[This post has been updated with newer, even cooler information]
Ever since the debut of Salesforce Portals (re-architected and renamed “Communities” in the Summer ‘13 release), Salesforce Community Cloud has grown in popularity and capability. As organizations look to provide ever-smarter and more engaging self-serve resources to their customers, partners, and employees, Communities have gained greater prominence among the Salesforce Clouds.
But building a really great Salesforce Community always required some significant technical chops, as the only options were to use some combo of Force.com, VisualForce, and Apex code. So really dynamic Communities were only possible for organizations with a technical staff that knew how to use these frameworks, or those with the resources to hire a systems integrator.
Over the years, Salesforce has worked hard to make it easier to build a Community in a more point-and-click, WYSIWYG way, with offerings like Site Studio and site.com. These were solid tools – and helpful for many – but the majority of folks that wanted a really sophisticated Community usually still went the VisualForce route.
In May 2015, Salesforce announced Lightning Community Builder, a completely new framework for building Communities. And it has been a game changer.
With Lightning Community Builder, Salesforce didn’t simply try to make Community layouts easier to edit; they built a whole new, “componentized” framework. Each of these components provides a unique set of capabilities, and admins can simply drag and drop components onto their pages to deliver those capabilities to members precisely how and where they want them.
Even cooler, Salesforce architected Lightning so third-parties can build new components. And with the launch of the AppExchange for Components, Salesforce has created a marketplace for third-party components that gives community managers fast access to a whole bunch of cool capabilities they can easily integrate without help from their IT department or SI.
When we first heard about Salesforce Lightning Community Builder here at Coveo, we were pretty intrigued. Coveo has been a Salesforce technology partner for years now; our Coveo for Salesforce apps are intelligent search solutions that enable organizations to deliver unified, secure search across virtually any enterprise system, source, or cloud application…all from their Salesforce UI. (So basically we turn Salesforce into your single “window” to enterprise content. Note to any folks out there wanting to implement Salesforce but not sure they want to deal with migrating all that legacy data: with a solution like this you don’t have to. Just keep it where it is and index it.)
Beyond simply search, Coveo for Salesforce recommends helpful content to users (community members, support analysts, etc.) based upon their unique context or case-at-hand. Plus, it provides the usage analytics that admins need to understand what articles, docs, and videos are actually driving self-service on the Community and case resolution in the contact center–and all easily integrated with Wave.
Fast forwarding to today, we recently launched the Coveo Family of Products. AI-powered search is now available for every company running their customer service and community activities on the Salesforce platform. There’s no system too complex and no budget too small, whatever your needs,we have a solution a solution for you.
Our president and CTO, Laurent Simoneau, says “We wanted to offer a solution with the capabilities and ease of use needed to truly optimize self-service experiences and applications. With the Coveo Free Edition, users can now deploy an AI-powered search solution that not only delivers cutting-edge relevance, in-depth usage analytics and a rich user interface, but also provides the advanced capabilities of our machine learning engine in minutes.”
At no cost (literally zero dollars, no strings attached), the Coveo for Salesforce Free Edition offers the following features:
- Machine learning capabilities on top of your search experience
- A richer, customizable search UI
- Coveo Search Usage Analytics
- Flexible deployment options, available for any Salesforce Community or App, with an out-of-the-box integration with Lightning Community Builder
We’ve seen some interesting use cases for the Coveo for Salesforce Free Edition that extend beyond customer support.