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Beyond integration – embedding accounting into CRM

It’s been my pleasure in the last month to be staffing the CODA 2go booth at the salesforce.com Tour de Force events in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Boston. Its been great to field questions, discuss customer requirements and demo an early, pre-release version of the CODA 2go on-demand accounting application. CODA 2go is a brand new on-demand accounting system developed from scratch on the Force.com platform – the salesforce.com development platform. We’ve been quizzed on all aspects of CODA’s history, product development process and functionality but for sure a recurring question has been ‘Is CODA2go integrated with salesforce.com’s CRM?’.

The answer of course is ‘Yes’, but somehow somehow integration in my mind conjures up images of shuffling data to and from separate databases or maybe providing hot links between separate applications. So rather than just ‘integration’ between CODA2go and CRM I think a better description is ‘co-existence’ : the two applications share the same data, security model, reporting tools, workflow engine, etc and as such act as modules of a common suite rather than as separate applications. You’ll see this co-existence evident throughout the CODA2go application and this will provide huge benefits to existing salesforce.com CRM users. For example:

  • Providing a complete 360o view of an Account: CRM users can not only see sales, marketing and call center history, they can also view invoices and full payment history from the familiar salesforce.com Account tab.
  • Tasks, events and approval processes relating to accounting functions can be managed and viewed in exactly the same way of those activities in CRM
  • Users can create and manage reports, search lists and filters using their existing knowledge of the CRM application.

So I’ve changed my answer to the question ‘Does CODA integrate to salesforce CRM?’. The answer is ‘No, other applications may integrate with CRM but CODA2go co-exists”!

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