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What is an app? An application (app) is computer software designed to perform a specific task, or a series of related tasks. An app as it applies to a cloud computing CRM platform like Salesforce, is a type of software in the cloud that performs a task not already fulfilled by the native SF functionality. The Enterprise edition of Salesforce, which is the edition supported by the 10 gifted user licenses available to NPOs, allows for integration of 10 apps.
What types of SF app are there? Native app These are apps which are designed inside the SF platform. 2. Free app These are apps which are designed outside the SF platform but have synching capability with it, and are free. 3. Paid app These are apps designed outside the SF platform and do synch with it, but are paid. Often these have more capability than free apps. 4. Discounted for Nonprofits app Same as above, but offered at a discount to nonprofits. 5. Aloha app Apps which can be installed beyond the 10 apps allowed in SF.
Why do you need apps? Apps allow for Salesforce optimization. When you think Salesforce should be able to do something and it doesn’t, chances are there’s an app that can. Apps work with Salesforce to extend its usability, allowing users to customize within their SF instance, for their own particular needs.
What can apps do? Short answer- a lot of things that Salesforce alone cannot. For example: Your marketing department is trying to send mass emails to your supporters, but finds that Salesforce only allows a certain number to be sent, as well as having generally limited design capability. What can you do? Download Vertical Response, an app which allows: Unlimited emails, for extremely low cost Greater degree of email customization that native SF mass email Easier, more intuitive email list/campaign creation Email tracking statistics (opens, clicks, etc.)
What is the AppExchange? The AppExchange is a Salesforce generated site that makes it easy for users to find and utilize apps. It provides detailed information about apps, particularly user reviews. It allows users to test apps for usability before purchasing or accessing, as well as test them within their Salesforce instance before committing. Also provides recommendations (user generated) for implementation partners for specific needs.
Top 5 Apps for Nonprofits 1. Vertical Response Creates and sends mass emails/postcards 2. Demand Tools Allows easy data transfer and maintenance, including de-duplication and data backup 3. Acteva RSVP Event manager, allows event invitations, registration and RSVP tracking 4. Conga Composer Gathers data from multiple sources for document and report creation 5. Clicktools Survey tool allowing for dynamic contact feedback 6. Skype for Salesforce Make and receive Skype calls from Salesforce 7. Chargent Allows recurring credit card charges through SF