Posted in Cloud app integration advice, Salesforce by Mike Ponta on Dec 23 2011
Todd Bursey, general manager, PSA at FinancialForce.com
In today’s professional services organizations (PSOs), customer acquisition and customer satisfaction are more important than ever. Yet, the disconnect between sales and services teams remains a major roadblock to delivering on this imperative. And as recent research has shown, it is a fundamental limitation to an organization’s growth and success.
In our experience, sales and services alignment can only be achieved through full transparency into the business by both parties. Each side needs to support everything from the goals of a single client engagement all the way up to the strategic initiatives of the firm. Read more… »
Posted in Cloud app integration trends, Salesforce by Mike Ponta on Apr 5 2011
Users can overcome cloud data restrictions with parallel processing tools
As organizations look to store more and more data remotely with third party cloud applications, retrieving data has become a growing problem. Companies such as Salesforce.com must place limits on the amount of data a customer can request at one time to make sure that the application is available for all users. Because of that restriction, retrieving or updating large amounts of data can be time consuming and costly.
To meet this challenge, some integration providers now offer parallel processing tools. We recently spoke with Ilan Sehayek, CTO at integration software and services provider Jitterbit, about how parallel processing can improve data retrieval time. Jitterbit recently announced Jitterbit 4.0, which includes updated parallel processing tools. Read more… »
Posted in Cloud app integration news, Salesforce by Mike Ponta on Dec 14 2010
Salesforce.com expands PaaS offerings at Dreamforce event
Salesforce.com announced several major updates to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings at DreamForce last week.
Salesforce unveiled Force.com 2, the next iteration of its proprietary development platform. For the most part Force.com 2 seems to simply wrap up existing Salesforce offerings—SiteForce, AppForce, Vmforce, and ISVforce—into a single package, but there are a few new changes.
Database.com, the cloud database that operates Salesforce.com services and applications, will be available for public use. That means that it can manage data from applications created independently of the Force.com platform as well as those made within it. Data integration between Force.com applications and non-Force.com apps should become simpler as a result.
Salesforce.com also announced the purchase of Heroku, a Ruby PaaS provider. Ruby is a popular language for lightweight, fast applications and is known for its ease of use and active development community. Heroku supports the Ruby on Rails application framework.
Database.com, Heroku buy get varied reviews from observers
Read more… »
Some SaaS application databases have limited functionality compared to relational database with SQL
While many major cloud applications offer a database as part of a service, that database option may limit what can be done with the data.
We spoke with Jitterbit CTO Ilan Sehayek about the use cases for cloud data replication. He says that cloud data replication allows users to improve data usability. One example of how data usability can be improved with cloud data replication is by putting Salesforce.com data into a relational database.
“That way they have relational access to that data,” said Sehayek. “The query language in Salesforce doesn’t give the types of information that [some customers] are looking for,” said Sehayek.
Read more… »
Stock sell-off a reminder that cloud computing is not immune to market pressure
Recent news suggests that enthusiasm and expectations for Software as a Service (SaaS) adoption does not match the bottom line for investors and customers.
A recent stock market correction among cloud computing stocks sent shares of many SaaS providers tumbling. The sell-off seemed to have been triggered by reduced revenue forecasts from data center operator Equinix and infrastructure software provider Autonomy.
The correction was not wholly unforeseen. Read more… »
As convenient as cloud computing can be, it’s important to remember that the convenience comes from passing on difficulties to someone outside your organization. Problems arise when their difficulty–say, trouble integrating with another third party provider you’ve enlisted–has a direct effect on how you do business. News from today suggests you can prevent these issues such by handling cloud integration early and often.
In a blog post today about cloud silos and integration, David Linthicum advocates doing integration in a step-by-step manner as a cloud-based system is built instead of waiting until after the pieces are in place. Failing to integrate in an iterative way will lead to silos. Siloed systems in a cloud computing environment, Linthicum says, can have worse consequences than siloed sytems on premise.
For in-the-trenches proof of the importance of early integration, consider New Zealand-based nonprofit St. John, whose SaaS CRM integration is profiled as part of a feature article on cloud implementation. St. John IT direct Peter McDowall is quoted in the story as saying, “We focused on integration upfront, but we could have put even more emphasis on it.” McDowall’s company combined Salesforce CRM with existing on-premise software. The organization used Pervasive for cloud data migration.
It may seem like an obvious notion, but taking an iterative approach to integration is not always done. And, given that many systems have been in place for years, it may not always be possible. But as more companies transition to the cloud, the opportunity exists—an opportunity that should be taken—for step-wise integration to occur as new systems are built out.