Software as a Service (SaaS) continues grow as the strategy that businesses employ in meeting their business software needs. What’s interesting is that SaaS hasn’t been around all that long. If you Google SaaS many will put the start of the concept at around 1999 with the beginning of Salesforce.
Now you might be wondering, “Alright, but what does this have to do with using cloud-native applications?” Well, as SaaS solution providers like Salesforce have grown, they’re digital eco-systems have as well. They continue to expand their features and functionality offerings to the point that you can now manage your entire business in the same environment. One of the ways you can do this is by implementing cloud-native applications. Salesforce for example offers cloud-native applications through their AppExchange.
So, what are Salesforce cloud-native applications, why should you consider using them as a viable solution for your business system infrastructure, and what benefits are there to be gained from this type of strategy?
There are many clouds out there but for the purpose of our discussion we’ll keep things in the realm of the Salesforce cloud. When we refer to an application as being “Salesforce native” it means that the application is 100% developed and deployed for the Salesforce platform. Think of a Salesforce native application as an extension of the Salesforce CRM platform. There is no need to integrate the application with Salesforce because the application lives inside the platform. All the data processing and storage happens in Salesforce and no external connection is required to connect the application to Salesforce.
That said, there are many applications that are not native applications but rather have what could be termed as Salesforce “native-connectors”. This is a significant difference in that the application was not developed specifically for the Salesforce platform. Rather it simply means that it can integrate with Salesforce. We suggest keeping this in mind when considering an application for purchase.
One of the primary advantages to having a native application strategy for Salesforce is data integrity. With a Salesforce native application, you know your data will always be accurate. As well, you ensure that there are no unnecessary errors in, or duplicates of, your data. You thus create what is termed a “single source of truth”. One way in which Salesforce native applications do this is by using data that one application stores for one purpose, to support another application with its intended purpose. For example, Salesforce collects data about Accounts and Contacts. If you implement a native application, like Akatia’s WAM warehouse management system (WMS), then that same Account and Contact data can be used in relation to your warehouse management and order fulfillment. Instead of creating a separate set of data both applications use the same data but to fulfill different business purposes.
A native application also allows for real-time data to be displayed. This is something that we’ve touched on before. As digital transformation continues to permeate the business world having real-time data about your business is becoming imperative. Some non-native applications claim to have real-time data transfer to Salesforce, but only with a Salesforce native application can you ensure this without integration. Instead Salesforce native applications allow for the seamless transfer of data fluidly and without disruption.
We’ve all at one point or another had an interruption due to a connection failure of an application or software. This can be frustrating especially when one system relies on another to fulfill its purpose. Business cannot afford extensive system downtimes as this can effectively bring operations to halt. A Salesforce native application provides reliability when it comes to connectivity. Since the native application resides in Salesforce, you’re not reliant on another server or third-party from a non-native application to ensure the connection. As long as Salesforce is up and running you will always have access to your applications and data. And with Salesforce’s impressive 99.9% uptime reliability you’re almost guaranteed never to have any interruptions. On top of this every third-party that develops a Salesforce native application must abide by stringent security standards set out and governed by Salesforce. This guarantees that native applications will work and handle data in a secure manner. Furthermore, Salesforce requires native applications to be in compliance with their latest updates. With a Salesforce native application, you’re always guaranteed that it will be compatible when Salesforce releases its tri-yearly updates. A Salesforce native application thus provides a layer of trust you can rely on.
Native applications also provide an extensive amount of flexibility. Salesforce gives businesses the opportunity to configure their own process workflows, add customer fields, buttons, and triggers. Since native applications are built for Salesforce using the same architecture, they have the advantage of being equally configurable to your business’ requirements. By exploiting these advantages businesses can avoid higher development and integration costs, while reducing the timeframe for implementation.
Salesforce native applications provide the means to achieve seamless business processes that are consolidated on one platform. You increase your return on investment because there are less costs associated to on-going maintenance, integration, or updates while maximizing the Salesforce platform. As well since native applications have a similar user interface and structure as the Salesforce platform, users already familiar with it will find it easier to adopt native applications as they will have a source of reference. This also extends to your IT team who will find it much easier and efficient to manage a single platform for your entire organization.
As we can see there are significant benefits to adopting Salesforce native applications when building out or scaling up your business software infrastructure. Salesforce native applications provide accuracy, trust, security, flexibility, and simplicity across your entire organization. This is a proven strategy that has worked for countless businesses, and we are sure it will work for you.
If you’re thinking of maximizing a Salesforce native application like Akatia’s WAM for your inventory and warehouse management, get in contact with us by clicking the link below. We’d be happy to speak with you.