Posts Tagged 'AppExchange'

Congratulations to the 2012 Best of AppExchange Award Winners

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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:

Salesforce Customers are Asking for Big Data Management #DF12

Two things stuck out for me at Dreamforce 2012:

  1. What an amazing ecosystem Salesforce has built. The Cloud expo was packed with high-quality booths and there were over 3000 people at the partner keynote! Congratulations to the partner success team and kudos on the newly designed Appexchange.
  2. How important cloud integration / enterprise connectivity has become to Salesforce customers, partners and prospects. These two slides from that same partner keynote say it all:

When it comes to the back-office, Big Data Management apps top the list of Salesforce customer requirements. Oh, and by the way, all new cloud applications must connect across the business.

Today two post-Dreamforce 2012 articles caught my attention that address the need for cloud integration head on. In his post – Plumbing the Salesforce Clouds is Your Business, Mark Smith from Ventana Research notes:

“The challenges your organization faces with data are getting larger, and the financial benefits of data in the cloud, such as reduced TCO and reduced implementation fees, are substantive. Too much time and too many resources are wasted in manual approaches where data is transitioned inconsistently and incorrectly. Automation helps organizations rationalize their overall information management efforts.”

Joshua Greenbaum at Enterprise Applications Consulting has this to say his his article, Salesforce.com, Enterprise Platforms, and the End of the End of Software:

“And the tools are there, or on the way. Hence the refrigerator pitch, though it was interestingly devoid of details on just how easy it will be to build an integration framework that could tie together a Pandora-like pure cloud environment or a more common hybrid cloud/on-premise environment. But heck, that’s really hard. It took SAP years to get NetWeaver out of slideware mode and into simple and easy to implement mode, despite all their efforts. So I don’t expect Saleforce.com to settle this issue in just one Dreamforce. It will take a while, no doubt.”

I’ll write about the Informatica Cloud integration and MDM session later this week on the Perspective blog. In the meantime, I’ve embedded the slides below so you can see for yourself how three enterprise organizations have taken advantage of data integration, data quality and master data management technology to drive overall Salesforce adoption and success. It’s Big Cloud Data Management in action!

Cloud Integration vs. SaaS Integration vs. Salesforce Integration

I did a quick comparison on Google Insights on a few keywords I track and thought I’d share the results. A few observations:

  • “Salesforce Integration” was first out of the gate in May 2006. This is roughly when AppExchange was first launched.
  • “SaaS Integration” entered into the vernacular in 2008. About the same time the term “on-demand” died I suspect. SaaS integration hasn’t done so well as a term, however. I put in SaaS application integration and it only made matters worse. This was a bit of a surprise I must admit.
  • “Cloud Integration” made a dent in October 2008 and has been on a steady climb ever since.

 

Google Trends has similar results. But when you go to Dice.com it’s a bit of a different story. There are:

But back to the keywords. I put in the terms “Data Integration” and “Application Integration to compare and they’re an order of magnitude greater than all three, albeit with a much longer history. Of note, however, is that the trend line for both of these more mature terms was on the decline for a few years but now seems to have leveled off somewhat.

Congratulations to the 2011 #AppExchange Customer Choice Winners

Best of Appexchange 2011 awards

Based on quantity and quality of customer reviews, here are the 11 award-winning AppExchange apps for 2011:

  • Best ChatterExchange:  Marketo Sales Insight
  • Best Contract Management App:  Adobe® EchoSign: Global Electronic Signature Service
  • Best Dashboard or Reporting App:  Real Estate Software, REthink Real Estate CRM
  • Best Data Cleansing App:  CountryComplete Free v2
  • Best Data Integration App:  Informatica Cloud
  • Best Human Resources and Recruiting App:  Jobscience Recruiting 
  • Best Marketing Automation App:  Marketo Marketing Automation, Email Marketing & Lead Management
  • Best Mass Email App:  iContact for Salesforce – Email Marketing
  • Best Productivity Tool App:  Box for Salesforce
  • Best Quoting App:  BigMachines
  • Best Surveys App:  Clicktools Surveys and Scripts

Congratulations to all of the winners. You can learn more about each of the winning apps here.

Congratulations to AppExchange – 1 Million Apps Installed

appexchange installsThere doesn’t seem to be a press release, but lots of buzz on Twitter and a new banner on the website promoting the fact that the salesforce.com AppExchange has reached the 1 million install milestone. As an early member of the AppExchange team and as a Salesforce customer and partner, I’d like to pass along my congratulations. The AppExchange is a key element of the overall Salesforce experience and represents outstanding cloud computing innovation as well as a very healthy partner ecosystem.

And did you know that a cloud integration application is the most popular all-time free AppExchange app? Yes, it’s true! Here’s the top 5:

  1. Informatica Cloud Data Loader
  2. InsideView
  3. Project and Issue Management (Force.com Labs)
  4. Lead and Opportunity Management Dashboards (Force.com Labs)
  5. Mail Drop (Force.com Labs)
And the the most popular all-time paid apps, you ask? #1 is VerticalResponse – here’s the list.

Dreamforce Video on Hybrid IT: The Importance of Integration to Salesforce Success

Here’s the video on the Salesforce.com YouTube Channel: Hybrid IT – The Importance of Integration to Salesforce CRM and Force.com success. You can also view the slides on Slideshare as well as review some of the cloud integration highlights from the conference here.

What Do Salesforce.com Customers Care About?

Image representing Salesforce as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

I was asked a simple question yesterday: “What do Salesforce customers care about?” I found that after a lot of rambling and some whiteboard scribbling that my answer was not so simple. I thought I’d try it out here…and maybe get some input from some of you.

First of all, some background. I first became a Salesforce user back in 2005, while in product marketing at Business Objects (now owned by SAP and no longer a customer I suspect). At that point, I was primarily interested in customer analysis, customer references and  competitive intelligence (win / loss analysis and other sales reporting). In 2006 I joined Salesforce product management to work on developing an analytics product line. (This is when I discovered blogging – here are some early examples.) I spent a lot of time gathering input from customers about the types of dashboards and reports they’d like to see. (It’s nice to see that many of the requirements outlined here have now been delivered.) I also spent a lot of time with AppExchange analytics partners, before joining a SaaS BI start-up, where I became a CRM administrator for the first time. Since then I’ve spent most of my time thinking about leads, campaigns and opportunities, but I’m a huge fan of Salesforce Content and Chatter. I’ve also been involved in Eloqua and Marketo implementations along the way.

So, the point of the background is to say that I know what I care about as a Salesforce CRM customer, but as I started down the path of answering what was meant to be a simple question, I realized just how much salesforce.com has expanded over the past few years. Here are a few of the bullets I jotted down, recognizing that much of this will vary by organization size and industry.

CRM administrators:

  • They care about user adoption, dashboards, business process, taking advantage of the latest features, data quality…and integration.
  • These days when I want to know what a guru cares about I read, A Force Behind the Force blog. It’s solid.
Sales Operations:
  • As above, but they also are responsible for sales enablement, forecasting, funnel management, quotas, compensation, bookings, billings…and integration.
  • I like this blog, but generally, I find sales operations are interested in anything to do with metrics. (Here are a few of my old posts on this topic.)
Marketing Managers:
  • Of course it depends on whether or not you work for a B2B or B2C organization and your role (demand gen, events, community, product marketing, corporate communications, etc.), but ultimately what marketing should be measured on is pipeline contribution: Leads that convert to opportunities that convert to closed business…that convert to happy customers…that convert to renewals, more business, etc.
  • There are lots of great AppExchange apps for marketers, but I do wonder when the Marketing Cloud will be delivered by Salesforce natively. The Lead and Campaign objects could use a refresh…
Customer Service and Support:
  • I’m no Service Cloud guru, but I do know the latest release was a big deal at the New York Cloudforce event in March and more and more organizations are moving to customer service and support in the cloud. Incorporating social media and gaining a single view of customer, products, etc. is also a key value proposition of cloud data integration and master data management (MDM).
  • Here’s a solid post on the Salesforce Service Cloud opportunity and a video on social media and customer service.
IT Roles: Architects, DBAs, etc.
  • I wrote a post recently called, Is Hybrid the New Black?  To me, it’s fascinating to see attitudes from this audience evolve from cloud skeptical, to cloud curious, to cloud first. It’s as if the Big Switch has been flipped and the so-called “Cloud Rush” is on in IT.
  • Look to see significant enterprise IT attendance at Dreamforce 2011. Salesforce has done a great job of gaining trust from CIOs and all levels of IT over the past few years. Clearly this is also an audience that understands the importance of cloud integration.
Application and Platform Developers
  • Force.com anyone? I must admit that I’m losing track of all of the evolving platform as a service (PaaS) components. Heroku remains a separate website, and it looks like they’ve gone back to the X-Force branding of 2005 (Appforce, Siteforce, VMforce, etc.).
  • What do Salesforce developers care about? If you want get into Apex Code and learn some great tips and tricks, check out the Force Monkey blog. Be sure to also spend time on the Developer Force community site.
So how did I do? Clearly it’s not so easy to summarize what Salesforce customers care about as the on-demand applications and platform have evolved and expanded. One thing I do believe is consistent across all constituents is that all Salesforce customers care about data, which is why data integration, data quality and overall data management are always such hot topics.

To me, what has remained the same is how passionate Salesforce customers are about pushing the boundaries of cloud computing and getting the maximum value from their investment. Salesforce.com has done a fantastic job of creating communities of evangelists and an ecosystem of partners….and the annual extravaganza is just around the corner.

See you @ #DF11. Oh, and here’s a video of Marc Benioff talking about his vision a few years ago…

Dreamforce to You Delivers in Orlando

I spent the weekend at a great Salesforce.com user group meeting in Orlando called Dreamforce 2 You. The event lived up to its name and did a great job of bringing the energy (and a few video highlights) from the annual San Francisco CRM and Force.com conference to the local community. The agenda was user-driven and I thought nicely representative of what’s top of mind for most Salesforce customers:

  1. Salesforce.com Success Out-Of-The-Box
  2. Data Management: There’s gold in them details (my session)
  3. Marketing Automation
  4. Deep Dive into Salesforce.com Reporting, Analytics, and Dashboards
  5. SFA: Automation = Automagical to you and your users
  6. Developing in the Cloud

Thank you and congratulations to the team who put the mini-Dreamforce conference together (Joshua, Jen and Jackie). It truly was the best Salesforce user group meeting I’ve attended with a great mix of customers, partners, Salesforce employees and of course content.

In the data management session, I focused on:

  1. The importance of data integration to Salesforce customer success
  2. The different data integration options available to Salesforce customers
  3. What to look for in a cloud data integration solution

Here is the first section of the presentation. Be sure to let me know if you have any feedback or questions.

 

New Informatica Cloud Community – Join the Conversation!

With over 1300 companies running Informatica Cloud, it’s not surprising that a very active community has developed around the popular cloud data integration service.

If you’re interested in learning more, best practices, tips and tricks, getting started videos, more advanced topics and networking with other users, be sure to join today. And if you’re generally interested in cloud-based integration as a service and Informatica Cloud, here are a few other community resources:

Best Data Integration Solution on the Salesforce AppExchange

Today Informatica announced that Informatica Cloud received the  “Best of AppExchange Award” for Data Integration from Salesforce.com customers.  This is the third year in a row that the company has received this recognition. What’s so cool about the annual AppExchange awards is that they’re based entirely on the volume and quantity of customer reviews.

The press release highlighted these Salesforce Integration customer reviews:

Easy, seamless and huge time saver. Informatica’s Cloud service is very simple yet extremely powerful. It greatly reduced the time to integrate Salesforce data with our in-house databases. Informatica Cloud is the way to go for anyone needing to move data in/out of salesforce.com.”

Powerful Integration Tool. I have worked with the Informatica Cloud product for one year now and I have found the product to be robust, easy to use, reliable, and extremely flexible. The ability for the product to connect to so many data sources and perform most any data transformation is remarkable.”

No IT Required! With a product like salesforce.com, which gives you so much power to do quick database configuration changes, you need a product like Informatica Cloud to give you that same agility on the data integration side. What good is being able to add a new field in to salesforce.com in just minutes if it takes months to get the data you want in to that field? For us, Informatica Cloud has all but eliminated that problem.”

Informatica is Best in Class. After reviewing several potential integration partners, we chose Informatica to help us integrate our current SQL database with Salesforce. With no technical/IT background, I was able to easily integrate the two systems using Informatica’s drag and drop design. Intuitive is the best word I can use and when I came against a few data transformation issues I couldn’t solve on my own, the response I received from my Informatica sales rep and from their support team was great. They even e-mailed me to make sure that the data transformation they tested in their environment worked in mine before they closed my case. So from beginning to end it was a great experience and I would highly recommend them to anyone that is looking for a full integration solution.”

You can see the entire list of 2010 AppExchange award winners here.


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