Salesforce Brings Custom Apps to Community Cloud

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    CIOs and CMOs: Creating a Positive Online Customer Experience

    Because it’s much easier to sell a new product or service to an existing customer than it is to a new one, almost every organization has been trying to create some kind of online community around their Web presence, often with mixed results.

    To make building a community around a particular base of customers easier, Salesforce created a Community Cloud that makes it possible to create an online community using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application. Today Salesforce announced it is now making available a Lightning Bolt framework that lets organizations build custom applications on top of Salesforce Community Cloud.

    Previously, Salesforce had been providing customizable templates. With the arrival of Lightning Bolt, Mike Micucci, senior vice president and general manager for Salesforce Community Cloud, says Salesforce is making it possible for organizations to build their own applications.

    “Prior to this, the only company that could build an application for Community Cloud was Salesforce,” says Micucci.

    At the time of launch, Salesforce has recruited 10 companies that have developed applications for Salesforce Community Cloud. In fact, Micucci says about half the applications developed for Salesforce Community Cloud will come from third-party partners.

    Whether all that development work leads to more vibrant online communities remains to be seen. But given the moribund state of most online communities tied to a company website, more engaging custom applications can only help.




    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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