Inspiration can be found in endless areas of life. Plenty of people dig into a good book. Creativity and motivation can also be ignited by more natural forms, such as viewing the great canvass of the skyline. And as well-known Brazilian author Paulo Coelho reminds us, don’t forget that “beautiful sunsets need cloudy skies.”
This is the ideal metaphor for how Salesforce works, and how it is used by all of those who work in ecommerce from CEOs to software developers: as a sky of creativity and potential. Our rolling blog series is very much focused on one particular cloud in the sky: Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly known as Demandware).
Yet Salesforce is a comprehensive and integrated network of cloud-based platforms that, much like sweeping aerial vistas, provide a panoramic landscape of services to create word-class websites. And as is often the case when peering into the skyline, it can be difficult to decipher where one cloud ends and another begins.
It is fair to make a similar assessment of Salesforce. (There goes Commerce Cloud! Ah, that one looks like an analytics cloud; this one seems like an app cloud.) Some are well known and simple to identify, while other platforms are more specialized, and don’t use the “Cloud” in its name. As we look at the list of platforms, keep in mind that Salesforce defines a Cloud as “a loose federation of features that help you accomplish certain types of activities, such as selling products or supporting your customers”.
So with this in mind, let’s head up to the vantage point and gaze at the Salesforce panorama.
Here’s one that we constantly keep an eye on here at UV. The best-in-class ecommerce platform helps strengthen and transform your company website via the shopping experience, which is powered by artificial intelligence and an army of functionality. And its focus is not only on customer experiences via desktop, but across the entire ecommerce landscape, especially mobile and social media, as well as in-store. Its strengths encompass digital commerce experiences, comprehensive campaign strategies and plenty of tools, and of course its genius artificial intelligence.
Here’s another huge cloud that delivers fully packaged digital marketing and analytical abilities. Its ambition is to offer the ultimate customer experience via highly personalized communications through email, mobile, and social media capabilities. It also provides a space for measuring marketing effectiveness, which can guide you in future targeted campaigns with greater accuracy.
This customer support platform specializes in personalized services via a network of channels, which include email, phone, and live chat. It also serves your customer support team with a display of all key customer data, as well as provides its own portal for customers to search for answers independently. The ambition of the platform is clear for all, marketing itself as the world’s number one service platform, and to deliver the best personalized customer care.
One of the more specific clouds in the sky, this health platform allows comprehensive doctor-patient record management, and integrates a wide array of records from medical records to wearable devices, such as smartwatches. The beating heart of this platform is this smart and well-connected patient management and engagement experience. The patient-focussed platform provides very personalized engagement, and like much of the other Salesforce clouds is increasingly focussed on mobile technology.
Excellent at promoting collaboration, this cloud focusses on everyone within the borders of your business; not only the core of your employees, partners and customers, but also job applicants, suppliers, vendors and others. Create a community and let members join for high business integration. All stakeholders can be captured into the orbit of the Community Cloud. Its purpose is to aid productivity and general health of the work environment. A community builder at its core, you’re able to collaborate, share files, data, records, and ultimately have a more engaging commutative experience. It also has built-in intelligence for suggesting potential members based on their interests and behavior.
Financial Services Cloud
One of the fast-moving clouds out there, this is a CRM fully focussed on financial services. Connect your whole company across all areas including businesses and geographies. Whether you’re in wealth management, insurance, or retail banking, this cloud provides panoramic views of clients’ financial profiles. And it’s also trusted by some of the top financial service providers in the US, including OneUnited Bank and Farmers Insurance.
Giving brings good vibes. And this platform brings together customers, partners and employees to share charitable causes. Whether it’s donation campaigns or volunteer opportunities, you’ll be able to search by location and preference. Empowering nonprofits and educational institutes, this Salesforce cloud applies its tech to connect data, organizations, and people to causes they believe in. Enable donation raising for individuals, or social investment for forgotten communities, give more via the platform tools of management and assessment.
With ambitions of forever-expansion, this cloud seeks out leads and is designed to convert them, to close deals, and deliver a buying experience that is highly personalized. Gathering data from sales, marketing, finance and billing, it is also essential for your sales reps to increase productivity by making data more easily available and viewable. And covering the whole platform is built-in artificial intelligence that advances insight, guidance and forecasts to boost your sales strategy, as well as automating certain aspects of the process.
One part of almost all major ecommerce businesses is the app. Now stitched into the workings of daily life, apps appeal for a closer connection to customers; a friendly face on every smartphone. The ever-increasing popularity of apps raises the potential power for having a user-friendly, feature-rich app. This Salesforce cloud contains powerful functionality for idealizing and then creating an app for your business requirements.
Specified for fast data analysis via comprehensive visualization displays, its usage of Einstein AI reveals greater and more accurate trends related to sales, marketing and customer service. And falling in line with the other Salesforce clouds, it is highly optimized for mobile.
Then there are parts of the sky that are not quite clouds, but still are very much part of the bigger picture. There are many more Salesforce platforms where “cloud” doesn’t seem to appear in its name, and so it’s more difficult than you expect to simply answer the numbers question. For example, there are separate platforms that do similar things, like Heroku, that also is designed for building, running and scaling apps. And then there’s Chatter, similar to the Community Cloud, but for organizations to use internally by creating an in-house social network for workers to communicate and share files.
Like vast picturesque panoramas, there are a lot of features to behold. And the same is true of the Salesforce Cloud network, whose features are continually expanding. And on a cloudy day during a beautiful sunset, can you truly count the exact number of clouds?