Archive for the 'Salesforce.com' Category

8 Requirements for Citizen Integrators

Search “IFTTT for the Enterprise” and you’ll see that almost every week now there’s a new cloud service/vendor being launched that has cracked the code of balancing data integration simplicity with power. Search “Data Preparation” and you’ll see a new category of vendors that are now positioning themselves as ABETL (Anything But ETL).  You even see SAP embracing simplicity, but many long-time customers and pundits certainly see that as mission impossible.

I wrote a post last week about the rise of the Citizen Integrator on the SnapLogic blog now that “simplicity is the new black” in the new world of DIY data access, integration and management.  Here are a few requirements that I think are going to be essential ingredients:

  1. Single Sign On- If you want more people using the tool, it’s going to have to be as easy to access as other cloud applications.
  2. Cloud-Based Design Environment – Many of the integration tools out there continue to rely on eclipse-based developer tools or last generation’s on-premises tools. These are hardly going to attract the new breed of Citizen Integrator.
  3. Create, Edit and Schedule – Citizen Integrators are going to expect to be able to drag, drop and connect.
  4. Broad Connectivity – Maybe this goes without saying, but integration tools must be able to connect to cloud and on-premises applications, databases, files, and big data sources.
  5. Extensive Deployment Options – Cloud to Cloud, Cloud to Ground and Hybrid deployments must be supported.
  6. Configurable, Re-Usable Patterns – Don’t make me re-invent the wheel. Give me some starter templates and allow me to share them with others.
  7. Mobile Monitoring – There’s an app for that! As Salesforce1 now allows me to run my business on my phone, integration should also be turned into an app for specific use cases.
  8. Online Training, Tutorials, Community – It’s no secret that SaaS and community go hand and hand. DIY developers are going to want to find what they need with a few clicks.

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Talking Cloud Integration at #DF13

Here’s a quick interview I did with Matt Childs from Vidcaster on the show floor at Dreamforce 2013:

Last week I interviewed Jeff Kaplan from THINKstrategies to get his views on the conference and what was announced. Some of the highlights are here. The slides we reviewed are below.

Are you ready for Dreamforce?

If you aren’t feeling the excitement yet, just check out #df13 to get fired up by the Salesforce community. (While you’re at it, check out #batkid - what an amazing story!)

Here are my predictions heading into the conference. It remains to be seen if @Benioff has joined the Movember movement, but I have seen an impressive mustache initiative from Salesforce Platform evangelist Reid Carlberg.

In this post I summarized why it’s important to go beyond the simple requirements of the Salesforce Data Loader – Don’t Just Get Loaded at #DF13.

Here are a few predictions for the week from Appirio that are worth reviewing. We’re clearly going to hear a lot about mobile and the Internet of Things…that Chatter.

Earlier this week I participated in a webinar focused on Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) and the important role application and data integration plays in the success of  each initiative. The slides are posted below. Have a fantastic Dreamforce!

Organizing your Salesforce Orgs

Does this sound familiar? You’re moving from an independent instance (or org) of Salesforce CRM to the consolidated corporate org.  While there will definitely be business benefits in terms of visibility, reporting, customer/prospect communication, support, responsiveness, enablement and general leverage of corporate resources, it still represents a potential loss of autonomy. But it’s the right strategy for your business. Or is it?

Whether you ended up with multiple Salesforce orgs through mergers and acquisitions, separate brands or divisions, or through organic growth: at some point your organization is going to need to determine what is the right approach to multi-org consolidation. Here is an overview of 3 approaches to consider.

The Benefits of a Single Customer View

social crm dissertation wordle

social crm dissertation wordle (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

The promise of a single customer view is nothing new to CRM. But is there a comprehensive list of the benefits that such a promise might be able to deliver? Today on the Informatica Perspectives blog, Dina Elsokari took a crack at not 10, but 12 benefits.  It’s also notable that she talked about single customer view benefits without once mentioning cloud master data management or any associated technology for that matter. Well done!

Here’s her list:

  1. Increase upsell and cross sell opportunities
  2. Identify your most valuable customers
  3. Higher customer retention
  4. More targeted product development
  5. Clearer targets for your marketing initiatives
  6. Increased ROI on marketing campaigns
  7. Credible forecasts
  8. Respected reporting
  9. Supporting data for a possible merger or acquisition
  10. A sales culture, not a data gathering and cleansing culture
  11. An increased adoption of Salesforce
  12. Controlled risk

Be sure to check out the entire post and provide your feedback here.

Congratulations to the 2012 Best of AppExchange Award Winners

English: salesforce.com Deutsch: salesforce.co...

Every year Salesforce announces the top partners by AppExchange category based on the quantity and quality of reviews. Today they blogged the winners. Congratulations to these partners who continue to demonstrate such a high degree of cloud customer adoption and success.

Sales: There are multiple winners in this category based on functional area.

Overall winner: Adobe EchoSign (They have now won 7 years in a row!  I actually thought the award had only been around for 5 years. Hmmm…. They have an astounding 2040 reviews for their electronic signature application.)

  • Reports and Dashboards: Hoopla Scoreboard by Hoopla Software (we have the big screens running in our office!)
  • Methodologies: Opportunity Management Optimizer by Sales Optimizer
  • Geolocation: Geopointe by Arrowpointe
  • Quotes and Orders: Configurator by Big Machines
  • Compensation: Xactly Incent by Xactly

Customer Service: Clicktools Surveys and Scripts by Clicktools

IT and Administration: Informatica Cloud Integration for Salesforce (Informatica has been recognized 5 years in a row as the top cloud integration solution!)

Marketing: Marketo (Big win over Eloqua in a very competitive category – congrats!)

Human Resources (HR): Jobscience for Professional Recruiting by Jobscience

ERP: Ascent by Precisio Business Solutions (I’m interested in feedback on this app. Thought you’d see Financial Force here.)

Collaboration: SpringCM Free Content Management from SpringCM

Analytics: Sales Pipeline Visualization by SalesClic (First I’ve heard of this app – looks interesting.)

Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks to the Salesforce users who took the time to post their reviews!

 

Related Articles:

In(tegrate) the Cloud 2012 Highlights

Every year WordPress sends a year in review summary of your blog. They do a nice job with it.

Here are a few highlights that I thought were worth sharing:

  • The busiest day of the year was July 23rd, when I posted Cloud Data Replication for Better Business Intelligence.  I’m not sure if it’s the topic or the use of the Salesforce.com logo that drove the traffic that day.
  • None of the posts that got the most views in 2012 were written in 2012.  Hmmm…I’m not sure I feel great about that.
  • Twitter was the top referring site most in 2012. Alltop was number two.
  • Cloud computing is the most popular topic I’ve written about, followed by SaaS, PaaS and Cloud Integration.

Here’s the most popular video first posted on the site. Thanks for reading – Happy New Year!


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