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Salesforce Rolls Out Heroku Connect
Salesforce Rolls Out Heroku Connect

By Jennifer LeClaire
May 15, 2014 7:25AM

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To date, Salesforce has done a good job letting Heroku run on its own and not disrupt its substantial customer base. Salesforce should be able to do a lot more for its partner ISVs that are developing highly-verticalized specific use case front ends to the Salesforce line of business apps by leveraging Heroku's strengths, said analyst Brad Shimmin.
 

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CRM company Salesforce is making a full court press with its Salesforce1 platform. The company just rolled out Heroku Connect, a synchronization technology that integrates the capabilities of Salesforce1 and Heroku.

The idea is to make it easier for companies to connect customer data in Salesforce with customer apps. With Heroku Connect, Salesforce said companies can tap into a set of technologies to create connected experiences that the always-on mobile consumers demand.

“Mobile apps like Lyft and Square have changed customer expectations around business interactions, and are transforming entire industries," said Adam Gross, vice president of product for Heroku. "Every company now feels an urgency to create similarly compelling, connected applications for their customers.”

Making Mobile Connections

Here’s the Salesforce.com pitch: With technology transforming the way companies connect with customers, mobile apps have emerged as key differentiators in driving industry-changing interactions. Historically, two types of companies have demonstrated power of next-generation connected mobile apps: growing startups and large companies like banks and financial service firms, the CRM leader said.

However, Salesforce contended that only startups with engineers building from the ground up -- or Fortune 100 companies with unlimited resources -- truly have the fire power to build these types of apps. By integrating the business data and process features of Salesforce with Heroku's capabilities for consumer Internet apps, Gross is convinced Salesforce1, a platform with a host of APIs and mobile user interface tools, will fill a market void. IDC seems to agree.

"Enterprises have begun to invest heavily in mobilizing their application portfolios," said Al Hilwa, a program director in the Application Development Software group at IDC. "Salesforce1 Heroku Connect allows these enterprises to connect their Salesforce data with new engaging customer apps which they can build in a variety of programming languages on the Heroku platform."

Leveraging Heroku’s Strengths

As Salesforce explained it, Heroku Connect provides bi-directional data flow between Salesforce1 and the Heroku Postgres databases. That data integration makes it possible for developers to get the job done. Salesforce1 Heroku Connect is available now as part of the Salesforce1 Connected Customer App Package. Pricing for the package is based on resources and usage.

We caught up with Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on the new offering. He told us he’s glad to see the Heroku acquisition panning out. It’s one of the most difficult types of acquisitions to pull off, he said, because Salesforce acquired actual infrastructure, data center and other platforms, that still stand alone.

“Salesforce has done a good job of allowing Heroku to run on its own and not disrupt its substantial customer base,” Shimmin said. “With the Salesforce1 launch, the company was focused on mobile development. Salesforce should be able to do a lot more for their partner ISVs that are developing highly-verticalized specific use case front ends to the Salesforce line of business apps by leveraging the strengths Heroku brings to the table.”
 

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