Whether you are with a small nonprofit, a global bank, or something in between, the caring and cleaning of customer data is a continual task. Without clean, accurate customer and contact data, every activity your organization does — marketing, selling, servicing — is hamstrung. If you are a Salesforce customer, you already have a solid platform for getting this data right. Of course, no platform is magic. Salesforce is a great starting point, but vital data still needs procedures and applications around it to keep it fresh. If your customer and contact data is a mess, stop reading this blog and contact us (or contact anyone in the Salesforce ecosystem, really.)
Get more out of your existing Salesforce investment
There is one key question for this moment in enterprise software history: how can organizations unlock the potential of their customer data? Standardizing on Salesforce for CRM and building a Center of Excellence to support it smooths out every function of your business. Salesforce reporting and Wave Analytics can give you valuable business insights, but simply having insights does not automatically allow you to get the most out of your data. Building applications around customers by giving them new ways to interact and connect is a key way for organizations to compete in this digital age.
Salesforce though, is not the best platform for transaction-heavy or web-scale apps. That’s why for Salesforce customers, it’s time to look into Heroku. Heroku Enterprise can help extract huge value from your existing Salesforce investment. This is because Heroku lets you build apps that utilize data across one or more Salesforce orgs and external sources.
Of course, you can build apps that utilize Salesforce API on many platforms. Heroku’s secret sauce is Heroku Connect, which is specifically optimized for Salesforce APIs. Also, API calls made by Heroku Connect are not counted against your Salesforce org’s API usage, so performance is not an issue.
Heroku is a developer-friendly platform. Since it is a Platform-as-a-Service (it runs on Amazon Web Services), there is no infrastructure to worry about. Developers can go from code to a scalable app in minutes. Heroku has support for a broad set of open source languages — including Ruby, Node.js, Java, and PHP — so you can use the language your team is most comfortable using.
How to get started with Heroku
Since Heroku is a platform rather than an application (like Sales or Service Cloud), you may be confused as to where to begin. A good idea for a first Heroku app is to re-platform an old application from on-premises hardware. Many IT managers are burdened by legacy Lotus Notes or Sharepoint applications, for example, that could find a better home on Heroku. A project like this will have dual benefits: getting used to a new platform while easing an on-premises app burden.
If re-platforming a rusty old app is not exciting enough, another good starting point is developing your own customer engagement app. Best of all, Heroku has already provided a sample framework for this app called Nibs, which can seamlessly integrate with your Salesforce data.