Google and Salesforce join forces

Google and Salesforce announced a partnership the other day that will bring a combined Google/Salesforce business suite to it’s users. The service is called “Salesforce for Google Apps” and touts “powerful yet easy-to-use productivity tools for smarter management of customers, sales and marketing.”

There is the obviously emphasis on collaboration and communication between team/project members. My ‘sales’ experience is relatively limited – I managed a newspaper in college and filling in for the occasional employee is about the extent of it – but the functionality seems practical.

One key feature I liked is the fact that email being sent (from the Gmail interface) can automatically be sent to a customers CRM account. This provides you with a worry-free audit trail and allows your boss or someone covering for you (if you’re out sick or something) to quickly pick up where you left off. Likewise, you can send customer emails directly within Salesforce. I also liked the fact that you can attach/create Google Docs directly from Salesforce. The uses for this are obvious and I think it will really be able to help the sales process. Everything from quote notes, sales presentations and final contracts can be created directly from the Salesforce interface.

It didn’t look like the interface was the same between the two systems which is disappointing but I haven’t signed up for a test account yet so that’s just speculation based on the tour. I think that offering a consistent interface between Google and Salesforce is a must and could help adoption among small businesses.

I don’t know much about Salesforce’s push for mobile but Google has mobile versions of Gmail and Docs and continues to improve them. I’m curious to see what kind of mobile sales/business applications they make available to their users. Anything less than full functionality is unacceptable, but that would be a pretty major project.  I’d also like to get some information on what the security architecture looks like.  ZOHO just announced an enhanced architecture as part of it’s enterprise CRM which is a little more inline with what I see as an SAP consultant.

Simply put, the decision makes sense – Google is trying to break into enterprise business, Salesforce has a great customer base (and from what I read a decent set of applications) and both are competing with Microsoft in some fashion. The partnership allows them to put the full-court press on Microsoft who has been slow to adopt a web-based business model.

It will obviously take time for larger corporations to make the move given the obvious security concerns (mostly on the Google front) and the fact that the majority of business users are still not comfortable with online applications. One thing that could help Google’s case for enterprise applications is the fact that Vista has had so many bumps along the way. The rate at which corporations have been moving to Vista has been slow at best. I work for a technology company and we haven’t even heard rumor’s of a potential migration.

Here’s a quick video tour of Salesforce for Google Apps:

Did you like this? Share it:

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply