With Salesforce buying Vlocity this month for over a billion dollars it is a good time to think about the place for industry specific clouds in the Salesforce Ecosystem.
If you’re working in one of the industries that already has a cloud, such as Health Cloud or the Financial Services Cloud, then you’ll know that these kinds of facilities can be really helpful. It brings you a system which is already well on its way to providing the structure you need.
How far can you get with an industry specific cloud though?
There are certainly advantages to be had. For instance, if you have a structure within your industry that requires specific elements to be recorded. An example of this is the financial services sector. It is highly regulated and therefore needs to have a set suite of functionality. This is not required in other industries and therefore would not be part of Sales Cloud. In this example, this functionality will get you to where you need to be. But it would not give you a competitive advantage. In order to gain a competitive advantage, you need to personalise and build on the functionality given to you within these clouds.
Does this work for all industries?
In my experience I would say no. There are a lot of industries which can gain from having a more industry specific base to work from. But there are quite a few business models whose advantage is their individuality; these companies should be building from a more vanilla base.
How will Salesforce present the functionality of Vlocity?
The trend with large purchases has been to package them into their own cloud. An example of this is Mulesoft who have become Integration Cloud. With Vlocity though there is already a cloud structure in place for individual industries. Therefore, it is going to be interesting to see if Salesforce bring industry specifics into a single cloud, or grow out the clouds that they currently have. Either way it is going to be easier to help companies finds the specific system they need faster.
It is great to see Salesforce continue to concentrate their considerable buying power on purchases which go a long way to helping the customer, who will they buy next?