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How Is Upcoming Salesforce.com Release A Big Deal For Association Management Software?

How Is Upcoming Salesforce.com Release A Big Deal For Association Management Software?

Salesforce.com always has featured lots of data, but getting it out in a format you wanted could be challenging. That’s why the enhancements in the next product update are a big deal for association management software built on the Salesforce.com platform.

An article on the InfoWorld website reports that Chatter, the platform’s social collaboration and messaging service, will see several improvements covering areas like search, content previewing and general usability.

Analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, says the upgrades to Chatter are much welcomed.

“The toughest challenge with products like Chatter and other enterprise social networks is avoiding the social feed deluge,” he tells InfoWorld. “It’s like being buried by email.”

Association wants to be able to get into Salesforce.com and see what their contacts are doing outside of the portal on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If there’s a group on LinkedIn that’s germane to your case, that offers a whole new area for membership. If you’re doing something around veterinarian work, for example, a group focused on preventing animal cruelty would make for a great pool of prospects.

Analytics also will be revamped in the Salesforce.com update this spring with the ability to view dashboards from the platform’s Touch mobile interface.

“The reporting engines are good, but advanced analytics still require other tools,” Wang says. “Analytics has been the stepchild at Salesforce.com but a big opportunity for partners.”

Another new feature will allow salespeople to run forecasts quarterly. In addition, users will be able to run forecasts with partner opportunity data.

“Forecasts and partner forecasting helps improve the ability to handle indirect sales,” Wang tells InfoWorld. “This joint forecasting should help improve coordination and quota assignment.”

The upcoming Salesforce.com also will include a retooled online “help” resources platform complete with a series of new downloadable PDFs. Help topics will be organized by feature area, user type and task.

Source: InfoWorld, December 2012

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