Salesforce SharePoint Integration short guide
February 14, 2020

Enterprise Software

Salesforce SharePoint Integration: When do You Need it?

By Olga Matuts

Salesforce is a multifunctional platform that is certainly good for document management and provides a lot of opportunities for productive collaboration between employees and different departments. One of the advantages of Salesforce is its openness to modifications and improvements with the help of various popular services and applications. Still, many companies use different collaboration tools to upgrade their working system, for example, SharePoint, a platform for enterprise collaboration and document management.

Let’s consider what Salesforce Sharepoint integration can lead to. 

How to use Salesforce for enterprise collaboration?

The main instrument for enterprise collaboration is Chatter, a special Salesforce module that allows employees to communicate and exchange files. There are also inbuilt feeds, profiles, and groups. Users see Chatter recommendations on relevant contacts and information and receive notifications when someone mentions them.

Chatter, similar to other software solutions, has not only advantages but also drawbacks. Its free version has a number of limitations of capabilities, unlike Chatter licensed version. Despite licensed users can look into profiles, join groups, and share files, they can’t review information and edit documents directly in Salesforce. This moment can make communication between different types of Chatter users more complicated. There are two ways to solve this problem, both connected with some extra costs.

  • Provide all employees with licensed versions of Salesforce Sales Cloud (there are different pricing, starting with Essentials, $25 per user per month); 
  • Buy one of three versions of the Lightning Platform licenses: Starter ($25 per user per month), Plus ($100 per user per month), or Unlimited (depends on your team size). 

Also, there is a difference in opportunities between employees and external users (for example, clients or partners). External users can’t work with contacts, calendars, events, content libraries, and themes. 

How is Salesforce document management implemented? 

Salesforce includes 5 modules for document management:

  • Salesforce Files Home
  • Salesforce CRM Content
  • Salesforce Knowledge
  • Documents Tab
  • Attachments

You can take a look at our previous post, where we considered Salesforce document management tools in detail. Now let’s just shortlist the most interesting functions: 

  • Opportunity to add content to private and public libraries with the usage of tags and filters.
  • Content search system that works with both documents and their properties.
  • Management of document versions.
  • Preview documents in the browser without loading.
  • Option to use content together with clients through Salesforce CRM and mobile application. 

There are also several limitations to Salesforce document management:

  • Users can attach files with the limited weight from 5 Mb to 2 Gb, depending on the module.
  • Salesforce data storage can take no more than 11 Gb per organization and 632 Mb per user license.

How to achieve a balance between Salesforce and SharePoint?

Enterprise doesn’t need to use SharePoint if employees work with all the above-mentioned Salesforce tools: Chatter, Salesforce CRM system, Salesforce Knowledge, Documents, Attachments, and Extranet. However, it is needed to take into account that, to make enterprise collaboration efficient, all departments should use Salesforce. Yes, the cost of Salesforce licenses for all employees can be quite high.

The only way out is to use Salesforce as a CRM and SharePoint as a collaboration tool. 

SharePoint is a well-known software for corporate collaboration, content and project management with a lot of interesting functions. You can check our previous post to find more information about this platform. 

A SharePoint Intranet provides connections between departments, while a SharePoint Extranet allows for communication with customers and partners. In this case, only the system administrator can set access limitations. 

This can be a reason to think about Salesforce SharePoint integration in detail.

What are the advantages of Salesforce SharePoint integration?

There are several reasons to configure Salesforce SharePoint integration. 

#1.Cost reduction

What would you choose: to buy more reasonably priced SharePoint licenses and integrate the intranet with Salesforce or to buy more expensive Salesforce licenses and stick to this platform alone? In contrast with the above fees for Salesforce, the usage of SharePoint for collaboration will cost $10 per employer per month, and a full pack of tools of Office 365 will cost $20-35 per employer per month. 

#2.Cross-departmental collaboration

Salesforce is better focused on the sales and marketing department, while a project covers a lot of other specialists. SharePoint doesn’t orient on someone in particular. It fits all departments and allows you to find profiles of all employees for collaborated work.

#3. Dynamic knowledge management 

SharePoint communicational websites allow users to share knowledge through article announcements and promotions, while Salesforce Knowledge requires a customer portal to deliver information to external users. The customer portal can be based on SharePoint integrated with the CRM; or it can be located on the Salesforce platform. Despite the last solution seems simpler, it can cost more because of expensive licenses.

#4. Unlimited document management

SharePoint allows employees to use 1 Tb for enterprise-wide storage and 0,5 Gb for personal storage. Users can attach files up to 250 Mb, and work together on documents in real-time. These features are more powerful than Salesforce can offer to its users.

Salesforce SharePoint integration gathers these platforms into one collaboration environment. In the Salesforce system, SharePoint content looks like links that employees can preview and search. It simplifies sales managers’ work; they can open SharePoint files with the smartphone and don’t need to load big data. 

Let’s find out how enterprises can set up Salesforce SharePoint integration to use these benefits.

How to set up Salesforce SharePoint integration?

Enterprises can achieve Salesforce SharePoint integration with the help of ready-made solutions and special tools. No matter which option companies choose, it will be effective to entrust the integration process to specialists in Salesforce.

#1. Salesforce Connect

With this feature, platform users can get access to external sources in real-time, and system administrators can configure the integration via point-and-click. This is a convenient solution, but it is available only for the corporative unlimited version, which costs about $4000 per month.

#2. Salesforce AppExchange

There are several special applications to run the integration: DocAve for Salesforce and sFiles Document Library Browser. A Salesforce administrator can set up one of them, but it is required to think beforehand about detailed settings and modifications. 

#3. Tailored integration application

An enterprise can turn to a dedicated team of developers to create an application that will provide Salesforce Sharepoint integration in the most suitable way.

Though Salesforce is a powerful platform with a lot of out-of-the-box solutions for collaboration and document management, in some cases, enterprises require Salesforce SharePoint integration. It allows for extending data storage, working with big files, and decreasing Salesforce license costs.

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