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FirstRain Showers Sales Reps With Real-Time Intelligence

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
Mar 12, 2013 5:00 AM PT

FirstRain has debuted FirstRain for Touch, an enterprise customer intelligence application built for the Salesforce Touch Platform.

FirstRain Showers Sales Reps With Real-Time Intelligence

"What we did was create a component version of our application that was then easily dropped into the Salesforce.com Touch platform using their SDK," Penny Herscher, CEO of FirstRain, told CRM Buyer.

The app provides intelligence about customers and the marketplace in real time, she explained. "It will provide intelligence about how a customer's business is changing, who or what its new competitive threats are, and where the opportunities are."

Competitive Landscape

FirstRain for Touch uses predictive analytics to calculate these factors.

"It might conclude, for example, that because a competitor of a client has won a contract, your customer's competitive position is now threatened," Herscher explained. The app uses Big Data from the Web and social media to make these real-time calculations.

For the end user -- the sales rep -- the app displays this competitive view of the top accounts and end-markets in various formats, fined-tuned to meet the revenue growth strategy at each account.

The Tablet Environment

Working with the Salesforce.com SDK was very straightforward, Herscher said. "We are already in HTML5, and we have iPad apps as well, so it was a simple matter of modifying what we already had developed."

What's most significant about the technology in the newly debuted application is its touch functionality -- its importance to mobile users cannot be overestimated. The Salesforce Touch Platform allows users to build their own custom HTML5 mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone and Android environments via its cloud platform.

FirstRain is not officially a Salesforce.com partner, but it works with the company "all the time," Herscher said. "Half of our customers are Salesforce customers, and we work with them to make it easy for them to drop FirstRain into Salesforce."

Salesforce's Mobile Push

Salesforce plans to make even further inroads into the mobile space this year. Two weeks ago, the company introduced its Salesforce Service Cloud Mobile, adding several new features to its service platform.

The update includes Service Cloud Touch, which provides service technology for the agent on a variety of mobile devices, including Amazon's Kindle Fire, Apple's iPads and iPhones, and many Android phones and tablets.

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