SAN FRANCISCO – Salesforce.com kicked off its annual Dreamforce conference by revealing Salesforce1, a mobile app and developer platform that aims to unify the Salesforce experience for end users while giving partners more capability.
Described as the Salesforce1 Customer Platform by the cloud-based software firm, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is expected to detail the new platform in his keynote speech at Dreamforce on Tuesday morning. But a Web site is already live, and mobile apps are available for download from Apple’s iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play. The new apps were being demoed on the show floor at Dreamforce. Salesfoce’s Force.com Web site now redirects to Salesforce1.
Users of the Chatter Mobile app will be updated to the new Salesforce1 app, explains Peter Coffee, vice president of strategic research at Salesforce.com. The switchover happened at midnight on Sunday night and customers are now getting their rebranded app pushed to them. But some of the features associated with Salesforce1 have already been in play in the Chatter Mobile app.
“What our customers need is a mobile experience that isn’t a shrunken desktop, but actually gives them a view of the entire state of play with a customer in the moment when you need to be ready for that interaction,” he says.
For end-users, the app provides a mobile window into all their organization’s Salesforce data and serves up the content most relevant to them. For partners and customers tooling their own custom applications on the platform, the platform offers far more control over what data can be accessed, written to, and published.
As Salesforce.com has built different solutions such as its marketing cloud, the Force.com development platform, and its Work.com human resources portal, it has been siloed into the different departments it sells into, says Alan Lepofsky, principal analyst at Constellation Research. Now all those products will be accessible through one user interface.
“This is they lynch pin that pulls together all the different story lines they’ve been telling for awhile,” he says.
Kitchener, Ont.-based VidYard offers a video marketing Web-based software and has already integrated its tools into the Salesforce1 app. Thanks to the new API access to embed different types of content into the Chatter social stream, VidYard was able to develop a service to allow users to embed videos. It wasn’t that hard to do, he says.
“The only way to actually add a video via Salesforce1 to Chatter is to use VidYard,” he says. That means Salesforce1 users would have to be customers of the VidYard AppExchange application to get at the capability.
VidYard will be taking part in a keynote at Dreamforce that will showcase the new functionality with the Chatter stream. Beyond just being able to embed new content like video, the stream could also carry details fed from machine-to-machine based communications, Litt says.
“It’s Salesforce taking a big step into a massive opportunity that takes them far outside the realm of being a CRM company,” he says. “They’re kind of like a ‘communications layer of the Web’ type of company now.”
Toronto-based Influitive was demoing its mobile app for advocate marketing, Maven, at Dreamforce. CEO Mark Organ says he’ll want to evaluate the new platform to develop mobile apps now that it’s been launched.
“We’ll certainly be looking at Salesforce1 as a platform to develop faster,” he says.
The Salesforce1 app release also comes alongside a complementary administration app, SalesforceA, for managing user permissions and issuing usage policies.