Microsoft’s SharePoint is one of the more robust, feature filled, extensible document management platforms in the market. But apart from storing data, it is not specifically tailored with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) capabilities.
Conversely, Salesforce® is a widely used CRM platform that supports sales and marketing requirements of organizations of all sizes and industries. But when it comes to managing documents, and storage efficiency and capacity, Salesforce wasn't designed to be a content management system (where it would manage versioning, approvals, large files or other common requirements.) Instead, it's a robust CRM system that helps sales departments manage customer accounts, activities, opportunities and other sales-related items.
Organizations that use both systems for their respective strengths, however, often end up opting for external storage systems, such as Dropbox, for documents, which can require additional licensing and maintenance costs as well as more complex processes for file updating and versioning, which can lead to inefficiencies and lost productivity. Additionally, some of these systems don’t enable the mature collaboration they require to drive highly efficient projects and quality products.
An integration between the two best-of-breed systems can help organizations leverage the best features from each while saving costs and reducing the resources required to maintain documentation in two independent platforms. While at the same time, it makes the user experience between the two technologies seamless to help increase productivity and efficiency for users.
Imagine being able to view pertinent SharePoint files directly on a Salesforce account or contact page.
While the benefits of a SharePoint/Salesforce integration are numerous, developing such an interface can be difficult and costly for many organizations to accomplish in-house in a timely manner.
This is where bringing in a partner can help.
Emtec’s team of SharePoint and Salesforce experts have developed an application framework, ShareINTEGRATE™, which provides real-time access to SharePoint files and folders from Salesforce. It does this via intermediate gateway service that helps Salesforce first, as depicted in the below image.
This ShareINTEGRATE™ suite provides several pre-built and configurable “widgets,” which can be embedded on various Salesforce pages, including Account, Opportunity or other pages, providing what looks like a Salesforce library complete with folders. While the UI/UX remains the same, all the uploaded content in these folders actually is stored in SharePoint.
Benefits of tighter integration of Salesforce and SharePoint
Here are 8 more specific benefits such integration also could enable in addition to increased efficiency and productivity among Salesforce users:
- Reduced Costs: Storing content in Salesforce is far more expensive than storing that same content in SharePoint. Integrating SharePoint into Salesforce provides significantly less expensive content storage costs.
- Big Files? No Problem: Salesforce doesn’t have the capability to store large documents, while SharePoint commonly stores files as big as 50 MB or larger. Integration between the two systems would eliminate these constraints.
- Real Time Availability: All content is available in real-time and continuously synchronized in SharePoint.
- Document Versioning Control: SharePoint automatically manages file versioning for documents originating in Salesforce giving you more control over what documentation is making its way into your clients' and partners' hands.
- Maintain on-premise and cloud SharePoint instances: Integration can be accomplished for both instance options of SharePoint.
- Single view of all Salesforce files: SharePoint enables hierarchies and breadcrumbs to offer easier file management. All interactions with the newly stored files would be via the Salesforce interface.
- Increased efficiency: By embedding SharePoint functionality directly into Salesforce, users have a seamless UI/UX as they interact with Account, Contact, Opportunity or Project pages, which can enable them to be more productive throughout their day.
- Enhanced security: Organizations that integrate SharePoint into Salesforce can customize access control to ensure users will see only the SharePoint-hosted content their individual SharePoint credentials entitle them to see, rather than enabling those with any Salesforce access to gain access to all the documents.
Emtec can help organizations solve their unique data storage needs as well enable increased collaboration and minimized costs with our integration accelerator. If your organization is looking at integrating your SharePoint and Salesforce instances, contact us today!