Commenting on Salesforce.com’s CRM integration with Twitter, Brinsmead said “it has approached the market early before customers are fully aware of the need for this type of integration.”
“Datamonitor believes this timing is right because websites such as Facebook and Twitter are undergoing a rapid uptake in users. According to TweetRush, a service providing estimated statistics on Twitter usage, in early February Twitter had around 400,000 active users per day; this figure had risen to over 600,000 active users on average per day by the end of March. Facebook now has 175 million active users and, interestingly, from the website's own statistics page, more than four million users become fans of Pages each day.”
Brinsmead says this is particularly relevant for Salesforce.com, which is utilising brand Pages to push information to Google through the Service Cloud in order to provide information to its customers and push customer information back to the brands.
She advises Salesforce.com's clients to develop brand equity and focus on improving customer service and customer retention rates, particularly in the slow economy.
But, Brinsmead also warns that there are also concerns around security in sharing and integrating information from Web 2.0 channels, saying that at the moment, it is difficult to validate the authenticity of postings and advisors, and data ownership.
“Analysing the continuous flow of information could prove challenging for Salesforce.com, which is not traditionally an analytics or business intelligence (BI) company,” according to Brinsmead.
“The company may need to form further partnerships with BI or analytics vendors to enable customers to get the best presentation of information and this could also be costly for customers. However, Salesforce.com does have a large pool of AppXchange partners with the ability to create a social networking-specific analytics tool, and should encourage development of this type of application.”