In many ways, the proliferation of phones and tablets in the enterprise is serving as a conduit for cloud computing, unshackling productivity from the desktop and allowing users to take advantage of the platform-agnostic experiences made possible by the as-a-service model. Realising that, Salesforce.com has been investing heavily to grow its mobile presence in recent months, a strategy that is now finally beginning to bear fruit.
The company this morning rolled out a new version of the client application for its Salesforce1 platform, a managed application development environment that debuted last November with the goal of enabling a degree of standardisation across today’s technology mega trends. The release brings with it a slew of new features and extends device support to include emerging categories.
The revamped Salesforce1 Mobile App is touted as a full-featured portal for managing business processes and interacting with customers. For marketers, it provides access to information about their clients and advertising material, while sales personnel have the ability to view reports and dashboards in addition to the option to store data locally for offline use. Support staff, meanwhile, can use the application to browse common problems and solutions, view specific product data and find guidance on engaging users via social media.
The update introduces significant changes under the hood as well. New capabilities in Salesforce.com’s Canvas integration service now allow companies to make their existing back-office systems accessible directly from the interface, a task that the cloud giant says is made even easier by the addition of complementary SAP connectors courtesy of Informatica and Mulesoft. For more value-added functionality, users can turn to the over 65 partner-developed applications that have been made available for download through the client as part of the upgrade.
The new Salesforce1 Mobile App works natively on Android and iOS. Unlike the previous version, it also provides browser support for Windows 8 and BlackBerry and, most notably, delivers notifications on wearable gadgets from Samsung. That makes the company one of the first major cloud vendors to not just acknowledge but also actively embrace the expanding role of the Internet of Things in the workplace. As the likes of Intel continue to augment the Internet of Things, we’ll no doubt see similar announcements from other players in the industry eyeing a head start on the connected era.