There's an App for That - Archive of IC Blog

There’s an App for That

When the Salesforce AppExchange reached their one millionth install last week, we started to think about the increasing popularity of applications and add-ons to’s CRM product. With 1325 current available apps and more than one million installed in less than six years, the marketplace is growing as fast as the adoption of cloud computing itself. What makes add-ons such an integral part of Salesforce’s success?

To an outsider, Salesforce is probably known as that program thing in the cloud” that simplifies and automates your daily business processes. Whether applying to a small company with only a few employees, or a large enterprise with offices across the globe, businesses can benefit from the  services, support system, and network of professionals that Salesforce brings to all customers.

However, prospects are more likely to drink the punch once they perceive the way they see their mobile phones or internet browsers. Users need to reach this thought: “yes, but what else can it do?” …because Salesforce has an excellent answer to that question.

But first, think back to the purchase of your first smartphone and the decision you were prompted to make:

Were you skeptical about the internal antenna of the iPhone, or were you more interested in the fact that owning one would put thousands of applications at your fingertips? Apple devices are largely popular due to this feature alone–the idea that owning one can bring a plethora of additional functions and uses. Plus these enhancements are often free or at a very low cost, and are created by professional developers, well-known brands, or even people like you who just love the product.

When selecting your default browser, did you stop to think about the applications available in the Google Chrome Web Store? Are competitors offering the same abundance of extensions and utilities? Hmm..

Technological leaders in this era will sell products with these features:

  • Customizable and personalized
  • Enhanced by the user in a few simple steps
  • Free or low cost add-ons

When Salesforce created the AppExchange in all its splendor just six years ago, they pushed ahead in their effort to become the frontrunner of the industry.

What can you do on the AppExchange?

  • Browse apps by category or industry
  • View suggested and recommended apps
  • Write reviews and give a star rating
  • Learn about the company who created the app
  • Demo apps and test before buying
  • Install directly from the provider and provide payment

As the marketplace grew, so did the number of categories and industry-specific apps. Salesforce’s strong platform supports the development, testing, installation, and deployment of these applications, which makes the company even more attractive. The enterprise supports a customer’s need to personalize and adjust the product to fit their requirements. In addition, Salesforce supports a company’s creativity and ability to build their own app that will eliminate their key frustrations–and then sell this add-on to anyone experiencing the same issue.

Personalizing your technology means more than just customizing color schemes and adding your logo or an image where you think it looks best. It is expressed when you adjust your product to perform the functions that are unique to the way you need to use it.

  • Financial Services will use Salesforce in a different manner than Real Estate companies
  • Human Resources departments will utilize different features than Sales departments.

This is where the AppExchange becomes a valuable aspect of your Salesforce investment.

With Salesforce, you’re guaranteed a winning product out-of-the-box:

  • Instructions (Help & Training, Answers, and Learning Center)
  • All the working parts (tabs, objects, fields, workflows, emails, calendars)
  • Numbers to call if you need extra help setting it up (partners and consultants)

But it’s the add-ons that are available to download and install from the AppExchange that make this product work for you in the way you need it most.

Our Favorite Free Apps

  1. LinkForce by Labs – a URL shortener (think
  2. Case Age in Business Hours by Labs (provides the metrics lacking out-of-the-box)
  3.  Milestones PM – Project and Task Management by Labs (seems like it should have been built in)

Favorite Paid Apps

  1. DocuSign for Salesforce by DocuSign, Inc (digital signatures)
  2. DataSynch for QuickBooks & Salesforce by Pervasive Software (QuickBooks integration)
  3. TimeTrade for Salesforce by TimeTrade Systems (schedule meetings directly without sharing private info on your calendar)
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