Salesforce1 Mobile App Drives Internet of Customers
Salesforce.com has announced that its Salesforce1 Mobile App will be generally available in the company's summer release.
The app will be accompanied by an enterprise ecosystem consisting of some 65 partner apps, a new connector for SAP, and a slew of new features around sales, service and marketing functionality, Michael Peachey, senior director of mobile products for Salesforce.com, told CRM Buyer.
There are also new operating system platform capabilities, he said.
Internet of Customers
The app will play a key role in Salesforce.com's Internet of Customers approach to the market, Peachey said. "Mobility and mobile is the center of everything in the Internet of Customers, and the phone in particular is driving that."
If they haven't already, businesses will have to put the smartphone -- and mobile in general -- at the center of their operations.
The problem for companies to date, though, as they push toward a mobile-centered operating model, has been a clear shortage of business apps for the mobile environment, Peachey said. "It has been hard for enterprises to build and customize these apps, and they are hard to connect to back-end data and business processes."
Facebook is one company that has cracked the mobile code, at least among consumers, he continued, and Salesforce.com intends to mimic its model in the business environment.
"Facebook is a connected platform with an extensive app ecosystem," observed Peachey. "You can go shopping, listen to music, catch up with your friends -- all within Facebook."
Companies will be able to integrate the third-party apps in the Salesforce1 Mobile App with new Canvas functionality, he pointed out. Two examples are FinancialForce's accounting app and Kenandy's ERP app.
Companies also will be able to build custom apps for any business process that needs to be tailored to their particular mobile environment.
In addition, there will be new SAP connectors from Informatica and Mulesoft from which companies can build mobile workflows that integrate back office data.
The Salesforce1 Mobile App is launching with some 30 new features, a number of which just focus on enhancing user productivity. This is an area that, in particular, has been neglected by the mobile app community, Peachey said.
"Only 4 percent of time spent on mobile apps is devoted to productivity," he noted, based on Flurry statistics.
Salesforce.com has peppered its new platform with productivity tools, such as the ability to drill down into the reports supporting the dashboards that populate the app, Peachey said. "So, if you are looking at a dashboard of a particular pipeline, this new feature lets you drill into each of those opportunities."
Another productivity-oriented feature lets users access offline data, functionality that has been demanded by legions of customers who travel and occasionally do not have Internet access, he added.
"There will be read-only offline availability," Peachey said.
A third feature, Account and Community Switcher, lets users toggle between their internal environment and a community environment.
For the service function, the app includes such tools as Knowledge, Questions & Answers, and Email and Social Case Actions, allowing service agents to tap corporate databases and workflows from their mobile devices.
There are features for marketers that let them access their Contacts' Social Information, Campaign Members, and Marketing Collateral data from their devices.
It's a BYOD World
In a nod to the now entrenched Bring Your Own Device trend, Salesforce.com has expanded its OS footprint.
Now, in addition to Apple and Android operating systems, users can access the Salesforce1 Mobile App from the BlackBerry Z10 mobile browser, Good Access Secure mobile browser and Windows Phone 8 browsers.
Salesforce1 Mobile also can deliver notifications on Samsung wearables.