Many of us would be familiar with Microsoft Office products especially Microsoft Excel. Microsoft Excel boasts powerful features like Formula and Macros. The formula alone is worth as you could almost create a single page application with the help of formula and there are very few who used it to its full potential.

Then there is the Visual Studio IDE. If you have used Visual studio IDE, you know how easy it is to create aesthetically appealing User Interface using drag and drop features.

Imagine the Formula from Microsoft Excel, User Interface from Visual Studio, a coding language similar to Java, but easier – APEX, all put together in a cloud environment.

Move the above ingredients from the in-house cooking stove to the cloud (Cooking with just steam I guess ?). Add more powerful ingredients like

  • Database that allows you to create objects and fields with point and click functionality. Not just Objects and Fields, but everything related to them like Object relationships (Master detail, lookup), Tabs to display Object details and their related Objects, Page Layout for each Object, ability to create formula fields, Validation rules.
  • Ability to create validation rules and Workflows using just point and click tools. You can create powerful logic using formula alone.
  • Visual process builder and flows. Imagine being able to implement code by way of drawing Visio diagrams.
  • Add ability to apply security at various levels (Organization wide defaults, profiles, role hierarchy, sharing rules etc)
  • Use setup console to write trigger and code. Triggers, just like in database are code that fire before or after a record is inserted/updated.
  • A Developer Console, if you indeed need to code (a powerful equivalent of IDE without the frills).
  • CRM solution, Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service cloud, Community cloud (equivalent of a portal for collaboration) and many more coming in as the clock ticks…
  • A Platform to create your own applications and an App-Exchange market place to showcase and sell/buy solutions to meet your needs.
  • Artificial intelligence infused into it aptly named Einstein.
  • More and more ingredients for varied needs of the Business Community

Well that makes an awesome recipe to whet any business’s appetite. But a success story is not just the result of an excellent product alone. It goes far beyond that and Salesforce is proof of it.

What else is different about Salesforce? If you go to Youtube, you find a whole group of people from diverse (extremely diverse) background evangelising for Salesforce. A thriving Community not just developing but rooting for Salesforce (I am one of them…).

This was made possible by Salesforce’s inclusive policy whereby they took the Customers, Partners, administrators and developers into their fold and nurtured them sincerely. Their sincerity in in developing a class product is also reflected in their care for the community that travel with them in their journey.

Salesforce is a great inspiration to learn how to grow a thriving community.

Firstly, their support for Customers, Business Users, Administrators and Developers to learn their product in the form of Trail heads is amazing.

Then the Success Community, Mentorship Central and forums to address the needs of new Administrators, Developers and Business users to learn and utilize the platform to the fullest.

And there is the Dreamforce Conference, an amazing way to connect with anyone even remotely familiar with Salesforce.

Salesforce for sure have mastered the art of product development and customer engagement. This I believe is the secret of their success. And by the way they would emphasize it as ‘Our Success’ which is a key factor why you see so many passionate fans for Salesforce.

Their success story has many important lessons for any growing company to learn and imbibe. May the force be with you! (Now you know the kind of movies I watch… I am trying to see if I can type in the exclamation mark inverted, so it would look like a light-saber. If anyone knows the trick, you can let me know. Thanks)