Salesforce.com and Google Apps


It’s always been just a matter of time before Google Apps and Salesforce.com got serious about one another. It appears that time is now.

Last week, Google started their own version of “AppExchange” and this week we get to see the benefit to salesforce.com:  Salesforce for Google Apps! This will go down as one of the great business advances of the year and will become a very big item on Microsoft’s radar.

What you can expect, maybe not today, but easily before the end of the year and probably before summer is Gdocs merging capacity replacing the current mail merge object in salesforce.com. As a user, one of the great features and biggest headaches is mail merge. It’s not a salesforce.com issue. It’s a Microsoft issue. Running the merge is a heavy process on most user machines and creates big time lags, application hanging, etc . . . resulting in many frustrated users.  Gdocs merge will eliminate this, as the process will run on salesforce.com or Google’s big, fancy powerful servers. This isn’t here yet, but should be very soon. Today you can link docs between Gdoc and salesforce.com with a click and send it to contacts. Very nice. 🙂

The incorporation of gmail adds one of the best email apps into the salesforce.com interface. Many people want more robust integration of email and now they have it. In the online demo, gmail runs as a separate app that you can send and auto link back to salesforce.com. Salesforce.com users can easily add Gmail via a web tab creating a fully embedded email app in salesforce. Outlook is a great application, but it takes up a lot of system resources. Gmail is web-based and simple to use. Add to it the best SPAM filter around and you’ve got a serious business app on your hands.

Additional enhancements include the ability to chat in salesforce.com using Gtalk and directly export salesforce.com reports to Gdocs. In this area, the Gdocs (spreedsheet) dashboard components are very nice and getting a recent upgrade. When you mix all of this together using iGoogle, it will be interesting to see who is the user interface of choice. Salesforce.com seems the natural choice. But with a  few more tweaks,  iGoogle may use salesforce.com as its back-end database, pulling all of its data from a salesforce.com org.

As you can see, I am very positive about this arrangement. In the current configuration, more businesses can start to drop Microsoft services and begin using Google. The complete integration is still a few steps away; but, with salesforce.com and Google, they do have the internal resources and vision to bring a tighter system to market in a very short period of time. As soon as mail merge can run with Gdocs, I’ll be recommending this application to everyone that will listen.

You can learn more over at salesforce.com. Here is the link:

http://blogs.salesforce.com/blogs/2008/04/announcing-sale.html

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4 Responses

  1. Keep it up.

  2. I’ve tried to add a gmail web tab to Salesforce.com, however when I click on the tab it opens a new Gmail only browser. How can I get it to open Gmail within Salesforce?

    • I’ve been tinkering around with this today with out any luck. I’m going to run this by some friends and will let you know if we can figure it out.

  3. Hi Chris – thanks for the note. I received this reply from someone else. Not sure I understand it though! Will see if I can figure it out.

    ‘Finally i created a visualforce page (or you can create an s-control) and i redirect the users to the gmail account of them which opens in a new window, without losing the previous open window, so they can remain into the salesforce environment.’

    Let me know if you have any luck!

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