What the Salesforce Cloud Does for PLM
Propel delivers PLM built 100% on the Salesforce platform. “So what?” That’s a common question we get from people who aren’t familiar with the Salesforce App Cloud, including potential customers, partners and analysts. At first glance, the idea that a CRM company can help product development and engineering is odd. But in fact, the cloud, and specifically the Salesforce cloud, can do wonders for Product Lifecycle Management.
Salesforce isn’t just CRM. Like any cloud platform, the Salesforce App Cloud (also known as the Salesforce platform, Salesforce1, Force.com) offers lower operating costs, easy upgrades, robust reliability and fewer IT headaches to customers. What sets the Salesforce platform apart is that companies can build apps on top of the platform by leveraging capabilities like workflows, multi-tenancy, data redundancy, multi-currency, etc. It’s not an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) but a Platform as a Service (PaaS). And according to Gartner, it’s the best enterprise platform by far.
In the early years of the Salesforce platform, there were just a handful of apps — including FinancialForce, Jobscience, Apttus Contract Management—that were targeted toward users who weren’t necessarily in sales, marketing or customer service.
But more and more companies have been building apps on the Salesforce App Cloud. And more Fortune 500 companies are embracing the platform as a core part of their IT infrastructure. In fact, as of this post’s publication date, there are now over 300 apps on the Salesforce AppExchange targeted toward non-CRM users.
PLM can be more responsive. One of the core strengths of Salesforce CRM is its easy point-and-click administration. And by leveraging that same “clicks not code” approach, apps built on the Salesforce App Cloud can easily respond to changing business needs. Because Propel is built 100% on Salesforce, it can easily help companies launch new products and services that are radically different from their current business model. Adding a new subscription service to a hardware product? Changing your beta program? No problem.
PLM can finally be collaborative. PLM companies have always talked about enabling collaboration. But the truth is, sharing product information was limited to engineers, and with VPN access to manufacturers. Because of the open (but secure) nature of the Salesforce App Cloud, it’s easy for everyone to keep up to date on the latest product changes. By building on Salesforce features like Chatter and Communities, Propel make it easy for developers, outsourced designers, manufacturers, sales, marketing and channels to share the latest product updates.
PLM can be really mobile. Most PLM mobile apps are a subset of what the desktop apps offer. But thanks to the Salesforce App Cloud, a mobile phone user can do virtually everything they do on their laptop. It’s not just for approvals, but users can navigate BOMs, view attachments, create changes and much more.