Salesforce today revealed it has enhanced its Salesforce1 Community Cloud, and also plans to make it easier for organizations to spin up or alter online communities based on the platform at will.
New to Salesforce1 Community Cloud are a reputation engine that enables organizations to track, segment, and assign titles to different community members’ contributions; the ability to drive visitors from popular search engines directly into communities (without a login requirement); and native support for the Salesforce mobile app. These new additions will be generally available starting in October.
The company also expects to introduce a community template this winter, so businesses can quickly and easily introduce or tweak online communities, Michael Stone, senior vice president of marketing at Salesforce1 Community Cloud, explained to TMCnet in an interview August 26.
Lisa Hammitt, vice president of business operations at Salesforce1 Community Cloud, added that this solution, which was first introduced about a year ago, has already seen great success, and is in use at a wide array of high profile businesses and organizations. That includes British Sky Broadcasting, Cornell University, GE Capital, Honeywell (News - Alert), Key Bank, Pearson, the City of Philadelphia, Pono Music, the State of Colorado, and Tata Group. Additionally, Deloitte Digital has erected a new practice around the Community Cloud.
“More than 2,000 active communities have gone live since we first started offering a communities product just over a year ago,” said Nasi Jazayeri, EVP of Salesforce1 Community Cloud at salesforce.com. “Based on the unprecedented success we have seen with communities, tremendous market opportunity and support from our ecosystem, salesforce.com is doubling down on communities today with our new Community Cloud.”
Communities are an important area of the enterprise social software category, which IDC (News - Alert) expects to be worth $3.5 billion in the next five years, Hammitt added. LinkedIn has already demonstrated the appeal and value of business communities and the importance of enabling their growth via mobile access and personalization, she said, as has the success to date of Community Cloud, which enables organizations to deliver a “LinkedIn (News - Alert)-like” experience that is seamlessly connected into their businesses.
“We’ve never had a faster start in our 15-year history,” Hammitt said of Salesforce1 Community Cloud.
Community Cloud is connected directly to Salesforce CRM and other business processes so that “resellers can update leads, employees can create and escalate service cases, and customers can review and rate products all from within the community.”
The new SEO optimization and unauthenticated access also means companies can now pull in new community members by connecting with individuals who are doing Internet search queries on a related topic. “For example, a musician can now discover and join a community based on an Internet search on a specific guitar model,” notes Salesforce, which offers Community Cloud for a beginning price of $500 a month.