I love the web. It enables me to be a very productive company. I have talked to you about SalesForce and the CRM that it enables me to do for under $9.- a month! I can track my leads (automatically – when you fill out my contact form on my website, the captured data is imported into my leads and SalesForce sends me an automatic email to my iPhone. I can convert my leads to accounts, track all the relevant contact information assign multiple opportunities to each account, and track my customer contacts through SalesForce. Now that’s really nice, but I have to be in front of a computer to do all this – and I like automation.
SalesForce has a build-in calendar – it has all events (that link to my customers) and all tasks, i.E. my to-do list. My Mac has all that offline on iCal as well – but the two of them don’t talk – and I don’t want to be importing and exporting data between the two constantly I want this to happen as close to real-time as I can. So here is how this works, bear with me it goes through a few steps:
1) SalesForce maintains its calendar. I can sync it (automatically with Google’s calendar in Google apps) via Appirio’s calendar sync. So now Salesforce and Google calendars are synced. (Information entered in either calendar will update on the other).
2) My offline calendar on my Mac’s iCal can also sync with the google calendar via Spanning Sync. So those two talk to each other as well.
3) The real beauty of this is that the Google calendar acts as a clearinghouse between SalesForce and iCal, updating information entered from either one to the other.
4) Last but not least, iCal updates the calendar on my iPhone via Mac’s mobile me cloud letting me not only see my SalesForce calendar on my iPhone but editing and adding data to SalesForce on this path:
iPhone <-> mobile Me cloud <-> iCal <-[via Spanning Sync]-> Google Calendar (another cloud) <-[via Appirio]-> SalesForce (my third cloud).
A long way to get to automation, but once it’s set up, it will run and run and run :) Yeah for automation! (not to mention redundancy) and I can enter and edit data on my phone, my laptop, and anywhere on the web. Oh yeah, my iCal also publishes my calendar so that others (whom I select) can know what’s on my work schedule.