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Salesforce Gives AppExchange a Facelift

App Store

Salesforce’s 11-year old AppExchange just got a refresh.

The new and improved AppExchange, the Salesforce Store, features intelligent search, personalized recommendations, embedded Trailhead learning, and a more customized user experience.

That should be good news to the 87 percent of Salesforce customers that use AppExchange apps — 89 percent of whom are Fortune 100 users, according to the company. AppExchange is Salesforce’s online cloud marketplace.

Salesforce's Leslie Tom

Salesforce’s Leslie Tom

The new descriptor – AppExchange, the Salesforce Store – reflects the vendors strategy to design the new AppExchange around the customer experience, Leslie Tom, vice president of marketing, AppExchange, told us. She also said that, “Another part of the reason that we went to the new descriptor is because it isn’t just about apps anymore. We’re adding a lot of new inventory on the AppExchange, things such as Lightning Data so users can get data sets from Lightning partners, and Lightning Bolt Community Templates, where you can spin up a new community quickly — thanks to our SI [system integrator] partners or consultants.”

New Lightning Solutions are one of the four main upgrades to the AppExchange and include:

Lightning Bolts and Lightning Data: Lightning Bolts are out-of-the-box solutions that contain industry best practices, Lightning Components and business logic — all integrated seamlessly with Salesforce. Powered by an ecosystem of Salesforce partners such as Accenture, Appirio, Deloitte, PwC and Silverline, customers can tap into customized solutions across several industries. With Lightning Data, customers can discover data-driven insights with enriched customer profiles by easily integrating trusted third-party data sources, as well as improve key sales and marketing processes like segmentation, targeting, scoring and prioritization with data that’s specific to each business, the vendor said.

Other key features include personal recommendations to customers based on their location app-installation history site activity, profile data and edition; the integration of Trailhead, the Salesforce learning platform, right inside the AppExchange; and industry-specific solutions around health care and life sciences, retail, financial services, manufacturing and more.

Heather Conklin, vice president of product marketing, AppExchange with Salesforce, said that intelligence is key to the new user experience and that the power of the AppExchange is in the personalization feature.

“We’ll keep collecting user data and using intelligence we’ll provide recommendations, something that will keep evolving and changing, for each of our customers,” she said.

What does the upgraded AppStore mean to Salesforce consultants? According to Tom, it’s all about exposure.

“The way that the AppExchange worked was that there were separate stores, such as a separate store for apps, a store for components, and a separate store for consultants — so consultants stayed within their own store; you couldn’t put the consultants in line with the apps and components and the other tools that people are using. In the new AppExchange, we’ve combined all of those things together to show the power of the full ecosystem,” she said.

So, it’s not just about the tools anymore. Tools, for example, can be put in line with consulting partners, so if a consultant specializes in a certain industry, they can have their information appear right on a specific vertical industry page — giving them more visibility and opportunity to connect with more customers.

Similarly, a user who does a search for an app will get information on apps, bolt solutions, components and consultants as well.


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