Salesforce.com doesn’t just want you to buy apps…they want you to build them yourself.
Cloud pioneer Salesforce.com, perhaps one of the first companies to offer an “app store” for their sales and marketing set of services, looks at app development as a way to strengthen both their customer base loyalty but also to continue to add more value to the services they already provide.
The reason why companies want to build and run their own private app stores for staff is clearly being driven by SF for good reason. In a recent LinkedIn Influencer article Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE who operates T-Mobile and Orange mobile services in the UK, wrote “Fuelled by an increasingly mobile workforce, the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD), faster mobile connectivity through 4G, and cloud computing, IT departments are using the app store model as a way of providing access for employees to critical business applications from anywhere, any device and anytime.”
He also noted that “Many already use commercial enterprise app stores such as pioneer Salesforce.com’s AppExchange, which has more than 1,800 customer service and business apps available. Other enterprise software vendors, such as SAP, have also set up app stores for customers.”
He also pointed out that organizations are also “increasingly building their own internal enterprise app stores as a way to manage corporate-sanctioned apps for employees to use on PCs and mobile devices.” Often many of these are developed specifically to provide additional functionality, mobility or data acquisition capabilities to Salesforce.com so that the time honor solution fits better with their business needs.
Even other “clouds” are developing apps to integrate with Salesforce.com.
Just recently the cloud storage company developed an app for SF’s AppExchange that delivers the full functionality of Box within SF’s CRM suite. According to a recent Info World report the application was built using the Box Embed HTML5 framework and provides Box collaboration features like editing, commenting and task management within a Salesforce record, according to Aaron Levie, Box’s CEO and co-founder.
However application development, whether it is for Salesforce.com or a mobile app to integrate with it can be an expensive proposition. For some companies considering an outsourced solution for application development may be the solution. Working with U.S. based project managers and employing one of the many development talent pools available offshore even companies with smaller budgets can have specialized, business critical applications built at a fraction of the cost of in-house personnel.
Many of these companies have taken great pains to build organizations that are well educated and highly experienced at developing SF applications, along with many other development project types, and offer not only lower cost but in some cases superior results. Salesforce has proven itself as one of the primary leaders in the cloud and regardless of size your company owes itself a hard look at how it can leverage these new services to fuel growth and drive new revenue.