The social task management platform Do has shown potential for project teams since its beta, which is why I included it in my TechRepublic post Four Google Apps project managers should consider. I hoped to see Salesforce open the application up further, and now it is with its Do More strategy. Salesforce is integrating Do with cloud applications that should help project managers and independent consultants. Here is a roundup of the first set of Do and cloud application integrations.
Desk.com is a cloud help desk solution from Salesforce that I touched upon in Google Apps and the consumerization of the help desk. An integration between Do and Desk.com is a natural fit because help desk agents can escalate tasks to their Do task lists for follow up and closure. This simple integration could give a small help desk operation a level of communication that won't betray their true size. The integration also could let help desks escalate tasks to field engineers who are accessing Do using an iOS or Android mobile device.
HarvestHarvest is a time tracking and invoicing application that targets freelancers and small project teams. It adds a Harvest time to tasks in Do. Since many clients scrutinize contractor/freelancer time and invoices, I predict the Harvest/Do integration (Figure A) gets the most traction out of any of these integrations. Figure A
Harvest/Do integration (Click the image to enlarge.)
WufooVirtual teams can benefit from online forms, especially if they have tasks that require capturing data from customers. The Do integration with Wufoo is accessible from a new tab. When you click the Wufoo tab (Figure B) and then enter your Wufoo account credentials, you can track form entries in Do contacts, projects, deals, and tasks. Figure B
Wufoo tab in Do (Click the image to enlarge.)
DropboxDropbox is blocked at many a corporate firewall, though virtual teams can use the Dropbox and Do integration to attach files residing in Dropbox to a Do task; you can also attach files directly to a Do task. The new Dropbox integration can help with storage, and let you leverage existing cloud file storage the team is already using and familiar with. Figure C shows the Dropbox file chooser that is now accessible from each Do task. Figure C
Dropbox file chooser (Click the image to enlarge.)
The Salesforce and Do integration is another natural step, especially for organizations that might involve employees outside the sales organization in the process for closing sales deals. With this integration, you can create projects right from an account or opportunity record from Salesforce.
I can see this integration playing well in setting up proposal teams, demos, and myriad other planning work involved in closing new business. This is the only integration besides Desk.com that might require administrator intervention to get functioning.
The Google Drive/Do integration lets you attach files from Google Drive to a Do task. Enterprise users may bump into firewall restrictions, but this integration should appeal to freelancers, virtual teams, and enterprises standardized on Google Apps for Business.From a project or project team perspective, Google Drive offers an opportunity to centralize documents by helping to get rid of the secret stash approach to project document management that can strike teams. Figure D shows the Google Drive/Do integration. Figure D
Google Drive/Do integration (Click the image to enlarge.)
Fancy Hands, a virtual assistant service, seems out of place given the impressive apps lineup Salesforce assembled for the Do More with Do initiative. The service lets you outsource tedious tasks for less than a $1.00/day. If you are open to outsourcing simple and sundry tasks to a third party, Do can come in handy as a tool to monitor the effort. It can also help with communications and provide an audit trail for any disputes.
Contactually is an interesting choice for a Do integration and makes up for Fancy Hands. This cloud service helps generate more referrals and direct customers from an existing network. This could turn into a valuable Do integration considering our current economic times.
Contactually analyzes conversation history across your contacts, including email, social media, and the phone. For those salespeople, freelancers, and job hunters, this could help tap into those professional contacts that may have slipped off your radar (we all have them).It works on the buckets principle, where you set up a bucket for each of your contact types. Figure E shows how buckets play into where you want your contacts to reside. Figure E
Specify buckets for your contacts (Click the image to enlarge.)
This integration sends reminders directly into Do. Then you can work those reminders just like you do other tasks in Do. My initial tests show there is some tuning that needs to be done during the setup, but this could be worth it if you want to use Do to better manage follow ups.
Read more about the cloud
Check out the ZDNet and TechRepublic special feature Cloud: How to do SaaS right and our downloadable Executive's Guide to Best Practices in SaaS and the Cloud.
Will Kelly is a technical and marketing communications writer based in the Washington, DC area. He has written about SMB technology, data center management, project management applications, mobile computing, Microsoft Office, and productivity applications for online and print technology publications. You can reach Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.