Salesforce.com’s next version called Spring 08 is soon to be released and there are a massive number of additions and enhancements to the force.com platform and the SaaS applications.
Of interest to you may be their new focus on content management and collaboration capabilities – pushing the CRM solution into new territory. The two new SaaS applications are Salesforce Content and Salesforce Ideas.
Content Management as a Service * Featured Content: This component enables authors to push certain content to the top of the pile so users see it immediately either in a Featured Content widget or at the top of search results. Administrators can designate who has the ability to mark content as Featured Content by workspace.
* Managed Tagging Rules: In addition to the current way users can tag content two new approaches have been added. These are: Guided Tagging (administrators recommend specific sets of tags for a workspace) and Restricted Tagging (Administrators can restrict the set of tags available). The tagging model can be applied by workspace.
* Customizable Search Results: Users have the ability to customize how their search results are displayed, including the sort order of the fields that are available. In addition Relative Rankings provide an immediate view on relevancy, popularity, subscribers, comments and ratings. Finally Search Result Hovers allow a user to hover over a result and view information like document title, author, rating and other attributes.
* Multiple Content Types: For those who want more than tagging for content classification, there’s the ability to define content types using a more traditional structured, hierarchical classification approach. Custom fields can be defined for a Content Type and applied only to certain documents. Content types can be assigned by workspace.
* Storage Management: Storage Management enables Administrators to monitor content storage limits and receive alerts when those limits are approaching capacity. Outdated content can also easily be deleted to clear space.
They call it “Community Powered Innovation Management”. It’s basically an online community feature that can be used to interact with employees, partners and customers.
* My Ideas Inbox: Enables a user to keep track of ideas they have posted or posts they have commented on by informing them of new comments.
* Recently Discussed: Provides quick access to the most recent comments made in the community, giving a user easy access to jump into a conversation that interests them.
* Ideas Visibility Enhancements: Provides the ability to monitor what’s happening in multiple communities showing top ideas and last 100 votes for an idea in a community. A new Soft delete capability is available which enables deleted ideas and comments to be retrieved from a new recycle bin.
* Ideas API: This API enables companies to integrate Salesforce Ideas with other applications or build new ones. In addition, developers could also expand the Salesforce Ideas application itself.
Salesforce Content is a fee-based license available in English only. It can be licensed for both existing Salesforce CRM and Platform edition subscribers as well as non-licensed users. Salesforce Ideas is now available to all Salesforce CRM and Platform edition subscribers, as well as to customers and partners through Salesforce Partners and Salesforce Customer Portal.
For a detailed preview of all the Salesforce.com updates, see their Preview page on their site.
It’s very interesting to see a CRM solution moving into deeper content management and collaboration capabilities. But this clearly demonstrates the need for integrated functionality to truly engage employees, customers and partners in the business.