Recently, RainForce, a Salesforce-centric blog that covers the deployment and adoption of the online CRM platform, covered the integration with Google Apps. In their review, they mention the tremendous value that integrating these two platforms can bring; this is a subject that we at CloudLock have been following for some time, as we are increasingly seeing cross-cloud hybrid environments gaining in popularity.
Bringing the collaborative features of Google into the Salesforce ecosystem is a significant win for any cloud organization, and one that can accelerate the “social” in social CRM tremendously. The ability for staff to collaboratively create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets and then attach them to objects in Salesforce allows organizations to blend two of the most widely used and powerful cloud-based platforms, and staff are often already familiar with how to use each system already. In making the decision to integrate, however, certain considerations need to be made around how to organize, share, and manage the information flowing through each system; historically, blending document management, file storage, and CRM has led to fragmentation of data, and resolving that has given rise to entire industries focused on information management and compliance.
As far back as 2001, the lack of integration with business processes has been cited as a reason for CRM failure. While the landscape of CRM has shifted dramatically since the early 2000s, the rate of failure remains distressingly high, especially when pulling in data and ensuring adoption are used to measure its success. Bad data is more often seen as a reason for large-scale projects to fall apart today, but the inherent causes have not changed: information spreads more rapidly than the infrastructure and organization behind it can manage, and a cascade of missed opportunities, security breaches, and poor communication can result in poor user adoption.
The good news is that the picture is simplified when the systems being integrated each exist solely within the cloud. Interweaving secure, robust platforms like Google Apps and Salesforce minimizes the chances of true systemic failure, and moreover, solutions exist that can offer complete information analytics and compliance platforms for those cloud environments today. The key to a successful integration, to RainForce’s point, is in identifying the assets in either environment, connecting them to customizable policy-driven data analysis platforms, and ensuring that there is no tension between collaboration, security, and customer relationship management.
CloudLock is uniquely positioned to provide this blend of technologies today, with a track record as the cloud’s most powerful and flexible security and information management provider.