Salesforce integrates Community Cloud with Google Drive

Google Drive app displayed on a mobile

Salesforce has updated its Community Cloud offering, adding a number of new features, including Google Drive integration, as it aims to help its customers better engage with their customers and put them closer to the heart of everything they do.

Other enhancements including making the platform much more intelligent to help cope with and analyse structured and unstructured data.

This means it can quickly and easily sift through content to find what is most relevant - whether that be posts, files or other resources. The inclusion of Salesforce Files Connect for Google Drive means users can quickly and easily exchange items stored outside of the platform itself.

"There is a problem and an opportunity - it's called the technology gap," said Keith Block, president and vice chairman of Salesforce, at the company’s World Tour event at the ExCel today. "Technology is part of all of our lives. We're all carrying mainframes around in our pockets – that's kind of incredible.

"Organisations have siloes of data. And when you have siloes of data and are accelerating the pace of data creation, it compounds the problem. It creates frustration."

There are 2.3 billion social users in the world and, by 2017, there will be five billion smartphones in use around the globe, he added, putting continued pressure on communication and engagement, according to Block.

"It puts enormous tension in the system and results in the customer gap. Some 77 per cent of customers are not engaged with customers. We don’t want a transactional relationship, we want something personalised," he said.

But it's not just about customers. The next-generation Community Cloud can also help organisaions better engage with employees and partners too through the use of more targeted recommendations, such as consumer money off vouchers.

Furthermore, thanks to the use of templates and the Lightning Community Builder, creating an engaging and interactive forum is no longer the preserve of techies.

Sky and Unilever are just two firms making use of Community Cloud to boost productivity through enhanced collaboration. The former is using the solution to create a system of intelligence driven by community discussion, while the latter is making use of it across many departments to better share ideas and opinions, as well as resources.

"Sky prides itself on delivering uncommon service to our customers, partners and employees. Central to this is changing the rules of engagement, which we have used as a strategic advantage for multiple years and Salesforce has been a key partner for us," said Nicola Band, community manager at Sky.

"We see a bright future in leveraging knowledge to continue to differentiate our company, and Community Cloud will allow us to bridge the world of engagement and intelligence."

The targeted recommendations intelligence feature, Lightning Community Builder and templates are being made available straight away.

Those with Chatter and Employee Community licences can start making use of Salesforce Files Connect for Google Drive functionality immediately.

It will be made generally available for Partner Community and Customer Community licence holders - along with other more advanced or customised features - in the second half of the year.

"We have this perfect storm – cloud, moble, social and data science - which now requires predictive intelligence. It creates opportunities to change the way we do business, to innovate and transform," Block added.

"The barrier to creative disruption has never been lower. The opportunity to innovate and transform has never been higher. The companies who take advantage of this will succeed. They change the world. The technology is here. You disrupt or be disrupted. You engage or are dis-engaged. This is our opportunity. It's here, it's now. It's right before us, in our hands. It's incumbent upon us to seize it."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.