Salesforce.com is an American cloud computing company, whose headquarters are in San Francisco, California. Even though its revenue comes from a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product, but through acquisition, Salesforce also capitalizes on commercial applications of social networking. The company was founded in the year 1999, by a former Oracle executive, Marc Benioff along with Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez as a company specializing in Software-As-A-Service. SalesForce.com‘s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service is broken down into several broad categories such as:
1. Sales Cloud
2. Service Cloud
3. Marketing Cloud
4. Data Cloud
5. Community Cloud
6. Analytics Cloud, and
7. App Cloud, with over 100,000 customers.
Salesforce is a primary enterprise offering within the Salesforce platform. It provides companies with an interface for task management and case management, and a system for automatically escalating and routing important events. The Salesforce customer portal provides its customers, the ability to track their own cases, which includes a social networking plug-in that enables the user to join the conversation about their company on the social networking websites. It also provides analytical tools and other services such as Google search, email alert and access to customer’s contracts and entitlement. ‘Salesforce1’ is Salesforce’s mobile application for Android and iOS.
‘Force.com’ is a great Platform-As-A-Service that allows developers to create multi-tenant add-on applications that integrate into the main Salesforce .com application. Force.com applications are hosted on Salesforce.com’s infrastructure. Force.com applications are built with the help of Apex (a proprietary JAVA like programming language used for Force.com) and Visual-force (an XML syntax used to generate the HTML). As the platform is provided as a service to its developers, even every single development instance also receives all these updates. The ‘VISION’ of Salesforce was a pioneering new technology model with a cloud platform, a new pay-as-you-go business model focused on customer success, and a new integrated corporate philanthropy model called the ‘1-1-1 model’, which denotes that 1% Equity, 1% Employee Time, and 1% of their product to improve communities around the world. This VISION has fuelled their incredible growth, made them a ‘global leader’ in CRM, defined the era of enterprise cloud computing and also inspired a new philanthropic model for all companies to follow. In today’s time, Salesforce’s Customer Success Platform provides groundbreaking cloud services for service, sales, marketing, community analytics, apps and the Internet Of Things. Salesforce is the fastest growing top ’10’ software company in the world and has also been ranked as one of the world’s most innovative companies by FORBES for five years in a row. Salesforce empowers companies, regardless of the industry, to connect with their customers in a whole new way, run their business from their phones, create one-to-one customer journeys and make smarter and more predictive decisions from anywhere in real time. There are a number of companies belonging to a variety of different industries that have been a part of SalesForce. Industries such as
- Financial Services
- Healthcare and Life Sciences
- High Tech
- Travel and Transport, and many more.
Now, for example, Philips. A very well known Dutch technology company, headquartered in Amsterdam with primary divisions focused in the areas of electronics, healthcare, and lighting. For over 120 years, Philips’ innovative lighting, consumer lifestyle solutions, and healthcare have improved the lives of many people all over the world. With the help of Salesforce, a company can get a deeper understanding of its customers in individual markets and hence, be able to provide products that meet their needs more closely than ever before. “We are creating local solutions, while leveraging global scale,” says Wim Van Gils, Vice President of Global Commercial Excellence. “Salesforce is helping us develop tools, processes, and new ways of working, so we can cater to the needs of customers and consumers in specific markets. It’s a collaborative tool that connects the dots.” Sales Cloud gives sales and operations employees, working everywhere from Brazil to Africa to the Netherlands, real-time customer insights, so every interaction is meaningful. It brings together information from all over the world in such a way that data is not siloed in the different departments or markets, but provides 360° views. Philips wants to connect sales, marketing, service and anyone that is customer-facing with Salesforce so that we can share best prices and pockets of excellence. They also want to give their Research & Development, supply chain, and product groups insight into evolving customer needs and opportunities. Philips, the giant electronics company uses the Service Cloud to give more than 7000 call centers and field service engineers, its global division and complete customer views which they need to provide real-time service. And, now with ‘Chatter’, it is easy for everyone to share information and collaborate across time zones and geographical borders. Philips also started using ‘Marketing Cloud’ to get to know their customers even better and engage with them on social channels.
There are a number of other companies from different industries that have worked with SalesForce group. Companies such as:
- American Express
- Design Within Reach
- Coca-Cola Germany
- American Red Cross
- Columbia Business School
- Cohen Handler
- Delta Air Lines
- Dunkin’ Brands
- Electronic Arts (EA)
- Kimberly Clarks
- Japan Post
- L’Oréal Americas, and the list goes on and on.
Not only does Salesforce help all these well-established companies in their later journey, but also startups like Pendo, (RED) and The Global Fund, Asana, Belly, Bespoke Collection, etc.
Let’s talk about Pendo. Todd Olson and his team at Pendo, have built a business around how digital products can be helpful to companies in learning from their customers and creating much better products in the future. Unlike products that cannot be tracked once they have left store shelves, web applications can gather and report usage data every time they are used. Through a combination of analytics and in-app messaging, apps built with Pendo help companies both understand how customers use their products and then use that knowledge to increase the customer engagement. Pendo is Co-Founder and CEO Todd Olson’s third startup. For Pendo to successfully land and expand its clientele, Olson needs his team to not only avoid losing time to ‘noise’ that could better be outsourced, but also work across the departments to find ways to offer customers more value. Pendo started using Sales Cloud from the company’s initial days. Salesforce is more like Pendo’s system of sale recording process.“If it’s not in Salesforce, it didn’t happen. That’s one of the rules at the company,” Olson said. “I don’t care what a rep tells me about how great his call was. If he’s not sharing it with the rest of the team, he’s not contributing to help the company move forward.” Sales Cloud helps Pendo’s small but growing sales team to manage the complex process of prospecting into enterprise technology companies.
A Sales Cloud feature called the ‘Sales Path’ helps formalize that company’s sales methodology, by giving notes to sales representatives at every stage of the opportunities process. Pendo also adopted ‘desk.com‘ for customer support and Pardot for the market automation, moving on from older systems. Pardot, which went live for Pendo in the late 2015, offered the company better Salesforce integration, customer segmentation, and calculating and reporting on ROI than the older platform ever could. Running an entire business on Salesforce allows everyone at Pendo to work more efficiently, and to know where each and every customer is, in every part of the sales and support cycles. “Our sales force has tripled in two months, and with Salesforce, we’ve been able to maintain our speed to value,” said Olson.
Force.com allows one to use traditional development practices for creating on-demand applications. SalesForce.com extends the cloud computing development process to encompass external tools such as integrated development environments, source control systems, and batch scripts to facilitate deployment and development. Force.com platform provides a powerful and rich metadata model and Metadata API. Platform metadata describes one’s application and the API encompasses a set of methods that provide programmatic access to the configuration and source of one’s application. Force.com IDE and Force.com Migration Tool are examples of client applications that build upon the Metadata API.