Category Archives:

New Salesforce App Cloud promises one platform for building connected apps

Salesforce WearSalesforce has launched a new service that aims to simplify application management.

The Salesforce App Cloud is the latest incarnation of the Salesforce1 system, which now integrates various elements of the service – such as Force, Heroku Enterprise and Lightning – with a new shared identity, data and network service. The rationale is to liberate chief information officers (CIOs) from the laborious tasks involved in bringing together the strands of a multitude of applications. By unifying the management system for apps, Salesforce says it can save CIOs from having to delve into all the different silos, addresses and architectures that must be brought together.

A number of new services will be included in the App Cloud platform. Heroku Enterprise aims to help developers create connected apps using network, data and identity services shared across the App Cloud. The Private Spaces feature helps administrators create a dedicated area with direct access to customers’ on-premise data from legacy systems. The Regions feature allows companies to run their apps in metro areas throughout the world based on their accessibility, compliance or any other local requirements. Heroku Enterprise is connected to Force with bi-directional data synchronization, single sign-on and role-based access controls. Salesforce Lightning aims to simplify app design using pre-built, reusable building blocks, such as maps, calendars, buttons, and number entry forms. A new interactive learning environment, Trailhead, aims to help make Salesforce app creation more intuitive.

In beta trials of the App Cloud 40,000 app creators have participated in Trailhead training, and have earned 150,000 badges. App Cloud includes an ecosystem of 2.3 million developers, who have built 5.5 million apps.

“CIOs need a way to develop apps for the connected world,” said Tod Nielsen, Salesforce’s VP for App Cloud. “App Cloud brings together all of Salesforce’s services, giving IT leaders an integrated, trusted platform to quickly build connected apps for every business need.”

In other Salesforce news, communications group Zayo is to give customers direct connection to their Salesforce environments through its high-bandwidth, fibre-based connections.

Zayo’s fibre-optic network extends more than 84,000 route miles across the United States and Europe, and connects to approximately 17,500 on-net buildings, providing connectivity to the majority of data centres and carrier hotels in the United States.

Zayo’s cloud connectivity will initially link to Salesforce Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud and

Salesforce would be more effective if it was more mobile, workers tell survey

Salesforce WearCustomer relationship management leader (CRM) Salesforce needs to improve the employee experience before its clients can get the most out of it, says a new report.

The advice comes in the fourth annual State of Salesforce report, from consultancy Bluewolf, a partner agency to world’s top CRM vendor. It suggests that while customers of companies that use Salesforce feel more connected, the users of the CRM system aren’t as happy. The main complaints are inconsistent data quality and a lack of mobile options. However, the majority of the survey sample plan to ramp up their investment in the system.

Based on the feedback from 1,500 Salesforce customers worldwide, the 2015-2016 report suggests that the concerns of employees should be the next priority for Salesforce as it seeks to fine tune its CRM software.

The demand for better mobility was made by 77 per cent of salespeople surveyed. Their most time-consuming task was identified as ‘opportunity management’ which, the report concludes, could be improved by better mobile applications. The study also says that employees were twice as likely to believe that Salesforce makes their job easier if it could be accessed from a mobile device.

Bluewolf’s report suggests that Salesforce’s priorities in 2016 should be to invest more three areas: the mobile workforce, predictive analytics and improving the sales team’s experience of using apps.

In the modern obsession with customer experience, it is easily forgotten that employees create the customer success, according to Bluewolf CEO Eric Berridge. “While innovation is essential to improving employee experiences, companies must combine it with data, design and an employee culture.”

However, the report does indicate that companies are happy with Salesforce, since 64 per cent plan to increase their budget. Half, 49 per cent, have at least two Salesforce clouds and 22 per cent have at least three. A significant minority, 11 per cent, say they are planning to spend at least half as much again next year on Salesforce services.
That investment is planned because 59 per cent of Salesforce users say the CRM system is much simpler to use than it was a year ago.

Meanwhile, many companies are taking the employee matter into their own hand, says the report. One in three companies has already invested in agent productivity apps and one in five is planning to invest.

KZEN Launches Predictive Offers for

KXEN today announced the launch of Predictive Offers on’s AppExchange, empowering businesses to connect with customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways. Now, predictive analytics, which traditionally has only been available on-premise to large B2C companies with dedicated teams of data scientists, is available to customers of all sizes. Predictive Offers takes all the rich CRM and social profile data residing in Salesforce to deliver personalized offer recommendations.

In contrast to rule-based offer systems which are complicated to setup and maintain and often are based on intuition or outdated analysis, a predictive model-based next best activity solution learns by itself, analyzing all available information to create a mathematically optimal score.

Built on the Salesforce Platform, the world’s leading cloud platform for social and mobile business apps, Predictive Offers is currently available on the AppExchange.

“We are bringing the power of predictive analytics to Salesforce, where in the past, only large companies with dedicated resources could benefit from this level of analytic sophistication,” said John Ball, CEO of KXEN. “Predictive Offers™ simplifies the next best activity process so that customer service agents in every company can make the right offer to the right customer at the right time.”

“Personalizing customer conversations in real-time is essential to accelerate success in the cloud,” said Alex Bard, senior vice president, Service Cloud, “By harnessing the massive amounts of customer and social data in Salesforce, KXEN is leveraging the power of the Salesforce Platform to provide customers with the right tools – such as real-time next best activity solutions – to drive their transformation into customer companies.”

With KXEN’s cloud-based Predictive Offers, there is no complicated setup, no need to manually define what makes a good offer and no prior analytical knowledge required. Salesforce users simply install the application, add an offer, and the solution instantly starts learning. Offer models are uniquely built for each Salesforce customer, automatically, using both native and custom fields.

Key Features of Predictive Offers:

  • Packaged with the Salesforce Service Cloud
  • Service Cloud Console agent recommendation
  • Add multiple offers or promotions in clicks
  • Custom offer models for every org’s unique data
  • Simplified rule-based constraints
  • Offer call scripts
  • Offer tracking and history
  • Asset creation for accepted offers
  • Continuous self-learning
  • Brain-dead easy administration
  • Out-of-the-box dashboards and reports

Rain From the Cloud (and Some Sun At the End)

Guest Post by Roger Keenan, Managing Director of City Lifeline

Cloud computing is changing the way in which computing and data communications operate.  The availability of high speed low cost communications through fibre optics means that remote hosting of computing and IT applications is economically possible, and there are clear cost benefits for both users and providers.  The migration from in-house computing to cloud has not been as fast as expected.  Putting aside the usual over-optimism of marketing spread-sheets, what holds users back when they think about cloud adoption?

Firstly, there is much conflicting hype in the market and many variations on which type of cloud – public, private, bare-metal, hybrid and so on, and the user must first find his way through all the hype.  Then he must decide which applications to migrate.  In general, applications with low communications requirements, important but not mission critical security needs and a low impact on the business if they go wrong are a good place to start.

Security is always the first concern of users when asked about the cloud.  When an organisation has its intellectual property and critical business operations in-house, its management (rightly or wrongly) feels secure.  When those are outside and controlled by someone else who may not share the management’s values of urgency about problems or confidentiality, management feels insecure.  When critical and confidential data is sent out over an internet connection, no matter how secure the supplier claims it is, management feels insecure.  There are battles going on in parliament at the moment about how much access the British security services should have to user data via “deep packet inspection” – in other words spying on users’ confidential information when it has left the user’s premises, even when it is encrypted.  The “Independent” newspaper in London recently reported that “US law allows American agencies to access all private information stored by foreign nationals with firms falling within Washington’s jurisdiction if the information concerns US interests.”  Consider that for a moment and note that it says nothing about the information being on US territory.  Any IT manager considering cloud would be well advised not to put forward proposals to management that involve critical confidential information moving to the cloud.  There are easier migrations to do.

Regulatory and compliance issues are barriers to adoption.  For example, EU laws require that certain confidential information supplied by users be retained inside EU borders.  If it is held on-site, there is no problem.  If it is in a cloud store, then a whole set of compliance issues arise and need to be addressed, consuming time and resources and creating risk.

Geographic considerations are important.  For a low bandwidth application with few transactions per user in any given period and limited user sensitivity to delays, it may be possible to host the application on a different continent to the user.  A CRM application such is an example where that works.  For many other applications, the delays introduced and the differences in presentation to the user of identical transactions may not be acceptable.  As a rule of thumb, applications for a user in London should be hosted in London and applications for a user in Glasgow should be hosted in Glasgow.

When applications are hosted on-site, management feels in control.  If management gives its critical data to someone else, it risks lock-in – in other words, it becomes difficult for management to get its data back again or to move its outsourced operations to another supplier.  Different providers have different ethics and processes around this, but there are some real horror stories around and management’s fears are not always misplaced.

Where cloud implementations involve standard general IT functions provided by standard software optimised for cloud, the user can have confidence it will all work.  Where there is special purpose software integrated with them, life can get very complicated.  Things designed for in-house are not usually designed to be exported.  There will be unexpected undocumented dependencies and the complexity of the integration grows geometrically as the number of dependencies grows.  Cloud has different interfaces and controls and ways of doing things and the organisation may not have those skills internally.

Like the introduction of any new way of working, cloud throws up unexpected problems, challenges the old order and challenges the people whose jobs are secure in the old order.  The long term benefits of cloud are sufficiently high for both users and providers that, over time, most of the objections and barriers will be overcome.

The way in which organizations employ people has changed over the last thirty years or so from a model where everyone was a full-time employee to one where the business is run by a small, tight team pulling in subcontractors and self-employed specialists only when needed.  Perhaps the future model for IT is the same – a small core of IT in-house handing the mission critical operations, guarding corporate intellectual property and critical data and drawing in less critical or specialised services remotely from cloud providers when needed.

Roger Keenan, Managing Director of City Lifeline

Roger Keenan joined City Lifeline, a leading carrier neutral colocation data centre in Central London, as managing director in 2005.  His main responsibilities are to oversee the management of all business and marketing strategies and profitability. Prior to City Lifeline, Roger was general manager at Trafficmaster plc, where he fully established Trafficmaster’s German operations and successfully managed the $30 million acquisition of Teletrac Inc in California, becoming its first post-acquisition Chief Executive.

AppExtremes’ Conga Composer Adds HTML Email Capabilities, Cloud Storage to AppExchange

AppExtremes, Inc., developers of the Conga Suite, today announced availability of their Conga Composer Winter ’13 release which includes HTML email capabilities, tight integration with SpringCM content cloud services platform, and support for the PerspecSys cloud data security solution and the CipherCloud cloud information protection solution.

HTML email output capabilities complement Conga Composer’s extensive output formats (Microsoft Word®, Excel®, PowerPoint® and Adobe Acrobat PDF®) enabling presentation of data from multiple related Salesforce objects and lists in the body of an HTML email message. This key capability may be used alone, or in combination with file-based template options that generate email attachments. This further expands the power of Conga Composer to create and distribute sophisticated documents, reports and presentations to recipients both inside and outside an organization.

“We have leveraged the HTML Email Template functionality to generate weekly, scheduled, comprehensive deal updates for key internal recipients. This functionality lets us present far more detailed content than would otherwise be possible in a simple, easy to assemble manner,” said David Braidman, Senior Manager, Sales Systems & Tools for ServiceSource. “Conga Composer has become a key member of our sales operations team allowing us to generate countless documents across our entire enterprise.”

The Conga Composer Winter ’13 release also adds tight integration with SpringCM empowering Composer customers to distribute final output to SpringCM from within Salesforce. This gives joint customers one-click access to all their content as well as powerful workflow for putting content to work.

AppExtremes’ continued commitment to the highest data security standards has driven the integration with ISV technology partners CipherCloud and PerspecSys. The added support for these leading cloud security and information protection solutions enables Conga Composer to merge sensitive data into documents, while allowing for the data to remain encrypted or tokenized at rest and in flight. Using these gateways empowers organizations to keep control of their sensitive business data in real-time.

“As Conga Composer continues to grow in popularity globally and within organizations we are continually looking for ways to expand its capabilities to meet our clients’ increasing needs,” said Michael Markham, AppExtremes CTO. “The HTML email functionality and ISV technology partner integrations play key roles in extending our position as a leading provider of document generation and reporting solutions on the Salesforce AppExchange.”

Conga Composer is a document generation and reporting solution on the AppExchange. Conga Composer makes it possible for users and administrators to be more productive and serves as the backbone for nearly any operation or process by enabling them to:

  • Create sophisticated documents using any data in just a few clicks
  • Distribute content to anyone, anywhere, any way they like
  • Automate operations with powerful workflow, batch operations and


Introducing Cloud Service Dashboard of Dashboards

We’ve added a one-stop “dashboard of dashboards” that displays all the major cloud service dashboards on one page.

The page contains a “window” for each service status page or dashboard, with live, up-to-date info at a glance. Scroll for specific applications or locations, or click the link to jump to the full status page itself.

We included these services initially:

  • Amazon AWS
  • Google Apps
  • AppSpot
  • Microsoft Azure
  • RackSpace
  • Apple iCloud
  • Joyent
  • internet Pulse

Have we missed any? If we have leave a comment with the URL and we’ll try to add it.

TappIn Pro Edition Includes Integration

TappIn, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of GlobalSCAPE, Inc. announced today the launch of the new TappIn Professional Edition. TappIn’s Professional Edition offers 10 GB of secure transactional cloud storage, enhanced secure mobile access features, integration with Salesforce, and group management capabilities designed for professional users, businesses, and an increasingly mobile workforce, by creating a go-to service for remote access to all content regardless of where it resides.

“The increasingly mobile nature of today’s workforce, coupled with the rapid diversification of content sources and storage repositories, has forced a re-envisioning of how IT manages the access device landscape,” said Maureen Fleming, analyst with IDC. “Content is no longer stored on just a computer or server, it’s stored across collaboration platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Exchange, on NAS drives, and in cloud repositories—public, private, and personal. As mobile devices put our lives at our fingertips, businesses and their employees will look for solutions that also streamline access to these content sources, increasing efficiency and eliminating the need for redundant copies and storage.”

“If we have learned anything from the BYOD revolution, it’s that people are looking for the simplest way to manage and access everything they need via a mobile device,” said Chris Hopen, President of TappIn, Inc. “TappIn Professional Edition is the next evolution of our approach to access and management, allowing users to go to a single place on their mobile device and securely access or share all of their important content—whether it resides on a home computer, business server, or SaaS application such as Salesforce. TappIn is the one place they can go for access to all of their content without having to move it all to one place.”



Aujas Launches Phishnix for Cloud Services

Aujas Information Risk Services today announced the launch of Phishnix for cloud services, a new product that will help clients protect their sensitive information on the cloud by strengthening their weakest link in the security chain, their own employees. The product is targeted for major cloud services such as Salesforce, Google Apps, Netsuite etc. is the most popular cloud CRM company in the world with more than 75,000 companies who trust their customer data on Salesforce. The Salesforce security guideline specifically warns against the threat and says, “As the community grows, it has become an increasingly appealing target for phishers. Phishers often direct users to enter details at a fake website whose URL and look-and-feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.”

One example is a recent scam that involved an email luring receivers to participate in the beta test of ‘Dreamforce,’ promising discounts and requesting receivers to fill a form, in a fake web link. In such a case, employees who are unaware of it being a phishing attack may easily fall prey to it. Any company is likely to face heavy business loss, when employees become victims of phishing attacks. According to the RSA Fraud report 2011, global loss from phishing is estimated to be about $1 billion.

Phishnix does a behavioral analysis of employees when faced with a phishing attack. It is integrated with Salesforce and has ready Salesforce scenarios which the client can select. They can start the assessment in a matter of hours and analyze how their employees react to a phishing attack. That data is then used to create awareness and train the employees on how to respond to a phishing attack.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Karl Kispert, Vice President at Phishnix said, “A single assessment and training cycle of Phishnix reduces the phishing fall rate by almost 35%. That is a huge reduction in the phishing risk for any organization.”

The product will be showcased by our partner Exafort at Dreamforce 2012, booth number 326 at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, on 18—21 September 2012. Stop by Exafort’s booth and ask for a demo and additional information about Phishnix. Dreamforce 2012 is the cloud computing industry event of the year with more than 50,000 attendees and 350 cloud computing companies showcasing more than 1000 solutions.

“Data security and confidentiality on the cloud is one of the biggest concerns for all our clients using cloud based services to run their business. Cloud service providers are addressing this concern to a large extent by building robust and secure applications and platforms. By adding Aujas’ Phishnix to our tool belt we can now gain valuable insights of our clients’ employees’ behavior with respect to information security and act upon them,” said  Arun Kanchi, CEO of Exafort Inc.

As cloud adoption increases within organizations, more sensitive data will be stored in the cloud. “We will see more focused phishing attacks targeting popular cloud applications. The road-map is to enable Phishnix for all popular cloud platforms, and help clients reduce phishing risk for all their cloud applications. It would become an integral part of their cloud security program,” said Sameer Shelke, CTO at Phishnix.