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Salesforce users in a number of industries can build web commerce portals for their customers more quickly with a host of pre-built developer tools and app templates released on Monday, which also include best-practice guides for building business processes around them.
Some of the broad list of services, collectively called Digital 360 for Industries, include the Commerce Cloud Picker App and Timeslot Manager app for stores to set up curbside or in-store pickup of online orders. The Picker App enables store staff to view and assemble orders, while the Timeslot Manager assigns customer pickup times. For users in media and communications, tools and templates address subscription management and complex services bundling.
Financial services tools give insurance users pre-built apps to set up storefronts where customers can order and manage their policies. On the healthcare side, patient engagement apps based on Marketing Cloud serve information to patients in hopes of driving healthier outcomes. Other tools support common workflows in government, emergency response and nonprofit fundraising.
Digital 360 for Industries comes from the Digital 360 business unit that arose from marketing and commerce components as well as Salesforce Experience Cloud, formerly Community Cloud. Digital 360 for Industries tools connect to Salesforce Industries clouds, which are tailored for users in healthcare, public sector, communications, media, nonprofits and insurance as well as energy and utilities.
While a few Salesforce Industries clouds had existed before last year, enhancements and additional clouds came from Salesforce's 2020 acquisition of Vlocity. Salesforce users, regardless of vertical, create externally facing sites and apps that run on Salesforce Experience Cloud.
Most of the developer tools and guides in the Digital 360 for Industries release were homegrown by Salesforce, although some came from Vlocity, said Khushwant Singh, Salesforce Experience Cloud VP of product management.
Pandemic drives new features
Salesforce's move into verticals is a sign its overall platform has matured, and that it's time to focus on groups of customers who have specialized needs, said R "Ray" Wang, founder of Constellation Research. That requires both low-code and pro-code tools, which are part of the Digital 360 for Industries release.
R 'Ray' WangFounder, Constellation Research
"People are saying, 'We're paying a lot for the software, and you probably should focus more on our industry -- we need help, so support us,'" said Wang, who added that retail stores probably requested the most help as the pandemic forced many to quickly digitize ordering and fulfillment. "The developer kits make it easier for the hardcore developers to build, as well as for citizen developers to make modifications."
The events of 2020 accelerated businesses' needs to create new digital services, said Anna Rosenman, Salesforce SVP of Salesforce Commerce and Experience Clouds product marketing. Digital 360 for Industries was designed to speed their development.
"It's really a requirement these days," Rosenman said. "You really have specific needs across every industry that you need to solve. A monolithic solution isn't the ticket they need to go really quickly."