The following are key points taken from an interview with Terry Humphris about FuseIT's Sitecore to Salesforce integration. Terry is the CEO and Director of Technology at FuseIT and has been involved with S4S since 2009.
Kylie: So Terry, what is S4S?
Terry: S4S is software specifically designed to push and pull data between Sitecore and Salesforce in real-time. On top of its core integration engine, S4S has a number of out-of-the-box features like a Sitecore forms mapping wizard that can push Sitecore analytics to Salesforce, a security connector that implements a Sitecore portal, and a List Builder to import Salesforce lists to Sitecore for use with EXM.
Kylie: Why do you think S4S is the best solution to integrate Sitecore with Salesforce?
Terry: My favorite reason is the philosophical approach to use real-time transactions with a single source of truth rather than replicating data in both systems by syncing. Having quality data is so important we made this the starting point for the integration.
With S4S, we focused on ensuring the data in both systems is complete, relevant, accurate, timely, and accessible (CRATA). Software architects prefer a single source of truth to achieve this and reduce the likelihood of conflicts and duplicates. On a technical level, having a single source of truth also removes the complexity of data synchronization, polling, and ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) processes. Of course, people data should be in Salesforce because this is where you need it most.
S4S is amazing for lots of other reasons like being enterprise-proven, supported by multi-skilled experts, having industry-led features and being relentlessly extended to meet the demands of our clients.
Kylie: What is planned for S4S in 2019?
Terry: Probably the most innovative feature is what we are calling "S4S Now". In the spirit of real-time communication, we want to better support Salesforce operators who receive direct calls to phone numbers published on the website. To do this, we assign a unique number to each Sitecore visitor and display it in the web page footer. S4S then surfaces every Sitecore web session in Salesforce so operators can see who is on the website along with their unique number and Sitecore analytics. During the telephone call, the Salesforce operator can identify the caller's session and remote control their browsing experience using Sitecore analytics. At any time the operator can create a lead or contact on behalf of the visitor.
Kylie: is there anything else happening in the S4S space?
Terry: On the Sitecore side we are planning to add an UPDATE/INSERT checkbox to the S4S Web Forms Mapping Wizard. This means we can easily force S4S to always create a new lead or contact rather than update an existing one.
In Salesforce, the S4S analytics package currently lets operators map lead and contact fields to Sitecore facets. We plan to extend this with a feature that lets operators actually create the Sitecore facets from Salesforce. It will still be necessary to create any rules that relate to the facet in Sitecore.
Kylie: What are the overall objectives of S4S in the near future?
Terry: Our focus is on analytics. We believe that Sitecore analytics are as powerful in Salesforce as they are in Sitecore. There is plenty of evidence that shows the performance of a sales team relates to how much they know about their prospects and having this insight is key to preparing for sales calls.
Kylie: What is the best way to learn about S4S and its features?