Google Apps for Salesforce Review

Everyone loves Google. They’re the internet’s darling, it would seem. First, they gave us the best search engine ever seen, and then they gave us the best email service. Now, we not only have a good OS for mobile devices as an alternative to the awful Windows Mobile and iOS, but we have a ton of amazing web apps from them. Google has pioneered SaaS since before it was even a popular topic, with their Drive system, maps, financial applications and much more. What’s more, they’re largely free. So, given the rapid adoption of these, adopting other SaaS solutions has kind of been in the shadow of Google. So, it was inevitable that Google Apps for Salesforce would become a thing eventually.

Google keeps putting off their release of their CRM software, which has been hinted at numerous times, but never officially announced, and in that time, Salesforce has come to dominate this niche pretty unanimously. However, since the adoption of Google’s other technologies was pretty established, Salesforce developers didn’t bother to try to duplicate many of these. Well, the problem here is that without some interaction between the two, if a CRM project brings in Google functionality, there has to be this layer of human interpretation to make the two work together. So, Google Apps for Salesforce sounds like an absolute godsend. But, does it work?

Yeah, this does work. A year ago, I would have been skeptical about this, given how obtuse Google was being about making their APIs transparent enough to get them to work with other proprietary systems like Salesforce’s Apex API. But, I guess they changed their tune, or the developers of this extension system were just exceptionally clever. Probably, it was a combination of the two.

But, the result is what matters anyhow, and this is a great solution. With this extension, you can bring in the collaborative nature of Google documents, the cloud storage of Google Drive, and a number of other Google services, and import/export data from these to and from Salesforce easily. This eliminates that need for human arbitration to keep these two cutting edge technologies synchronized properly, making everyone’s life easier.

This thing is ridiculously easy to install, with a six step process that comes with documentation and support that’s quite extensive, to set you to getting the most out of it.

This is fairly new, so a lot of potential ideas haven’t been tried, but just imagine some of the things this will probably allow with enough use, trial and further development. CRM will be able to calculate shipping times, coordinate locations with customer records, get realtime marketing data from Google’s advertising platform, the sky is literally the limit.

For now, it’s mostly just been used in smaller levels, taking advantage of that much desired interoperability between Google Drive/Documents and Salesforce records, and that’s fine. That was sorely needed since Salesforce lacked those sorts of features out of the box. But, the future is bright for CRM and for continued support of Google’s robust solutions at the same time now that this bridge has finally been built.

So, if you were nervous or skeptical about the practicality of Google Apps for Salesforce, don’t be. This is a wonderful thing.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.
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