Different Takes on Salesforce1 – Innovation or Lipstick?

Dreamforce is getting bigger every year. Our conversations with customers and prospects at the conference clearly reflected the success Salesforce has had moving up the value chain, from SMBs to mid to large enterprises. We spoke to many more enterprise customers than prior years who  are looking for a scalable integration platform that delivers integration solutions at cloud-speed. These enterprise customers are specifically looking for a flexible and user-friendly platform that is beyond just a point-to-point data loader and can scale with their rapid adoption of Cloud and SaaS applications. The Integrator’s Dilemma got a lot of nods and the story resonated for sure.

The biggest announcement for the conference was Salesforce1 and how it powers the “Internet of Customers.” There are a variety of reactions out there: some thought that Salesforce1 was just an old wine in a new bottle, with some mobility on the cheese platter. Some regarded it as their attempt towards mobile-enablement of their offerings of Sales cloud, Marketing cloud and Service cloud. And some thought that it was somewhere in between. Marc Benioff’s marketing genius is clearly working if you look at the range of contradicting reactions and the associated buzz this launch has brought forth. For example, while Gartner’s DeSisto has gone as far as claiming that Salesforce1 does not exist, and is just a branding exercise, InformationWeek is less skeptical and has lauded Salesforce’s attempt into the mobility space. And lastly, Forbes is calling this an ambitious attempt to redefine to sales and CRM.

My take is somewhere in between. I regard this as an attempt to rationalize the acquisitions and offerings Salesforce has made over the years that include ExactTarget, force.com, Heroku and more, with a single interface; and what better interface to use today than a mobile one? It kills two birds with one stone – gives a perception of an integrated suite of apps, plus mobile-enables Salesforce. Both are areas that Salesforce was clearly lacking in. (BTW, Salesforce has already upgraded my chatter mobile app to Salesforce1! Very cool!)

Here at SnapLogic, we are seeing a lot of similar activity. Mobile access to information is a steadily increasing requirement that we get from our customers and prospects. Customers are thinking beyond the “Internet of Customers” – they are looking to tap into the “Internet of Things” opportunity as well. They regard SnapLogic as an ideal platform that can handle all styles of workloads – whether it is a single invocation to access a small set of data, or it is a need to stream large volumes of data in real-time.

As an example, a leading gaming company is leveraging SnapLogic to make their ERP and CRM data accessible to their salesforce over mobile devices. They particularly chose SnapLogic as their mobile-enabling platform because it is built on mobile-friendly standards such as REST and JSON, and can scale elastically with its Amazon EC2 underpinnings. Using this flexible platform, they could aggregate or join data across multiple applications and deliver it as a single entity to those mobile devices. The Salesforce1 mobile app will not be able to address use cases where data needs to be accessed from applications outside of the Salesforce ecosystem. Customers should consider SnapLogic for such use cases.

The other example describes how another customer is using the same SnapLogic platform to stream device data (internet of things!). This Fortune 10 customer streams virus scan data (Airwatch, Verdasys, Sophos, McAfee, Casper) from their 400,000 employee devices. This scan data, that is generated every minute in every device, is then streamed to a Splunk instance in real-time. Splunk does its analytics and raises red flags on suspicious activities in real-time as well. A business process orchestrated by SnapLogic is kicked off to automatically create, track and resolve incident tickets in ServiceNow. Although they are currently not doing so, this customer can mobile-enable the (management and monitoring of) business process with the flip of a switch.

To learn more, register for our free webinar on December 5th at 11AM PST. You can learn more about Dreamforce (#DF13) and its implications on your IT strategy. Industry pundits Jeff Kaplan of THINKStrategies and Darren Cunningham will discuss Salesforce1, mobile and cloud integration in greater detail.


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