Another day, another cloud
Salesforce seems to be on a roll this quarter making new clouds available left and right. We’ve seen two already in Healthcare and Education and today they announced general availability of the Financial Services Cloud. As I have written before, back in the day Siebel had over 20 industry versions of its flagship CRM product so I would imagine this will not be Salesforce’s last industry offering.
There’s apparently a hierarchy or naming convention that needs to be observed when discussing industry versions. Just under the industry is the vertical. So for instance, if I understand it right, Financial Services would be home to verticals like banking and insurance. It appears the announced product focuses on wealth management and that makes sense.
Agents who want to show some love to wealthy clients will appreciate the CRM functionality that makes it easy to keep all the important customer information at hand as well as customer asset information available for easy retrieval. But the interesting thing about this announcement is how many partners work together to deliver the whole solution. By my read, specialist software companies’ products are involved in mediating most major transactions. The announcement cites some processes and partners including:
“Account aggregation: Athene Group and Envestnet | Yodlee aggregate account data from multiple sources, such as bank accounts and 401(k)s, to provide advisors using Financial Services Cloud with holistic views of their books of business.
Document management: DocuSign and eSignLive plan to add integrations that could allow advisors to send, sign and manage financial documents within Financial Services Cloud.
Data aggregation: Informatica and MuleSoft bring information from multiple sources including on-premise systems, SaaS applications, enterprise databases and more into the Financial Services Cloud allowing advisors to access data from siloed systems in one place.
Implementation services: Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte, Fortimize, INVISR, LiquidHub, NexGen Consultants, PwC, Silverline and Unlimited Technology Solutions deliver professional services for implementation of Financial Services Cloud, ensuring the product is customized for each firm’s individual needs.
See the company for the whole list.
I imagine that launching a new financial services solution set could be a tough slog for most software companies. It’s hard to see how people in such a conservative industry would just come flocking to a new or relatively untested vendor. But by surrounding itself with experienced partners Salesforce can focus on its core strengths of platform and CRM while letting more expert software partners handle the arcane parts. It’s a good idea and I can see it giving the new cloud a big push.
Salesforce has been partnering like this for a long time and I think they’ve got the mix right. But with the advent of the Lightning platform I’d expect the pace to pick up in this industry as well as others. Platform is the key to industry solutions because each company that uses a solution depends on the ability to uniquely define its business processes for its clients. It seems Salesforce has all the pieces are in place.