At their Fiscal Year 2017 Kickoff, enterprise software vendor Salesforce announced the first major elements of the ecosystem around its new Salesforce Lightning Platform, which the company announced at its Dreamforce event last fall. Lightning is a multi-tenant, next-generation metadata platform designed to provide a consistent, modern user experience across any device and make it easy for business users and developers to build apps.
“This is a very fragmented world of devices,” Alex Dayon, Salesforce’s President, Products, told the attendees. “We want all our clouds to be running on one platform, a platform for converging that fragmented user experience. The answer is Lightning, which we unveiled at Dreamforce, and since then, we have had amazing momentum with more than 90,000 customers running on Lightning.
“Today’s about what we are doing with Lightning,” Dayon said.
Dayon introduced the new Sales Cloud Lightning, the first of Salesforce’s seven clouds to be reworked for Lightning. It has several new capabilities.
Salesforce’s acquisition of SteelBrick closed February 1, allowing SteelBrick CPQ to be a direct part of Sales Cloud, enabling customers to build a complete lead-to-cash solution without requiring additional third party apps, as had been the case before.
“Salesforce SteelBrick CPQ means that our customers can, in their Lightning Sales Cloud, do configuration of quotes, send a proposal with a PDF and collect the cash, all in one integrated experience,” Dayon said. The Salesforce SteelBrick CPQ service costs $40 per user monthly.
Dayon also introduced the Sales Wave app, designed to let sales reps make better use of analytics, with new dashboards for pipeline trending, performance benchmarking and activity management.
“The Sales Wave app is the best analytics for Web Cloud users,” Dayon said. “All your Sales Cloud data is turned into KPIs you can use. No one else in the industry has completely blended analytics and business processes like this.” The app costs $75 per user per month.
Another new app for Sales Cloud is SalesForceIQ Inbox, which uses technology acquired from the acquisition of Big Data startup RelateIQ in 2014.
“This addresses ‘what if my CRM looked like my email,’” Dayon said. “It connects CRM and email in one connected experience, which means you need a lot of intelligence in the back end. Sales Cloud data is combined with email and calendar in iOS, Android and Chrome, to manage email, leads, contacts and opportunities, with proactive notifications and smart scheduling. SalesforceIQ Inbox costs $25 per user per month.
Other new apps include Lightning Voice, and an enhanced Salesforce1 Mobile. Lightning Voice, which is natively embedded in Sales Cloud Lightning, allows click-to-call, auto-logging of calls, and call forwarding. It is scheduled to go into beta next month. Salesforce1 Mobile adds full offline capabilities for iOS and Android, so mobile users can enter information anywhere, and sync it when they are reconnected. Salesforce1 now also has new, enhanced Wave Charts and Dashboards for analytics.
Salesforce also introduced a major new announcement for its Service Cloud Lightning users — Field Service Lightning. It lets an entire service workforce be connected, with tools for agents, dispatchers and mobile employees. Dispatchers can leverage smart scheduling to provide automatic, real-time assignments based on employee skills, availability and location. Service employees in the field are able to create and update work orders, and can also change requests and job status from any device.
Salesforce also announced a repackaging of its new core Salesforce editions for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud to provide more customization and configuration capabilities. Salesforce’s existing Professional Edition, Enterprise Edition and Unlimited Edition for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud will be replaced by new Lightning Professional Edition, Lightning Enterprise Edition and Lightning Unlimited Edition for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, and will be priced at $75, $150 and $300, respectively.
These new editions are expected to be generally available in Salesforce’s second quarter, between May and July of this year. Existing Sales Cloud and Service Cloud customers will automatically receive the capabilities and features of the new Lightning Editions, and will not need to change editions.