Online CRM company Salesforce recently announced Salesforce Files Connect, a centralized file sharing service for the enterprise to enable users seamlessly browse, search and share files located in any repository, all from a single user interface. The new service lets users natively embed external files, including those from Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business, into Salesforce business processes, according to Salesforce.
With the new product, Salesforce said it is the first company to combine CRM and native file integration with the most popular enterprise file repositories. Salesforce Files Connect will first natively integrate files from Microsoft OneDrive for Business and SharePoint into Salesforce. Connectors for additional popular enterprise repositories -- including support for Google Drive -- will be added over the coming months, according to Salesforce.
Salesforce Files Connect for SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 (priced at $7 per user per month), and SharePoint Online is available now, with the OneDrive for Business edition expected in February. Pricing for Salesforce Files Connect for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business is included with Salesforce Enterprise, Unlimited and Performance editions.
"OneDrive for Business has become increasingly central to how people store, share and collaborate on documents at work," said Chris Jones, corporate vice president, OneDrive and SharePoint, for Microsoft. "We’re pleased to extend even more value to our customers by integrating with apps and services like Salesforce so they can be more productive."
We reached out to Robert Mahowald, program vice president, SaaS & Cloud Software, for IDC, who told us that Salesforce Files Connect could be a crucial tool for companies that rely heavily on shared documents.
"More unified search and metasearch capabilities are always welcome, and bringing Microsoft into the mix helps both companies," said Mahowald. "This is important for Microsoft as they try to stay ahead of companies like Box and Dropbox."
More than one-third of employees’ days are spent looking for and consolidating information, and almost half the time they can’t find the information they need to do their jobs, according to research from IDC research. Because information is not centralized, most employees typically access four or more systems to get the necessary information.
Salesforce Files Connect aims to change that by providing universal file sharing on the Salesforce1 Platform. The company said it saves time and allows users to easily reference external files within the flow of Salesforce business processes. For example, a sales rep can attach a presentation on OneDrive for Business to a lead residing in Salesforce, or a service rep can share an FAQ from SharePoint within a Service Cloud case.
Salesforce Files Connect enables universal file sharing, allowing files to be integrated. Users no longer have to go to another location to find a file, save it locally and then re-upload it to the cloud to share and work on it with others, according to the company.
Users can also attach files to feeds, groups or business records, putting them in the context of relevant discussions so that other employees can use them in the Salesforce Community Cloud. Users can also instantly browse, search and share files anywhere from any mobile device, and secure sharing is allowed by enforcing the existing access permissions of the original file.