As Dreamforce 2015 kicks off this week, let’s talk about the Salesforce1 Platform. Yes, it’s the top enterprise cloud platform in the world. Most of you already know the buzz, I’m sure. Developers use Force.com and Heroku to create employee and customer apps at a pace that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. But a lot of sales teams still don’t know how Salesforce1 Platform works its magic or what it might look like in the future.
So if you’re new to the platform – or just aren’t sure of what’s driving its success – consider this a primer.
We’ll start with component frameworks. Called “the future of app development” by many, component models offer an efficient and sustainable methodology that’s gaining traction across the industry. Sounds good, right? So far only Salesforce is offering the secure and scalable version enterprises need.
The Lightning App Builder lets anyone create customized pages with Lightning Components, while the Component Exchange, lets third parties create and deploy components to customers. Because they can dragged and dropped on a page, wherever the user wants them, they’re highly appealing to even inexperienced users.
Salesforce1 Platform is successful for another reason. Here’s something we can all agree on: the upgrades and compatibility issues involved in rolling out new software are always a pain. Inevitably a lot of issues result that eat up the IT department’s time as they try to troubleshoot the problem and develop a solution. Well, Salesforce1 users can skip all of that. Because the platform runs a single code base, every customer uses the same version at the same time.
Which brings us to the “cloud first” aspect. Other desktop software companies can’t compete with this, because their solutions weren’t designed with SaaS mobility. But Salesforce was always intended to run as a cloud service that offered users the benefit of built-in scalability, convenience and security. Mobility is another big draw; anyone with a smartphone can download the app, log in and run their business. This just isn’t an option with other solutions.
But its greatest advantage in many eyes is a simple one: speed. It’s no secret that productivity is an endless quest for enterprise developers. Tell me if this sounds familiar. Someone in the company asks IT for a customized user interface or page. The developers agree and then the business unit winds up waiting weeks, months or longer. IT doesn’t like the delay; business leaders don’t like it either. Which means everyone has a vested interest in empowering developers to be more productive and build solutions at an accelerated pace.
And that’s exactly what happens with Salesforce1 Platform. Thanks to Heroku, developers spend less time on servers, scaling, and deployment and more time writing code for innovative consumer-facing apps. They also don’t have to worry about managing pages and UIs for different devices, such as a tablet, a smartphone, or desktop computer. After they create one page, it will display itself the right way on whatever device they’re using.
Even better, some features let non-developers create functionalities on their own, lightening IT’s workload. The platform’s component model and toolset provides knowledge workers with the ability to create their own solutions – a benefit that both IT and the business units enjoy.
If you’re not sold on the platform yet, be aware that the industry is predicting custom applications to be the wave of the future. Companies and clients alike are beginning to expect custom apps on request, whether they’re an SMB, enterprise or startup. Building a new app or system with Salesforce1 Platform is as simple as setting it up, creating the components, doing a drag and drop, and calling it a day. This kind of speedy delivery is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity in our fast-paced world – and teams who haven’t already will need to get on board.