Mobile & Tech

Salesforce’s New AppExchange Features Some Cool Tools for Field Service

Field service firms that depend on Salesforce for customer-relationship management and that are beginning to experiment with mobile devices and other cloud apps will want to check out Salesforce’s AppExchange Mobile, which launched earlier this week. It’s essentially a collection of enterprise apps, all of which integrate with Salesforce, and will help service managers discover new cloud apps and extract more value from the mobile devices they’re increasingly putting in technicians’ hands.

AppExchange Mobile aims to capitalize on the spread of mobile devices through the enterprise — including field service — as technicians (and their managers) more and more are coming to expect constant access to information and social communication.

The AppExchange Mobile marketplace includes several apps that should be intriguing for field service managers and field techs. Of course, Salesforce’s native apps — Salesforce and Chatter —are there, but the store features several other apps that techs will find useful:

  • Dragon dictation: Dictation software that integrates with Chatter, email and text messages. Great for taking notes or collaborating with other technicians or employees back at the office to solve a customer problem while on location.
  • DocuSign: Signature-capture software that allows technicians to obtain customer signatures on the spot and close work orders quickly.
  • ServiceMax: An iPad app that gives technicians mobile access to all customer, part and work order information, anywhere in the field. (Disclosure: ServiceMax is the sponsor of The SmartVan.)

And no doubt there’s more to come as AppExchange Mobile matures.

ReadWriteWeb’s Dan Rowinski points out that AppExchange Mobile will help enterprises tied to Salesforce uncover more cloud apps for their businesses:

“AppExchange Mobile will certainly help enterprise users who are deeply tied to Salesforce products. App stores in general make it much easier for IT departments to spread applications and updates throughout a company. The original Salesforce AppExchange is still a very popular enterprise-grade application solution with all the security backings and cloud support of Salesforce. The mobile version is an extension of that. What it lacks for in originality it makes up for in functionality.”

Salesforce certainly isn’t the first company to consolidate mobile apps into an online marketplace. Eric Lai, writing for Forbes, gives a thorough breakdown of the different enterprise app stores out there, from those developed by companies for their own employees, to platforms such as Apple’s App Store or Google’s Android Market. But with so many field service firms using Salesforce for CRM and starting to experiment with cloud apps and Android and Apple mobile devices, field service managers are sure to find a few apps for their technicians’ smartphones and tablets.

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