Why Salesforce just bought this startup

Computerworld Cloud Computing

Salesforce targets ‘citizen developers’ with new tools and training

If there’s an overriding trend in the world of enterprise software lately, it’s democratization, as tools previously reserved for experts are put in the hands of average users. On Tuesday, Salesforce.com climbed on board with new software, training and support services that aim to help more users — not just professional developers — build applications for the Salesforce platform.

There aren’t enough trained developers to create apps for the business world, the company says, so it wants to help users in all parts of the organization make their own. More than 2.8 million developers have already built some 5.5 million apps based on the company’s customer relationship management software, it says, and at its TrailheaDX developer event in San Francisco, it made several announcements to expand that further.

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CIO Cloud Computing

Salesforce users: Early contracts might get you discounts, but after that watch out

Volume discounts are nothing unusual in the world of enterprise software, but over the last year or so Salesforce reportedly has been approaching customers early about upcoming renewals and wooing them with considerable extra discounts if they sign on ahead of time for the CRM vendor’s full software suite.

That’s according to a report Thursday in The Register, which attributed the information to an anonymous industry source who advises companies about Salesforce licensing.

The discount can be as much as 25 percent on top of Salesforce’s standard volume discount, according to the report. But it’s only available if customers sign up not just for its Sales Cloud but also for Marketing Cloud and consulting services.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

Salesforce New Community Cloud Brings Big Data Analytics to Entire CRM

SalesforceCC 300x198 Salesforce New Community Cloud Brings Big Data Analytics to Entire CRMIt is not always easy for organizations to stay in touch with customers, partners and employees through home communities. With Salesforce’s new Community Cloud, companies can create their communities, in the LinkedIn style, but for their customers, partners and employees.

Built on the Salesforce Community Cloud Platform – via Connect API – companies can directly connect to Salesforce CRM and data sources and third-party systems. In this way, companies can deliver better service to their customers, more sales through partners and increase employee engagement. Salesforce research shows that digital communities guarantee 48 percent faster problem resolution, a 48 percent increase in employee engagement, 45 percent more customer satisfaction and 43 percent increase in sales through partners.

Community Cloud has a new feature called Targeted Recommendations which seeks to promote user engagement on these sites. The new feature, which is based on algorithms that analyze structured and unstructured data, is designed to bring members of the community the most relevant content, as inputs, resources, files and groups. The community managers can suggest content to specific information or an ad in the news and direct it to a group member type or a specific individual.

The second new feature now available is called Lightning Community Builder and Templates, and allows any business user community to deploy a customized, branded and optimized for mobile devices without the need to seek the help of IT. Companies can use Lightning Builder to create your own custom communities with custom applications. For example, a non-profit institution could build an application to organize volunteer events and incorporate it into the home page of your community.

Finally, Salesforce Connect for Google Drive Files is a new feature that allows community members to share any file created or stored in Google Drive. Thus, a marketing team could share a file from Google with the campaign planning group to easily access and work on it. You can also attach files within Google Drive to a record, as sales opportunities or service case.

According to IDC, the enterprise collaboration market was $ 1.24 billion in 2014, and the market expected to reach $ 3.5 billion in 2018, an annual growth of 23.1%. The sector as defined by IDC includes software for collaboration internally and externally. Other major players such as IBM Connections, Microsoft Yammer, Jive Software, Tibco Tibbr, Zimbra and SAP Jam also have a foot in this market.

Last year, Microsoft and Salesforce have signed a strategic partnership to create new solutions that will enable you to connect the platform and the CRM app to Windows and Office apps. The agreement provides that the Salesforce CRM solution is integrated with the Windows OS, the Azure cloud platform and the office suite Office 365.


CloudTimes

How Salesforce & Box are changing the landscape in regulated industries

Sarah is a tech blogger and researcher focused on cloud and enterprise. You can follow her here.

With an aim to encourage the adoption of cloud CRM solutions in regulated industries, Salesforce recently announced the launch of a new platform called Salesforce Shield, which came shortly after Box introduced the general availability of Box Governance. Like Shield, it also focuses on ensuring cloud customers meet legal, regulatory and business policies regarding data storage and transfer.

For organizations that operate in the healthcare, finance and legal industries, both Salesforce Shield and Box Governance may bring the highly sought after flexibility to cloud services without disrupting the organizations’ security requirements. Meanwhile, companies providing cloud-based services to these regulated industries provides a new opportunity to increase marketshare — and in doing so, change the landscape for cloud services. Here’s how…

Cloud adoption in finance and health care

The fact that the leading cloud CRM and cloud collaboration providers have launched solutions for the regulated industries almost at the same time could indicate a new trend that isn’t likely to disappear. Namely, after several years of struggles with cloud implementations, organizations that have strict data security policies have started changing their attitudes towards the cloud. A recent survey by Cloud Security Alliance revealed that the cloud adoption in the finance sector increased significantly in 2014.

Also, 61 percent of professionals working in the finance sector are in the process of creating a cloud strategy within their organizations, according to the same survey. Conversely, only 18 percent say they are planning to continue using the private clouds.

Similarly, the healthcare industry is also seeing an accelerated adoption of cloud solutions. Skyhigh Q2 2015 report on the cloud adoption and risk in health care suggests that more institutions are embracing the cloud to increase employee productivity and cut costs.

Compared to previous years, the use of private clouds in these industries is gradually decreasing — mainly thanks to the growing number of secure cloud solutions designed in accordance with the national security standards. Among them, Salesforce Shield and Box Governance are probably the products that would revolutionize the industries and enable even more organizations to migrate sensitive data to the cloud.

Secure offerings

With the ability to support the strict regulations for data access and retention, Salesforce Shield opens a new door for the organizations that were previously limited to using private clouds for security reasons. The service includes a number of security features designed to enable clients to safely work with the cloud without fear of violating federal regulations. More specifically, organizations in regulated industries will now have access to:

  • Platform encryption native to the Salesforce1 platform.
  • Data archive designed to help organizations cut costs by keeping data in “nearline storage.”
  • A field audit trail that enables companies to keep track of changes and ensure they are using only the most accurate data.
  • Event monitoring for the purposes of increasing visibility of the actions associated with the data use.

Unlike Salesforce, which enables organizations to build trusted cloud apps “using clicks, not code,” Box Governance is a new add-on service that adds advanced security features to Box’s widely used sharing and collaboration SaaS. The company has introduced three key capabilities in order to adjust the service to the needs of organizations that need to ensure compliance:

  • Retention management, which helps administrators control preservation and deletion schedules of their sensitive documents.
  • Content security policies that protect clients’ sensitive data.
  • Defensible eDiscovery to comply with data discovery requests.

The impact

Historically, the cloud has been associated with numerous security risks, which is why its adoption in the regulated industries has been notably slow. While the enterprises managed to find an intermediary solution by implementing hybrid clouds, businesses in regulated industries took more time to actually develop efficient public cloud strategies.

This is especially true for the health care industry, which has probably seen the tightest constraints regarding IT infrastructure innovation. The challenges here range from managing employee productivity apps to authentication, access and audit paradigms, as mentioned in a study by SecureLink. Working with highly sensitive citizens’ data, healthcare institutions have had a limited number of IT solutions at their disposal.

For the past few months, however, we’ve been seeing a significant increase in the number of apps that support HIPAA and FINRA compliance for healthcare and finance organizations. Unsurprisingly, this contributed to accelerating the adoption of new IT solutions in the sector, with the cloud leading the innovation process.

The new offerings by Salesforce and Box are likely to become leaders in the regulated industries market given their already established reputation of reliable cloud providers. The precisely-defined features are likely to be welcomed by numerous organizations worldwide, significantly changing the landscape in the regulated industries, as previously mentioned.

However, this does not mean that their struggles associated with IT innovation will be over. Salesforce Shield and Box Governance may make a deep impact on the way regulated industries use the cloud, but a number of other IT challenges will remain.

This mostly relates to the trends of outsourcing IT components and managing their implementation, which will force these industries to keep improving their strategies until they’re sure they’ve found all the right solutions for their needs.

How Salesforce & Box are changing the landscape in regulated industries originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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Cloud

Salesforce Expands Data Analytics to Next Generation Business Apps

Wave Sales Overview1 225x300 Salesforce Expands Data Analytics to Next Generation Business AppsIn many popular consumer applications a user can take immediate action if he has obtained important information from large amounts of data. For business applications, it appears that, directly taking action in response to a data analysis not so easy. This often occurs because the analysis may be not coming from relevant data sources or because it directly not linked to the tasks. The result is sluggish business decisions at the expense of the operating results.

Salesforce.com has set the goal of providing businesses with a more user-friendly analysis tools for the reason mentioned above. Last week, the leader of the CRM service provider has unveiled a series of apps tailored to specific activities or roles. Among them is the introduction of Sales Wave Analytics, a tool for business, which will be the first to be delivered.

Earlier this year, Salesforce.com had already made a series of updates for its mobile platform Wave Analytics Cloud, and last month the company had added a new tool focused on big data. This time, the latest round of Wave Analytics Apps applications is intended to extend the cloud analytics capabilities by providing the prepackaged templates that can meet specific needs according to use, with the ability to provide a meaning data appropriate to the context.

The applications instantly integrate CRM data in appropriate role models to accelerate deployment. They will also highlight the historical trends and making full year comparative from any terminal. Because Wave Analytics Apps applications are built natively on Salesforce1 platform, predefined data flows will not only postpone automatically, but also to update all parameters associated with these changes in Salesforce.

Sales Analytics Wave is the first app in the series delivered by the firm. It will allow business to benefit from new forecasting management tools, sales pipeline, performance and more. Preconfigured templates included in the application will allow users to explore all Salesforce sales data. It will cover sales pipeline management and forecasting so that they can give access to quarterly results and will allow to follow team performance.

The top management of the business operations may, for example, use this tool to have a real-time analysis of sales pipeline and cross this information with the sales performance of products directly from the mobile phone to determine if these forecasts should be revised or not.

The Sales Wave Historical Analysis function allows sales managers themselves to create the database in no time from any device with an analysis of historical data. As a result they no longer have to wait for the results of business analysts.

The Wave platform is vertically integrated with Salesforce’s cloud analysis platform. In addition, the data does not need to be sorted for analysis, because the Wave platform includes a schema-free architecture. This allows all employees to intuitively explore full datasets and display the results in dashboards and graphs.

The tool will be available on iOS for iPhone, iPad and even Apple Watch. Additional languages ??and other compatible devices will be added to the list later.


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