In his recent, excellent IT Chronicles post, “Why Customer-First Is More Important in IT Than Ever Before,” writer and journalist Nathan Sykes minces no words. “More than ever, a customer-first mentality is vital in the IT field. Technology’s abundance leaves no room for excuses regarding the delivery of transparent data and customizable options to consumers.”
He’s right, of course. However, the ability to deliver “transparent data and customizable options” is challenging and difficult for IT people everywhere. Data is scattered across multiple, often incompatible locations, systems, applications, and cloud-based resources. Reconciliation into a single, coherent view aligned uniquely with each customer, prospect, or user can quickly become your IT team’s latest black hole, sucking up all the time and resources that come near the problem.
The Salesforce Integration Cloud: Help on the Way
On March 20, Salesforce.com and MuleSoft announced “a definitive agreement under which Salesforce will acquire MuleSoft.” MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform connects enterprise apps, data, and devices, whether premise- or cloud-based. “More than 1,200 customers, including Coca-Cola, Barclays, Unilever and Mount Sinai, rely on MuleSoft to change and innovate faster, deliver differentiated customer experiences, and increase operational efficiency,” the companies said in their announcement of the deal.
“MuleSoft will power the new Salesforce Integration Cloud, which will enable all enterprises to surface any data—regardless of where it resides—to drive deep and intelligent customer experiences throughout a personalized 1:1 journey,” the companies added. The CEOs of both companies underscored the goals and promise of the deal.
“Together, Salesforce and MuleSoft will enable customers to connect all of the information throughout their enterprise across all public and private clouds and data sources—radically enhancing innovation.” – Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce.
“With the full power of Salesforce behind us, we have a tremendous opportunity to realize our vision of the application network even faster and at scale. Together, Salesforce and MuleSoft will accelerate our customers’ digital transformations enabling them to unlock their data across any application or endpoint.” – Greg Schott, MuleSoft Chairman and CEO.
What You Should Do Now to Get Ready
If your company is already a Salesforce and/or MuleSoft customer, if you aren’t already doing so, you should be getting briefed on product road map specifics. If your company is not already a Salesforce and/or MuleSoft customer, you should gather as much information about the forthcoming Salesforce Integration Cloud as your sources can provide. You should then compare these to your current and planned solutions and activities for gathering, reconciling, and getting maximum business value out of your data.
Whatever vendor(s) and solution(s) your organization uses or decides to use, there is one overriding need you must meet, now and in the future. You must do all you can to ensure the quality, privacy, and security of that precious data. Consistently high data quality is essential to avoid the “garbage in, garbage out” problem as your business seeks to turn data into customer satisfaction, lead generation, and revenues. Your organization’s ability to credibly demonstrate protection of proprietary, private, and personally identifiable information (PII) is equally essential. The number and types of cybersecurity threats, and the financial and reputational costs of successful breaches, all continue to grow prodigiously.
The Salesforce-MuleSoft deal is a harbinger of things to come. The need to consolidate, integrate, and take advantage of data will only grow, in business value and in complexity. There is no better time than now to start ensuring that your organization’s data-related efforts are built on foundations that are solidly accurate, timely, and secure.