Many organizations these days spend a lot of time navigating between ERP and Salesforce.com customer relationship management (CRM) applications, which generally involves a lot of complex data integration work. Things would be much simpler if the ERP applications and Salesforce applications shared access to the same set of common customer records.
Tom Brennan, vice president of marketing for FinancialForce.com, says by building an ERP application on top of the Salesforce1 cloud platform, FinancialForce.com has created an ERP application that uses the same customer records as Salesforce.com. That approach, says Brennan, makes it much simpler for organizations to navigate the tensions between the systems of record the finance organization typically relies on and the systems to engagement that sales teams use (Salesforce.com).
Integration with other applications, adds Brennan, can be accomplished using either traditional application programming interfaces (APIs) or via a ClickLink capability that provides a declarative model for integrating multiple data sources.
As a subsidiary of UNIT4, an IT and business consulting form, FinancialForce.com is part of a growing ecosystem of companies that are all making use of Salesforce.com data to build complementary applications. In the case of FinancialForce.com, that includes a minority stake held by Salesforce.com.
The degree to which organizations have decided to standardize on Salesforce.com, of course, varies. But as application platforms evolve in the cloud, the potential to integrate applications that share the same cloud framework will be tighter than ever using packaged applications running on premise.