As a part of a joint venture between Salesforce and Microsoft, Salesforce announced the Salesforce Lightning for Continuum at a launch event recently. As one of the largest CRM providers Salesforce expects to exploit the Continuum feature of Windows 10. Before we can appreciate what this means for the Salesforce1 Mobile App user who would be able to make use of the Continuum feature on their Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL phones, it is essential to understand the core advantage of the Continuum feature.
What’s special about the Continuum?
Even as more and more users reach out for their mobile phones to get their work done, Microsoft has been working on creating a continuous user experience for their customers irrespective of the devices they work on.
In Joe Belfiore’s words during Ignite 2015, “Continuum is about being able to transform your use of a device into mobile scenarios that give up no compromises in your use of input device or screen size.”
A PC-like interface
Continuum brings in a PC-like interface to give the users the chance to work with a bigger screen, keyboard, and the mouse while using the phone as the medium. This is a freeing experience for users who are constantly mobile but would like to work on preparing long presentations or answer lengthy emails using their phone device without having to compromise on the user-interface experience or the productivity levels. The user can also switch between the tablet mode and desktop and get a seamless transition.
The display dock magic
Continuum transforms a windows 10 mobile device into a PC with the help of a display dock. The display dock lets the user to connect the phone to a larger screen, keyboard, and the mouse. All the Office Apps like the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are scaled according to the size of the screen, so the user can have a continued productive experience. And, when we say scaled, it means that the Apps are designed as technically full-fledged ones rather than the usual stripped-down versions.
Use the Phone like a phone simultaneously
Another interesting and convenient aspect of Continuum is that it lets the user answer a phone call or text or flip through the photo gallery in the phone while using the same device to connect and work on a larger screen. This is possible because of processors that enable two screens on the phone.
So, what does the Salesforce lightning collaboration with Microsoft Continuum mean for businesses?
The joint venture by Microsoft and Salesforce Lightning aims at bringing the businesses closer to its customers by empowering the users to work effectively from anywhere. Other such integrations from the two firms include OneNote and Delve, Skype for Business, and Salesforce1 Mobile for Windows 10.
Even without the Continuum and Lightning in focus, Salesforce already integrates with Microsoft beautifully to bring in a multitude of benefits like:
- Integrating Salesforce contacts, leads, and business opportunities into Outlook
- Providing more tools to improve sales and marketing
- Connecting SharePoint and OneDrive with Files connect and help the team collaborate
- Facilitate report building and analysis
The continuum experience for Salesforce users
The Salesforce1 mobile App now brings the continuum experience for the CRM users by empowering them to use the tools on their phones as they would from a desktop and continue to run their businesses without interruption even while on the move. This way, a sales executive gets the newest data he needs in real-time as he works with the sales tools on Cloud from a remote location.
Customized work environment
“Working with Apps is all about speed”, says Mike Rosenbaum, VP of Salesforce development platform. With Lightning, Salesforce brings a faster iteration of an App. Post the marriage with Continuum, Salesforce users now have it all- the speed as well as the flexibility to work from any location and with any device without having to compromise on the user-interface experience. With the customization features of Salesforce1 mobile App and Lightning, a user can recreate the work environment he is most comfortable or used to anywhere, anytime.
The propagation of the universal Apps
Microsoft, through Continuum, wants the Universal Apps to gain traction. With Universal Apps, users of windows 10 can get a similar experience whether they work on a desktop, tablet, or the phone. The collaboration with Salesforce will help the joint partners to bring the Universal Apps to a larger audience.
Could there be possible roadblocks for the joint offering to succeed?
For the joint venture to succeed, people need to get used to having a desktop in their pockets. The initial idea flaunted by Peter Mikkola, Principal group program manager at Microsoft, intended to expand the smartphone use to being a work PC as the emerging markets began to use their mobiles to get online.
The primary challenge as seen by Peter Mikkola and Peter Bergler would be to change the behavioral trend of the mobile users. It takes time for people to realize the potential of the game changer that Continuum hopes to be.
What do we think?
While it might take a while for the full potential of the joint offer to be unleashed, it does hold a tremendous promise of integrating different work environments into a single unified experience for users and empowering them to build and convert more leads.
What do you think of this niche joint offering? Do share your thoughts with us. To know more about Suyati’s Salesforce and Microsoft expertise, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.