SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the global leader in CRM, announced today its next generation of low-code tools for companies to build apps faster. Customers and employees today expect apps with the design and performance of consumer brands. But with developers in short supply, companies are turning to the Salesforce Lightning Platform and AppExchange for low-code tools that empower IT and business users to create intelligent, connected experiences without building from scratch.
According to a recent IDC study, organizations building on the Salesforce Lightning Platform saw a return on investment of 545 percent over five years. Furthermore, IDC found business users gained productivity and revenue benefits totaling $8.82 million per organization surveyed - including 63 percent faster lifecycles for app development.
"Building and deploying apps is a keystone for any business in the pursuit of digital transformation," said Anne DelSanto, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Salesforce Lightning Platform. "Salesforce continues to democratize app development by making it easier than ever to build or buy game-changing digital solutions that tap into the ordinary genius of citizen developers."
The Fastest Way to Build Apps for Business and IT
Salesforce Lightning is the fastest, easiest way to give business users the modern apps they need to do their jobs better - sidestepping the developer gap and IT backlogs holding them back. The latest low-code tools on the Salesforce Lightning Platform include:
- Lightning Object Creator is a new platform service that allows anyone to turn spreadsheets into modern apps with clicks, not code. For example, salespeople at a car dealership once had to enter customer information from paper test drive forms into spreadsheets - an error-prone, labor-intensive process. Those teams can now drag and drop spreadsheets into the Object Creator, review data fields for accuracy (e.g., car makes and models) and publish a digital form, available on desktop or mobile. In Salesforce, users can further analyze the data or add it to existing records with support for Search, Notes or Files within Salesforce - extending the power of that customer's CRM deployment.
- Lightning Flow Builder is a new low-code tool that empowers business users of any developer skill level to automate processes for customer or employee experiences (e.g., manage an insurance claim). Based on the Lightning Design System, the Lightning Flow Builder is elegant, efficient and easy to use - with simplified toolboxes that seamlessly find workflow elements connected to customer records. In addition, new Flow Actions - pre-built, reusable components for industries and specific use cases - add powerful new layers to automated business processes, including the ability to accept credit card payments or add a video player. Admins also have the option to use Einstein Next Best Action to recommend flows, leveraging the power of rules-based and predictive models to provide sales, service and marketing agents with intelligent, contextual recommendations for customers.
With Lightning Flow Builder, the same car dealership above can create a flow that takes both staff and prospective buyers through a step-by-step process to configure (i.e., color, make and model) and purchase a new car. Einstein Next Best Action guides the sale based on details from the test drive, customer history and more to suggest incentives that would help close the sale - e.g., offers for free maintenance or extended warranty. Meanwhile, Flow Actions throughout allow the salesperson to enhance their customer interaction at relevant points within the workflow, with access to marketing videos, industry data and even the ability to take payment on the show floor.
Jennifer Lee, a Senior Salesforce Business Consultant at John Hancock, unlocked the power of process automation for the financial services firm by using the Lightning Platform to build flows without a single line of code. "We have multiple business units that share the same contact records," she said. "So I built an app that highlights the information as well as details from cases and opportunities. I was able to get creative by using Lightning Flow to deliver a solution using point-and-click tools and not code."
A Smarter AppExchange Guides Customers to the Right Solutions, Faster
With 88 percent of Salesforce customer orgs using AppExchange solutions and almost 6 million installs, more Trailblazers than ever are tapping into the power of the world's leading enterprise cloud ecosystem. AppExchange is now live with updates including intelligent recommendations and a new category for Flow Solutions.
Starting today, any customer can log onto AppExchange and experience:
- Smarter Recommendations, including a "Recommended for You" page that lists suggested solutions based on customer location, install history, profile data and more. For example, a business reinventing project management will see recommendations change as soon as admins search for or install an app for online appointment scheduling. These recommendations are also informed by the profile of other customers who've searched for or installed similar solutions.
- Lightning Flow Actions, partner-built, drag-and-drop solutions that unleash the full potential of automated business processes. More than a dozen partner-built solutions are already available - including Flow Actions for running credit checks (Oktana), adding a video player (Vidyard) and generating quotes for loan processing (Accenture).
The Lightning Platform Strikes at Dreamforce
Learn more about the latest innovations from the Lightning Platform and AppExchange at Dreamforce, September 25 - 28, 2018. Dreamforce brings together more than 170,000 Trailblazers, global leaders and visionaries for four days of inspiration, innovation, equality and fun. Join us at the Platform and AppExchange keynotes to hear how leading brands have transformed their business by building on Lightning, and extended the power of their CRM through the world's leading enterprise cloud marketplace.
Pricing and Availability
- Lightning Object Creator and Lightning Flow Builder are now available in pilot. Further pricing information will be announced at general availability in the first half of 2019.
- To download and read highlights from the IDC study on how businesses are jumpstarting productivity on the Salesforce Lightning Platform, click here.
- Learn more about Lightning Object Creator in this blog post.
- For more information on Lightning Flow Builder, see here. Discover how to automate your business process with Lightning Flow via Trailhead: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/trails/automate_business_processes.
- To experience the smarter AppExchange, tailored recommendations and the new category for Lightning Flow Actions, visit https://appexchange.salesforce.com/; more details on today's store updates are available in this blog post.
Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.
Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information please visit https://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.
 IDC White Paper, sponsored by Salesforce, "Business Value of Building Apps on the Salesforce Lightning Platform," Sept 2018.