Friday, September 2, 2011

Salesforce.com social and mobile offerings from Dreamforce



Did you see the tweets of #DF11 in your timeline? Did you happen to see large posters of Microsoft, balloons of Oracle floating around in Sfo? If you still didn't know what was going on, it was Salesforce.com annual Dreamforce conference, which this year saw nearly 45,000 people registering for the event from over 60 countries, according to a Salesforce media statement. This turned to be the largest conference in the software industry. Obviously, if you have anything to do with Salesforce, you would know all this. If you are not, you have definitely heard of it.

It was a futuristic step to deploy a enterprise based CRM on Cloud and yet even after a decade, Salesforce keeps itself way way ahead of the competitors (are there any left now?) in again releasing a futuristic enterprise application.

The key take away from the entire Dreamforce 2011 conference was social and mobile. Salesforce opening the gates for a full fledged enterprise SCRM, where conversation and your leads rest in the same cloud. This Dreamforce, as with all the Dreamforce some more amazing new products where launched.

Social Apps:

1. Chatter Now: Chatter now is a real time chat feature for customers using Chatter. A good idea and many clients were asking for this feature.

2. Chatter Customer Groups: This is a unique concept, users can invite customers and clients in a secure and private chatter.

3. Chatter Approvals: Approval process now have context, where you can upload document and comments at all steps. What is more, users can approve records directly from chatter without leaving it. This is good because chatter feeds is easily available and I can just think of all the possibilities of manipulating the feed into the array of devices. Oh wait, there are already chatter apps on all the platform.

4. Chatter Connect: Chatter connect is a REST Api that can be easily used to integrate into third party applications. It can be used to make any custom mobile app and enterprise app social. Now, that is something very interesting. They also introduced, Chatter for sharepoint, finally lets hope sharepoint is a less boring and interesting.

5. Heroku for Java: The only drawback of Apex and Visualforce was that, it never received a good response from the developer community at large. It is understandable because normally developers look for big, big programming codes and apex achieves a lot in very less code. So with Heroku for Java developers, Salesforce is trying to get approval from the developer community. Heroku is amazing.

Mobile:
1. Touch.salesforce.com: The world is going touch, Salesforce is no different and they also launched a touch version of CRM. One very good feature of touch system is, it works online as well as offline. Also, existing mobile applications will automatically mobile ported plus developers can create robust mobile application.

2. Seesmic CRM for Android: This is not exactly a Salesforce product announcement but a announcement by Salesforce partner, Seesmic. Seesmic has always provided amazing social apps (they were also the one to provide a mobile app for Ning network) and now they have come with complete Salesforce CRM for android. I have used it and it looks amazing for now. Will come with a detailed report soon.

Data:
1. Data.com: I really want to know where they get these domains or how much they pay for it. But Salesforce has launched Data as a Service, Data.com which provides customer data from Jigsaw and D&B. Its just jigsaw with a fancy new domain name.

2. Database.com: Database.com is now generally available, anyone can use it and create a database on cloud, which is also mobile and social.

3. Database.com Data Residency Option: Salesforce.com has taken a step down with this announcement. Database.com does not fully run on public cloud but users now have option to take the data with them on their private servers. Giving a sense of hybrid cloud for their use.

These are pretty interesting product announcement by Salesforce. The company has again proved its way ahead of its competitors. There were other announcement also, like Siteforce now generally available soon etc.