Cloud CRM company Salesforce is pushing deeper into data integration with its latest innovation. Salesforce1 Lightning Connect is promising to make it easier to integrate any data source with its platform.
Positioned as a “new breed of real-time integration,” Salesforce1 Lightning Connect does what its name suggests: connects the Salesforce1 Platform to data stored in legacy back-office systems.
Out of the gate, integration vendors like Informatica, Jitterbit, MuleSoft, Progress Software, SnapLogic and SoftwareAG have built a library of adaptors for Lightning Connect that makes Salesforce integration possible with a few mouse clicks. And companies like wine purveyor Brown-Forman and HD Supply Facilities Maintenance are tapping into back-office systems with the Salesforce1 Platform using Lighting Connect.
"I want IT focus on delivering innovations, not complex integration," said Toby Lester, Vice President of Technology, Architecture and Innovation at Brown-Forman. "With Salesforce1 Lightning Connect, we can continue to change the role of IT by eliminating the pain of building integration after integration and allowing IT to focus on building the apps needed to keep everyone productive."
Changing the Data Integration Paradigm
The Salesforce pitch on Lightning Connect starts with the pain point CIOs and IT departments feel when it comes to data integration. Indeed, 48 percent of CIOs in a recent survey said data integration is their number one pain point, according to market research firm Confirmit. But it’s been difficult to get away from that pain given the need to leverage data for business operations. Integrations can be complex, expensive and take up to a year to build.
Salesforce called current approaches to data integration, including manual file load, FTP, point-to-point or enterprise service bus, “limited in scope or overly complex to implement.” And according to Gartner, “[M]ore organizations are demanding that data be delivered or processed in real-time to match the speed of their business. They expect reduced latency and real-time data delivery. Data integration technology, including the use of in-memory capability to federate data, is becoming the key to achieving these data delivery and latency goals.”
Lightning Connect aims to change the way companies access and connect with data stored in legacy systems. What makes it different than other integration tools is how quickly IT can configure it using point-and-click features. What’s more, Lightning Connect doesn’t copy and store outdated data into Salesforce.
Creating Real-Time Connections
"For years, enterprises have faced the challenge of creating real-time connections across siloed applications," said Chris Purpura, Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Integration at MuleSoft. "With Salesforce1 Lightning Connect and MuleSoft, Salesforce customers can gain real-time access to data from any data source."
The announcement follows the recent news of Salesforce1 Lightning, which aims to let just about anybody build apps for devices across multiple platforms -- including smartphones, phablets, wearables, desktops and laptops. Lightning works to define a new era of platform as a service.
Salesforce1 Platform and Salesforce1 Lightning Connect are now generally available. Salesforce1 Platform is included with all user licenses of Salesforce CRM. Salesforce1 Lightning Connect is priced per data source and subscription pricing starts at $4,000 per month.