Salesforce Shoots for FacebookLevel 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.”

Breaking ‘Mental Barrier’

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Therein lies Salesforce’s goal with its Salesforce1 Mobile App. Peachey said it connects business people to one another and enables them to get things done. It’s about cutting through that “mental barrier” of resistance toward using your phone for business.

“Anyone can run their business from their phone” is the theme to which Salesforce keeps coming back.

Facebook’s mobile app is supported by a robust app ecosystem. But where are the enterprise apps that deliver the same value to business users, Salesforce asks? 

It believes it has the answer and tools to get real work done on mobile phones.

New Features

Some of the features include:

  • Access for sales: Salespeople get direct access to their reports and dashboards, easy navigation with the Account and Community Switcher, and access to data offline.
  • Marketers’ arsenal: Marketers can access their contacts’ social information, campaign members and marketing collateral.
  • Connection with legacy apps and back office data: Companies can integrate third-party apps with new Canvas functionality. New SAP connectors from Informatica and Mulesoft will also allow enterprises to build mobile workflows that integrate back office data.

New features also include the ability to deploy custom mobile apps for any business process and access to partner apps such as FinancialForce’s accounting app and Kenandy’s ERP app.

“It’s not just about using it out of the box,” Peachey said, “but being able to customize it, and that’s when this becomes extremely valuable.”

In addition to Apple and Android operating systems, users will be able to access the Salesforce1 Mobile App from any mobile browser, including Blackberry Z10 mobile browser, Good Access Secure mobile browser and Windows 8 browser. It also delivers notification on Samsung wearables.

Enterprise Mobile Possible

A handful of Salesforce partners revealed their Salesforce1 apps at the annual Dreamforce convention in San Francisco in November, including Evernote, Box, LinkedIn, DocuSign and about a dozen others.

“The new Salesforce1 Mobile App allows us to build deeper connections with all of our customers, which is essential to be successful in today’s social and mobile world,” John McPhee, president of Design Within Reach, said in a statement provided by Salesforce. “With the Salesforce1 Mobile App, we can customize every communication and interaction with our customers, keeping us ahead of our competition.”

Peachey added there hasn’t been a focus on enterprise mobile apps. There needs to be.

"That’s the vision we want to bring to life," he said. "… We want to make sure that every customer, every employee is able to run their business on their phone.” 

First-Quarter Results Released

Salesforce's launch today comes two days after the company announced its results for its fiscal first quarter ending April 30. delivered 37 percent year-over-year growth in revenue, and 67 percent year-over-year growth in operating cash flow in the first quarter, according to a Salesforce statement. 

Total Q1 revenue was $1.23 billion. Subscription and support revenues were $1.15 billion, an increase of 36 percent year-over-year. Professional services and other revenues were $79 million, an increase of 58 percent year-over-year.