Introduced at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference last year, Salesforce1 has already evolved since its initial launch. Now, the "future-proof" social, mobile, and cloud customer platform that Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff promised would "evolve with the needs of its customers" is adding dashboards and reporting functionality to its recently launched mobile app.
"What has been really incredible about the Salesforce1 app is what our customers have done with it—they've been able to deliver great service and close big deals. But what they've already told us is they want to deliver even better, faster service, optimize their campaigns more efficiently, and close bigger deals. The reporting and dashboard tools are an effort to deliver what they've been asking for," Anna Rosenman, director of product marketing at Salesforce.com, says.
As mobile devices continue to "overtake mainframes," Salesforce.com is making it a priority to move away from the growing Internet of Things trend and focus instead on the Internet of Customers, Rosenman says, emphasizing that the newest update to the Salesforce1 app brings users one step closer to running their business on their mobile device.
While the Salesforce1 mobile app already gives users access to all of their CRM data, custom reports, and dashboards, the app's new functionality allows them to "drill through dashboards" to access information that lies further within the company's data bases. "This means that sales teams will be able to see a figure—or another piece of information such as a specific sale or account—in the chart and zero in on it with just a tap. It allows them to dive much deeper," Rosenman explains. All of the data will sync in real time, she adds.
The reporting and dashboard features are "developer friendly," and enable programmatic access to report data, which can be integrated into different Web and mobile apps, regardless of whether or not they are inside of the Salesforce1 platform. Developers can also utilize third-party visualizations and charts to enhance, and customize it fully, Todd Enders, senior director of product marketing at Salesforce.com, explains. Essentially, the updated app also allows for more customization when it comes to not only the type of data that sales teams can build into their dashboards, but also the kind of data visualization that they prefer.
"This is a powerful feature because different businesses have different needs. A construction company, for example, may want to include a site map on their dashboard, which will show different client locations. Salesforce.com might not necessarily offer a site map visualization, but through a third-party API, the construction company can still incorporate the data they need in the form that they need it into the Salesforce1 platform," Enders says.
In addition, the app's extended functionality will make data more actionable. For example, users will be able to drag and drop charts and other figures to add them directly to their records. Internal communication between sales employees will improve as well, because the tool will enable users to share dashboard snapshots with fellow team members through Chatter.
"Overall, these improvements to the app will encourage our users to act with confidence" Rosenman says, "which is really the most critical component of the update."