For those of you using Salesforce Enterprise Edition or Salesforce Unlimited Edition, you probably have the ability to leverage Salesforce Platform Licenses for some of your users to substantially reduce your Salesforce licensing costs.
While the Salesforce Enterprise and Unlimited licenses are for your day-to-day users requiring full access to the entire suite of tools within the system, Salesforce Platform Licenses (formerly known as Force.com licenses) are created for individuals who need access to accounts, contacts, and custom apps developed within your Salesforce instance, but do not need full CRM access like other users. (See below for what I mean by CRM access.)
These Salesforce Platform users co-exist with other Salesforce users and can access a lot of the same information since they are on the same database; however, with some strategic planning/user segmentation, differentiating between the two groups can save you a significant amount.
For example, the cost of a Salesforce Sales or Service Cloud Enterprise user license is $1,800/year per license, while the license cost of a Lightning Platform Starter is $300/year per license. Simply identifying which of your users only need a Lightning Platform Starter license instead of a full Salesforce license can save you $1,500/year per license!
It is common that Salesforce CRM implementation and usage originates in an organization’s sales department, where it creates a high degree of value for the firm. Recognizing the value of the platform, usage then expands into other areas of the company. With this expansion, Salesforce administrators are often tasked with creating custom objects and developing additional areas of Salesforce used to handle new data sets for different departments. Subsequently, many of these new operationally-focused users do not need access to certain core CRM objects and functionality found in Salesforce Sales Cloud or Service Cloud Enterprise Edition.
What are the CRM objects? They are:
- Products/Price Books
In some instances, a company may be using a CRM object but they are making light use of the object. From a cost-benefit analysis, the cost to develop a similar custom object with a Lightning Platform Starter license could be completed for substantially less than the cost of their Salesforce Sales or Service Cloud Enterprise license(s). Remember, you can save $1,500/year for every license migrated from a Salesforce license to a Lightning Platform Starter license.
A Lightning Platform Starter license provides full access to Accounts and Contacts in the same database with Salesforce Enterprise license users. Lightning Platform Starter license users also maintain access to Reports, Dashboards, Documents, Cases*, and Custom Tabs.
It’s worth noting that a move to a Lightning Platform Starter license does not impact user access to Accounts and Contacts. These users will still have full access to Account and Contact records in your organization according to established sharing rules. However, transferring a user from a Salesforce Sales or Service Cloud Enterprise license to a Lightning Platform Starter license can impact access to other records and information in the system. Such changes must be well thought out before implementing – StarrData can help with these types of issues.
Even though Lightning Platform Starter users maintain the same access to Accounts and Contacts that Enterprise users have, your users will probably need access to more than Accounts and Contacts. This is where custom objects are used.
The Salesforce Lightning Platform Starter user can access up to 10 custom objects with the same functionality that is available in Salesforce Enterprise Edition. This functionality includes:
- AppExchange Products
- Assets and Work Orders
- Collaboration Tools (Chatter, Files, Lightning Community Builder)
- Email Templates
- Integration via real-time API
- Lightning Flow Automation (Flow + Process Builder)
- Salesforce Mobile App
- Workflow and Approvals
* Platform License and Platform License Plus Case access requires a service add-on
If your users need to access more than 10 custom objects, you can upgrade to a Lightning Platform Plus license, which gives users access to 110 custom objects, as well as access to the Lightning Console, and costs $1,200/year per license.
As an example, let’s say you have a custom inventory management app in Salesforce with 20 users of this app. Since these 20 users are working in custom objects and do not need access to Opportunities, Leads, or other restricted CRM objects, they would be perfect for Lightning Platform Starter licenses – reducing the company’s licensing fees by up to $30,000/year.
Project management, human resources management, software development bug tracking, and attendance tracking are all examples of applications frequently developed in Salesforce that could be candidates for moving to Salesforce Platform licenses.
It is important that every user in your organization using Salesforce has their own license, so the cost can quickly add up. Salesforce Platform licenses provide you a way to have some of your users on less expensive credentials so you can reduce your overall licensing costs while still providing all users access to the data they depend on.
If you have questions about this subject or would like to explore making such a change at your company please contact us.