Monday, 18 April 2016

Three ways to extend Salesforce in your organisation

by Emma O'Brien in Innovation, Integration

For Salesforce.com customers, Salesforce is a critical platform used as a system of record for customer, sales and marketing information. Many sales and marketing departments live and breathe Salesforce, but it’s unlikely that this is the only information they need to perform their day-to-day tasks. There is also important information stored in other line-of-business (LOB) systems across the enterprise that supports sales and marketing activities.

The reverse of this is also true. There are teams outside of sales and marketing that have their own critical LOB systems, but still need to take advantage of the critical information that Salesforce contains.

Between these two groups, there are three common scenarios that we see.

Delivering Salesforce information to infrequent users

The importance of Salesforce as a system of record for customer, sales and marketing information is clear. The challenge for many users, particularly those who don’t live and breathe Salesforce, is that they don’t know how to access this information when they need it. These casual users find Salesforce intimidating and difficult to navigate. They generally need a small subset of the information that resides within Salesforce and would ideally have it accessible from a user experience they are already comfortable with, such as SharePoint.

With K2’s smartforms, it is easy to incorporate Salesforce information into forms and deliver these forms in SharePoint, other web solutions, on mobile devices, or as a standalone business application. These forms enable you to get critical information into the hands of everyone in the organisation, through an experience they are comfortable with. Best of all, an easy-to-use set of visual tools allows you to create these forms without code.

Building composite business apps with Salesforce and other LOB data

Business apps that provide broad and easy access to Salesforce information are beneficial, but their value increases considerably if they can combine that information with LOB systems across the organisation in a single, contextualised experience for end users. This eliminates the problem of having to use multiple monitors to access two or three different systems in order to pull together the relevant information contained in each one.

K2 SmartObjects enables you to do all of this. SmartObjects give you the ability to pull information from multiple LOB systems into a SmartForm that provides a cohesive, actionable solution. These solutions not only give your business users the information they need at their fingertips, but can also be combined with workflows that cut across technical and organisational boundaries.

Extending SFDC with enterprise data and workflow

The final scenario involves employees who use Salesforce on a daily basis but need information outside of Salesforce to complete a particular activity or project. Salesforce provides a platform that is easily customisable and can be extended to capture new information. Just as infrequent users can pull together information from Salesforce and other systems in an environment they are familiar with, frequent Salesforce users can do the same thing inside of Salesforce. If they need LOB information from SAP, SharePoint and Oracle, K2 SmartObjects and Smartforms make it easy to pull together and present that information from within Salesforce.

Another great way that Salesforce users can extend Salesforce capabilities is through the K2 workflow. Just as all the necessary data that business users need is rarely stored within a single repository, business processes are rarely constrained to an individual system or department. K2’s ability to span multiple LOB systems and departmental boundaries means that you can deliver end-to-end business processes through a workflow that automates interactions across Salesforce and other systems so that users can participate within their preferred user experience.

Manager, Marketing and Channel Development at K2

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