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2013

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Salesforce.com Announces 'Salesforce 1'

If you were one of the 120,000 delegates who attended Dreamforce 2013 last week, then you would have heard Marc Benioff make the big announcement about "Salesforce 1". He touted Salesforce 1 as “the only mobile application you will ever need for Salesforce.”  However, I have been using Salesforce 1 for a week now, and I feel that it has a way to go.

 

The 'App Gap'

Why?   Well, Salesforce 1 is a huge improvement over previous mobile efforts. For example, you can now easily get to all Salesforce objects, and all mobile applications you have built for Salesforce through the Salesforce 1 User Interface., as shown below:

 

salesforce1-1.jpg

But there's still a mobile “app gap” (which Marc Benioff described several times during his keynote). For me the big problem is twofold. Salesforce 1 doesn't help you get the apps that your users need built quickly enough.   And it doesn't help you maintain those apps as the business processes behind them frequently change. So although Salesforce 1 provides a great mobile platform for mobile apps using Salesforce, it doesn't alter the fundamental problem of creating those mobile apps.

 

Using Informatica Cloud Extend to Close the App Gap

Informatica Cloud Extend is the solution to that problem – with Informatica Cloud Extend, business analysts can build mobile apps quickly – no need to go to IT developers for every mobile app and every change to mobile apps.

 

I showed Informatica Cloud Extend to a prospect just this morning – the prospect was insistent that they only wanted one mobile app for all of their Salesforce users.  Then I showed them that Cloud Extend could build process applets without requiring developers, and then expose those process applets in the Salesforce 1 interface – they understood immediately how Cloud Extend can help them with the Salesforce 1 mobile platform.

 

In addition to providing access to Salesforce mobile apps (including custom-built mobile apps), Salesforce 1 also provides access to all standard and custom objects in a customers’ Salesforce org. But once again, just getting to an object via a mobile UI does not guarantee the user will do the right thing.  Here’s what an Opportunity object looks like in Salesforce 1:

salesforce1-2.jpg

The “+” button actually does something pretty useful by pulling up a palette of actions you can take on the Opportunity (or whatever) object:

salesforce1-3.jpg

So Salesforce recognizes that a user needs help to do the right thing, and they provide these single action guides to help (for instance, to create a new case). But this is still very limited in Salesforce 1 – each “guide” in the above screen shot does just one action (for example, take a photo and attach it to the object).    But what if a user needs to complete several steps (such as update meeting notes, check the close date, add a contact, assign a Sales Engineer to the Opportunity, send email to the customer confirming next meeting, etc)?   The user would have to remember all of the steps they need to complete after a meeting on an Opportunity, and they would have to complete each step manually one at a time.

 

With Informatica Cloud Extend, companies can add process guides (“Post Mtg Opportunity Review”) to Salesforce 1 to walk the user through all best practices following a meeting:   send thank you notes, review the close date and next steps, add meeting notes, schedule next meeting, etc. So companies can have a single mobile application (Salesforce 1), but they can greatly enhance the value of Salesforce 1 by adding Informatica Cloud Extend process wizards in Salesforce 1 to automate processes that are more complex than the single-action assistants that Salesforce 1 provides.

 

What Next?

In the next installment I'll explain just how easy it is to enable Informatica Cloud Extend in Salesforce 1, so that you can close the mobile "App Gap".