Manufacturers in search of more options for selling and marketing online, and business buyers who need to order something fast on a mobile phone, have something new in common. They’re both being targeted by Salesforce.com Inc. and its new “Lightning Bolt” software development framework.
“With Lightning Bolt, companies can jumpstart the creation of a new community, next-generation portal or customer-facing website” that integrates with Salesforce CRM—and in in a “fraction of the time and with far less investment” than Salesforce’s technology platform has required up to now, the company said last week.
Salesforce said it’s working with more than 10 development partners who have already built out new e-commerce and other business applications with Lightning Bolt. The company did not provide more details on the time of cost of developing these applications.
Among the new applications are:
“FastLean for Manufacturing,” developed by Deloitte, the business and technology consulting firm. The FastLean application is designed to making manufacturers’ sales and service operations more efficient, including via the deployment of online configure-price-quote applications, software for managing workforces in the field, online communities where a manufacturer can exchange information with customers and technology partners; and web analytics for compiling and analyzing data from these another other applications to support sales, service and marketing efforts.
“Lightning B2B Commerce by CloudCraze,” developed by CloudCraze Software LLC. The Lightning B2B Commerce development kit is designed to let a company’s field sales reps, customer service agents and customers used CloudCraze e-commerce software to quickly configure and deploy such multiple customized purchasing features as ordering spare parts or collaborating with co-workers and trading partners on their mobile devices.
“PartnerFirst,” developed by 7Summits. This is designed to let software providers and other technology companies to develop online portals, or “deal rooms,” for collaborating in real time with trading partners and channel sales managers for such tasks as designing and building new products and developing sales strategies.
Other Lightning Bolt applications under development by Salesforce and its technology partners cover healthcare, insurance and retail operations.
“It’s imperative today for insurance companies to quickly deliver digital environments that empower agents to collaborate, discover new insights, and connect with customers in meaningful new ways,” says Toan Huynh, managing director at Cloud First at Accenture, which has developed a “Community for Insurance Agents,” an online portal for connecting insurance companies with their agents. “With the Community for Insurance Agents Bolt solution, companies no longer have to reinvent the wheel to deploy a personalized, branded portal to supercharge agent productivity and performance and deliver on their agent engagement strategy faster.”
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