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Salesforce.com targets communities

Cliff Saran

Salesforce.com says it is to address communities with its software as a service (SaaS) platform.

Salesforce.com wants to connect to customers and machines through social media. George Hu, chief operating officer, told delegates at its Customer Company Tour London 2013: “People are gravitating towards community. We are seeing cloud, mobile and social technologies create an always-connected relationship with customers."

This always-connected relationship will become more important as companies seek to deliver greater value and improve customer retention. He said 69% of customers have taken their business elsewhere.

To address these challenges, Salesforce.com has developed community functionality, an area of IT which analyst Gartner believes will enable business to become more digitised.

Michael Peachey, senior director at Salesforce.com, said Salesforce Community is built on top of the Salesforce.com platform. It provides a portal with social and mobile functionality built in. A number of organisations have been using the product as early adopters.

Peachey said: "HP is using Salesforce Community in its direct channel, to share information quickly and crowd-source best practices.” The Food and Drugs Administration in the US is using the product to build, a relationship with the pharmaceutical community.”

At the London event, GE Aviation discussed how it had used Salesfore.com's technology to connect data generated from sensors in the development of a jet engine to a community of experts to resolve problems. The engine manufacturer is using data analytics to gather information from the sensors on its engines, combining business data and collaboration with the engineering community.

Demonstrating a light bulb that can be controlled from a smartphone, Jeroen Tas, CIO, at electronics giant Philips said: “We used to sell standalone products. We can now sell a service."

Tas said Philips was creating a connected solution to collaborate with customers. "It is a customer-driven view of running the entire value chain," he said. The system is powered by Salesforce.com.


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