Magazine article CRM Magazine

CRM Magazine Best Practices Series: Salesforce.com's AppExchange-Leveraging Your Commitment to On-Demand CRM

Magazine article CRM Magazine

CRM Magazine Best Practices Series: Salesforce.com's AppExchange-Leveraging Your Commitment to On-Demand CRM

Article excerpt

For those of you who may not be familiar with Salesforce.com's AppExchange marketplace, it's an eminently easy-to-navigate on-demand delivery platform allowing Salesforce.com users to research, evaluate, and purchase applications from third-party independent software vendors (ISVs). These ISVs have built their applications specifically to integrate with the Salesforce.com platform.

Currently, there are more than 800 applications available in the AppExchange marketplace, from more than 450 vendors. For subscribers to the Salesforce.com platform, imagine the enormous benefits of being able to search the AppExchange for niche solutions in no fewer than 16 categories--customer-focused sales and service applications, solutions targeted at specific industry segments such as financial services or real estate, even non customer-facing functions such as human resources. Many of these categories are further broken down into subcategories, which encourages comparison-shopping and makes apples-to-apples decision-making much, much easier.

Aside from the sheer number and diversity of choices offered in the AppExchange, its organization and presentation has to be responsible for much of its success. The AppExchange marketplace is optimized for ease of use when researching possible solutions with common-sense navigation, similarly constructed data sheets, product evaluations, and demo offerings. The marketplace also offers a user-generated evaluation system--similar to the Amazon.com experience, with ratings by stars and user feedback on the applications themselves.

Salesforce.com has done a tremendous job pulling together partnerships that add value to its platform and increase its power to impact end-user productivity in so many areas. Even more impressive, the company has provided the users of this virtual marketplace with the Web 2. …

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