According to IDC, the market for mobile application development platforms, or MADPs, can be expected to reach $4.8 billion by 2017. Currently, however, this fledgling market is still fragmented and undeveloped. This can make the task of choosing an MADP to work with more difficult than it should be.
That being said, the numbers don’t lie: as an MADP, the ROI of Salesforce is staggering. But what is it that sets Salesforce apart from both its peers and from traditional and legacy solutions? Where does Salesforce figure in the current chaotic marketplace?
Salesforce is capable of filling a wide variety of roles: it’s a mobile application development platform, but it’s also Software as a Service, and a markedly powerful CRM tool. Furthermore, as a cloud-based platform it can provide a complete IT infrastructure for a business, hosted on Salesforce’s own servers. Developers often prefer to use Salesforce due to this flexibility—which allows for the creation of a whole spectrum of mobile, web, and app development needs—as well as Salesforce’s notable scalability.
Salesforce’s flexibility also means it can be used to develop solutions for just about any part of a business. Sales managers can use it to track their team’s activities in real time and make more accurate and efficient sales forecasts and reports. Salesforce’s ability to sort and manage data and customer information speeds the workflow of sales representatives. Marketers and customer service representatives are greatly benefited by the integration of social networks and internal databases that Salesforce can provide.
Salesforce also offers a seamless integration between their development platform services and their CRM products, so if your business is already using Salesforce in one area, it’s that much easier to migrate other systems to Salesforce.
One particularly handy aspect of Salesforce that sets it apart from its competitors is their AppExchange. This third-party marketplace is already well-developed and continues to grow, making it easy to search for and find apps and solutions that other organizations may have already created.
All of the features discussed above likely factored into Gartner’s latest research on MADPs, which placed Salesforce in their “magic quadrant” as one of the top leaders among mobile app development platforms. Some of the other criteria Gartner discussed for achieving this coveted status included market responsiveness, customer experience, completeness of vision, market understanding, and innovation.
Salesforce’s strong vision and execution, as well as its continuing efforts to keep all of its services as cutting-edge as possible, have made it a standard across industries and one of the most important players in its field.