Dreamforce '04: New customizing manager and customer service capabilities are key updates.
Posted Nov 4, 2004
At its Dreamforce '04 customer and partner conference, Salesforce.com unveiled the initial details of its quarterly software upgrade. Much of the conference buzz about the product focused on its evolution from a relatively innocuous Web site to a more substantial business tool.
The Wednesday morning Dreamforce presentation given by Marie Wieck, IBM Software general manager of industry solutions and business integration, was significant not so much for its content as its implications. In outlining the opportunities to create complex business applications by uniting Salesforce.com with other programs via WebSphere, Wieck gently mocked Salesforce.com's "no software" motto, and drove home the notion that Salesforce.com is trying to surpass its roots as a cookie-cutter on-demand solution by embracing additional software.
"Some software is sneaking out of Salesforce.com, but we don't want to productize all [potential] applications," said Parker Harris, Salesforce.com's senior vice president of research and development. Indeed, as the company seeks to prove the potential of its sforce API layer and the stability of its offline and wireless access modes, Harris maintains that many new integrations will be provided as examples to customers, not as fee-based services.
In the Winter '05 edition of Salesforce.com, the company will add a range of features for user companies. Many of the new capabilities revolve around improving the customizability of the program fields based on data calculation, and introducing proper territory management. Forecasting screens will receive an upgrade, and the supportforce.com customer service outlet will grow to incorporate email response tracking, call scripting, survey delivery and tabulation, and warranty and returns management. A customer's inventory of products, regardless of supplier, can also be tracked. The customer support side of the program will improve access to a managed knowledge base, as well as direct computer telephony integration through the new STAPI program interface.
After making a splash with its sforce program API, Salesforce.com is trying to push the envelope and change the way it thinks about augmenting the program's core operation. Now dubbed CustomForce, the company hopes to attract and hold thousands of customers who would have considered a competing vendor to obtain a particular functionality. Finally, Salesforce.com plans to increase customers' existing storage spaces to the larger of 1,000 megabytes, or to 20 megabytes per paid user at each client company.
Salesforce.com plans to publicly unveil the Winter '05 capabilities on November 15. Company estimates indicate anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks will be needed to fully integrate some of the new features.
SalesLogix and Salesforce.com Expand Their Customer Service Offerings
Salesforce.com Announces Summer '04 Release
|Learn more about the companies mentioned in this article in the destinationCRM Buyer's Guide:
Dreamforce '07: AppExchange says hello to its younger, bigger sister: Force.com, touted as "platform-as-a-service"; the family also welcomes a cousin: Visualforce, hailed as "user-interface-as-a-service."
Dreamforce '06: Marc Benioff outlines the company's new customization and programming platform, discusses community development, and announces Winter '07.
Dreamforce '06: At the annual Salesforce.com event, Colin Powell stressed the importance of the Web and how businesses can leverage it to for a competitive advantage.
Dreamforce '05: Marc Benioff details visions of 'the eBay of enterprise applications' with Appforce.
The Winter '07 release will offer "unlimited customization" for analytics and BI tools, including Business Objects Crystal Xcelsius; one analyst sees the potential benefit to CRM in general.
The summer release of the company's core product touts more than 100 new features.
These are very different announcements: They're both targeting customer service, but Salesforce is targeting the call center, as compared to focusing on premise-based trouble tickets.
The Force.com platform becomes the first software-as-a-service offering to allow pay-per-login pricing, but the company's CRM applications aren't included.
Dreamforce '08: Salesforce.com cofounder, Chairman, and CEO Marc Benioff announces the cloud company's foray into Web sites and its integration with Facebook and Amazon Web Services platforms.
Dreamforce '07: A summary of what's on display from Salesforce.com partners at the company's annual convention.
Dreamforce '03: Salesforce.com today unveiled major upgrades to its two main products at its first annual Dreamforce user conference.
Dreamforce '04: Dozens of software vendors are now tying their CRM capabilities to the on-demand CRM platform.
Dreamforce '08: The SaaS vendor ups research funds for CRM, declaring this a critical time to listen to and invest in customers and employees.
Dreamforce '09: The software-as-a-service pioneer unveils what it calls its fourth cloud -- the Collaboration Cloud -- as well as a product called Chatter.
Dreamforce: In a moving speech to a global audience, Colin Powell reinvigorates the need for the purpose-driven individual.
Dreamforce '09: A roundup of product releases and enhancements that came out of the so-called "Cloud Event of the Year."
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