Elements CRM and the Salesforce AppExchange

By SS&C Salentica

Ever since the cloud revolutionized CRM, the door for CRM to play a major role in every aspect of your company's business operations has been swung wide open. Today, companies are delivering solutions to connect to a wide ecosystem of applications that are organically designed to help turn basic CRM data into information that can be beneficial for everything from project management to compliance.

Elements allows you to access and utilize any app that can be found in the Salesforce AppExchange. Making it easier to discover and connect the tools you need to grow. A vibrant ecosystem of tools that complement and integrate with Elements, the AppExchange is the world's largest B2B app ecosystem.

With tools like Slack becoming more popular as of late in financial circles, the AppExchange makes it easy to collaborate across sales and service teams with the new Slack app. Because Slack is a third-party, independent tool that works across all the different disciplines within the company, easily send Salesforce records directly to Slack channels, and link key customer interactions and internal conversations with related CRM records.

The goal for most of these third-party apps on the AppExchange is for them to become immensely more powerful by leveraging CRM data. While in reverse, the data within the CRM becomes much more applicable.

As you can tell from the example above, Salesforce AppExchange apps offer huge potential in helping you run your organization, better and with less hassle.

But before you go out searching for the best app to catapult your company into success, make sure you understand what you are getting into by reading the rest of this article.

The Types of AppExchange Products

Inside the AppExchange, some apps are free, while many carry a subscription fee.

Apps are categorized in three main ways:

  • - By type
  • - By product
  • - By industry

AppExchange products come in two flavors: Un-managed packages and Managed packages.

Un-managed

Unmanaged packages are typically used to distribute open-source projects and applications so that developers have the basic building blocks or core functionality of the app. These apps are meant for developers to modify or build on top of, according to the needs of your business. The 2 most important to note factors of unmanaged apps are. One, to achieve desired results you will need access to a developer, and two, an unmanaged package cannot be upgraded.

Managed

Managed packages are typically built by ISV partners, who sell and distribute their applications to customers via the AppExchange. These packages are created from Salesforce Developer Edition organizations. Managed packages are fully upgradeable, and the customer cannot see or make changes to any code that is part of a managed package.

Before you dive right in and start installing apps for everything. Dig deep, take the app for a test drive, and make sure that it meets your requirements. Even talk to other organizations using it, learn where the product is going, and find out if the provider supports the product in the way your firm needs. 

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before installing anything from the AppExchange

  1. 1.Does the tool fit your core business need?
  2. 2.How many other organizations are currently using it?
  3. 3.How long have they been using it?
  4. 4.What do others using the tool have to say about their experience?
  5. 5.What support is available?
  6. 6.What kind of documentation and training is provided?
  7. 7.What is the licensing model (site license vs. user licenses)?
  8. 8.Is what you see what you actually get?
  9. 9.How do they work with partners?
  10. 10.Is it a managed package, or is it unmanaged?