Sunday, July 13, 2008

Greed Tarnishes Salesforce Reputation

On Thursday I was almost giddy when I found a link to get the iPhone upgrade for my (now legacy) iPhone a day early. I upgraded iTunes and my iPhone and started installing new applications. One of the first choices (and high on the most popular list for business.. hmm... who else broke in early?) I made was to get the Salesforce app. This was particularly interesting for me because as a Salesforce user and compulsive slave to my email, I regulary access my Salesforce account on my iPhone to view incoming sales leads as soon as I am notified. The Safari browser is ok but with the scrolling and zooming required it is always slightly annoying.

The Salesforce App looked like a great find, views formatted and scaled to the iPhone screen. I installed the app and entered my account information. It gave me a message saying there was no user in the account with that ID. Odd I though, so I retyped and got the same results. Ok, I'm in a hurry. I'll just wait a day and try to access the system on Friday, after all, they aren't expecting users today right? Next day, same deal, no user in the system. I went so far as to research things on Salesforce support but found nothing. I got busy and didn't get back to it until Saturday. A Google search on Saturday gave me the sad results, I must purchase a Mobile user account to access the system. How much is a mobile user account you ask? $50.

You have to be kidding right???? The app is free but access to the system is $50?!? I get their business model but this really was a bone headed decision, I'm already paying over a $G per user per year to access the system. Accessing the system on mobile Safari cost me $0.00 extra. Salesforce is missing a great opportunity to increase my addiction to their product. Right now they own the CRM SaaS market and they have my data. I've been willing to live with a mild case of vendor lock-in because their technology is so good but now I am beginning to wonder if someone from Redmond recently got hired in their product planning department.

I smell an opportunity. Any of you hot shot Apex developers interested in building your own version of an iPhone app for Salesforce? I'll pay up to $4.99 for your app. Anyone??


Troy Tolle said...

Maybe you can use this!? Get rid of the $1000+

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