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Summary

Under the “Salesforce1 Platform” banner, Salesforce is integrating its three main PaaS services. These services include its own Force.com platform first launched in 2007, and the Heroku and (ExactTarget) Fuel platforms acquired in 2010 and 2013 respectively. This is a multi-year, multi-faceted effort, details of which Salesforce has not outlined as clearly as it might.

Expect the Salesforce1 platform messaging to be clarified in the next few months

Salesforce launched the Salesforce1 brand in late 2013 and then started to apply it to a variety of different offerings from a new mobile client (Salesforce1 Mobile Application) to its SaaS offering and PaaS services. As a result, many found it difficult “to see the wood from the trees”, and considered the label confusing, voicing skepticism about the actual value of what was being delivered under the new moniker.

The new Salesforce1-branded developments do deliver value, but Salesforce could have done a better job at explaining the nature and interactions of the various parts covered by the marketing headlines. From a Salesforce1 Platform perspective, by combining these three offerings into a single platform, Salesforce’s objective is three-fold. First, it points out that Salesforce has expanded from a single PaaS platform (Force.com) to a portfolio of PaaS services, which Salesforce sometimes defines not as PaaS but instead as PaaS+ on the basis of the breadth and depth of capabilities that the combined platforms deliver. Second, it emphasizes the increasing integration between the three platforms. Third, it asserts that this integration delivers not only a wider but also a more easily consumable range of services to Salesforce as well as third-party applications and application components. However, Salesforce is not clear enough when it comes to the disparate nature and status of the three platforms as well as the disparate nature the integrations between them. Last but not least, it appears to define the three platforms as equals, but this is not the case. Force.com is much more equal than the other two platforms, and (ExactTarget) Fuel the least equal of all.

Salesforce is expected to clarify these issues in the next few months, with increasing focus on the Force.com/Heroku combination and less emphasis on Fuel.

Appendix

Further reading

Force.com: How Salesforce's Core PaaS Solution is Evolving, IT0022-000397, July 2015

Salesforce1: Evaluating Salesforce's New Unified PaaS Platform, IT0022-000396 , July 2015

Force.com Development: Selecting the Right Development Approach, IT0022-000398, July 2015

Force.com Development: Managing the Development Process, IT0022-000399, July 2015

Force.com Development: Security Considerations, IT0022-000423, July 2015

Force.com Development: Leveraging Analytics and Community Services, IT0022-000424, July 2015

Force.com Development: Selecting the Appropriate Mobile Application Services, IT0022-000425, July 2015

From Force.com to Heroku: Finding The Right Balance, IT0022-000436, July 2015

Force.com Development: Integration Services and Marketplace, IT0022-000437, July 2015

Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Digital Marketing Platform, 2015–16, IT0020-000135, July 2015

SWOT Assessment: Salesforce Marketing Cloud, IT0020-000124, June 2015

“Microsoft and Salesforce’s special relationship starts to bear fruit”, IT0021-000090, June 2015

“Salesforce platform attempts to disrupt corporate HR|”, IT0020-000121May 2015

“The Sage and Salesforce global strategic partnership gives small businesses a big digital leg-up”, IT0020-000119, May 2015

“Heroku supports mobile app development with new Elements marketplace”, IT0022-000347, April 2015

“Salesforce elevates its digital service with intelligent routing capabilities”, IT0020-000104, March 2015

SWOT Assessment: Salesforce1 Platform, IT0022-000230, March 2015

“Salesforce embraces third-party enterprise file sync and share solutions”, IT0021-00005, December 2014

“Philips and Salesforce join forces behind a new connected healthcare platform”, IT0011-000323, July 2014

Author

Laurent Lachal, Senior Analyst, Ovum Software

Laurent.lachal@ovum.com

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