CloudCraze, an e-commerce application designed within the Internet- or cloud-based Salesforce1 platform from Salesforce.com Inc., is releasing an upgrade Tuesday with additional e-commerce site features as it strives for broader market penetration.
The e-commerce software, introduced two years ago by EDL Consulting Inc., Deerfield, IL, is billed as the only e-commerce software designed and built natively within the Salesforce1 development platform. That puts it on the same cloud-based system that also runs Salesforce.com’s customer relationship management, or CRM, software and enterprise resource planning software from FinancialForce.com.
That set-up can be particularly attractive to companies that already use the Salesforce.com CRM system, making it simpler to tie e-commerce orders to their customer records—a process that can help companies better understand and respond with marketing and online product displays to their customers’ buying patterns.
“CloudCraze has the potential to become a ‘just add water’ e-commerce system for customers that already use Salesforce,” says Andy Hoar, an analyst who specializes in B2B e-commerce at Forrester Research Inc. He adds that, as a software-as-a-service platform, or SaaS, technology on the Salesforce.com platform is relatively quick and easy to deploy.
Companies that use CloudCraze and other systems on the Salesforce.com SaaS platform access the Internet-hosted software through web browsers, freeing them from having to run the systems on their own web servers.
The time to deploy CloudCraze depends largely on the size and complexity of a client’s operations, says Bill Loumpouridis, founder of CloudCraze and the firm that developed it, EDL Consulting.. The set-up can take as little as six weeks, though could run much longer if a client company is deploying a complex system that, say, includes multiple web sites and multiple ERP systems around the world, he says.
Hoar says the biggest challenge CloudCraze faces is getting better known in the e-commerce technology market. Generally speaking, “no one knows they can run e-commerce on top of Salesforce.com,” Hoar says. That, he says, is largely because e-commerce professionals are not typically involved with running CRM technology, which is Salesforce.com’s main offering.
One way Loumpouridis is hoping to raise awareness is through CloudCraze’s annual participation in Dreamforce, Salesforce.com’s annual users event that will host some 100,000 people next month in San Francisco. Among the presenters will be musician Neil Young, who operates his high-resolution music site, Pono Music, on CloudCraze.
CloudCraze is also expanding its reach into the online procurement technology market. It has pre-integrated its technology with e-procurement software from Ariba, a unit of SAP AG, the provider of enterprise resource planning software including accounting and inventory management applications. Loumpouridis adds that it’s not unusual for CloudCraze clients to use SAP for their ERP system.
CloudCraze, which is self-funded, sells its software directly to customers as well as through a network of resellers, including Global System Integrators and Salesforce.com, which makes CloudCraze available through its AppExchange.salesforce.com.
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