Work is at its best when it flows seamlessly. And while some of us might have that experience when we’re playing with data, creating an app or toiling away at a marketing pitch, knowledge workers seldom get the pleasure — they are often interrupted by accessing the content they need to do their jobs.
It’s a lousy way to work. In fact it’s only a tad better than grabbing a document from a physical file cabinet.
And if you’re trying to collaborate while on the go, forget about it.
Unless you’re a customer of a vendor like Salesforce.
Building More Connections
Last year San Francisco-based Salesforce introduced Salesforce Files Connect, to help users connect files to Salesforce business processes and records regardless of where those files reside. The beauty of the connectors is that users can click on a link and view the content they need for the task at hand — without leaving the process they’re working in.
Take for example an investment banker who wants to show a pitchbook to an investor, they can access it simply by clicking on a link. Or a fulfillment manager who needs to verify an original customer order … you get the idea.
Today Box and Salesforce jointly announced the availability (in beta) of the Salesforce Files Connect for Box. Branded a “content experience,” users will be able to access their files stored in Box directly from Salesforce, whether on desktop or mobile. Box will insure that the content is kept secure and accessible according to its corporate policies.
It’s hard to imagine that more cloud-hosted applications and content repositories won't offer similar capabilities in the near future.
Not only that, but absence of this sort of plug-in could make an Enterprise File Sync and Share vendor less desirable. After all, spending time searching for files, uploading and downloading would yield a competitive disadvantage to the business.
That being said, business application vendors are likely to partner with EFSS providers wherever it makes sense to spend the time and money needed to build plug-ins. Business partnerships between vendors tend to be more inclusive than exclusive in this day and age.
Get to Building
Box and Salesforce also jointly announced a Box SDK for Salesforce. The software development kit provides the tools that developers need to easily leverage Box content management within any app built on Salesforce App Cloud.
For Force.com developers who want to deliver easy content experiences to their customers, it’s a nice win. Box’s challenge is to convince Force.com developers that it’s worth their while. The size of the addressable market matters to people who build apps. That’s why there are so many more apps available on iPhones vs. Windows phones. So it’s pretty safe to predict that if Salesforce and Box have enough mutual customers, there will be apps.