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Salesforce News & Analysis

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.

This App Promises to Protect Your Salesforce Data

If you haven’t protected the data you're holding in Salesforce, you’re taking a  risk. What if it disappears? What if you loose it? There are recovery apps available to deal with those kinds of scenarios, but they are often complicated, expensive and difficult to use.

Spanning claims its upgrade offers an alternative.

According to the Texas-based start-up, its updated Backup for Salesforce App offers new options directly through the user interface. It enables business users and anyone else tasked with securing customer information not only the ability to back-up, but also the ability to restore data.

Yes, It's True: Microsoft + Salesforce are Hooking Up

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has a new BFF — and he’s none other than Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

You have to give Benioff credit for leveraging his Zen Buddhist learnings and urging Microsoft to regain its “beginner's mind.” Last year, at TechCrunch Disrupt, he called Microsoft “such a disaster” that only Bill Gates could save it.

In 2010, Microsoft sued Salesforce for nine patent infringements and Benioff called Microsoft a patent troll.

Today Benioff was busy on Twitter, posting pictures of himself and Nadella in various settings, sometimes even looking like lovebirds. 

New Cirrus Insight App Links Google Drive with Salesforce

customer experience, New Cirrus Insight App Connects Google Drive With Salesforce

Cirrus Insight, the Laguna Hills, Calif., CRM app developer that integrates Salesforce with Gmail, today released a new app that lets users manage and sync files between Salesforce and Google Drive.

The app -- Cirrus Files -- enables workers in the enterprise to organize Google Drive files by Salesforce opportunities, contacts, accounts and more, as well as sync them to the corresponding records in Salesforce.

For Cirrus Insight, this is about combining the collaboration and portability of Google Drive with the contextual organization of Salesforce.

Lithium CMO: Klout is a Game Changer for Brands

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Since Lithium acquired Klout in late March, there's been considerable speculation about just what it would do with it. Now we know.

The San Francisco-based social customer experience platform announced two new products at its LiNC conference — Pop-up Communities and Klout for Products.

Whether the products will have the "disruptive" impact predicted by CEO Rob Tarkoff remains to be seen. Perhaps more important is how they reflect a maturing role of social networks in building relationships between companies, products and customers.

CMSWire interviewed Lithium CMO Katy Keim on the third and final day of the conference to get her perspective on the new products and other topics.

Salesforce1 Mobile App: Better than Dynamics and Siebel?

customer experience, Salesforce1 Mobile App: Better than Dynamics and Siebel?

Salesforce gained an edge over its competitors with its move to mobilize CRM processes. Its new mobile app for the enterprise empowers sales professionals to do “business on the move,” analysts told CMSWire.

“It’s difficult to judge against all enterprise apps, as they all serve very different purposes,” said Richard Absalom, senior analyst for Enterprise Mobility for London-based Ovum Research.

“But CRM is really low-hanging fruit in terms of a process that can be immediately improved by mobilizing. From that point of view, Salesforce1 does stand out, making it easier for the huge number of sales professionals using Salesforce to do business on the move. Making it available through any browser should mean that it can reach a wider audience, and the range of new features in this update looks pretty impressive.”

Salesforce Shoots for Facebook-Level Mobile App Success

customer experience, Salesforce Shoots for Facebook-Level Mobile App Success

Facebook does it. Can Salesforce?

The company released its new Salesforce1 Mobile App today. The app adds more than 30 new features that Salesforce said will enable users to manage any business process from a mobile device.

The new-features launch comes about six months after the CRM provider launched its Salesforce1 platform at its Dreamforce 2013 conference.

That platform, geared toward offering Salesforce software users a more full bodied mobile app building toolkit, played off the provider’s February 2013 release of its mobile app development platform.

“People spend 17 percent of their time on Facebook -- that’s a killer app,” Michael Peachey, senior director of Mobile Products for Salesforce, told CMSWire. “In terms of adoption, there are a number of fundamental things going on there. No. 1 -- it’s connected to people who you like, and people you want to share information with.”

New Alliance Wants to Make Customers 'Zealots' #PulseConf2014

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Collecting big data without creating ways for employees to use it is like saving big money without having anyplace to spend it -- impressive, perhaps, but useless.

Gainsight appears to have drawn the same conclusion. It just announced an alliance with five data services that is designed to empower employees and transform customers into zealots.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based customer success company today unveiled Gainsight Connect at Pulse2014, a trade show in San Francisco that it cosponsors with Salesforce, Hoopla, Zuora, Infer, Service Rocket, Fliptop, the Customer Success Association and others.

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