Companies have heretofore been able to manage their organizational data, whether CRM-related or not, with Salesforce applications provided by AppExchange or built on Force.com. However, their data was largely cut off from other companies, or “tenants”, who also use Salesforce’s hosted software. With S2S, businesses can now share data with partner companies, thereby taking advantage of Salesforce’s multi-tenancy architecture.
Salesforce claims to be modeling S2S off the sharing functionality of social networks like Facebook. To share data, such as leads or plans, you simply search for contacts from within your browser and create “connections” with them. Data objects land in their inboxes, from which they can choose to accept the objects or not. Once accepted, updates to the objects will show up for both companies that have access to them. Company representatives say that data sharing can also be set up to occur in a more automated fashion.
The idea is that employees for, say, Amazon can more easily send shipping requests to UPS and, similarly, Toyota can pass on information about sales leads to local dealerships.
As far as pricing goes, it will cost $100 per month for two companies to transfer data between their applications. However, only one of the companies (the one that sets the connection up) will shoulder that cost.
Salesforce says that it will boast one million subscribers, or users, by the end of this month. Over 38,000 companies currently use its services.