Salesforce is #1 in Top 23 Online CRM software

Salesforce
Most-popular CRM. Easy collaboration. Proven cloud platform. Salesforce.com offers everything you need to transform your business into a Social Enterprise, so you can connect to customers and employees like never before. With no software or hardware to install, you're up and running—and seeing a positive impact on your business—quickly.

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Positions in ratings


#1 in Top 23 Online CRM software

#1 in Top 18 Helpdesk software

#1 in Top 13 Marketing software

Alternatives


The best alternatives to Salesforce are: HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Zoho CRM, ServiceNow, Keap CRM, Zendesk Sell, Pega, Oracle Sales Cloud



Latest news about Salesforce


2020. Salesforce announces new Service Cloud workforce planning tool



With a pandemic raging across many parts of the world, many companies have customer service agents spread out as well, creating a workforce management nightmare. To help answer that problem Salesforce is developing a new product called Service Cloud Workforce Engagement. Like many Salesforce products, this one is made up of several key components to deliver a complete solution. For starters, there is Service Forecast for Customer 360, a tool that helps predict workforce requirements and uses AI to distribute customer service requests in a way that makes sense. Next up is Omnichannel Capacity Planning, which helps managers distribute CSAs across channels such as phone, messaging or email wherever they are needed most based on the demand across a given channel. Finally, there is a teaching component that helps coach customer service agents to give the correct answer in the correct way for a given situation.




2020. Salesforce applies AI to workflow with Einstein Automate



Salesforce announced Einstein Automate, a new AI-fueled set of workflow solutions. Einstein is the commercial name given to Salesforce’s artificial intelligence platform that touches every aspect of the company’s product line, bringing automation to many tasks and making it easier to find the most valuable information on customers, which is often buried in an avalanche of data. Salesforce is also bringing into the mix MuleSoft, the integration company it bought for $6.5 billion in 2018. Instead of processes like a mortgage approval workflow, the MuleSoft piece lets IT build complex integrations between applications across the enterprise and the Salesforce family of products more easily.


2020. Salesforce beefing up field service offering with AI



Salesforce is adding some AI enhancements to its field service offerings that take advantage of this capability. For starters, the company announced Dynamic Priority. Certainly humans are capable of prioritizing a list of repairs, but by letting the machine set priority based on factors like service agreement type or how critical the repair is, it can organize calls much faster, leaving dispatchers to handle other tasks. Also Salesforce also wants to give the customer the same capability they are used to getting in a rideshare app, where you can track the progress of the driver to your destination. Appointment Assistant, a new app, gives customers this ability, so they know when to expect the repair person to arrive.


2020. Salesforce announces a new mobile collaboration tool for sales called Anywhere



Salesforce introduced a new tool called Salesforce Anywhere that’s designed to let teams collaborate and share data wherever they happen to be. As the pandemic took hold and the company saw how important collaboration was becoming in a digital context, the idea of an app like this took on a new sense of urgency. The idea is to move beyond the database and help surface the information that matters most to individual sales people based on their pipelines. Employees can share information across a team, and have chats related to that information. While there are other chat tools out there, this tool is focused on sharing Salesforce data, rather than being general purpose like Slack or other business chat tool.


2018. Salesforce allows to enter data to CRM via voice



Sales managers love to talk. In fact, talking is their job. But when it comes to entering customer data to CRM system, they have to type. Salesforce wants to save salespeople from such a cognitive dissonance. New feature - Einstein Voice - allows to enter data into the system using natural speech. Imagine, when getting behind the wheel, you simply launch the mobile app and talk to virtual assistant: "I just met John Smith. He is interested in buying, but asked to call him in a week ...". And the virtual assistant gently adds a note to this customer history in CRM. But Salesforce should do something with personality of their virtual assistant. It looks wrong to force Einstein to perform such simple tasks.


2018. Salesforce released new product - Customer 360



Customer 360 is a new software pulls the various customer data pieces together into a more unified view from the Salesforce product family. It is based on the technology from Salesforce's $6.5 billion Mulesoft acquisition.This should in theory allow the customer service representative talking to you on the phone to get the total picture of your interactions with the company, thereby reducing that need to repeat yourself because the information wasn’t passed on. The idea here is to bring all of the different products — sales, service, community, commerce and marketing — into a single unified view of the customer. And they allow you to do this with actually writing any code, according to the company.


2018. Salesforce simplifies phone sales



Salesforce unveiled some updates to its core Sales Cloud with an emphasis toward automation and integration. For starters, the company wants to simplify inside phone sales, giving the team not only a list of calls organized by those most likely to convert, but walking them through a sales process that’s been defined by management according to what they believe to be best practices. High Velocity Sales is designed to take underlying intelligence from Salesforce Einstein and apply it to the sales process to give sales people the best chance to convert that prospect. That includes defining contact cadence and content. For calls, the content could be as detailed as call scripts with what to say to the prospect. For emails, it could provide key details designed to move the prospect closer to sale and how often to send that next email. Once the sales teams begins to move that sale towards a close, Salesforce CPQ (configure, price, quote) capabilities come into play. That product has its roots in the company’s SteelBrick acquisition several years ago, and it too gets a shiny new update for Dreamforce this year.


2018. Salesforce introduces Integration Cloud on heels of MuleSoft acquisition



One week after MuleSoft acquisition, Salesforce unveils Integration Cloud, based on the acquired technology. The Integration Cloud itself consists of three broad pieces: The Integration Platform, which will eventually be based on MuleSoft; Integration Builder, a tool that lets you bring together a complete picture of a customer from Salesforce tools, as well as across other enterprise data repositories and finally Integration Experiences, which is designed to help brands build customized experiences based on all the information you’ve learned from the other tools. For now, it involves a few pieces that are independent of MuleSoft including a workflow tool called Lightning Flow, a new service that is designed to let Salesforce customers build workflows using the customer data in Salesforce CRM.


2018. Salesforce is buying cloud integration provider MuleSoft



Salesforce will buy MuleSoft in a deal valued at $6.5 billion. The CRM giant was interested in MuleSoft for a long time. With 1,200 customers, it gives Salesforce a mature company to add to its arsenal. It also gives them an API integration engine that should help the company access data across organizations, regardless of where it lives. This is particularly important for Salesforce, which tends to come in and work with a company across enterprise systems. As it builds out its artificial intelligence and machine learning layer, which it has branded as Einstein, it needs access to data across the company. A company like MuleSoft gives them that. But of course Salesforce gets more than tech with this purchase, which it can integrate into its growing family of products. It also gets major customers like Coca-Cola, VMware, GE, Accenture, Airbus, AT&T and Cisco.


2018. Salesforce launched CRM for small business - Essentials



Salesforce hasn’t had much of a presence in the very small business market to date. Neither has many of its CRM competitors. This is a market where many companies use Microsoft products—Outlook and Excel—rather than a purpose-built CRM offering. Cost has been an important consideration for this. So, however, has been familiarity and ease of use. Priced at $25 per user, per month, the new product Salesforce Essentials contains core CRM components like Einstein Artificial AI to help customers work smarter, and includes the Salesforce Trailhead online learning environment to make their experience easier. Essentials customers also qualify for the promotion announced Monday stemming from Salesforce’s new relationship with Google. This would give them three months of G Suite by Google Cloud at no cost.


2018. Salesforce acquires enterprise e-commerce startup CloudCraze






2018. Salesforce added automated query building feature in Einstein Analytics



Salesforce introduced a new feature to Einstein Analytics Conversational Queries. It recognize the most common phrasing as you’re typing, providing an automated way to build queries and access data. With Conversational Queries, users can type phrases related to their data — such as “show me top accounts by annual revenue” or “rank accounts decreasing by annual revenue and billing country” — and instantly view answers in automatically configured dynamic charts. By putting the queries into plain language, helping you build the query automatically, then building the charts based on the automated phrasing, it puts the ability to access analytics into more hands.


2016. Salesforce adds messaging to Service Cloud



Salesforce launched LiveMessage, a tool that helps customer service reps manage messaging traffic just like any customer interactions in Service Cloud. It supports SMS/MMS and Facebook Messenger, but over the next year the company expects to add support for other message apps, as well. This new functionality is built with technology that came from the HeyWire acquisition in September. All of the message traffic, regardless of the tool, appears in a tabbed view in Service Cloud, just as it does with phone or web chats.


2016. Salesforce wants to block Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn



Friendship between Salesforce and Microsoft lasted only two years. Just a couple of years ago Marc Benioff and Satya Nadella made selfies together and were best friends forever. But then Microsoft betrayed the friendship. First they announced Dynamics 365 - the combined CRM/ERP cloud system, that will soon become the direct rival to Salesforce. And then Microsoft acquired LinkedIn - the professional social network. So now Salesforce is forcing US and European anti-monopoly authorities to attentively review the deal, because it "threatens the future of innovation and competition". "By gaining ownership of LinkedIn’s


2016. Salesforce acquired enterprise analytics provider BeyondCore



Salesforce has acquired business analytics platform BeyondCore. It is an enterprise analytics tool that bolsters business intelligence with computational and statistical analysis. While Salesforce could have gone fishing and come up with a number of business intelligence companies to buy, BeyondCore was already integrated with the Salesforce platform. Whether the transaction will turn out to be a critical key in an assault against Microsoft, or simply a strategic acquihire is yet to be seen. Until then, we will be eating popcorn waiting for the next Salesforce acquisition.


2016. Salesforce Service Cloud added new field service product



Until now Salesforce left field service to third parties like ServiceMax. Calls have come into customer service and have been processed in Service Cloud. While there is a connection to the customer record to let sales see when the customer is having issues, there has been no direct way to connect this information to people out in the field; Salesforce wanted to close this gap. And yesterday they introduced a new field service product they have dubbed Field Service Lightning. Besides, Salesforce key competitors like Microsoft and Oracle have entered this market recently and Salesforce saw this was as a significant missing piece.


2016. SalesforceIQ integrates with Outlook



Salesforce integrated its SalesforceIQ intelligence product with Microsoft Outlook. The extension is called SalesforceIQ Inbox for Outlook.  SalesforceIQ provides a link between CRM, email and the customer’s social data, pulling all of this information together inside the inbox where reps tend to be working anyway. What’s more, it doesn’t force them to switch between programs and manually compile the data or make connections themselves. The SalesforceIQ Inbox for Outlook product is available today for Outlook.com users for $25 per user per month. Outlook desktop integration is coming later this year.


2016. Salesforce released new Lightning CRM with SteelBrick integration



Salesforce announced a new version of the Lightning CRM platform that includes built-in Wave analytics, intelligent email from its RelateIQ purchase and configure-price-quote features from its SteelBrick acquisition at the end of last year. In addition, the company announced a new built-in phone tool which allows sales people to make a call directly from Salesforce. It may not give it the power of Skype for Business just yet, but it’s a sign that they could be going after that market too at some point. This functionality is built into the application using Twilio’s Voice API. With all of this new functionality, Salesforce is trying keep customers inside of Salesforce. They can manage the customer relationship. They can provide intelligent integration with email that can drive actions automatically. They can create a quote, send out a contract for signature and even make phone calls without leaving the application.


2015. Desk.com integrates with Salesforce IQ



Salesforce has introduced an integrated product combining Salesforce IQ CRM and Desk.com customer service — its tools aimed at small businesses. By integrating the two, sales and service reps can get a full picture of the client across multiple channels, something that has previously only been available to much larger business using enterprise software that’s way out of reach of most small business owners. What this means is that sales reps working in SalesforceIQ can see notes and interactions that customer service had with the customer and CSRs working in Desk.com can see the buying history of the customer.


2015. Salesforce released its next generation Service Cloud



Salesforce is updating its Service Cloud, which caters to customer service agents and their managers. The company released its new Service Cloud Lightning Console and a new Service Wave Analytics App with the promise it would help customer service agents do their jobs better through improved experiences and analytics. It gives service teams “deeper, more actionable insights” that could help service agents and managers optimize channels, improve agent efficiency and spot or address emerging trends. It includes KPIs like average handling time, customer satisfaction and first call resolution and connects to Service Cloud workflows and records. Analytics dashboards from Service Wave can give service agents a 360 degree view of the customer. 


2015. Salesforce Marketing Cloud adds new connections to Sales, Service and display Ads



Salesforce.com has announced a new version of its Marketing Cloud. It’s adding new features to its Journey Builder, a drag-and-drop tool for managing customer interactions, and to Active Audiences, which connects customer data to online ad campaigns. Journey Builder adds “Native Journeys” feature that integrate with its existing Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. That means marketing teams have more capabilities when designing journeys that cross over between the marketing, sales and customer service teams. It’s also announcing new, pre-built triggers that use interactions like joining a loyalty program or downloading an app to begin a customer journey. Salesforce is also enabling advertisers to do more with that data, specifically by integrating its Active Audiences targeting with a number of display ad networks.


2014. Salesforce connects to file-storage services. SharePoint Online is the first



Salesforce announced the release of Salesforce Files Connect - the  new centralized, universal file-sharing solution, that now offers access to SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2010 and 2013. It will also add access to OneDrive for Business. For now Salesforce doesn't say when it will connect with other file storage tools like Dropbox and Box, but it seems likely that we could see something of this sort in 2015. Google Drive has already been confirmed for the coming months. For the moment, the file share service for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is included free of charge with Salesforce Enterprise, Unlimited and Performance editions. The same service with the SharePoint on-premises editions will cost $7 per user per month.


2014. Salesforce enables enterprises to create their own App Stores



As companies develop more mobile apps, they need an organized way to distribute them and track usage. Salesforce announced a product today called AppExchange Store Builder that gives companies what they need: their very own AppExchange. Salesforce has packaged up the software they used to create AppExchange, the place where Salesforce customers and partners can distribute their apps. The idea behind this tool is to give customers a way to launch their own corporate app stores. They can also stock the store with customized apps they build themselves or they can include commercial apps such as Evernote or Salesforce.com. The customized AppExchange operates in exactly the same way as the one on the Salesforce.com website.


2014. Salesforce added app store to Desk.com



Salesforce updated its customer service product Desk.com. They have created a Desk.com app store called the App Hub that includes a bunch of partner apps chosen specifically for SMBs to give them a one-stop shop for the cloud applications they need – and they have created a way to integrate those apps directly into Desk.com. Among the partners are well known products such as Jira for issue tracking, MailChimp for email newsletter management, Olark to record desktop chats and more –including of course, the core Salesforce.com CRM product. The update includes access to all of these tools in one central place and makes use of what they are calling the ‘Desk.com Canvas’ to install these external packages and incorporate them into the Desk.com application.


2014. Salesforce unveiled Analytics Cloud


Salesforce.com unveiled its fifth cloud - Analytics Cloud, that is filling the business intelligence gap in Salesforce suite. It provides a graphical tool for viewing business analytics in an attractive and visual way on mobile devices and larger PC screens. You can slice and dice the data to create different views as you would expect and create a variety of connections between data, but it still uses standard database language like “join” and has database-style labels, and you still needed to build the connections to view the data. In other words, users would still need some training or knowledge to use it effectively. Analytics Cloud costs $125 /user/month.


2014. Salesforce to add video support and new interface



A week before Dreamforce, Salesforce announced some important updates. The first new feature will allow companies to provide one-way video support to their customers. The customer service person won't see customers, but will be able to interact with his screen. Salesforce is also updating the CRM tool and giving it a more modern interface with new tools including tools not just for monitoring the sale, but for administration, and for those who require it, stepping them through the sales process. New tools include Today - a Google Now-like program that shows you all the appointments, tasks, the latest news related to your appointments that could be relevant, weather and so forth. There is also a notes tool, which lets you create a checklist with the swish of your finger.


2014. Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud allows to build custom apps



Journey Builder for Apps - the new tool in ExactTarget Marketing Cloud is available today for customers. It helps users deliver personalized customer journeys directly from mobile apps. It also allows customers to use the Salesforce CRM platform to connect the customer journey across sales, service, marketing and communities. With this new tool you can build journeys fast with Journey Templates, connect apps to any customer interaction, connect locations and products to the journey, build, scale and deploy engaging, transformational apps. Pricing for Journey Builder for Apps starts at $12,500 per year for a subscription license.


2014. Desk.com embeds video in customer support



Salesforce's Desk.com platform is going visual — as in video


2014. Desk.com adds mobile app, intelligent agent console



Salesforce has updated its customer service app Desk.com with a new intelligent agent console and a mobile app and reporting engine among other enhancements for all-in-one automated customer service. The console can be personalized per agent to optimize productivity while rules, workflows and templates maintain the company’s brand integrity. The new reporting engine includes metrics and insights that allows managers to view comprehensive, real-time reports. Mobile app allows to add notes, update statuses and assign cases. In addition, Desk.com now includes 10 times more APIs to quickly connect


2014. Salesforce integrates with wearables



Salesforce believes that in the near future in the near future  wearables (smart glasses, bracelets, watches and other things) will reshape business functioning - from office work to manufacturing. Therefore, they unveiled Salesforce Wear - the set of tools for developers, which allow to quickly integrate wearable apps with business applications on the Salesforce platform. For example, they suggest to create warehouse management apps for Google Class,  access control and time-tracking apps for Android Wear, notification apps for Samsung Gear, etc. In addition, much attention is given to fitness bracelets (Fitbit, Myo, etc.). They say that permanent sitting in office - is the new smoking. Therefore, companies that care about their employees should at the corporate level manage physical activity of office workers using fitness bracelets.


2014. New friends: Satya Nadella and Marc Benioff



Until now, it was hard to call Microsoft and Salesforce friends or even partners. Companies competed on the CRM market and didn't miss any opportunity to harm each other. Remember, Microsoft wanted to kill Salesforce with patent suites. And then the companies trolled each other with marketing tricks. But with coming of the new boss Satya Nadella everything has changed. Probably he decided that platform and office business is more important for Microsoft than CRM, and making friends with Salesforce is more profitable than competing with it. Yesterday the companies announced about the strategic partnership, which will result in integration of Office 365 and Salesforce CRM, porting Salesforce to mobile platform Windows Phone and Windows 8, as well as integration of cloud platforms Force.com and Microsoft Azure.


2014. Salesforce rocks: Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio for ExactTarget Marketing Cloud


Salesforce acquired several startaps in marketing space, an now don't want to offend any of them when inventing title for the integrated product. So, it's called "simply" Radian6 Buddy Media Social Studio for ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. It's a single platform for social content marketing, engagement, publishing and analytics that also allows marketers to collaborate. And with the Social Studio mobile app, you can run social marketing and engagement from your phone. The features include workspaces for team collaboration, tools for planning and publishing social media content, for interacting with customers, and for examining the results through analytics. At launch, the Social Studio integrates with stock photography services


2013. Salesforce 1 - really cool thing for your business



In former times Salesforce was the CRM company. It was developing and selling the CRM system. Then this business become boring for Salesforce boss Marc Benioff and he engaged into platform games with Force.com. And now it looks like Mark decided just to do show business. Look, yesterday the Dreamforce conference which is recognized as the coolest IT event of the year, started. A ticket to this show costs $1200 and it will be attended by 70 thousand people. Good business. But how to entertain Dreamforce visitors (and all those customers, paying for Salesforce CRM and platform)? They need something really cool. At this time - it's Salesforce 1. It's not clear what it is exactly, but looks very impressive. Judging by the pictures and video, Salesforce 1 - it is a platform, network (or Matrix, if you like), which connects everything:


2013. Salesforce launches Private AppExchange - the own App Store for your company


Usually Salesforce unveils a bunch of new products and news at the November Dreamforce event, but this year they decided to start beforehand. Over the last couple of weeks, they have already launched the single sign-on service Salesforce Identity, announced the death of Do.com and few days ago - released Private AppExchange - the private app store that any company can create for its employees. And, in this store company can "sell" employees not just mobile apps, but also web-based services and desktop apps. It can contain both privately-built applications and third-party products, taken from the public AppExchange. At first glance, it look like a useful thing only for IT administrator who can create a list of allowed applications, provide app access to certain employees, monitor their usage and pay for all licenses from single place. But it's also suitable for employees. For example, they can write app reviews, discuss app performance with their colleagues and troll the administrator if app doesn't work as it should.


2013. Salesforce buys marketing automation system ExactTarget for $2.5B



Everybody knows that CRM - is a hot market. Only lazy vendor doesn't develop CRM system. But the point is that if you compare the total global spendings for sales organization (the main function of CRM) and marketing spendings, the latter will be much higher. And IT-vendors always go where money flows. Therefore, the market of specialized marketing automation systems has emerged. How big is it? Judge for yourself: Salesforce paid $2.5 billion for one of the market leaders - ExactTarget. Moreover, it's not an attempt to kill the game, it's just an attempt to catch up with Oracle and Adobe, that already own more advanced marketing systems. The main functions of ExactTarget are: email-marketing, sms-marketing, landing-page development, organizing offline events and webinars. This is a great complement to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which fully covers social media marketing.


2013. Salesforce Social.com - social ads management service


It turns out that a couple of years ago the Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, bought domain social.com (for $ 2 million). It's hard to imagine something more desirable for a man who loves beautiful domains and social technologies. And of course, for a long time he thought how to use put this domain, and finally he found the idea. He separated ad management part from the social publishing platform Buddy Media (acquired by Salesforce last year) and launched it as a separate service under the title Social.com. This service allow to optimize and run large-scale advertising campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, analyze their results and reduce the cost per lead. But probably the main news is not the launch of Social.com, but the integration of all marketing tools in Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Radian6, Buddy Media and Social.com). Watch the video:


2013. Video: Salesforce announces Customer Revolution


Last week Salesforce released a new mobile app Chatter, which has now become the primary mobile interface for employees not only to the social intranet, but also to the CRM system. In addition, the mobile Chatter is now more convenient communication and collaboration channel between company and customers. But just to say that the new app is "more convenient" - is not the Salesforce style. They came up with the whole legend of customer revolution that has already begun. They say that your customers are mobile and they already know how to use their phones. And at any time (when they have free time), they can destroy your business if they see that your company is not responsive enough to their problems and needs. This video will give you the creeps. Watch.


2013. Salesforce and Zoho launch support chat apps



Yesterday Salesforce said: "Customers want to get support via their phones." Stop! This is how it was before. If something happened, you took your phone and called support. And then Salesforce said that people don't want to call, but want to get support online - on the provider site or in social networks. And now, we should call again? No. Salesforce means that now people want to get convenient online support, not only via computer, but also via their small phones. That is why yesterday Salesforce launched the new mobile app Service Cloud Mobile, which includes mobile chat, mobile knowledge base interface, and even mobile browsing (co-browsing). And all these features can be embedded directly into your mobile app, providing maximum convenience for customers. The chat service costs $50/month for 1 operator.


2013. Salesforce turns Do.com into platform. Launches paid version



Of course, for Salesforce it was not very interesting to provide the free task and project management tool Do.com. That's why first it added CRM functionality to it, then launched the paid version (with CRM and access rights management) and now - wants to turn Do.com into the center of enterprise IT infrastructure. They say that in any company employees are solving tasks all time and the whole IT infrastructure should be task-centered (and therefore Do.com centered). For this matter Salesforce has created an ecosystem called Do More, which features third-party services integrated with Do.com (in particular, it includes Dropbox, Google Drive, form editor WuFoo, time tracker Harvest, Salesforce' helpdesk-service Desk.com etc.). So now you can, for example, attach to task files from Dropbox, or track the task duration using Harvest. As you may know Salesforce has another collaboration services, that it also positioned as a center of IT infrastructure - Chatter. Unlike Do.com - it's a corporate social network ala Facebook. It's interesting whether the company will integrate the two collaboration systems (approaches).


2012. Video: The Future of Business - Salesforce Edition


During the Dreamforce keynote Marc Benioff hinted that after Steve Jobs passed away, he's now an first tech visionary in the line. Well, Marc said that "now we all should continue His efforts", but the sense is clear. This suspicion is also strengthened by this video. It shows that the mission of Salesforce - is not any more in development of cool applications, and not even in creation of the world's best enterprise platforms. Salesforce mission - is to show companies how business will look like in the future and lead companies into this future. How Benioff imagines the future of business? Of course - it's social, mobile and cloud-based. Also, the new feature - is that all inanimate objects (cars, houses, machines) should be also social and communicate with people (via Chatter). The video is recommended for watching in the cinema.


2012. Top 7 Dreamforce stories



At the Dreamforce 12 conference Salesforce presented a lot of new products, but the problem is that most of these new products either had been already presented at the conference last year, or will become live to next year's conference. So, we'll just briefly go over the main ones:


2012. Work.com - work becomes more interesting



So the Dreamforce has launched, and we are starting to overview the new Salesforce products. First of all, the guys from Box.net can sleep peacefully because it turned out that the ChatterBox is still deep in development and will not appear until sometime next year. But another service - Work.com is already live. Work.com is the rebranded Rypple that Salesforce acquired last year. Rypple, but on the beautiful domain. We have already reviewed Rypple - it's a solution for gamification of human resource management and business goals achieving. It works like this: exec sets goals for each team member, tracks employee's progress, provides reviews and awards like "thank you", badges and gifts (for example, Amazon gift certificates). In result: a) employees know what to do; b) employees are engaged in the interesting work-game; c) company achieves its goals (as employees' goals are aligned with business goals). Besides the beautiful domain name, Salesforce has added to the service the integration with Chatter, so that all the employee achievements could be tracked and discussed in the enterprise social network.


2012. Mark Benioff about Salesforce's new services, Google, Yammer and ropejumping

Michael Arrington interviewed the Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Here is the list of 10 most interesting quotes and news:


2012. Salesforce adds social CRM features to Do.com



Do.com - is a simple (and free) service for managing tasks and projects that Salesforce has created on the basis of the purchased Manymoon last year. And because all Salesforce applications should become more social and customer-oriented, the first update of Do.com is following this direction. Actually it's quite reasonable because almost all tasks that arise in any company or related either to projects, or to customers. Projects are already present in Do.com. Now it add the Contacts module. You can pull contacts from your account on Facebook or Google+ (or simply import contacts from CSV file). Contacts can be sorted using tags and linked with tasks.


2012. Salesforce acquires social marketing champion Buddy Media


Perhaps, some years ago SAP and Oracle thought on the opportunity to acquire Salesforce, but for some reason decided that it was bad idea. And now Salesforce itself can make big purchases, even bigger than these dinosaurs. Today, Salesforce announced the acquisition (for $689 million) of Buddy Media - the largest social marketing service. Last month Oracle bought a similar (but not so popular) service Vitrue (for $300 million). From the one hand with Buddy Media Salesforce is buying the client base, as Buddy Media has more than 1,000 large customers, including Virgin Mobile, HP, Matte and L'Oreal. In addition, the service is used by 8 of 10 world's largest advertising agencies. On the other hand Buddy Media - is a great addition to another social marketing tool - Radian6, that Salesforce bought last year. Radian6 is used for listening social networks while Buddy Media is a tool for publishing content to social networks and measuring the effectiveness of social marketing campaigns.


2012. John Wookey tells why Oracle and SAP can't catch up with Salesforce



The cloud race Oracle vs SAP goes on. Oracle has bought (for $300 million) one more SaaS-provider - Vitrue, which provides the social networks monitoring service. In the meantime, this show (Oracle vs SAP) now has an interesting commentator - John Wookey. This guy once worked as vice-president for Oracle and led the development of SaaS-package Fusion. But at that time Larry Ellison thought that "Cloud is just water vapour", so John didn't bring this development to the end and left Oracle to SAP. In SAP, he was in charge of building the SaaS ERP system Business ByDesign. At this time, John managed to launch the system to commercial phase, but this project also appeared to be unsuccessful. Now John Wookey works ... in Salesforce as a vice president for social applications and explains why (despite the record SaaS acquisitions) Oracle and SAP can't compete with Salesforce.


2012. Salesforce launched Site.com - (strange) service for site-building



Hooray! Marc Benioff bought another cool (and probably very expensive) domain Site.com. Actually, that's all news, because the service for simple site-building launched on this domain - is not new. It's all the same Siteforce tool, previously available in Salesforce's marketing cloud. And, in our opinion, this service is not worth of such domain. We still believe that there is a great demand for simple site-building service. But what Salesforce offers - is nonsense. Of course, the visual editor in Site.com - is very powerful. It's so CSS-oriented and allows to create pages from templates, forms, dynamic pages, pull content from a database, use JavaScript and even publish pages to Facebook. But it's not simple. Rather, it's more suitable for web designer, than for marketer. And why web designer needs this toy, if he can faster create a better site in a code editor?


2012. Salesforce launched Helpdesk-app for small business Desk.com


Salesforce keeps us happy with its new habit not to dissolve acquired startups in its core (large and expensive) CRM system but to use them for building simple and useful apps for small business. Last autumn Salesforce for $80 million acquired SaaS-Helpdesk service Assistly, made a face-lift, added mobile HTML5-client (for iPhone, iPad, Android), bought a cool domain - Desk.com and here is the new service! Desk.com allows you to organize client support by email, phone, via the customer portal on your the website, as well as in social networks. Any message in Facebook and Twitter can be converted into a ticket, assigned to support agent, processed in the support workflow and responded directly to the social network. And then you can publish it to the customer portal in order to reduce the number of same questions coming to support.


2011. Talent Management and Gamification on the rise: Salesforce buys Rypple



Salesforce - is if not the trend-setter in the Enterprise, than it's certainly the indicator of most important trends in this sphere. The company had grown on the wave of CRM and SaaS, then came to the front edge of cloud platforms, mobile applications and social software. And now Salesforce wants to occupy two more hot areas - Talent Management and Gamification. The common goal of these technologies - is staff motivation and development. Crazy demand for talent management system has been proven by SuccessFactors, which has set several records in SaaS-implementation and recently was acquired by SAP. And we have already mentioned about Gamification potential. So, today Salesoforce has bought one of the most promising startups in these areas - Rypple (known as Zynga for Enterprise).


2011. Salesforce launched Marketing Clouds


Salesforce always used to call its products - the Clouds. Until now, Salesforce had 3 product-clouds: Sales Cloud (CRM system), Service Cloud (customer support system) and the Collaboration Cloud (or Chatter). Today the company is launching the new Social Marketing Cloud. It's a combination of two products: the social media monitor Radian6 and cloud CMS for creating websites Siteforce. We have already told a lot about Radian6. Radian6 was acquired by Saleforce earlier this year and it's customer list includes Dell, GE, Kodak, UPS, etc. Radian6 can monitor social networks for mentioning of your brand, company, products, competitors, analyze public opinion, engage in to social conversations. Integration with Salesforce CRM now allows to use Radian6 to create social profiles in CRM and track the history of social communications, send messages to social networks directly from the CRM interface (watch video).


2011. #OccupyTheEnterprise vs KLM Surprise: what will you choose?


Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff can use any news or events for his marketing purposes. In his latest speeches, Mark is  talking about the well-known social movement Occupy Wall Street. As you know, this demonstration was organized mainly via the social networks, and in particular thank to the Twitter hashtag #OccupyWallStreet. "Look, what social networks can do" - says Benioff - "they can overthrow governments. And they also can easily destroy your business. Ignoring social networks - is ignoring your customers." Benioff has launched his own Twitter hashtag #OccupyTheEnterprise and scares enterprises with it. And from the other hand, he cites the example of using social networks by the Salesforce client  - KLM airlines.


2011. Salesforce created task and project management service Do.com



Remember, earlier this year Salesforce acquired the best project management service for Google Apps - Manymoon? Today the result of this acquisition has appeared - task and project management app Do.com. The app is very simple and straightforward: you can create projects, invite co-workers or customers, create tasks (to-dos), assign owners. To each project you can attach files and add comments. Tasks can be created via email, comments can be added via email and you receive notification to your email. iOS mobile application is already available, Android app is coming soon. Meanwhile the registration is by invitation only, but when Do.com opens later in November - it will be free. Paid (additional) features may appear in the next year. And the main question is: why Salesforce needs such a tool?


2011. Salesforce acquired social Helpdesk service Assistly


Salesforce seriously decided to become the leading provider of customer support solutions. Its own solution Salesforce Service Cloud is already almost flying to space, but its price is also too cosmic for small business. Therefore, in order to land SMBs, the company decided to buy (for $80 million) the one of the two most popular SaaS Helpdesk services - Assistly (the second - is Zendesk). Assistly fits perfectly into the Salesforce's new Social Enterprise concept. This service allows you to communicate with customers via Twitter, Facebook, client forum, live-chat as well as via traditional channels (email and phone). At the same time support people work in one simple interface. Also, Assistly is known for its original pricing: it's free for one helpdesk agent, and the additional agents can use the service on per-hour based model ($1/hour). So if no requests are coming to support - your company pays nothing for the helpdesk.


2011. Nitro for Salesforce - gamified CRM



We continue to monitor the gamification of business applications. And the first gamified CRM is ... Nitro for Salesforce. This system was presented at the recent Dreamforce 2011 conference and will launch later this month. It's interesting that Nitro for Salesforce is created not by some guys from garage, but by the gamification professionals at Bunchball. For several years, this company is developing games for various projects. Its clients include Warner Brothers, NBC, HP, Comcast, Playboy. However, so far the company developed game mechanics only for consumer projects, and now decided to try its technologies in business application. As it's clear from the title, Nitro for Salesforce - is an add-on for Salesforce CRM.


2011. Benioff: goodbye Cloud, hello Social


On Friday nobody wants to read long news. Good video is much better. This is the video that was shown at the opening of the Dreamforce 2011 conference - probably the most glamorous event in the IT-industry. This video marks the focus change of Marc Benioff and his Salesforce. Last eight years the Dreamforce conference started and ended with the word Cloud. Now it changed. Moreover, one of the main news of this year conference was the opportunity for Salesforce customers to store part of their data on a local server, not in the Cloud. And the new main focus for Salesforce is Social Enterprise. Benioff is comparing modern companies with the Arab countries falling under revolutions: "Either CEOs will make their companies social, or customers and employees will depose them like Muammar Gaddafi". So what should a company do to become social?


2011. Salesforce. The Movie



Columbia Pictures film makers are said to be keen to follow-up the phenomenal box office success of The Social Network with the new IT blockbuster. And they see the meteoric rise of the Cloud giant Salesforce.com as the perfect story. In addition the screenplay is almost ready - it will be base on Marc Benioff's book "Behind the Cloud". The new movie, that will be called "Salesforce. The Movie" - is the story of how a simple idea grew out into the billion-dollar business, of how young Benioff did not give up when the leaders of the software industry, led by his former boss Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, laughed at him. At the moment Columbia Pictures has already commissioned a screenplay and is casting for the major roles. Russell Crowe is strongly tipped to land the lead role of CEO Marc Benioff:


2011. Salesforce acquires the best Social Web monitor - Radian6


Social Web monitoring is becoming an integral part of modern CRM systems and Salesforce is intending to be at the cutting edge of this trend. Today the company announced the acquisition of Canadian service Radian6, that has the reputation of the best social Web monitoring tool. Radian6 has such customers as Dell, General Electric, Kodak, Pepsico, UPS, Microsoft. In addition, Radian6 is used as an inbuilt tool in other CRM systems and social software, such as Jive and HubSpot. Also recently Radian6 was integrated with the customer support system Salesforce Service Cloud and probably Salesforce liked it so much that decided to buy it. According to Mark Benioff, they're going to use Radian6 also for Sales Cloud and Chatter (to merge the internal and external communities) and Force.com platform (to enable third-party developers to easily integrate their apps with social networks).


2011. Salesforce Service Cloud 3 allows to help customers via live chat, Facebook, Twitter and Facetime



The guys from Salesforce, that are engaged in developing Service Cloud, can't help repeating that traditional customer support systems (Call-centers + CRM / Helpdesk) - are already obsolete. They are built in expectation that a phone call is the primary communication channel that customers use to get support. But the world has changed. Customers want to solve their problems via the Internet - in Facebook, Twitter, forums. They want to talk to tech support via online chat or personal account at the company's website. They want to read what other users say about a product. They want to use video and screen-sharing, to show the problem to support engineer, rather than explain everything by phone. All these requirements are met in the new version of Service Cloud 3.


2011. Salesforce acquired web-conferencing service DimDim



Salesforce has announced the acquisition of Indian web-conferencing service DimDim for $31 million. It's very appropriate acquisition for Salesforce. The company wants to dominate on the collaboration market with its social collaboration system Chatter. And web-conferencing and video conferencing (provided DimDim) - are the necessary collaboration components. Besides, DimDim can be used as a solution for online presentations and remote support, built into Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. The only thing that seems inappropriate - is difference in business approach of these two companies. DimDim is known for its freemium open-source model, that was very annoying for the key market players - Webex, GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect. Salesforce, on the other hand, likes to count money and provide something for free only having counted the profit. Therefore, it's not surprising that immediately after the announcement the free SaaS and open-source versions of DimDim have disappeared from the site. And those users who are already using the free SaaS version - can continue using it only until March 15, 2011. The open-source DimDim version can still be found on Sourceforge.


2010. Salesforce acquired Email/CRM startup



Social Email plug-ins have become a hot topic. And as a result - the increasing interest towards them from the large vendors and investors. The most well-known representative of this class - Xobni was actually acquired by Cisco. Rapportive recently received the $1 million investment. The other day it found out that RIM (Blackberry) is going to acquire Gist. And yesterday, Salesforce bought for $6 million another similar service - Etacts. As all above mentioned tools, Etacts can pull contact profile data from public social networks and display it in email-client - so it acts as a the social CRM. But besides that, it lets you send personalized email-campaigns, display the history of communications with certain person and remind you when you need to contact him. How does it do it?


2010. Force.com 2 - already 5 PaaS platfroms



At the Dreamforce conference, Salesforce demonstrated one more time that now it's not so interested in CRM (it was mainly a subject for jokes) as in cloud platforms. Following the release of SaaS database Database.com, the company introduced another big Force.com feature - Heroku - the PaaS startup that Salesforce has recently acquired for $ 212 million. Heroku - is a cloud platform for developing and hosting Ruby-applications (Ruby - is a popular framework for developing Web apps, created by 37Signals). Heroku became one of the five PaaS-services included in the new version Force.com 2. And the new structure of the Force.com platform now looks like this:


2010. Benioff gives a marketing master class to Microsoft



Microsoft marketing people couldn't get enough of their cool marketing idea. On the street near the conference center, where the Salesforce's Dreamforce conference takes place, they send their people on segways with banners (on picture). The banner shows a dissapointed man, who has moved from Saleforce to MS Dynamics CRM Online. Under his photo there is a strapline: "I didn't get forced". But Microsoft marketers did not know whom they are dealing with... In the beginning of the second coference day Mark Benioff, Salesforce CEO, entered the stage...


2010. Salesforce unveiled SaaS database - Database.com

It seems that Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, was thinking for a long time about how to outdo his "friend" Larry Ellison and prove to him that Cloud Computing - is not a vaporware. And he invented a cloud database that will run as a SaaS service without any software and hardware. After all, Oracle is now virtually a monopolist in the database market (after the SUN/MySQL acquisition) and if it will work, it's the best way to hurt Larry. For greater effect, Benioff has bought an ideal domain Database.com. And today at Dreamforce conference Mark presented the new service. Database.com allows to create reliable, scalable databases using the visual interface and access them from any mobile / web / desktop application via API-interfaces (SOAP and REST). It allows to store any type of content (including documents, pictures, video), supports the SQL query language and provides many additional bells and whistles, like push-update data from the database to application, user management and user authentication.


2010. Microsoft sues Salesforce.com. SaaS industry in danger



This week, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Salesforce, blaming the SaaS company in violating 9 patents. These patents are not about CRM functionality (it would be strange, because Salesforce CRM appeared earlier than Microsoft CRM was developed), but about basic software technologies. For example, here is the technology of displaying web-page with embedded menu: "A request for a web page is received from a web browser In response to the request, a web page and an applet associated with the web page are packaged for transmission to the web browser. The web page and the applet are then transmitted to and downloaded by the web browser. When the web page is displayed and the applet is executed by the web browser, the applet creates and manages an embedded menu in the displayed web page under control of the applet . This embedded menu provides a user of the web browser with a plurality of links through one action in the displayed web page." Perhaps having this patent, Microsoft could close any SaaS vendor, but they have chosen Salesforce, their main competitor on CRM market.


2010. Salesforce goes into amoral crowdsourcing



Nowadays the confidentiality of personal information is not so important. Especially for sales guys, like Salesforce's management. Today, Salesforce has acquired Jigsaw, which TechCrunch's Mike Arrington at first called evil and then simply amoral. Jigsaw - is a huge (21 million) online database of contacts and companies, filled by crowdsourcing: users add contact information of other people (without their knowledge) usually from business cards. When the service appeared in 2006, it paid people $1 for each added contact. Then Jigsaw sell the access to contacts database to companies using cold calling (or spammers). And there was no way to remove your contacts from the service.


2010. Salesforce now can automate business processes



Yes, Salesforce still had no inbuilt business processes automation tool (only integrated third-party solutions). But business process automation - is a delicate feature that it's better not to provide it at all than provide it somehow. Many other CRM systems promote their business-process automation modules, but actually they bring more problems than profits. In contrast, the new Salesforce module - Visual Process Manager looks pretty nice and simple. Generally, in this case it is better not talk about business processes, but about automation of any operation in the system. There are 4 main spheres where this new tool could be applied:


2009. Salesforce acquired SaaS collaboration service



It seams, that competition with MS Dynamics CRM is not enough for Salesforce. Now the company wants to become a full-fledged SaaS alternative to MS Sharepoint. It already provides the platform for developers (Force.com) and missing only the intranet functionality. To fill this white-space, Salesforce has just acquired GroupSwim, the SaaS collaboration service. GroupSwim is quite popular startup that allows you to create workgroups (sites) with a wiki, file-storage and forum discussions. Also it uses semantic technology to automatically tag and rate content including discussions, emails, documents, wikis, and more. Until now, Salesforce used integration with Google Apps as a primary collaboration solution. Besides, recently Box.net unveiled the solution for file-sharing in Salesforce CRM. But, apparently, Salesforce, that has recently created the social layer Chatter, now is going to create its own collaborative layer.


2009. Adobe and Salesforce unite against Microsoft



Salesforce and Adobe announced about their strategical partnership, that supposes integration of their platforms Force.com and Adobe Flash+AIR. For Salesforce it means a huge step forward towards rich internet applications and desktop integration. So  now they can enhance these two features in competition against Microsoft S+S applications like Microsoft Online Services. And for Adobe - this is an attempt to enter the enterprise market and to strengthen its position against Microsoft Silverlight attack. The first joint product of the new alliance is Adobe Flash Builder for Force.com - integrated development environment  that allows to create flash-plugins for Salesforce CRM or stand-alone flash-applications, working on top of Force.com platform.


2009. Cisco and Dell to sell Salesforce CRM



Of course, Mark Benioff can persuade anybody to buy his Salesforce CRM. But if it were a bad product, any partnership would stop at this point. But no! It turns out that Salesforce largest customers Cisco and Dell are so loyal, that they start selling Salesforce themselves. Last week Cisco and Salesforce announced the joint solution for customer service (Salesforce Service Cloud 2 + Cisco Unified Communications). And today Dell and Salesforce have unveiled a new offering, combining Salesforce CRM and Dell Integration Services. Both solutions target small business market. Cisco and Dell have the largest customer bases, and probably in the nearest years we'll see the new Saleforce income records.


2009. Salesforce announced Service Cloud 2.0



Service Cloud - is the revolutionary customer service solution, that integrates helpdesk with social networks and tools. Today Salesforce unveils the second generation of Service Cloud with 3 new modules: Salesforce Knowledge, Salesforce Answers and Salesforce for Twitter. All them are tightly integrated with Salesforce CRM and built  on top of Force.com (so they can be customized for particular company needs). Starbucks, Comcast and Dell are already using these new tools.


2008. Salesforce wants to be a force in knowledge management too…



Salesforce started off with CRM - a product that seeks to manage a companies sales processes. Sales processes are just one form of knowledge management so it’s not hard to see the fit with Salesforce’s latest acquisition, InStranet. Instranet sell a tool called Dimensions that has a whole lot of potential to make sense of the rapidly growing amount of information that is at hand in business.  Dimensions manages and sorts the knowledge base of a company so that when a customer makes an information request, Instranet can sort through the screed of information that is irrelevant to the query, but can serve up the information that is of relevance. Dimensions allows a business to accumulate masses of data, secure in the knowledge that the information is readily accessible.