Breaking Down Barriers
Multiforce and Customforce lower the barrier to entry because there doesnt have to be any upfront investment in expensive development tools, operating systems or databases, he said. Customers only need to be able to afford the cost of a Salesforce.com subscription, said Benioff. That means that programmers in developing countries, whether they are in Mumbai, Delhi, Shanghai or Beijing, can start developing applications without a lot of venture cash backing them, he said.Salesforce.com describes Multiforce 1.0 as the industrys first on-demand operating system that allows applications to share a common data and security model running under a Web browser interface.Multiforce enables multiple applications to share common data sets, supports cross organizational collaboration and helps eliminate information silos within an organization. Some of the new functionality built into Customforce 2.0 includes analytics for real-time analysis of business data, spreadsheet-style formulas for calculation that can be applied to any application field, pre-build business processes, such as discounting, quota attainment, price totals, case aging and auto-dialing. Customforce also provides standard related lists that show relevant data for accounts, contacts, opportunities and cases. The Salesforce.com Summer 05 release includes support for a variety of sales methodologies, customizable sales forecasting, marketing analytics and mass address updates. Ease of implementation for Salesforce.com is one of the top reasons why Sybase Inc. and Electronics for Imaging Inc. decided to implement the CRM package. Sybase, a provider of information management applications based in Dublin, Calif., was able to implement Salesforce CRM in about three months, said Thomas Volk, executive vice president of the companys international sales organization. "The whole corporation is using Salesforce.com" with about 700 users, he said. "People like to use it," which is more than can be said for other CRM packages on the market, he said. Volk said he has had experience with other CRM packages that offered "great technology, but it was very hard to enter data and as long as there is no data there is little value" in the application. Click here to read about the enhanced links between Salesforce.com and Pervasive Software data integration technology. Electronics for Imaging, based in Foster City, Calif., said the company looked at Salesforce.com because it needed a CRM package that "was going to change and grow with us," said Fred Rosenzweig, company president. EFI was literally ready to sign a deal with SAP AG when Salesforce.com called about its service, Rosenzweig said. Because SAP "didnt follow up with us very well, they lost a deal and they will never get back in," he said. EFI has been using Salesforce.com for more than two years, and Rosenzweig said the CRM package "has been the thread that has held the company together, and we intend to continue to grow with it." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about customer relationship management solutions.