Upcoming Salesforce.com release focuses on Chatter, service

Analyst: Salesforce.com needs more work on mobility, analytics

Salesforce.com's next CRM (customer relationship management) software release will contain a slew of new features, with many focused on the Chatter collaboration and messaging tool as well as customer service, according to a set of official release notes.

Many new features associated with Chatter concern usability and access to the system. For example, now iOS device users will be able to launch Chatter Mobile from their Salesforce.com email.

This is an important update "as most folks are still email-dependent," said analyst Ray Wang , CEO of Constellation Research.

Another major new feature, albeit available only as a pilot, is called Salesforce Files. It allows users to "securely sync files between Chatter and your desktop and some mobile devices," according to the notes. "This is the competitor to Box," and something customers should look at, Wang said.

For core sales automation, the upcoming release introduces Console for Sales.

This gives users "easy access to sales intelligence and helps you quickly contact leads, assess companies, and identify key contacts -- all in a dashboard-like interface that means more access to contextual data with fewer clicks and less scrolling," according to the notes.

Salesforce.com has also deepened the integration between its application and Microsoft Outlook.

Known as Winter '14, the new release also features improvements to Salesforce.com Communities, including the ability to assign a moderator to groups; and a series of usability updates within the Service Cloud product family, which includes Chatter Answers, Salesforce.com's knowledge base platform and Live Agent, among others.

Meanwhile, Winter '14's new feature lineup for analytics and mobile is less impressive, in Wang's view.

"Next to the mobile apps, analytics still is the weakest part of Salesforce.com," Wang said. "To be clear, it's better reporting and dashboards, not really analytics, as there are no predictive models, or algorithms applied here. This area will require the most attention in the long run but for now, reporting and KPIs are fairly decent."

Many of the new features in Winter '14 came from users' suggestions submitted through Salesforce.com's IdeaExchange, which is admirable on the company's part, Wang said.

As of November, Salesforce.com will no longer offer new customers the ability to purchase Unlimited Edition subscriptions, although it will support existing ones, according to the notes. Instead, the top-tier offering will be the recently announced Performance Edition, which costs more money but includes additional features.

It wasn't immediately clear Monday when the Winter '14 update will go live, although customers with Salesforce.com sandbox accounts can take part in a preview period that begins Sept. 6.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesCustomer Relationship ManagementapplicationsSalesforce.comsoftwarecloud computinginternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?