5 integrations Salesforce and Google Apps just have to do!

As a first time visitor to Dreamforce this year I am really excited to see Google Chairman Eric Schmidt will be making the Thursday afternoon Keynote.

For me Salesforce and Google are two of the most innovotive and exciting Cloud companies, and the potential for them to work closer together is really positive.

Today there are some neat integrations on both the Google Apps side, and the Google Adwords side. You can track your Pay per Click campaign against actual revenues, and you can email from GMail by clicking on contacts within Salesforce.

Although I hardly think Eric will use his keynote to announce new integrations, here are a few I would love to see.

Native Calendar Sync

Although this was featured on the Salesforce.com site I am not sure it ever really existed. The main contender is an AppExchange solution from Appirio. Whilst this works well it does require maintaining passwords for both systems in Appirio Calendar Sync.

I’d love to see the ability to add events directly to my Google Calendar, and then choose which ones that are business related that I want to sync back to Salesforce. For me the Google Calendar interface is really simple to use when creating invites and I’d prefer to do it that way.

In addition, if you do use Salesforce for invitations, currently it only provides the option to Add to Outlook. Not very helpful if your recipient is on Google Apps!

GMail Send and add to Salesforce

I have a Google Contact called “Add to Salesforce” with my Email to Salesforce as the address. I just BCC this contact whenever I am emailing a Salesforce Lead or Contact. Simple. But it would be nice to have a Lab that could be enabled giving me a “Send and Add to Salesforce” option to save me a couple of clicks.

GMail Salesforce Contextual Gadget

It would be really useful to have a Gadget/Widget that appears alongside or within emails that allows me to add a particular inbound email into Salesforce. I’m assuming this would just be the single email and not the entire conversation. At the moment I have to forward and inbound email to my “Add to Salesforce” contact. Not too onerous, but it could be better.

Within this gadget we could see relavent information for that Contact or Lead – perhaps their phone number, value of open opportunities, open cases, lead status? Anything that helps users to have relavent information served up in the system they are already using is valuable.

Task syncing

I already have a “NewVoiceMedia” tasks list in Google, so it would be cool if this synced tasks that I create in Salesforce. As I tick them off in Google this could be replicated back to Salesforce.

Chatter/Google Chat integration

I love Chatter. I love asking someone a question of someone, and then having others help out with the answer. It would be great to have Google Chat presence enabled within the Chatter feed, so I could quickly fire up a chat session to get more detail from someone that has responded. Perhaps there could even be the option to add that chat to the Chatter feed if it was relevant.

Summary

I would love to see these two businesses get closer over the coming months, but in the meantime there are a host of partners that are developing cool solutions to plug these gaps. Take a look at Cirrus Insight who are due to launch soon and seem to have the GMail Gadget nailed. I can’t wait to see it in action.

Are there any other integrations that would help you to work better? Perhaps integrating Google Forms instead of Surveyforce, or exposing Dashboards in Google Sites?

Charlie Cowan inspires and enables partners at NewVoiceMedia, a Salesforce Appexchange partner routing inbound calls based on CRM data. Unusually for someone in the IT industry, Charlie holds a degree in Rural Land Management from The Royal Agricultural College. He lives and works in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, with his wife and three children.

  • Appirio CloudWorks (the complementary product to Cloud Sync) does nearly everything you ask for!  Adding Gmails to SFDC in one click…  a very rich contextual gadget with tons of config settings to view, edit, and create Contacts, Accounts, Opps, Leads, Cases, Campaigns… pushing events directly from GCal into SFDC Cal, already tied to related records.  The only things it lacks are task integration and Chatter/GTalk integration, although the Gmail Chatter sidebar in CloudWorks comes close.

    We totally share your view that SFDC and Google, as public cloud computing leaders, will be the choice for forward-looking enterprises, and “connecting the clouds” is critical.  Our longer-term vision is to connect not just SFDC but lots of data sources, and surface them not just in Google Apps but lots of containers.  But SFDC+GApps is a fantastic place to start.See http://appirio.com/technology/CloudWorks.php for more details.

    • Charlie Cowan

      Thanks Glenn, Cloudworks has popped up on a few groups where this discussion has been posted – I’ll investigate further and add a comment to the blog. It is great that both company’s ecosystems are generating so much innovation. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Charlie

  • Irene

    Thank you for the great article. I’m also using 3rd party solution to integrate Salesforce and Gmail, it’s called ContactMonkey (http://www.contactmonkey.com/salesforce-gmail-integration).It allows me to view and edit any Salesforce information without leaving Gmail. It’s so much easier than flipping back and forth between Gmail and Salesforce all day long! It’s also a bonus to see who’s opening my emails right now. That way I can prioritize who to call first. You’re in good hands with ContactMonkey!