Salesforce Files Connect Brings File Sharing to the Enterprise

Software-as-a-service customer relationship management giant has launched a new file-sharing product for the enterprise. According to the company, Salesforce Files Connect is the first product to bring CRM and enterprise file management together. Through a single universal interface, companies can give their workers the ability to browse, search for and share files no matter where they're stored.

"With Salesforce Files Connect, we're redefining file sharing to provide a simple single point of access to multiple file repositories," Nasi Jazayeri, executive VP of Salesforce's Community Cloud, said in a press release. "Salesforce is the first to offer universal file access that enables users to embed any file directly into business processes — no matter where that file resides."

At launch, Salesforce Files Connect offers native support for files from Microsoft SharePoint, and native support for files from Microsoft OneDrive for Business is expected to be available in February. Pricing for SharePoint support is $7 per user per month; support for Microsoft OneDrive for Business will be included for companies that have purchased Salesforce's Enterprise, Unlimited or Performance plans. In the near future, Salesforce will launch connectors for other enterprise document repositories, such as Google Drive.

According to Salesforce, Salesforce Files Connect has the potential to save companies and their employees time while making their lives easier. "For example, a sales rep can attach a presentation on OneDrive for Business to a lead residing in Salesforce, or a service rep can share an FAQ from SharePoint within a Service Cloud case," the company explained.

Salesforce Files Connect is a part of the Salesforce1 Platform, and the company has created a Salesforce Files Connect API that customers can use to integrate the new functionality into their existing Salesforce apps.

Enterprise Glue

On the surface, Salesforce Files Connect might appear to step on the toes of existing players in the enterprise document-sharing space, including IPO candidates Box and Dropbox. But it isn't a direct threat to them because it's not targeting the increasingly commoditized document storage market.

Instead, Salesforce is clearly betting that the real value in enterprise file sharing will be derived from building the software that connects document repositories and allows companies to more easily integrate their documents into their business processes. In other words, Salesforce wants to be the glue of enterprise file sharing.

Although it is ideally positioned to pursue this opportunity because of its CRM platform and large customer base, if Salesforce is correct about where the greatest value in the enterprise file-sharing market is, others will likely follow with solutions promising capabilities similar in nature to those promised by Salesforce Files Connect. When that happens, the companies that offer the greatest number of integrations and the best APIs will likely emerge the victors.

Be sure to read the next File Sharing article: Dropbox API V2 Brings Sync, Datastore API Deprecations