Upcoming Salesforce.com release focuses on Chatter, service

Analyst: Salesforce.com needs more work on mobility, analytics

Salesforce.com's next CRM (customer relationship management) software release will contain a slew of new features, with many focused on the Chatter collaboration and messaging tool as well as customer service, according to a set of official release notes.

Many new features associated with Chatter concern usability and access to the system. For example, now iOS device users will be able to launch Chatter Mobile from their Salesforce.com email.

This is an important update "as most folks are still email-dependent," said analyst Ray Wang , CEO of Constellation Research.

Another major new feature, albeit available only as a pilot, is called Salesforce Files. It allows users to "securely sync files between Chatter and your desktop and some mobile devices," according to the notes. "This is the competitor to Box," and something customers should look at, Wang said.

For core sales automation, the upcoming release introduces Console for Sales.

This gives users "easy access to sales intelligence and helps you quickly contact leads, assess companies, and identify key contacts -- all in a dashboard-like interface that means more access to contextual data with fewer clicks and less scrolling," according to the notes.

Salesforce.com has also deepened the integration between its application and Microsoft Outlook.

Known as Winter '14, the new release also features improvements to Salesforce.com Communities, including the ability to assign a moderator to groups; and a series of usability updates within the Service Cloud product family, which includes Chatter Answers, Salesforce.com's knowledge base platform and Live Agent, among others.

Meanwhile, Winter '14's new feature lineup for analytics and mobile is less impressive, in Wang's view.

"Next to the mobile apps, analytics still is the weakest part of Salesforce.com," Wang said. "To be clear, it's better reporting and dashboards, not really analytics, as there are no predictive models, or algorithms applied here. This area will require the most attention in the long run but for now, reporting and KPIs are fairly decent."

Many of the new features in Winter '14 came from users' suggestions submitted through Salesforce.com's IdeaExchange, which is admirable on the company's part, Wang said.

As of November, Salesforce.com will no longer offer new customers the ability to purchase Unlimited Edition subscriptions, although it will support existing ones, according to the notes. Instead, the top-tier offering will be the recently announced Performance Edition, which costs more money but includes additional features.

It wasn't immediately clear Monday when the Winter '14 update will go live, although customers with Salesforce.com sandbox accounts can take part in a preview period that begins Sept. 6.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes 2017: The Machines Are Here

It’s day 4 in Cannes and among the ever-growing divergent panels, presentations and workshops spanning from one end of the Croisette to the other, there has been a very real emergence of how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning needs to fit into the marketing ecosystem of today and tomorrow.

Aden Hepburn

Executive creative director and managing director, VML Australia

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

It is interesting. Rebrand is very good. Perhaps they should change the logo to something more modern. For example as it is - https://www...

David Hill

Grace Group undergoes first rebrand in 30 years to unify and contemporise

Read more

Hey Guys, just one small typo that changes a part of the story :“That was a really big step forward for our company because we didn’t hav...

Damian Young

Chobani tastes success with data analytics platform

Read more

This is amazing! Congratulations to Cochlear for continuing to lead innovation in every way!

Chris

How this marketing ops leader is lifting the automation ante at Cochlear

Read more

Interesting case! It seems like universities can also benefit from marketing automation. I've started using getresponse some time ago and...

Aaren

How marketing automation is helping drive CX change at Adelaide University

Read more

Always great to see and read these success stories and the growth of gamification. This story is very warming and can act as an inspirati...

James Doyle

5 tips to boost engagement with gamification from Donut King

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in