Informatica Cloud Integration - 4.8 Stars with 609 Reviews
This data management app accessible on AppExchange is a comprehensive and extensive data migration and integration tool. It can pull data from any resource and integrate it with Salesforce. The demo showed that it has a super easy, user-friendly feel with a dynamic user interface on their site that allows you to select any object and fields where you want to grab and move data (source and target environments). Informatica has several other useful apps so also check out Master Data Management, Data Loader for Salesforce, and Process Automation all rated above a 4.5 on the AppExchange.
Birst Analytics - 4.5 Stars with 11 Reviews
With the addition of Buckets, Analytic Snapshots, and Joined Reports, reporting in Salesforce has definitely gotten a lot easier and has allowed more dynamic reporting. However, there are apps on the AppExchange that can allow for an even more comprehensive view of all of the data. Birst’s visuals on the expo floor showed how their app can not only do advanced analytics but also pull data from multiple data sources to get very elaborate, intricate reports and dashboards to fully meet the needs of the business.
Cloudingo - 4.8 Star with 87 Reviews
Data quality is so keen to having powerful analytics to drive decisions. One of the biggest pain points has been having duplicate records (leads, contacts, accounts) in Salesforce. Cloudingo is one of the few apps that primarily focuses on deduping records and, with such high ratings on the AppExchange, is proving to be a great resource to help with deduping data. It will cleanse your entire existing database and help prevent dupes during mass imports. If you are plagued with duplicates, as many of us are, this is definitely an app worth checking out.
Box - 4.5 Stars with 95 Reviews
If you are looking for a way to manage very large amount of documents, check out Box on the AppExchange. The reps on at the expo floor provided great demos showing how the app takes the best of File and Content and provides unlimited, secure storage that can be easily shared and accessed. It allows for internal and external file sharing and the documents are fully encrypted in Salesforce and in transit. The content can also be accessed from any device including mobile.
Work Relay - On AppExhange January 2014
Work Relay provides another way to manage processes but specifically for the Salesforce1 platform. Even with all of the workflows, validations, and auto-reminders, some processes require several dots to be connected as well as flexibility to connect multiple processes when needed. The visuals of how to create smooth processes immediately stood out at their booth and in learning more, Work Relay sounds like a great app for building process solutions using Force.com and is designed to help users build solutions that will help them maximize and leverage Salesforce1. So, if you’re already diving fully into using Salesforce1 to manage processes, take a look and see if Work Relay can help with this transition.
Definitely check out these apps on the AppExchange or directly on their websites. It is great to have so many options and is worth taking time to review them to see what is the best fit for the needs of your company. Managing data integration, data quality, documents, analytics and processes is no small feat but it helps to know that there are apps out there making it much easier for you.
Please feel free to comment below, on our facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @sylviacabral44.
Dreamforce 13 is now over and what a week it was! For many, especially first timers, it can be a bit overwhelming. Each day was jammed packed with keynotes, learning sessions, networking opportunities and after hours parties (I just got my voice back). The event occurred over three plus days and by the end there is not much fuel in the tank. After you come back to Earth and reenergize you are left with a laundry list of ideas, business cards, notes and memories. The question becomes, how do I take all of this and make something of it? How do I keep the momentum going? Here are some very basic things to do now to make sure everything you got out of this amazing week doesn’t go to waste.
The first and most simple thing to do is follow-up. If you are like me and have a stack of business cards with hopefully some notes to remember why you took their card, go through them and pick the ones worth reaching out to. Take an hour and send them an email to further the conversation you had. This is all it takes to make something happen but the key is to do it now. If you don’t you will forget and it could mean a lost opportunity for you or your company.
Take a Test Drive
The expo floor and keynotes were filled with new products to help you and your organization. There is no excuse for not looking into the ones that appeared interesting considering what Salesforce offers you as part of their ecosystem. Many, if not all are available to try and most are free to do so. Pick out the ones that looked useful, search for them on the AppExchange and take a test drive. Many of these apps were featured in breakout sessions and you can learn more about them and how customers are using them by watching them on YouTube. Salesforce does us a huge solid and offers these sessions free of charge to the community.
We all saw Salesforce1 officially released in Marc’s keynote. This is a new and exciting way to experience Salesforce and your Salesforce apps on your mobile device. It is very impressive and again, there is no risk to try it out. Having the ability to do everything that Salesforce offers on your mobile device has huge potential to save you and your company a lot of time and increase the bottom line. Salesforce provided a developer guide which is located here that provides a nice introduction to what it can do. Download it, try it, and spread the word.
For the second year in a row Salesforce has dedicated a day to personal health and wellness. Last year we had Tony Robbins and this year Deepak and Friends. Opportunities to see and listen to brilliant minds like these can cost thousands of dollars and believe it or not, just one piece of advice from any of them can make your life go from unhappy to happy. This is an amazing gift Marc gives us all and we should not let it go to waste. Hopefully you took advantage of this time but even if you didn’t the message was clear that we need to become aware of our health and wellbeing. We need to make sure we get enough sleep, water, good food and exercise. If you don’t know where to start, how about reading Deepak’s new book we all were given at the keynote. If you didn’t get it, you can buy it here.
Lastly, I got a little inspired by all this and decided to create a group called “WELLforce” in the success community to continue this conversation. It is a public group where you can share thoughts, ideas, books to read or anything related to wellness. My hope is you might get one thing out of it that could help make your life a little happier!
If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to join the group or tweet at me at www.twitter.com/Salvatoriello.
Another year and another Dreamforce. Unlike years past where Marc proclaimed it to be the best one yet, this time I actually agree. It didn’t hurt that there was a Back to the Future theme running throughout the conference, my favorite movie, but really it was the depth and breadth of information sharing that was off the charts.
The opening keynote was fantastic. It opened with Huey Lewis and the News playing “Back in Time” which to me was a very powerful metaphor for what was to come in a keynote entitled “The Internet of People”. The first 45 minutes were spent talking about the Salesforce Foundation which was heartwarming and as inspirational as ever. I miss the days of the separate 3rd keynote which was all about the foundation, the fact that Marc opened with it made it feel special again. After interviewing Petra Nemcova about her amazing story and the work she’s doing in Haiti, Huey Lewis jumped back in with “The Power of Love” which really kicked both the philanthropy and the Back to the Future concepts into high gear.
Salesforce1 was the big announcement this year. Using the backdrop of going back in time and having Parker Harris arrive in a Tesla (should have been a DeLorean) mimicking Dr. Brown on the keynote stage was brilliant. Here’s how I see the Salesforce1 platform from a business perspective. If we were to go back in time and think about how a consumer business was run 50-60 years ago everything was extremely personable and very 1 to 1 in terms of sales, marketing, and communications. If you walked into your bank everyone knew your name, if you walked into the hardware store the clerk would assist you personally and knew who you were; this goes on and on for many retail and consumer based businesses. Fast forward 20-30 years and things just got bigger. The scale of businesses, the rise of big box chains and fast food “restaurants” made it impossible to really know who your customers were on that intimate level. The promise of Salesforce1 is that with technology businesses can get back to knowing their customers on a more 1 to 1 basis.
It’s amazing that I just spent an entire paragraph explaining Salesforce1 without mentioning the mobile application that it really is but to me it’s more of a marketers toolbox then a mobile app. The mobile app is very cool though. As Parker explained during the keynote they went back to the drawing board and rebuilt mobile over the last year taking everything they’ve learned and putting into this one platform. It takes all the apps and customizations that have already been built out and places them right there in the palm of your hand. Very exciting stuff from an engineering perspective but to me even more exciting from a business perspective.
This year there were not one, but two expo floors for sponsors to display their products and services. We were located in Moscone North which I still considered the “main” expo floor but over on the first floor of Moscone West was another bustling floor with quite a few exhibitors. This is another sign that Dreamforce was as large as it’s ever been because whenever I was on the expo floor it felt as crowded as ever and then I thought to myself, wow, there is an entire other floor just like this and it’s also really crowded. The highlight of the expo was the Salesforce campground area and specifically the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud theater. It’s always nice to see some of the new acquisitions in action on the floor and they were demonstrating some really far out marketing concepts.
Success Community Zone
For the 2nd year in a row there was a Success Community Zone and this year it was much larger and had so many more things to do in it. It was located at the Hilton and included a Genius bar staffed by Salesforce MVPs, a whiteboard area to discuss solutions, a customer theater that had mini session presentations, and of course a podcast studio where @JasonMAtwood and I podcasted from live on Tuesday and Wednesday. The zone in my mind was a hit as it was mentioned a few times in passing to me and was also brought up as being extremely helpful during the Marc and Parker session that ended the conference.
Marc and Parker Session
If I do one thing at Dreamforce and one thing only it’s attending this session. In a tradition now three years old Marc and Parker sit down at the end of Dreamforce and recap what they thought of the conference in a very laidback style. Marc was wearing a sweatshirt and a ball cap and Parker didn’t have a tie on so you know it was meant to be very conversational. They took questions from the audience, literally anything anyone wanted to ask, and were very candid in their answers. The highlight of the session this year for me was the announcement of the winners of the $1 million hackathon. You read that right, Salesforce gave away $1 million to the winner of the 4 day hackathon. There were some amazing apps that were built in such a short time. The winner was an app called UPSHOT that allowed for building Salesforce reports right there on the mobile device using natural language. The example they gave was to type into a box “Lost Opportunities” and it built out a report and a graph of Salesforce data. This was the easiest way I’ve ever seen to build a report. While I thought it was a clear winner and an amazing app, there is some controversy surrounding the winning app. I guess this happens when $1 million is at stake, I would suggest reading through the blog post on the developer board.
What a fantastic way to end the mega conference. We were taken back in time, brought some technology back from the future, were delighted with a great new mobile application, had 2 expo floors to walk through, and I didn’t even mention the thousands of breakout sessions. I had lots of fun and I managed to learn some new stuff too at Dreamforce which is always the goal. I didn’t even get sick like I normally do so that was a super bonus. Dreamforce 13, the best one yet.
Mobile Over Load
The cat might already be out of the bag on this one as there was a small email from Salesforce the other day hinting of a new mobile platform, but this is going to be huge. I predict that Salesforce is going to announce a huge new mobile push, bigger than Touch, bigger than Chatter Mobile but a new feature set that pulls from both of them. It has been a long time since there was one mobile platform, but I think it will be worth the wait.
Green Days Ahead
The venue for the gala concert has moved around for years but I predict that the AT&T park venue will be a huge hit. Lots of space, tons of suites and a party atmosphere that will be talked about for conferences to come. While some might not like the band choice (a constant debate) they are known for putting on a good show and I think they will wow the naysayers.
Ever since Salesforce bought Exact Target we have been waiting for the signs of a full product integration. I predict that the new mass email inside of Salesforce will be on the backbone of Exact Target and will be as tightly integrated as Data.com is today. The pricing will be fuzzy but the features will look amazing. Plenty of oohs and ahhs to go around.
For the first time in the history of the podcast we are going to be doing not one, but two episodes of CloudFocus Weekly live in front of a non-studio audience and the prediction here is we will never want to go back to our studio. The fans, the excitement and the free swag will make for a great few episodes.
Wednesday in particular is packed with everything from a keynote session with industry visionaries as well as breakout sessions, demos, and opportunities to network. Sessions will cover topics pertinent to the future of this industry. These include social and mobile impacts, data security and privacy, personal customer relationships, and successful integration in a highly regulated environment.
Social and Mobile Influences
Social media and mobile are transforming the Financial Services industry. The speed and agility of the Salesforce platform along with it’s social and mobile capabilities has changed how organizations engage with customers. Learn how industry leaders are embracing and leveraging this technology to transform their cultures to better service customers.
- Financial Services Kickoff: Becoming a Customer Company in Financial Services - Wednesday at 10:30 am
- Mobile & Social: Meeting Your Connected Customers' Expectations - Wednesday at 12:00 pm
- Asset Managers Transform Client Relationships - Wednesday at 3:00 pm
Data Security and Privacy
Keeping data secure and private in a public cloud arena continues to be an ongoing topic of debate. Join in as experts in the field share their views on global regulations and how organizations can find ways to securely recognize the benefits of a cloud solution.
- Data Security & Privacy - Breaking It Down for Financial Services - Wednesday at 12:00 pm
Maximizing Salesforce for Deeper Personalized Customer Relationships
What once was a focus on products is now a focus on building deep relationships with customers; supporting their goals and life event needs. Learn how Financial Services advisors are utilizing the power of the Salesforce platform to change the way they do business.
- Salesforce: The Financial Advisor’s Personal Assistant - Wednesday at 1:00 pm
- Changing Face of the Branch - Not Just for Deposits Anymore - Wednesday at 1:00 pm
- On the Road to 360 - Wednesday at 2:00 pm
- Customer Nurturing: Best Practices for Revenue Generation - Wednesday at 2:00 pm
- “Moments of Truth”: Is Your Firm Ready? - Wednesday at 3:00 pm
Integration in a Highly-Regulated Environment
The Financial Services industry has increasingly become more complex over time. This is in part due to regulations. Learn how organizations have embraced and successfully integrated the Salesforce platform and utilized Financial specific Apps in the AppExchange.
- Industry Discussion: Financial Service - Monday at 2:30 pm
- Cautious Transformation: Service Cloud Transforms Highly Regulated Industries - Tuesday at 1:30 pm
- An Enterprise CRM Journey in the Financial Services Industry - Tuesday at 2:00 pm
- AppExchange for Financial Services: Designed for Money and Management - Thursday at 9:30 am
Take full advantage of the many Financial Services focused sessions that Dreamforce is offering this year. If the session(s) listed above are full, check out the other sessions available for Financial Services and Banking by filtering for these industries on the Sessions page on the Dreamforce site. Be sure to bookmark your sessions and follow them in Chatter. You can also attend the many open Keynote sessions and visit the Cloud Expo where companies will be showing new Salesforce features and services. Regardless of what you attend, you will definitely walk away with tips, tricks, best practices, and techniques that you can begin to implement at your organization.