Understanding the concept behind salesforce.com – 3
Salesforce is an incredibly flexible platform to create and administer applications. Here is a quick overview of a few features.
Page Layouts lets you change which fields are displayed on the screen and in what order. Let us say, we want the email to appear above phone on the lead screen, with three clicks it can be customized to our requirement. And it goes into effect for everyone using that layout as soon as it is saved. Let us say we want to capture why a sales opportunity was lost. Out-of-the-box, there isn’t a place to put that information in Salesforce, but with a few clicks we can add a field to that page and again it is immediately available.
Ok so we have the field but still the sales reps aren’t using it; well, with the validation rule we can enforce data quality by requiring this field but only when the opportunity is lost. This isn’t really complex either; it is similar to writing a formula in Excel.
If you want to be notified when a deal is lost? Set up a workflow rule with email notification including the details of the opportunity and the reason it was lost. Now let us say that we want a manager to approve all deals over a hundred thousand dollars; we can set up an approval process. This is all coupled with the robust security model that enforces what access each user has within Salesforce. This model can be scaled to accommodate very complex scenarios as well.
Salesforce also supports multiple languages and multiple currencies. This means that your satellite office in Paris can use Salesforce in French, enter amounts in Euros and folks in US can view the same page in English and the corresponding USD amount.
It is true that you can do a lot with configuration, but you can do a whole lot more with code. Visualforce and Apex can be used to create completely custom pages and drive advanced logic. You can interact with the Salesforce data via the API as well which allows you to integrate other systems. Sites allows you to publish Salesforce data to the internet, maintain your company’s directory using Salesforce and then publish it to the web; so if you update information in Salesforce, the changes are live immediately.
There are development and deployment tools to manage to release a code into production as well. Thus, Salesforce can do a lot more than just CRM and applications; here are a few examples without going into details:
- Salesforce for Twitter and FaceBook
- Marketing Cloud (Radian 6)
Using the 1-1-1 model the company donates 1% of its employees’ time, 1% of its technology and 1% of its resources to philanthropic efforts. For nonprofit organizations, this can mean you can get 10 free enterprise licenses and deep discounts on additional licenses and other products. Additionally Salesforce has a suite of tools called nonprofit starter kit that is designed to make Salesforce suit the needs of many nonprofit organizations.
Thus, Salesforce is a company that sells software platform to manage CRM and other platforms. It is hosted in the cloud which means you don’t have to worry about infrastructure and it delivers an incredible amount of flexibility through its features.