SharePoint and Salesforce are two doubles and not an opposing pair. The central idea of “Tale of Two Cities” is borrowed for the context of blog primarily to highlight the plight of organizations struggling with productivity and their endeavor to keep acquiring tool to become Productivity rich. Most of the time, tools are built or acquired in enterprises to fuel Transformation. This blog is trying to bring the perspective of co-existence for SharePoint and Salesforce as a force for sustaining growth and productivity.
We keep doing wrong things efficiently all the time and then very easy blame on the dear metric called Productivity. At Enterprises, each one of us has ways to measure and hence blame productivity. As businesses, we consider the process of Continuous Innovation as the panacea to the future growth of our lovely Enterprises. When asked to the “Top Bosses” about why Continuous Innovation isn’t happening – all subjective answers had one common word in them “Productivity”. Sadly, blame was on to the teams and forces who are supposed to make the Enterprise Productive. In this infamous Productivity Gamble of Enterprise, either teams are exhorted to try harder (my dad taught me Mindset – Building a great product needs the lot of Hard Work) or they just go Shopping for Tools helping them “Gain” much needed Productivity; so that, “The Innovation” on products and services could keep happening.
In this first century of the 3rd millennium, I wish we could have mined Productivity like Bitcoins. The only new rule to profit-making sustainable enterprise is – No Rule. The rigid business systems which (em)powers these Enterprises is continuously failing to utilize its human resources capability completely. We have organized our tasks and work in a “Framework” which fails to take advantage of the adaptability, creativity and wisdom of individual team member. As Enterprise, we have set up PMOs, Councils et al to manage our work and tasks effectively. In this dynamic world, this has led to the over-emphasis on planning, prevention and procedure all of them leading to a path of “Productivity Crisis”. To address these crisis, we are experiencing this productivity centric revolution – An Enterprise Revolution of a kind, where we are trying to make individual more productive; in ways, which are pragmatic and adoptable. (which doesn’t require a stick or exhort forces on co-workers/employees)
Productivity cannot be created (true even knowing “Never say Never” Quote), it has to be gained. It has to be gained from the activities of individuals and teams; assisting them to focus on doing the right things efficiently. In little simpler terms, End User activities need to be better aligned with the needs of the business. Streamlining business process never gets out of fashion. While enterprises are struggling with Old Application technologies, Multiple Application Architecture and Aging + brittle legacy applications – we have enough room for productivity mishaps; and, hence as a correction we start looking at Platforms which could be optimal if not panacea. SharePoint and Salesforce could be that Two Platform, with One Objective for number of Business scenarios.
Trends like social, mobility, gamification and cloud has a significant effect on the Enterprise behavior. If you look at the business users in today’s enterprise, they need tools and applications for Experience Management, Social Collaboration within their eco-system, mobility enabled apps which could run on their own devices, web content management applications to help them quickly create + share and discover information.
SharePoint and Salesforce both in their individual capacities can help you accomplish efficient collaboration both internally(within Organizational boundaries) and externally(Partners, Distributors, Customers etc). These platforms help you to define and automate a process, go beyond department boundaries breaking information silos and building actionable intelligence for decision makers. Sharepoint’s popularity is more within the enterprise as on-premise platform whereas Salesforce is a famous cloud with its offering across Sales, Services and Marketing. Salesforce helps you quickly build amazing apps for sales force automation, experience management, online marketing and customer service. SharePoint compliment these enterprise scenarios by becoming one common place of aggregation and thus – simplifying the business data and information for its users.
Salesforce helps you implement Online Marketing strategies and Tools, whereas SharePoint let you build a world class public facing websites. These websites can aptly let your diversified content team to quickly create and publish content. The service tickets may reside in Salesforce but geographically distributed teams would want to collaborate little more effectively in their Microsoft Office Environment, simplifying ticket redressal and knowledge creation – SharePoint comes in handy. Intranet, a biggest asset and connect for any size enterprise is really effective when built using SharePoint. As decision makers you always strive for Enterprise Snapshot trying to have a right pulse of your organization. Customer and Prospect lifecycle is efficiently managed in Salesforce, whereas SharePoint let the teams across departments utilize this information and collaborate effectively.
At the first place, is SharePoint + Salesforce scenario a worth consideration?
Salesforce is used over more than 95,000 organizations globally and its rapid adoption in the CRM and Experience management space is significant enough for this argument to sustain.
SharePoint let organizations as big as 95,000+ users get onto common platform quickly, and effectively. SharePoint is really matured when it comes to adoption and managing tons of content.
The marriage of Enterprise Content, with rapid adoption in critical processes is worth enough a reason for consideration of not-so-fictitious SharePoint + Salesforce scenario.