Salesforce today announced the Lightning Experience, a major redesign effort spanning the company’s applications and devices. The effort starts with a revamp of the desktop version of Sales Cloud, Salesforce’s core web-based customer-relationship management software.
Salesforce today also unveiled the Financial Services Cloud, a new piece of software that will follow the principles of the company’s Lightning Experience. Financial Services Cloud is Salesforce’s first vertical-specific software that professionals can use to keep track of their relationships with clients, so it’s a big deal for the company.
Salesforce was a pioneer in selling web-based software, and the company has been gradually expanding its offerings beyond sales. Last year, for instance, the company entered the business intelligence market with Salesforce Analytics Cloud. Diversification provides the company with the potential to bring in revenue from more markets.
Even so, it’s not surprising to see Salesforce finally redesign Sales Cloud and other products. Sales Cloud has looked the same for a long time — a spokesman told VentureBeat that the last redesign happened 10 or 15 years ago. It’s safe to say that this change was overdue.
The new Sales Cloud suggests next actions to advance relationships with contacts, and it shows news about top contacts. It also allows users to send files and emails to contacts — there’s no need to use external services to do those things anymore. Pipeline Dashboard is a new tool for visualizing the status of deals.
Salesforce is introducing the Lightning Design System to provide CSS to third-party designers, so they can can create apps that conform to the new look.
As for the new Financial Services Cloud, Salesforce developed it in conjunction with Advisor Group, Northern Trust, and United Capital, according to a statement. Financial advisors will be able to use it to stay on top of the goals of their clients, and they will be able to collaborate with clients with the new Private Client Communities feature.
Advisor Software, Informatica, and Yodlee have already developed extensions for the new application, which is now available in preview before becoming generally available in February 2016.