Salesforce is a CRM platform that provides a wide range of functionalities to an enterprise’s employees and customers. It is a cloud-based CRM platform that optimizes an enterprise’s sales, marketing, and service departments by providing cutting-edge features and functionalities such as:
- Workflow automation
- Management of leads and contacts
- Einstein Analytics
- Management of Partners and Channels
- File synchronization and sharing, for example, across all channels
Let us concentrate on File synchronization and sharing in this blog.
What is File synchronization and sharing?
File synchronization and sharing involve the exchange of files, documents, images, videos among employees, customers, or business partners. Enterprise sync and share systems, in our case Salesforce, provide a platform to synchronize and share data across multiple devices. The data can be saved on the cloud and accessed from anywhere, ensuring external and internal collaboration.
How does Salesforce handle collaboration and document management?
Salesforce Chatter is a free collaboration tool to engage with your employees and customers in real-time; it is more like Facebook or Twitter but exclusive to your organization. With chatter, employees can create personal profiles, public and private groups to exchange posts, images, and others in the group can comment and like on these posts.
With multiple business processes running, an organization generates a plethora of files, and these files must be accessible to everyone at all times. Salesforce has several native document management systems such as:
- Files Home
- Salesforce CRM Content
- Salesforce Knowledge
- Documents Tab
But there is a limitation to the Salesforce-provided document management and collaboration system.
What are these limitations? Let us take a look at them
For document management, file storage space is of utmost importance; Salesforce being the no.1 CRM platform, still has a lot of limitations when it comes to providing ample storage facilities for its users.
When I say file storage space, I mean the space set aside for storing important Salesforce files such as attachments, Files home, Salesforce CRM Content, Documents tab, Chatter files (including user photos), custom files on knowledge articles, and other assets.
There is a limit of less than 10 GB space for primary file storage, as well as restrictions on the Salesforce files and attachments that can be stored within the Salesforce platform’s primary file storage.
The storage limits for different features in both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience is given below.
|2 GB (Lightning) & 25 MB (Classic)
|SALESFORCE KNOWLEDGE ATTACHMENTS
|SALESFORCE CRM CONTENT
|EMAIL, MESSAGES WITH ATTACHMENTS
Based on the above table, you can easily conclude that the available space is surprisingly limited.
Now coming to the default collaboration tool chatter, though chatter facilitates employee and user collaborations, it still comes with restrictions where only the paid users have access to its complete functionalities such as accessing Salesforce records or editing the documents. This feature also has restricted access to information even for their customers and partners where they cannot view calendars, content libraries, contacts, events, and topics as free users.
The company has to either buy more Salesforce cloud licenses so that all of their employees have full access to chatter’s features or opt for Salesforce lightning platform starter licenses which gives the users full access to all the chatter functionalities. These licenses start from the price range of about 25$ per month per user.
You can still efficiently manage document management and facilitate collaboration using the native Salesforce tools.
But is it feasible? Is it cost-effective? Is it employee and user-friendly?
The answer is a clear no!
The limited storage capabilities mean that the files must be constantly deleted or moved to an external storage system to make space for the incoming files. The limited chatter tool capabilities mean shelling out more money to avail licenses to allow full access.
The best possible solution would be to use Salesforce as an exclusive CRM platform and adopt a different platform to manage the documentation and collaborations.
One such platform that helps works as an enterprise collaboration platform is Microsoft SharePoint.
Small and big organizations generate loads of content in different forms: contracts, email messages, spreadsheets, pdfs, photos, text files, videos, invoices, records, resumes, marketing materials, client presentations, and sales pitches.
While creating this content might be easy, organizing them is a big task. Still, with an effective enterprise content management system like SharePoint, you can easily organize and manage the generated content throughout their entire life cycle.
It is a web-based intranet collaboration platform providing content management, workflow collaboration, secure sharing features, and many more. These features are accessible from anywhere on a range of devices.
Integrating the best-of-breed CRM platform like Salesforce with a flexible and feature-rich collaboration platform like SharePoint enables organizations to maximize the value from both these systems; let us take a look at how the magic happens.
Since it requires the purchase of expensive licenses, storing files exclusively on Salesforce can be pretty costly, whereas using a SharePoint-based collaboration tool allows for more cost-effective collaboration across large teams.
Large scale collaboration
Salesforce SharePoint integrations allow the storage of large amounts of files and real-time collaboration and offline editing. Around 1TB of storage space is available per organization, with an additional 0.5GB per licensed user. With SharePoint, large-scale document management and collaborations happen quickly, eliminating the constraints of using Salesforce for storage.
Document Version Control
Versioning provides a safety net to the users by helping them keep a historical record of any changes or mistakes that might occur in the documents. Documents originating in Salesforce are automatically versioned via SharePoint, giving you greater control over what documentation your clients and partners see.
The SharePoint functionality is directly embedded into the Salesforce platform enabling a seamless user experience as they access the account, opportunity, contact pages, etc.
With Salesforce SharePoint integrations, when a user logs in with their SharePoint credentials, they can only view and access the files and content hosted by SharePoint and not all the content available on Salesforce, hence improving the security of the Salesforce platform.
In SharePoint, employees and customers can access real-time knowledge through articles, promotions, news snippets, etc. Salesforce knowledge is accessible to employees for knowledge sharing, but customer access is only possible through a customer portal that complements Salesforce knowledge. The Salesforce route to deliver knowledge can be costlier in the long run, owing to more expensive user license fees.
Also, read: Top 5 Reasons to use Salesforce Community Cloud
Salesforce SharePoint integration is possible by using Salesforce Connect, ready-made integration applications from Salesforce AppExchange, or a custom-built integration application. By integrating Salesforce and SharePoint, you can establish a smooth communication and easy knowledge exchange across all the departments of your organization by equally leveraging all the features offered by both these platforms.
It is a dependable, smooth, and cost-effective procedure that can help your company generate value and thrive.