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May 23, 2014

Salesforce’s new mobile app to incorporate legacy enterprise systems

Cloud firm's survey reveals 60% of British employees are using mobile apps for work.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Salesforce has launched a mobile app, which it claims will successfully incorporate legacy enterprise software including programmes from rival companies such as SAP.

The app includes numerous Salesforce products, as well as allowing customers to create custom apps and import other business software. Early adopters include the Daily Mail, Philips, and Stanley Black & Decker.

Kendall Collins, executive VP of mobile and product design at the firm, said: "Apple launched the iPhone seven years ago and ignited a mobile computing revolution.

"Today, with the Salesforce1 Mobile App and Salesforce1 Platform, companies are transforming to run their business from any mobile phone."

Praising the software’s potential for creating tools customised for business, Collins noted an "insatiable demand among companies now to build a portfolio of apps", as well as business strategies increasingly structured around communities.

The news coincides with a report by the firm claiming that six in ten British employees now use mobile apps as part of their job, with a similar amount saying their organisations have been too slow in their deployment of apps for use in business.

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Steve Garnett, EMEA chair of Salesforce, said he wanted to improve upon how the firm’s technology is deployed in certain industries, adding that the firm’s ability to inform customers how the software could be applied to specific sectors had been inadequate in the past.

Richard Absalom, senior analyst at Ovum, said: "The emergence of mobile enterprise applications, which will drive enterprise mobility, create new ways of working and transform existing business processes, is a major trend in 2014.

"For organisations that already have a mobility strategy in place, the next phase will be to start mobilising as many internal processes as possible to allow workers to perform their core tasks from whichever device they have on hand, from wherever they are."

Three-quarters of those surveyed, which included employees from both smaller and larger companies, said chat applications had a big effect on working relationships, with a quarter believing that it reduced hierarchy within their firm.

However, a study last year by Michigan State University in the US found that even brief interruptions at work, such as those from mobiles or messaging software, made work errors more common, with distractions lasting only three seconds doubling the error rate.

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