Decision Management Solutions attended the Santa Clara Cloudforce 2009 event yesterday and heard CEO Marc Benioff present “Welcome to the Real-time Cloud” in which he introduced some great features in their spring 2009 release and demonstrated, once again, that salesforce.com is paying attention. Salesforce.com has clearly realized that the next step for enterprise applications like CRM and SFA is to get smarter – smarter about treating customers, smarter about pricing, smarter about customer support.
I often describe Enterprise Applications (CRM, SFA, ERP, HRMS) as “dumb” because they all they do is capture data, store it in a database and regurgitate it in reports if you ask nicely. Salesforce.com is showing a clear commitment to making its applications smarter and doing so faster than most application vendors. Perhaps this is a function of their direct contact with users of the system, an advantage of their SaaS model, or perhaps they are just quicker on the uptake. Regardless, salesforce.com and its force.com platform are making great progress.
Salesforce.com continues to add some great capabilities so you can interact with customers based on your data, rules and analytics, enabling a high level of personalization and intelligent cross sell. Increased sophistication in routing leads, scoring leads, and automating approvals is there, too, so that your systems don’t require so much manual intervention to do the right thing. force.com‘s support for decision trees, routing rules and more opens the door for ever-more powerful decision making add-ons. Combine this with the kind of advanced analytics being offered by companies like Epianalytics (machine learning), and Angoss (segmentation and scoring), and great things are possible.
SaaS / PaaS vendors and users can and should use decision management to make their software smarter. More on tihs when I get back from Europe.