***UPDATED OCTOBER 2014***
It has been a while since Salesforce came out with the Force.com platform and I just wanted to bring it to your attention that there may be ways to use this to your advantage when paying for your Salesforce CRM system licenses. In the paragraphs that follow, I will go over understanding Salesforce license types – the different editions and features – so that you can be sure you are using the right edition for your business.
The Sales Cloud Contact Manager edition costs $5.00 per user per month for up to five users. If you have a small office and just need to track and share all of your contacts and accounts, this may be the edition for you. This is more of a contact management system than a customer relationship management system in that it does not have leads or opportunities. Content, a Chatter license, Outlook and Google Apps integration, and activity tracking is included.
The Sales Cloud Group edition costs $25.00 per user per month for up to five users. This is a basic CRM system that includes the above features plus leads and opportunities. It also includes dashboards, support for one AppExchange app, and Salesforce email templates. If your small office wants to track customers, leads and sales, then consider this edition of Salesforce.
The Sales Cloud Professional edition costs $65.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. This is a complete CRM system for any size company. You get all of the above plus campaign, case, and contract management, customizable dashboards, forecasting, mass email, products and pricebooks, as well as a role hierarchy to limit access to records (so you have real security controls vs. an open sharing model in the above editions). You can have up to five custom apps and fifty custom objects. It does not have back-end (API) access to other programs or automation like workflow but if these features are not needed, and the other CRM system features are needed, this may be a good edition to start with.
The Sales Cloud Enterprise edition costs $125.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. This is the most widely used version of Salesforce. If integration with other systems or workflow automation is required, then this is the CRM system edition for you. Send emails using Salesforce email templates, update fields, assign tasks, and change owners automatically based on any criteria you choose. Enterprise edition allows for more customization and lets you edit profile and page layouts and create sales territories.
The Sales Cloud Unlimited edition costs $250.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. The name says it all. Unlimited custom apps and up to 2000 custom objects! The storage is also increased from 20MB of data storage and 612MB of file storage per user to 120MB of data storage and 2GB of file storage per user. Salesforce premier support is also included with Unlimited edition.
The Salesforce CRM system also has a Service cloud for the Professional ($65.00 per user per month), Enterprise ($135.00 per user per month), and Performance ($300.00 per user per month) editions that are designed for support companies or call centers. Depending on the edition, the Service cloud includes the agent console, Twitter integration, knowledge base, service contracts, entitlements, field service management and Facebook integration. If your primary business is support, these editions may help you the best.
When making your choice of license type remember that is is easy to upgrade to a more expensive license type and difficult to downgrade to a less expensive license type. Not only can there be development work or data transfer associated with downgrading to a less expensive license, but Salesforce will not let a company downgrade a license type until the end of the contract period. You can upgrade a license type at any time.
The Force.com platform includes all of the back-end functionality of Enterprise edition including integration with other programs, automated workflow, custom objects and apps, and Apex code but it has limited access to the standard CRM objects. Cases, solutions, campaigns, leads, opportunities, products, contracts, and forecasts are not accessible with any Force.com edition.
The Chatter Free edition allows non-Salesforce users to post status updates, follow their coworkers, share files, and collaborate with colleagues. It includes access to the Chatter desktop client, Chatter feeds, file sharing, Chatter Groups, invitations, profiles, and status updates.
The Chatter Plus edition costs $15.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. It has read only access to accounts and contacts, supports 1 custom app and up to 10 custom objects. Chatter Plus also gives users access to calendar and events, content, reports and dashboards, and tasks and activities. The Chatter edition can be added to any Professional, Enterprise, or Unlimited instance where the user only needs access to the custom app and objects. Chatter Plus is a great way to expand the use of Salesforce in your organization to new departments outside of business development and customer service.
The Force.com Enterprise App edition costs $25.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. It supports full access to accounts and contacts as well as 10 custom apps and up to 10 custom objects. It can be added to any Enterprise instance where the user needs full access to the accounts and contacts as well as your custom apps and objects only. This is the perfect platform if you have the need for a database that does not need access to any of the CRM system objects.
The Force.com App Bundle edition costs $80.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users, supports full access to accounts and contacts, and gives users 10 custom apps, 25 custom tabs, and up to 200 custom objects.
The Force.com Unlimited Apps edition costs $150.00 per user per month for an unlimited number of users. It also supports full access to accounts and contacts as well as an unlimited number of custom apps and up to 2000 custom objects. It can be added to any Unlimited instance where the user needs full access to the accounts and contacts as well as your custom apps and objects only.
Now that you have an understanding of what the different Salesforce CRM system editions feature and cost, you may find that you have users that can take advantage of the Force.com licenses to reduce your licensing costs. If you only have one Enterprise edition user that can be moved to a Force.com Enterprise license, you will save $100.00 per month or $1200.00 per year.
These are some pretty big savings numbers for just one user. With the right customizations on your custom objects and apps, you may be able to move a majority of your users to Force.com licenses. This can free up some serious capital for use in other areas and in many cases can pay for the development work needed to make the change over.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like help understanding Salesforce license types, customizing your Salesforce instance or want to explore moving some of all of your users to Force.com licenses.
StarrData helps you get the most out of Salesforce. If you would like information on the services we offer, call us at (888) 391-4493 x103.