Hosted customer relationship management (CRM) vendor Salesforce has updated its Community Cloud solution with new capabilities around targeting recommendations, a new template tool to build communities more quickly, and a direct connection to Google Drive.

Community Cloud is an online collaboration and business process platform from Salesforce that’s designed to bring employees, customers, suppliers and distributors together. Companies can build branded communities to connect these groups with relevant content, and with each other. According to the vendor, digital communities can bring a company a 48 per cent increase in employee engagement, 45 per cent better customer satisfaction and a partner sales increase of 43 per cent.

“Communities have become the connective tissue linking customers, partners and employees to companies and each other,” said Nasi Jazayeri, executive vice president of Community Cloud, Salesforce, in a statement. “With the next-generation Community Cloud, companies have the intelligence, speed and engagement to strengthen these bonds like never before.”

Targeted Recommendations are one of the key new additions to Community Cloud, using algorithms to analyze both structured and unstructured data so the most relevant content is delivered to each community member. The algorithm also identifies experts based on the quality of their community contributions, and they can recommend content to other community members.

To help companies get up and running more quickly with Community Cloud, Salesforce has also launched Lighting Community Builder and Templates. They make it easier for a line of business worker to deploy a customized, branded and mobile-optimized community without relying on the IT department of requiring coding expertise.

As well, with Salesforce Files Connect for Google Drive, files residing on Google Drive can be easily shared from Google Drive within the community, or attached to a record, such as a sales opportunity.

All the new innovations will be available as part of existing Community Cloud licenses. Targeted Recommendations and so are the Lightning Community Builder and Templates, with more features for each to come later in the year. Salesforce Files Connect for Google Drive is available now for Chatter and Employee Community licenses, while Salesforce Files Connect for Google Drive will be available for Partner Community and Customer Community licenses in the second half of 2015.

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