Heroku And Salesforce Aim To Link Business Process and Customer Experience

Salesforce announced today that it was releasing two new products to help ease the integration between Heroku mobile development tools and Salesforce 1. The new products should make it easier to create applications in Heroku and review data in almost real time as users interact with mobile apps.

The first piece is called Salesforce 1 Heroku Connect. The second is the Salesforce 1 Connected Customer App package. Together they purport to provide a simple way to integrate Salesforce 1 login information into the Platform as a Service offering’s backend processes and ultimately give users real time insight into how customers are interacting with their apps.

It’s worth noting that Salesforce bought Heroku in 2010. They are adding this level of integration today because, according to Scott Holden, VP of platform marketing at Salesforce, customers have demanded it.

Up until now while it was possible to move between the two platforms, it required going through APIs to do it. These two tools are designed to simplify the process and according to Holden, allow a business analyst to connect the two systems without heavy lifting from a development team.

As Holden explained, as businesses have created a variety of mobile apps, they have had a data void about how users were interacting with those apps. Only a few companies have been able to take advantage of this type of round-trip data integration: large companies with the resources to build them and small companies built from the ground-up like Uber and Square.

Holden explained that companies today are trying to create apps to interact with customers, but without having insight into what happens when they do. “They are spinning up apps without hooks into business,” Holden says.

What these products do is provide the connections to enterprise analytics and business apps, so businesses can see what their customers are doing inside the apps they create, and maybe tie that to a marketing automation apps to deliver messages or offers based on the actions of individual customers. It brings together business process and customer engagement into a single package, Holden explained.

This type of integration lets companies have more control over the customer experience. They can learn what customers like and based on that information, they can supply customized offers that are meaningful to a particular customer instead of spraying customers with spam offers that will have little meaning and will likely be ignored.

What’s more, this type of insight lets developers understand how people are using the apps and adjust or add features based on this information, Holden said.

One hundred customers participated in the Beta program leading up to this release, including fast food chain Red Robin, which has been trying to find a way to take advantage of its customer loyalty program information. Up until now, Holden explained, Red Robin was built on a legacy stack and they were having problems as they added more people because the old system couldn’t scale. When they were able to combine an app built with Heroku with a cloud backend in Salesforce, “having that ability to tie the two together was game changing.” Holden said.

Heroku is built on open source development technologies including Ruby, Node, PHP and Python.