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Salesforce News & Analysis

Salesforce1 Community Cloud Promises LinkedIn Experience

LinkedIn, you should be flattered. Salesforce wants to be like you.

The CRM giant is touting its Salesforce1 Community Cloud, a platform launched today that company officials call a "LinkedIn-like" experience that's personalized, mobile and connected to businesses. 

Salesforce has "decreased the friction of going into communities," Lisa Hammitt, vice president, business operations of Salesforce1 Community Cloud, told CMSWire. "To be a cloud, we have to be able to predicate it off customer success."

Buy or Build a Marketing Cloud?

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Nearly 400 attended the first Marketing Technology Conference at the Seaport Hotel in Boston this week to make sense of the more than 1,000 digital marketing technologies in more than 40 categories available today.

Bottom line: marketers want digital technology that works for their organizations. Easily, the most bantered about topic these past two days in Boston boiled down to one question:

Buy or build your marketing cloud?

Much like a little tea party here in this city 241 years ago, you had your division at #MarTech this week. 

Today, in the first of a two-part series, we catch up with the guy who got the debate going and two providers who sell marketing technology. To conclude the series, we'll talk to digital marketers who've had to make the buy versus build decision.

Why Infor is Buying Saleslogix

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Why would any company want to go into competition with Salesforce in the customer relationship management (CRM) field? Infor wants to do just that with its acquisition of Saleslogix.

Infor, based in New York City, reportedly plans to transform the Software-as-a-Service-based CRM company into Infor CRM. Translation: it plans to build the better mousetrap by blending Saleslogix' strength in CRM with its own cloud-based product, Infor CloudSuite.

This is no small task. Infor, which did not disclose the purchase price, said it plans to make a major investment in the existing Saleslogix system to make it more scalable, improve usability and then  tap into Infor's "deep expertise" in industry processes.

Salesforce's Desk.com Embeds Video in Customer Support

The next generation of Salesforce's Desk.com platform is going visual -- as in video support. The customer relationship management (CRM) giant just introduced a new Salesforce Desk.com Support Center, which includes video customer support. 

The news comes a little more than a month after Salesforce updated its acquired platform with a new intelligent agent console and a mobile app and reporting engine -- among other enhancements -- for all in one automated customer service. 

Salesforce Adds Mapping and Data Features to Journey Builder

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Salesforce announced plans for a new drag-and-drop mapping option to Journey Builder today, one of several new features that should make the tool more user friendly for marketers.

The new tool gives users a canvas that they can use to map the customer journey across channels such as social media, web, mobile and desktop devices.

Salesforce also added a Journey Triggers function based on predictive analytics that can automatically send special offers and other content based on shifts in customer behavior. The idea is to nudge consumers back onto the purchase path if they abandon a shopping cart, leave a web page or indicate a change in product affinity.

Salesforce Unveils Sales Reach with New Tools for Mobile

"Instant marketing and selling." That's the idea behind Salesforce's new Sales Reach offering, announced today. 

It combines the Salesforce1 Sales Cloud, marketing automation suite Pardot and Communities into on-the-spot marketing and selling tools. Salesforce1, announced last fall, is described by the company as its "next-generation social, mobile and cloud customer platform" with more APIs and options for mobile development and cloud development.

Did Forrester Get Its Digital Experience Wave Right?

customer experience, Did Forrester Get Its Digital Experience Wave Right?

If it hasn't sunk in yet for digital experience providers, let's remind them: Forrester sees no leaders in digital experience delivery platforms.

The results came from the research giant's first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. So why no leader? 

CMSWire asked Forrester Wave authors Stephen Powers, vice president and research director, and analysts Anjali Yakkundi and Mark Grannan.

Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience Delivery

customer experience, Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience DeliveryWho's driving the digital experience train today?

No one, says Forrester.

In its first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, released today, analysts said no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

"Overall completeness and adoption" in this space is "middling," according to analysts.

Unified platforms are "more myth than reality," they wrote in the Wave.

Despite no leader, Forrester did cite Adobe and hybris (SAP) as "pioneers" that offer the most complete options while IBM and Sitecore "aren't far behind."

RelateIQ Buy Could Patch Salesforce's Analytics Gap

customer experience, Will Salesforce's RelateIQ Acquisition Patch its Data Analytics Gap?

Salesforce's $390 million acquisition of RelateIQ this week strengthens the CRM giant's customer data analytics offerings and could boost its marketing suite, industry analysts told CMSWire.

Salesforce Founder and CEO Marc Benioff (left) on Monday gobbled up the Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider that claims it's known for driving "relationship intelligence," rather than "relationship management."

"Salesforce needed to deepen its analytics offerings significantly, and this acquisition will do that," Michael Fauscette, group vice president of SBS for IDC, told CMSWire this week. "In particular, marketers/companies are looking for insight on prospects and customers to better market, sale and service those relationships."

Oracle: Our Marketing Cloud Is the Biggest #Interact14

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Oracle kicked off its Interact 2014 conference today by noting it has added 350 marketing applications and data partners in the past year. That's resulted in "the industry's largest marketing technology ecosystem."

As part of that, Oracle said its AppCloud now includes 235 fully integrated apps. Its BlueKai program has about 300 partners in data, media, privacy and technology that leverage BlueKai data for solutions that extend beyond ad targeting.

The announcements, issued hours before the conference opened, said the growth means clients can more easily build a personal dialogue with customers across channels, a goal that has evolved into something of a Holy Grail for digital marketers. Perhaps more significantly, the conference is also providing some clarity on Oracle's roadmap for integrating its costly acquisitions, including $871 million for Eloqua, $1.5 billion for Responsys and an estimated $350 million-plus for BlueKai.

Forrester: Move Faster on App Development

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Developing great apps takes time, but in the age of the customer that time is measured in days and weeks -- not months.

Customers simply aren't going to wait for their smartphones to grow outdated while the IT staff designs, hand-codes, tests and finally releases a new app. No wonder there is simmering tension between marketers who want to enhance revenue and the IT staffer who must cope with shrinking resources and rising demands.

Enter "low-code" app development, a process that Forrester says will "speed up development by allowing application development and delivery (AD&D) teams to eliminate barriers to customer participation in projects as well as [expediting] handoffs between phases of projects."

Salesforce Acquires CRM Startup RelateIQ for $390 Million

Salesforce acquired today a smaller CRM provider in a deal that could be worth up to $390 million, according to a filing with the United States Security and Exchange Commission

The CRM giant scooped up RelateIQ, a Palo Alto-based provider that claims it's known for driving "relationship intelligence" rather than "relationship management."

"We believe this offers our customers the best of both worlds," RelateIQ co-founder Steve Loughlin blogged today. "Salesforce.com pioneered the shift to enterprise cloud computing, redefining modern CRM as we know it. ... RelateIQ is pioneering the next generation of intelligent computing through data science and machine learning. Looking ahead, salesforce.com’s acquisition of RelateIQ will extend the value of salesforce.com’s No. 1 CRM apps and platform with a new level of intelligence across sales, service and marketing."

News Bites: Salesforce Mobile Reports, Sitecore Partnership, More

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Heading into July, the news keeps flowing. This week: Salesforce introduces mobile reports while Useful Social Media and Millennial Media issue free reports.

Braindigit launches SageCMS, Sitecore and ADAM join forces, text donations grow up and Shufflrr releases its PowerPoint tool.

Will OTT Messaging Apps Bring a Marketer's Gold Rush?

2014-01-July-California-Miners.jpgOTT (Over The Top) mobile messaging apps have recently garnered significant attention thanks to Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp for $19B back in February. But what everybody is really dying to know is exactly how these app companies make money -- what are the revenue streams?

While all offer free or nearly free messaging (and potentially calling) for consumers, at the end of the day someone needs to pay the bill. There are a lot of companies vying to prove that they have an answer to the revenue conundrum, but Salesforce’s recent partnership with LINE has, in my opinion, the most interesting potential. Through this deal, marketers will have a way to directly connect with customers. This is a massive step toward the one to one communication holy grail that is custom tailored to fit consumers’ interests and preferences.

Salesforce Promises 'Amazing' Customer Service with Desk.com

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Using customer service platform Desk.com is like being adopted into a large family. The adopters happen to be Salesforce.com.

Salesforce has updated its acquired platform with a new intelligent agent console and a mobile app and reporting engine among other enhancements for all-in-one automated customer service. 

"The No. 1 wow factor is that we can grow with you," said Leyla Seka, senior vice president and general manager of Salesforce Desk.com. "You can start on Desk.com and grow any which way you want to grow."

Seka described Desk.com as "awesome" and "amazing."

And then there's this -- a lot of point solutions, Seka added, do not have the speed and power of Salesforce behind it.

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