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Workday and salesforce.com Cement Their Partnership

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: December 17 2013

Unveiled at the recent Dreamforce 2013 mega conference, Salesforce1 Customer Platform is the new social, mobile, and cloud customer platform built for “the Internet of Customers”—where every company can connect with Salesforce1’s customers, employees, and partners through next-generation devices, apps, and smart products. Salesforce1 enables improved interoperability and connectivity of the apps, databases, and other technologies within the salesforce.com ecosystem, and is now open to others—e.g., many preferred independent software vendors (ISVs) who have already deployed their solutions on Salesforce1. As a marquee example, Workday, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for human resources and finance, recently announced plans to launch Workday on the Salesforce1 AppExchange.
 
Workday for Salesforce1 features a bidirectional integration between salesforce.com’s customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and Workday Financial Management, which is expected to give sales teams valuable insights from reports and analytics provided within Workday, such as cost of sales, average time to close, conversion history, and billing and payment history. Easily accessible via Workday for Salesforce1 on any mobile device, this real-time information is intended to enable sales to field questions from customers in a timely manner and gain a 360-degree view into customers, without having to depend on the finance team. Workday for Salesforce1 is expected to be available for test driving and deployment in the first half of 2014 on the Salesforce1 AppExchange—the world's leading business apps marketplace with more than 2,000 partner apps and 2 million customer installs.
 
Workday and saesforce.com seem to be a natural partnership fit, with no high risk of alienating each other. While Workday has been a threat to its talent management partners, such as Kronos and Saba Software, e.g., by developing own time & attendance (T&A), expense management, recruitment, and perhaps even learning management solutions, salesforce.com has not only acquired some solutions for its ecosystem, but also caused consternation by not acquiring some competing solutions (e.g., Marketo and Silverpop after the ExactTarget acquisition).
 
But in this case, salesforce.com is not likely to get into the back-office realm of Workday and, vice versa, as Workday is not likely keen on tacking CRM on its own. Workday hasn’t been as aggressive in developing its own social network capabilities and will likely leverage Chatter. The benefits of integrating CRM with the back-office need no justification.
 
Background on Salesforce1
A total of 250 software firms have reportedly agreed to build apps based on the salesforce.com’s new aforementioned (next-gen) Salesforce1 platform. Salesforce1 Customer Platform was lauded as the first CRM platform for developers, ISVs, end users, admins, and customers moving to the new social, mobile, and connected cloud. The aforementioned “Internet of Customers” notion expands on “the Internet of Things (IoT)” concept, given that behind every smart device and product there is a customer.
 
By opening the platform to ISVs, salesforce.com has made it possible for customers to get their apps and data in one place, where everything is connected and in the context of their business. Now every company should be able to connect with customers in a new way, e.g., adding similar live human-based service buttons such as Amazon Kindle Fire HDX’s Mayday button or co-browsing support capabilities.
 
Salesforce1, as an umbrella platform to accommodate Force.com, Heroku, ExactTarget, and other disparate Salesforce Platform pieces, was an immense (somewhat stealth) re-architecting undertaking that has reportedly taken 5 years for salesfroce.com to complete. The new platform overcomes the shortcomings of the Salesforce Touch mobile platform, which demanded many plug-ins by third-party developers to work on multiple devices. In contrast, Salesforce1 features an automatic screen resizing design to accommodate native user experience on any device in tune with the “Mobile First” paradigm.
 
Salesforce1 was admittedly masqueraded as an updated version of Salesforce Chatter and was tested by unsuspecting users over the past several months as the next common social user interface (UI) for all Salesforce apps (making Visualforce a legacy of sorts). Now, Salesforce1 is the unifying layer for everything in salesforce.com’s ecosystem, powering Salesforce CRM and more than 4 million custom apps built by customers and partners. For its part, Visualforce1 takes any Visualforce page, and with a click makes it mobile active (although in many cases HTML changes may be needed to make the pages mobile optimized). Apps built on the Salesforce1 Platform can now be more easily distributed and marketed through AppExchange. For more details, see Brian Velmurre’s blog post.


Related Reading
Salesforce.com Wants to Help You Transition to a Customer Company. May 2013.
Can Software Help Employees Enjoy their Workdays (more)? - Part 3. December 2011.

 
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