Salesforce launches completely redesigned AppExchange

CRM vendor Salesforce has launched a completely revamped version of its AppExchange, modernizing a marketplace that was in existence before the Apple Store. The new AppExchange contains several new features. For the first time it has personalized recommendations, familiar to users of consumer sites, based on intelligent search. Trailhead learning is embedded throughout the Exchange, and is also personalized for the user. Solutions other than apps, such as  Lightning Bolts and Lightning Data, are also now available.

Salesforce is framing its new AppExchange within the context of the updating of an IDC report on the Salesforce Economy.

“We are anchoring it in the IDC study around the Salesforce Ecosystem, which is a refresh of the study they did last year,” said Heather Conklin, VP, AppExchange Project at Salesforce. “They found that 87 per cent of Salesforce customers are using AppExchange apps, including 89 per cent of the Fortune 100. They also concluded that Salesforce and its ecosystem will generate $859 billion in new business revenues by 2022.” That’s up from $389 billion in new revenues by 2020 that they projected last year.

“Eleven years ago, it took us five to six years to get to our first one million installs,” Conklin said. “We are now at five million. Those numbers are also very different from consumer installs, because one install could be used by 50,000 people. There’s more behind those numbers than meets the eyes.”

Conklin said the timing of the relaunch was impacted by Salesforce’s advances in artificial intelligence with Salesforce Einstein, and the related launch of the AppExchange Partner Program in May of this year.

“We wanted to make sure that the AppExchange reflected the trends we are seeing, and is capable of supporting the growth we are looking to see,” she said.

Conklin emphasized that the new AppExchange really is new. It’s a complete redesign, not an updating.

“It has the same URL as the old one, but what is here has been entirely redone,” she said.

The new AppExchange has been explicitly modeled on Internet consumer sites, particularly the personalized recommendations for you, based on your location, install history, site activity, profile data and edition of Salesforce. Once solutions are installed, recommendations change based on the collection of installed solutions and other companies who installed similar products.

“The AppExchange’s intelligence will evolve over time as well to constantly provide relevant recommendations,” Conklin said. “That intelligence carries into search as well, as the algorithms will constantly learn. It makes it much faster and easier for customers to find what they are looking for.”

”Trailhead learning content has been added for the first time, to bring the same Trailhead learning experience into the AppExchange,” Conklin said.

Trailhead trails, like “Empower Managers and Agents with the Service Cloud Platform,” are embedded within the Product Collection pages to help customers find relevant apps and solutions. Customers also have access to the community’s over 70,000 peer reviews.

“There are also new types of inventory on the AppExchange – not just apps,” Conklin indicated. These include Lightning Bolt out-of-the-box solutions which include industry best practices, Lightning Components and business logic, around an ecosystem of Salesforce partners such as Accenture, Appirio, Deloitte, PwC and Silverline. An example would be Retail Store Collaboration by Appirio, which provides retailers with real-time information about consumers, accelerates feedback, improves worker engagement and lets retailers collaborate better with their stores. Lightning Data for data-driven insights are also available.

“The new AppExchange lets customers find many more things, and be better able to solve business problems,” Conklin said.