CloudCraze has released an e-commerce services bundle on the Salesforce platform.
Bill Loumpouridis, founder of CloudCraze and CEO of EDL Consulting, said in an interview with CMSWire that a decade of serving as a Java e-commerce consultant (CloudCraze LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of EDL Consulting) made him realize an opportunity existed to help Salesforce users perform e-commerce.
May Force.com Be With Your E-commerce Efforts
“As Force.com matured, we saw a good opportunity to take our knowledge of e-commerce in the traditional Web environment and apply it on the Force.com platform,” said Loumpouridis. “We created a product so that the entire front office can include online interactions on a single platform.”
According to Loumpouridis, the new CloudCraze Salesforce bundle combines sales, customer service, marketing and e-commerce capabilities. Users from the same organization can all see the same customer, product and pricing data.
“There is no integration and no redundancy of information,” said Loumpouridis. “CloudCraze sits within the Salesforce cloud and has the scalability and elasticity natively inherent to the Salesforce platform.”
During the three years CloudCraze has been offering solutions to Salesforce users, software has been deployed in an “unmanaged” mode, meaning it served as an add-on without official Salesforce involvement. However, CloudCraze is now available to Salesforce users as a “managed package,” meaning CloudCraze is serving as a Salesforce OEM and emulates the benefits of Salesforce’s CRM capabilities in its bundle.
“The customer receives seamless patches and automatic upgrades,” said Loumpouridis. “There are no professional services or coders needed.” The bundle also includes native integration to the Salesforce Chatter tool, and the user interface architecture provides granular control and is divided into five dimensions: style, branding, layout, data controls and navigation.
“Style provides cascading style sheets, while branding is a flexible architecture layer,” explained Loumpouridis. “Layout provides a visual Force.com template and data controls are a traditional CMS. Navigation leverages custom objects from Salesforce, such as menu and category panes.”
In addition, Loumpouridis said CloudCraze offers social media functionality such as the ability to pin any cataloged product on Pinterest and built-in controls for Twitter and Facebook. “The table stakes of social e-commerce are provided,” he stated.
Spinning Off Salesforce
The ubiquity of the Salesforce platform makes it an appealing application for third-party vendors to add functionality to. In expanding Salesforce’s CRM capabilities to encompass full-scale e-commerce, CloudCraze is following in the footsteps of many other IT solution/service providers who have made efforts to let Salesforce users do more without leaving the platform. Most recently Aprimo, a provider of cloud-based automated marketing solutions, released Aprimo Service to Sales, an interactive inbound marketing application that works with Salesforce.com. Aprimo Service to Sales utilizes customer interaction data from the Web, call centers and retail points-of-sale in real-time to provide targeted offers for cross-sell and up-sell programs. The solution is designed to continuously learn and become more intelligent over time as customers respond to customized offers.
CloudCraze Won Fans Early
In October 2010, Forbes ran an article highlighting the positive experiences some beta users of CloudCraze’s Salesforce-based services were having. For example, biotechnology equipment firm Licor said it would have an easier time capturing info about its customers and scientific supplies company Gilson used CloudCraze for Salesforce to quickly launch an e-commerce site in three languages -- English, French and German -- and to support multiple currencies.
“CloudCraze can be a good answer for a range of BtoB commerce requirements -- maybe not the most complex, exotic, or high volume, but for a lot of companies who want something they can bring online quickly, that looks polished, and that addresses basic requirements for processing transactions and managing customers,” the article concluded. “In combination with Salesforce.com, it becomes even more attractive.”