The journey of Salesforce.com customers to becoming fully mobile businesses might be a bit longer than anticipated, according to a survey conducted at Dreamforce by an enterprise contentment management software firm.

Seismic conducted informal survey of attendees to Salesforce’s annual user conference in San Francisco in 2013 and 2014. The most recent survey, done earlier this month, finds that about one-fifth of Salesforce customers haven’t yet implemented Salesforce1 – the free mobile platform that the cloud software provider launched at Dreamforce last year.

“We were a bit surprised by how large that number was,” says Doug Winter, CEO of Seismic. “The truth is that most people have done a lot of customization in the Salesforce environment. If you’ve done a lot of that, Salesforce1 might cause you to rework a lot of it. That’s causing a delay in the rollout to their user base.”

Seismic’s own app, which promises to bring enterprise data into presentation materials, ties into the Salesforce platform. It viewed Dreamforce as an opportunity to learn about sophisticated sales organizations – the kind that implement Salesforce in the first place, Winter explains.

But the survey isn’t to be taken as scientific. A different number of respondents answered each question (which is not provided by Seismic in its report) and no standard error rate or confidence of accuracy is given. Still, Winter says it provides a snapshot insight into the complicated mobile challenges that users are facing.

While 58 per cent of the respondents to Seismic’s survey say mobile technology has “improved my work life dramatically,” another 19 per cent say “it complicated my work life.” That is a lot more than the seven per cent that gave that same answer in 2013.

Salesforce-usage-survey

At Dreamforce, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made a point of saying during his keynote presentation that he has stopped travelling with a laptop in favour of using Salesforce1 on his iPhone.

As for his customers, 21 per cent has no plans to implement Salesforce1. But a full 52 per cent say they will have it implemented by the end of this year (or have already done so). Another nine per cent expect to implement it in the first half of next year, and 18 per cent expect to do it by the end of 2015.

“There’s always an adoption curve,” Winter says. “It’s [Salesforce1] a great strategy and it’s well executed.”

For those that have implemented Salesforce1, 66 per cent are using both a smartphone and a tablet to access it. Twenty per cent access it only on a smartphone, and 14 per cent access it only with a tablet.

Also worth noting is just how much time Salesforce users spend on the platform. Fifty-seven per cent of respondents told Seismic they used it for more than two hours a day, and 34 per cent said they used it all day long.

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