Q

What are the benefits of the Force.com platform for a small business?

Learn about two important features the Force.com platform offers for small businesses in this expert tip. Find out about the Salesforce.com API.

Can you tell me a little bit about the Force.com platform? We're a small business in the beginning stages of evaluating on-demand CRM vendors and we're wondering what features and functionality the platform would have to offer us that we couldn't get from vendors like Microsoft and Oracle.
The Force.com platform has two important attributes for a small business (there are a couple of other attributes that are important only for large businesses, but more on that another time). First, the platform provides a very rich application programming interface (API) for extending Salesforce.com's features and integrating with external applications. The API is a large set of Web services that have full "call in" and "call out" capability, with access to 95% of the tables and functions in the system. Second, the platform is the basis for a very large set of applications and plug-ins from Salesforce.com and hundreds of other vendors. Over half of these applications are free and provide extra features and eye-candy that are a big help in getting users to adopt the system – a key success factor for your business. With both of these attributes, Salesforce.com is without peer, and their advantage will last a while
This was first published in April 2009

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