Salesforce Community Cloud Is A Major Mover In The Sphere Of Online Communities. Part 2.

Salesforce Community Cloud

Organisations currently using communities or thinking about using them in the near future need to consider a number of factors:

  1. From initial launch, the uptake of Community Cloud has been quite impressive. 36% of new Salesforce customers that purchased other Salesforce products like Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud also purchased or will purchase Community Cloud. In view of these impressive statistics and its significant presence in the cloud market, Salesforce is all set to turn Community Cloud into the new market leader in the very near future.
  2. Salesforce has an impressive track record. If an organisation is interested in avoiding instability and concerned about working with small players, it should certainly look closely at Salesforce, as it has one of the best track records in the SaaS industry.
  3. There are numerous examples of Community Cloud being used successfully by a variety of businesses. Salesforce has many well-known vendors among its partners – Demandware, Bigcommerce and CloudCraze, just to name a few. These companies have made it possible to enable shopping and e-commerce within Community Cloud. As a result, Community Cloud is now a proven tool for such business uses as customer care, product development and sales operations.
  4. The online community adoption process is streamlined. Salesforce focuses on reducing the time its customers spend on designing their community. One of its stated goals is to reduce the time between the community launch and the creation of business value. This goal is achieved with the help of accelerator tools and easy-to-configure community templates. A good example of such an easy-to-deploy and configure template is the Napili support community template. Napili was created to provide effective customer support according to current best practice and to do it as quickly as possible.
  5. As a large company with extensive experience, Salesforce offers businesses a lot of benefits. One of them is the number of partners that work with Salesforce to build solutions on Community Cloud. Salesforce expects these partners to increase significantly the number of business uses and functions available on Community Cloud.

One more advantage of Salesforce is its position as a market leader in internal and external social capabilities. Other suppliers of social software like IBM and Microsoft have positioned themselves only as enterprise-class internal social software suppliers.

Community Cloud from Salesforce is a unique product – it creates an opportunity to unify social business within different organisations into one consistent platform.

For now, Community Cloud is evolving as a powerful new platform for doing business with customers. It is in the list of top products for many organisations and enterprises. What’s more, as a product of a leading SaaS company, Community Cloud has every chance of deposing other aging community platforms.

Salesforce Experience Cloud Is A Major Mover In The Sphere Of Online Communities. Part 1

Salesforce Experience Cloud

Some years ago, platforms for online communities were the domain of open source platforms like Joomla or Drupal. Since then, platforms have evolved significantly in their technological sophistication and they now offer a standard set of features, provided and supported by many different organisations.

Experience has shown that businesses use digital communities for a variety of reasons, but mostly they all seek two overarching benefits – with the help of their digital community, they want all their vital business tasks to be accomplished in a more cost-effective way and faster than before.

From a technology perspective, communities are not so complex, but the human aspect is the issue that makes them challenging.

For many years, the community software market was in a relatively steady state. However, today we have Salesforce and the associated Community Cloud, both of which have really shaken up that market.

Online communities require an effective platform and Salesforce provides it

From the very beginning, some people were sure that digital communities could deliver strategic outcomes. Since then, one thing has become clear to community users – to succeed, you need to have a great platform for your online community.

The needs of online communities have matured significantly. Businesses started to invest in social engagement, whilst digital communities moved from an open source model to commercial SaaS offerings.

Customer opinion is extremely important to business success today. Online communities have to be more sophisticated than ever before and that requires platforms with advanced features like:

  • Support for specific uses according to business needs
  • Features to meet customer needs
  • Support for various localities
  • Automation
  • Responsive UE of high quality
  • Standard IT support and maintenance

Today, Salesforce is a market leader and demonstrates consistent interest in social business and its capabilities. The company works with CRM space and confidently implements its SaaS products, covering almost all aspects of digital business. Salesforce founder, Marc Benioff has always promoted his vision of business – the capabilities of social business are extremely important for stakeholder engagement and they must be used to achieve success.

Community Cloud Ambitions

To stay one step ahead, Salesforce works closely with social media and businesses that gather customers’ opinions. One of the best products for social media on the enterprise level so far is Community Cloud, launched last year with a great fanfare.

The previous great Salesforce discovery – Chatter – is effective for communication within Salesforce products, but it is not really capable of independent online communication between customers and employees, or with business partners and directors within other organisations.

Experience Cloud is another ambitious product from Salesforce. It provides a new capability for businesses – the ability to set up and operate online communities. The product is designed for those who seek to develop deeper engagement with their audience and are searching for the key factors that influence them.

Online customer experience is a tough thing to get right. But it is key to a number of benefits and to achieving higher revenue. Customers are valuable and Community Cloud is a product that leads to higher customer engagement and satisfaction.

Salesforce is a customer-centric SaaS giant and Community Cloud, allied with the large user base of Salesforce customers, will prove itself to be a primary player in the market of online communities over the next few years.

Salesforce Community Cloud – Trends and Opportunities

How the best companies use Salesforce (based on data collected from 1,500 Salesforce customers)

Customers’ Adoption

36% of Salesforce customers that have bought other companies’ cloud products – like Service Cloud, Sales or Marketing Cloud – have also purchased Community Cloud. In addition to that, 21% of respondents intend to purchase Community Cloud in the very near future. If this is true, more than 50% of the most active Salesforce customers will use Community Cloud actively for their business needs very soon. And all of that within two years of the product launch!

As for the adoption of Community Cloud by other Salesforce customers, it looks like Salesforce will need to pay more attention to its marketing and sales strategy for the product to gain more clients.

According to the same survey, the top three Community Cloud uses are for customer service, internal collaboration and partner enablement. Many Salesforce customers use Community Cloud for post-sales customer service, thanks to the amount of resources Salesforce has spent to launch and to improve its Service Cloud.

Many customers of Community Cloud use it more for partner enablement and less for internal collaboration. This is strange, considering the fact that Chatter, the oldest and the most popular part of any community, is a tool for internal communication.

Benefits for Business

Bluewolf’s 2015 State of Salesforce report highlights some Community Cloud business benefits. Comparing those Salesforce customers who use Community Cloud and those who don’t, the report provides interesting data on productivity and cost reduction associated with community products.

Using Community Cloud in tandem with other Salesforce products makes sense for larger companies. Working in this way, large companies can achieve higher productivity and lower their operating costs, both of which are results that would be predicted from this strategy.

Bluewolf’s report on Salesforce Community Cloud highlights some key points about content management and collaboration among companies’ customers, but also raises many questions about them.

One of the most obvious conclusions is that Community Cloud has been successfully adopted by many Salesforce customers worldwide. The combination of Community Cloud and other cloud products from Salesforce guarantees great benefits, especially for external uses.

More data here: https://www.informatica.com/resources.asset.12-28075.pdf