If you are considering Salesforce.com as a CRM platform for your company, one of your first concerns will likely be reliability and system availability.
Before you put a business case together, you will first need to do some research and determine whether Salesforce is truly providing the system availability and transparency they lay claim to. Some of the questions that may come to mind are:
- How reliable is Salseforce? What is the uptime?
- Does Salesforce go down a lot?
- What SLA’s have been established and how often is Salesforce available?
- How does Salesforce communicate service outages or performance issues?
- What action does Salesforce take to resolve issues quickly?
- Is Salesforce transparent? How does Salesforce communicate system and performance issues to their customers?
Salesforce is quite different. Rather than making you work for it, they actually provide a transparent system status and availability interface at trust.salesforce.com/trust/status. Best of all, the Salesforce Trust system status monitoring is updated several times throughout the day. This means you can access the Salesforce Trust site at any time, look up your instance, and immediately assess whether your neophyte colleague is truly experiencing Salesforce issues, or the issue may be a result of something unrelated (their issue is probably caused by Internet Explorer, Windows, your company’s network, or a mix of all three… but usually it is Microsoft’s fault).
Once you have accessed the Salesforce Trust site, you will see everything is cleanly laid out. You have the current Salesforce system statuses by instance, and performance issues or disruptions are clearly labeled with images. Click those images to obtain an incident report that outlines details regarding the issue, the root cause, recovery, and a timeline for restoration. It doesn’t get much more transparent than that!
You will also notice the scheduled maintenance notification information towards the bottom of the screen. This section gives you advanced notice for scheduled outages and platform upgrades.
One last tip. Use your mobile phone or tablet to subscribe to the RSS feed for your Salesforce instance. This is a great way to keep on top of existing issues and trends from past disruptions.
Whether you are thinking about implementing Salesforce.com or you are a new / exisiting customer, I hope this helps clear the air in regards to Salesforce transparency and system uptime.
Please provide comments about your experiences with Salesforce transparency and how they have handled issues that arose in your company.