Salesforce.com, one of the preeminent customer relationship management companies on the scene at the moment, has recently revealed the result of its partnership with Microsoft that will introduce SharePoint functionality to its flagship CRM services. Released on Dec. 17, this newly announced instance of cooperation between the two companies will see the release of what has been dubbed Salesforce Files Connect, a federated search tool that will grant access to Microsoft SharePoint.
Although Salesforce Files Connect was announced over a year ago, Information Week reported that it took longer to develop than expected due to challenges associated with accessing the files in content repositories while taking security regimes into consideration. The new tool from the CRM company will eventually be able to access dozens of repositories, but for the time being, it can only access Salesforce Files, SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2010.
Speaking about the new utility, Mike Stone, senior VP of marketing for Salesforce Community Cloud, said "We're trying to help customers make better use of their files and make the whole process of working in our CRM system easier. For employees to be productive and efficient, they need access to files regardless of what infrastructure might be in place."
Putting everything in one place
Salesforce Files Connect is lauded as being able to gain access to files without moving them while delivering that content into the Salesforce feed and sharing it across mobile, social and workflow capabilities. Importantly, it is able to accomplish this while only allowing authorized parties access to view, write and share the files in question - granting it significant capabilities for enterprise deployment.
According to ComputerWorld, one of the motivations behind developing this new tool is the simple fact that attaching files to things is harder than it has to be. The source cited Stone, who reported that according to an IDC study, 61 percent of employees have to find files from four different data sources over the course of an average day. Salesforce Files Connect is purported to be able to pull all of those data sources from one place.
Learning new skills
Although they started small, Salesforce now has a significant list of customers and users, all of which have found significant value in the services provided by the CRM organization. However, not all of these users are familiar with the ins and outs of SharePoint. As such, it may prove beneficial for Salesforce customers to enroll in a training program to better familiarize themselves with SharePoint. Many of these courses cater to the schedules of working professionals, and participants receive Microsoft SharePoint certification indicating their accomplishments upon completion of the course.
Not only does increasing your technical knowledge about programs like SharePoint increase your marketability as an IT professional, but it is also useful for anyone who uses services like Salesforce. Participating in a short, easily scheduled course like those offered at computer centers is a great way to increase your technical know-how and advance your career.