Etelos CRM for Google Apps, step aside.
Is the end of software really here?
Salesforce.com and Google Apps both offer business software as a service, and now the companies have joined forces. Salesforce for Google Apps will provide an integration of the enterprise-oriented application suites.
The collaboration makes Google Apps available for all Salesforce.com customers at no added cost. Salesforce is also reselling the premier edition of Google Apps at an extra cost for larger and enterprise companies.
I have been a longtime fan of Google Apps for small to medium organizations.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy using Outlook, but am no longer at the mercy of Microsoft Exchange ever since Gmail uses IMAP. As a former director of IT, I had to employ a dedicated Senior Exchange Administrator just to keep mail and Blackberries flowing.
I wrote an ezine article explaining the benefits of Outlook and Gmail in IMAP mode. Add a Blackberry device to that, and you have a 3 way independent method of accessing your email anywhere, anytime!
One thing you’ll notice when going from Salesforce to Gmail-Email is that it still uses the long tail BCC function to automatically insert your email to the Salesforce database.
So if you send out email from a Blackberry or Outlook, you’ll still need to add the BCC email address if you want it recorded.
Google Docs and Version Control
My biggest pet peeve as a Salesforce user is using Outlook and email attachments such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or even PDF files. Version control was a headache as I often lost track which version was which.
Now with Salesforce and Google Apps, you never have to leave your Salesforce window.
Add Google Talk for Instant Messaging, and Google’s shared Calendars, and you have literally everything out of the box. Including your CRM!
Well, “no box” in this case as Salesforce likes to declare “the end of software”! I think I still have one of their silly T-shirts!
I am looking forward to this summer as they integrate Customer Service Application and unified billing and provisioning packages.
What is interesting about this announcement is Microsoft’s reaction on the eve of the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
Let the Games begin!