What is a Salesforce community?
A Salesforce community is an online platform for organisations to connect employees, partners, and customers, while providing seamless access to the data and records they need to get work done or complete tasks.
Built on the Salesforce Community Cloud, they offer real-time engagement and the ability to share any file, data, or record anytime and from anywhere.
Community users want to work within their own time and get on with things autonomously, using the channels they’re most comfortable with. Mobile is the ideal way to grant this freedom of use and, as a result, organisations are seeing demand grow rapidly from workers, partners, and customers alike.
Other prominent drivers to mobilise generally stem from organisations wanting to stay in touch and engaged with users, removing traditional boundaries to nurture stronger relationships.
In some cases, though, organisations will actually have the decision to mobilise made for them, with certain types of users now operating as ‘mobile-only’, a trend which is becoming far more common.
For those still trying to fully understand the real benefits of leveraging the Salesforce Community Cloud to serve their mobile users, we’ll cover that in more detail in an upcoming article. For now, though, we’ll be focusing on exploring the various technology choices to mobilise the Community Cloud in depth.
Assessing options for mobile Salesforce community applications
There are currently three broad types of technology solutions to choose from when it comes to these apps, and each has its own unique set of arguments for and against:
Making the right decision
When choosing between those options, organisations should first acknowledge the need to deliver exactly what their community users require in the most effective way possible. Most often that will be a mobile app which is sophisticated under the covers, but extremely simple to use on the surface. This balance has become so important due to the level of expectation created by digital leaders such as Amazon, Facebook, and Uber in the consumer space.
Demand is also high for availability and accessibility at all times, which makes an offline-first approach even more important for organisations looking to provide value from a community app. In order to provide users with the right level of immersion and independence from the mobile community experience, it will often mean going well beyond the limitations of web apps and Salesforce1.
It’s then wise to assume any mobile app of this nature will become the primary digital channel and touchpoint for the community, meaning full control over its design, usability, and performance is crucial to match that level of importance.
Easier said than done?
While that may sound simple enough, custom solutions and custom mobile app projects can of course be blocked by time-on-task, budgetary restrictions, lack of technical skills, and various other challenges.
The MobileCaddy Application Delivery Framework, however, is a solution which makes custom Salesforce mobile apps far more accessible, affordable, and reliable for organisations of all shapes and sizes.
MobileCaddy is a unique solution, purpose-built for the Salesforce platform. It removes traditional boundaries and obstacles with custom development by providing full set of rapid development tools, a bespoke design suite, and full app lifecycle management for post-deployment support and upgrading.
Where to go from here
For most organisations building Salesforce communities, the user base will require availability on both desktop and mobile, but any mobile community app will be expected to provide consumer-grade speed and user experience. With that in mind, a custom solution is the best way to deliver that community to its members.
While this used to only be possible for the world’s largest enterprises and organisations, new technology platforms such as Salesforce have made it easy and cost-effective to achieve the required class of mobile app.
To see just how far people are pushing their communities out for employees, partners, re-sellers, customers, and other users, check out these ground-breaking examples of mobile Salesforce community applications built with the MobileCaddy Application Delivery Framework.