The AppExchange is now in its 10th year and we’re looking back on how much it has been a great resource for both us and our clients.

Many years ago, before we switched over to partnering solely with Salesforce, we used to work with a number of vendors who had third party applications that their business partners would write. The challenge for our customers was that these applications were static and would often go out of date. So, they wouldn’t necessarily remain compatible and we would need to support two different applications on an on-going basis. This was not only cumbersome, but costly for clients who would then need to continue long-standing maintenance.

The AppExchange and Salesforce changed all of that. They streamlined the whole process so every app is compatible with Salesforce as a simple plug-in. These apps are compatible upon installation, often with little to no configuration. Plus, for many of these apps, the on-going compatibility is outsourced to the application company to update and manage. So instead of creating apps from scratch, clients have the option to buy or rent apps, many of which that are ready straight out of the box.

In addition, a number of these apps are designed such that the user can customize them as the company evolves over time. This is another cost saver for our clients, and gives them the autonomy to run things at an optimal level, rather than being chained to an out of date application due to budget constraints. Now they can get what they need, when they need it, at no additional cost.

When a client says they want to measure their sales process and they have unique requirements, the first place we go is the AppExchange. With so many to choose from, chances are there’s an application there that simply does what they need. One of our favourite and most used applications we use is Conga Composer.

It’s great for creating customer facing documents and these can be output in any format as well as edited using MS Office apps. For instance, if a client wishes to create multiple contracts on a monthly basis for one of their customers, we turn to Conga Composer. We can very easily create these contracts with this app, because it acts like a template builder. It syncs with Salesforce to pull data from multiple objects within Salesforce and put it all together in one document. So in the case of a contract we can very easily take that opportunity and break that contract up across a year and present that data in a way that their customer would understand.

In a click of a button, the contract is complete. Compared with manual entry, this app saves our clients a great deal of time. It also reduces the stress of potentially making grammar mistakes or other manual errors which can occur. So, this way documents are created quickly and accurately.

We are thrilled that the AppExchange is in its 10th year and is going strong. Partnering exclusively with Salesforce has been the best decision we’ve made for the success of our team, and for our clients, and the AppExchange is an important component of that success.