With the shift toward mobile, apps were introduced to extend the functionality and increase the capabilities of mobile devices. With applications, whatever the user wanted to do could become a reality with the right app. Even a clever marketing slogan (“There’s an app for that”), is now an accepted truism — one that is becoming increasingly accurate with thousands of apps being added every day.
As of July 2015, Android’s Google Play featured 1.6 million apps available for download. The Apple App Store is not far behind with 1.5 million apps available, and other online app marketplaces are also showing a trend toward an increase in app ubiquity.
But while the majority of the apps on Google Play and other marketplaces are likely targeted toward the casual user (games account for 22.99% of all Apple App Store downloads — more than double the percentage of the next most-popular category) — an application marketplace dedicated to providing high-quality, business-focused apps is something that many industries lack.
Which is why Salesforce created AppExchange.
Officially launched in 2006, AppExchange has grown into the #1 business app marketplace in the world. In 2015, AppExchange celebrated its three-millionth download. With over 70% of Salesforce customers actively using apps created in, or acquired from, AppExchange, many successful businesses are happy to put their trust in an app marketplace designed to meet their needs. And, with Salesforce CRM capabilities already being used to perfect client/business interactions across a range of industries, Salesforce-optimized apps — which extend CRM while also improving other business processes — have the potential to revolutionize businesses both large and small.
As for the specific advantages of AppExchange, let’s take a look at a few:
- Cost. Paying to use an app without knowing how effective it’s going to be often makes people uncomfortable. And while AppExchange does feature for-sale applications at competitive prices, as many as 44% of the apps available can be downloaded completely free of charge. Also, many apps can be tested before downloading so that users have a good idea of exactly what they’re getting before they commit.
- Selection. Salesforce recognizes that our customers’ needs are as varied as the customers themselves. That’s why AppExchange features approximately 2,800 prebuilt apps designed for use across a variety of industries, with more apps being added every day. Categories include customer service, sales, IT and administration, marketing, collaboration, finance, and more.
- Creation. For those times when an organization’s needs are not addressed by the prebuilt apps available through AppExchange, Salesforce enables customers to easily create their own custom applications using Force.com. Application development tools and tutorials available through Force.com make it possible for even novices to conceptualize, design, and produce valuable custom apps to solve unique business problems.
Why should you choose Salesforce?
- Integration. All apps available on AppExchange are designed for seamless integration with Salesforce products. These pre-vetted apps require no configuration and can be engaged within minutes of installation for a plug-and-play solution that works to improve CRM, saving users and their clients both time and money.
- Security. The last thing any business wants in an app is a bunch of security flaws that could jeopardize the organization. AppExchange addresses this issue by ensuring that every new app is put through an exhaustive security review. With AppExchange, organizations can use apps with confidence, knowing that they support the highest level of security and best practices in the industry.
- Effectiveness. With so many applications to choose from, finding the right one for a specific organization may seem like a daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to thousands of app reviews from actual users available on the site, along with constantly updated pages featuring the most popular apps (both in terms of reviews and number of downloads), companies can quickly evaluate possibilities and locate the most effective apps. After they’ve found the best-fit apps for their own unique needs, they can review and rate them so that other organizations can also find the right apps.
AppExchange may not have the sheer number of apps available from consumer-focused marketplaces such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store, but when it comes to providing apps that build and improve CRM functionality, increase revenue, extend capability, and promote business success, AppExchange has almost everything a business needs.
So now when companies have an issue to address, there really is an app for that — thanks to Salesforce.