A couple of months ago Salesforce.com announced the launch of its integrated Salesforce1 platform that integrates customer relationship management (CRM) with analytics, social networking and mobile computing software. Today the company announced a 96 percent increase in the number of active Salesforce1 mobile app users and a 46 percent increase in active users of custom mobile apps accessing Salesforce1 via an API.
In addition, Salesforce.com reports that the number of partner apps built and optimized for the Salesforce1 Customer Platform has already doubled since its launch, with more than 250 partners committing to delivering new Salesforce1 apps on the Salesforce1 AppExchange.
Michael Peachey, senior director of solutions marketing for Salesforce.com, says a recent study conducted by The Intelligence Unit of The Economist and sponsored by Salesforce.com shows when it comes to mobile computing there is currently a gap in terms of the applications that organizations need in order to successfully engage with customers. Rather than building all those applications form the ground up, Peachey says Salesforce1 provides a platform through which organizations can leverage customer information residing in a CRM system to build engaging mobile computing applications. Beyond reducing the amount of time it would take to deliver those applications, Peachey says this approach significantly reduces the number of silos of customer data that any organization would need to manage across the enterprise.
Initially launched at the recent Dreamforce 2013 conference, Salesforce 1 represents an effort to turn a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application into a platform for application development that in most respects is roughly equivalent to having access to a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) service that comes pre-loaded with customer data.
Peachey says that Salesforce.com has taken that PaaS concept one step further by making it possible to build mobile applications using declarative tools. The upshot is that developers don’t necessarily have to master a specific programming language to create a mobile computing application. The end result, says Peachey, is a single platform for building multiple systems of engagement.
At an event in New York City today, Salesforce.com executives plan to promote the rise of what they say is an emerging “Customer Economy.” After all, notes Peachey, at the end of every interaction using a mobile computing device or social network there is a customer trying to interact with some entity on the Web. The degree to which there is a “Customer Economy” versus an emerging “Salesforce.com Economy” is, of course, debatable.
What’s not debatable is that any platform that gives developers access to a broad number of potential users of their applications is worthy of further investigation.