steps in the grand scheme of things, but I want to figure out how to link those tasks to the core objectives of the project.
“Ego is not welcome, communication is necessary.”
I see myself as a “hub” where I link up requests to development. So, communication is most important for me.
I know you are actively recruiting. What kind of person do you think would succeed in PayPay?
Someone who values communication, since communicating with multiple stakeholders is part of our job. Also, someone who is never complacent, and who can ask, “What more can be done?” In other words, a person who does not think that everything is okay as long as there are no problems, and who is on the lookout for things that can be improved.
I think what makes PayPay’s Salseforce engineers different from ordinary system engineers is that we don’t think in terms of building according to specifications. We consider how we can create a system that helps PayPay achieve its ultimate goal, which I think is a rather attractive undertaking. I want to also say that people who are good at segmentation and systemization of issues can play an active role. At the same time, there are many challenges to be addressed to achieve our big goals. Since it’s important to create a system that can respond to the needs of the frontlines while addressing the root of an issue, those who can accurately connect diverse requests and issues with the system and formulate optimal improvement measures can make a tremendous impact.
Yes. It is important to think about how to use Salesforce in a way that is truly needed on the ground, so PayPay is a very rewarding environment for people who ask questions about the requirements, thoroughly consider what is necessary, and propose the most appropriate systems. We are also actively introducing services that come with Salesforce if they are needed, so someone who would dare to create a new architecture is also welcome. It is definitely a fun place to work in if you want to carve out your own path rather than walking on a neat and tidy road.
Current job openings
*Recruitment status and employee affiliations are correct at the time of the interview.