This week Salesforce announced that the release notes are now up for it’s latest incarnation–Spring ’13. We thought it was pretty silly for SFDC to plan a product release post-apocalypse (Is CRM really a concern when there are zombies running amok?), but since the world ceased to end yesterday we at Eustace have been praising their foresight.
#Spring13 is overall a more mobile, social experience. Many of the features make it easier to connect with a more diverse client base, or bring the entire platform with you on your (or your customers’) mobile device. Let’s explore Spring ’13 by cloud, shall we?
- Sales Cloud
SFDC Touch is continuing to boost your on-the-go sales capabilities, this time adding Cases, Leads, and more to your mobile Salesforce. Literally everything you can do on Salesforce is now available on Touch. Additionally, the new SFDC for Outlook side panel gives you an inside-look at a customer–including all opportunities associated with him/her, and recent activity–just by clicking on their name/email address. With one click, you can go directly to his/her profile in Salesforce, and because the panel is single-sign-on, it won’t require to to log-in yet again! Finally, the Sales Cloud now includes quarterly and partner opportunity forecasting, up to 12 months into the future or past. My, what nice reports you have.
- Service Cloud
The biggest changes to the Service Cloud are mobile, allowing you and your customers to better communicate on-the-go. Knowledge is now mobile, so customers can search the Knowledgebase on their mobile device and get the answers they need without calling your support team.
On your end, Touch Cases case management lets you make changes to and close cases on location, giving you more flexibility and service managers real-time updates.
- Marketing Cloud
SFDC’s “unified social marketing suite” continues to grow, adding new social insights, Pinterest page management capabilities, and social coupon management features for all you Groupon fans. Continuing the mobile trend, Marketing Cloud for iPad forwards the SFDC’s “Social Enterprise” dream.
- SFDC Platform + Chatter
One of the most anticipated changes, the Force.com Canvas that was released in Winter ’13 is revamped. Users can now expose a canvas app on a Visualforce page by using the
>; component, meaning you can display a canvas app anywhere you can display a Visualforce page. Additionally, the SDK is now versioned, and Force.com Canvas now supports Internet Explorer 8 (in addition to Chrome, Firefox, etc). Finally, and still in beta, State/Country Picklists allow users to select states/countries from standardized lists, instead of manually entering this information into text fields. This will improve data quality further and reduce possible customer confusion.
In Chatter, among the many updates, we at Eustace were most excited about the new ability to “like” a post via email, and Chatter Tasks (beta). In Spring ’13, just like commenting on a Chatter post via email, you can also “like” a post–just by replying “like,” making it that much easier to interact and collaborate with your network. Chatter Tasks will allow you to create a task right in Chatter, as easily as you would create a post. No more back-and-forth!
To learn more about Spring ’13, check out the official release notes, and make sure to attend SFDC’s developer preview webinar on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013.