What is Salesforce?

I get this question all the time when people ask me what I do for a living. Anyone in sales (and maybe the tech sector) has usually heard of Salesforce, but most people outside of those industries probably haven’t. I often have to explain:

  • What is Salesforce?
  • No, I don’t build Salesforce.
  • How and why I help others customize Salesforce to fit their needs.

While there is still a battle to be fought on the latter two points, Salesforce has provided a new trail in Trailhead called Navigate the Salesforce Advantage to explain the company and its core tenants at a high level.

While I don’t want to reiterate the contents of entire trail here, as it is a pretty quick read, it is broken down into four separate modules. And if you have no idea what Trailhead is, take a look at my last post.

Salesforce Success Model

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This module explains the core building blocks of Salesforce as a company. For those who are learning about Salesforce for the first time, consider this the heartwarming story that makes you want to join the ecosystem.

In all seriousness, it is refreshing to see these key foundational elements consistently repeated throughout the company year over year, and that they are more than just a marketing ploy based on the actions that the company has taken over that time.

Salesforce Cloud Benefits

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This is where the fun begins. It is hard to remember that 15 years ago, cloud computing was in its infancy, and Salesforce was at the forefront of this shift in thinking. The move to the cloud has given the ability for (poor) developers to disrupt entire industries from their bedrooms.

There is a great example in this module that compares Cloud Computing to renting an apartment in a building. I’ll have to copy that one the next time someone asks me to explain it!

Salesforce Technology Basics

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Building off the previous module, the slightly more tech-savvy audience can get a basic understanding of how this mythical cloud architecture works, and why businesses trust it and can leverage it to accelerate their time-to-market.

In fact, Salesforce has garnered such a reputation for the speed at which you can build applications, sometimes with minimal or no actual coding, that my developer friends often imply that there isn’t any development work to do.

The truth in this case is that Salesforce handles all the infrastructure, servers, security, etc. for you — replacing some of the lower level developer tasks. Personally, that is the stuff that I don’t find as fun as building the business logic and interfaces, so I love that I don’t have to do it.

The speed between creating a brand new instance to writing your first line of code can be measured in minutes. In other words:

“Salesforce does all the dirty work so I can concentrate on the fun stuff.”

Salesforce Ecosystem

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Lastly, but perhaps the unique aspect of Salesforce, is the ecosystem. I’ve never before seen such a large group of people across skill sets and competencies posting (and replying) to random people across the globe.

The volume of people willing to interact over social media, forums, in user groups, and a variety of other mechanisms seems to be unparalleled in the industry. It makes it very welcoming for anyone to join in, and the ability to assimilate into the ecosystem with those helping hands is definitely has a strong pull for those looking for a new career.