Cloud

How Salesforce is growing its platform to bridge the gap between front and back office

At its 2017 Dreamforce conference, Salesforce unveiled new product subsets focused on customization and connecting many different aspects of the business.

While Salesforce may have started out as a SaaS company, it has since expanded into an entire platform, with multiple tools for app developers and business professionals alike. Many of its early additions were tailored to the back office, but the firm has begun pushing more aggressively into the front office as well.

At its 2017 Dreamforce conference, Salesforce extended this effort with updates across its product line. This began with the nomenclature, as updates to its Einstein, Trailhead, Salesforce IoT, Lightning, and core Salesforce products all received "my" added as a prefix, to drive home the focus on personalization.

The personalization and customization is primarily offered through low-code development, which allows users to customize apps with drag-and-drop methods instead of manual coding. This extends the ownership of Salesforce apps to frontline business professionals, and democratizes the ability to create tailored apps that fit specific needs.

SEE: Hiring kit: Salesforce developer (Tech Pro Research)

In addition to updating many of its core product lines, Salesforce announced its updated Quip Collaboration Platform. Quip initially began as a word-processing app, but it's been bolstered by the ability integrate live app data and provide workflow frameworks. Now, Quip adds a new layer of project management tools for front office professionals, in addition to its ability to create collaborative documents and spreadsheets.

This blend of front and back office capabilities is happening in Salesforce's partnerships and integrations as well. For example, a new partnership between Google and Salesforce was also announced at Dreamforce, which will allow for an integration between Google's G Suite and Salesforce's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

The Google partnership will also see Quip tied into Google apps like Gmail, Hangouts, and Google Calendar. Additionally, eligible Salesforce customers will get up to a year of G Suite licenses for free, which could help larger enterprises still using on-premises software more easily transition to a cloud-based office suite.

Salesforce continues to connect the whole office through its empowerment of developers and partner apps as well. In late 2016, for example, Salesforce highlighted three applications—Apttus, Kenandy, and Accounting Seed—in a blog post as ways to bridge the divide between the front and back office.

It seems that Salesforce isn't content to simply be thought of as a SaaS company, or even just a platform. If the firm can continue its pace in broadening its offerings, it could become an even more central anchor point in the technology stack for enterprises going forward.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Salesforce has expanded its products, partnerships, and tools to further blend the back office and the front office.
  2. Many core apps were updated at Dreamforce to include low-code development and customization that can be done by non-developers, improving their usefulness among frontline business workers.
  3. A Google partnership with Salesforce will offer even more options for front office tools, while also integrating with Salesforce CRM data to provide additional insights.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/saicle/Salesforce

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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