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Salesforce Community Cloud: A LinkedIn-Like Service for Business
Salesforce Community Cloud: A LinkedIn-Like Service for Business
By Jennifer LeClaire / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
CRM company Salesforce claims it has just defined the next customer engagement battleground. The CRM platform rolled out Salesforce1 Community Cloud with a big promise: companies can create “trusted destinations” for employees, customers and partners that work kind of like LinkedIn.

What justifies the LinkedIn comparison? Salesforce1 Community Cloud is both personalized and mobile like the business networking giant. But it goes a step farther and connects to enterprise business processes. Over 2,000 active communities have gone live since Salesforce rolled out the solution about a year ago.

Why Salesforce1 Community Cloud now? Because of the increasingly connected world. As Salesforce sees it, millions of new products, apps and devices are connecting to the Internet every day -- and there’s a customer behind each one of them. To demonstrate demand for its new solution, the company points to an IBM study that reveals over 75 percent of C-level executives want to know their customers better and are doubling down on digital engagement.

Lisa Hammitt, Vice President, Strategy and Operations at Salesforce Communities, told us she’s seen a number of different technologies attempt to solve the customer engagement challenge in the past.

“Salesforce Communities is the first to provide fully mobile capabilities with social infrastructure all tethered to a CRM business process, out of the box,” she said. “This greatly reduces the friction of accessing a community and allows our customers to stand up a community in days, not months. It is not about social for social sake, it is social within the context of the way you work."

A $3.5 Billion Market

Community Cloud thrusts Salesforce.com into what IDC deems will be a $3.5 billion enterprise collaboration market by 2018. The company already has an impressive client roster for its latest innovation.

“Any company can benefit from creating an engaged community,” said Vanessa Thompson, Research Director of Enterprise Collaboration and Social Solutions at IDC. “Salesforce.com raises awareness of the immense value of community solutions with Salesforce1 Community Cloud by putting business processes at the center of engagement.”

With Salesforce1 Community Cloud, companies can create personalized communities that let members follow topics and people. As an example, Salesforce offers runners the ability to personalize their community experiences to get the latest news on shoes and trails.

Community Cloud is also mobile. Admins and community managers can track trending topics, update files and monitor content from the Salesforce1 mobile app. And Salesforce is also promising speed. The company said an admin can quickly create a self-service community for a specific group of customers based on the needs of that audience. (continued...)

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