Why make a Salesforce App?

RingsTrue - The Beginning

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
— Winston Churchill

For this post I thought I would give some background to the RingsTrue app and try to capture what inspired us to make it in the first place.

In our consultancy work we come across a variety of customer challenges. Whenever we are developing a new solution we usually consider whether to: 

  1. use standard Salesforce.com functionality (available out of the box), or
  2. find a 3rd party application via the Salesforce.com AppExchange, or
  3. develop new functionality from scratch

Most of the time we will look to utilise Salesforce standard functionality first, then try to integrate with a 3rd party application that offers the functionality we need and then develop something brand new if we cannot solve the challenge any other way.

Computer Telephony Integration

Over the past few years there has been a huge increase in the number of customers connecting Salesforce.com to telephony systems. This 'Computer Telephony Integration' offers a huge amount of productivity gain and service improvement.

For example, when a customer calls into your office you could automatically load up their order history on screen when answering their call and even greet them by name when answering.

Number Troubles

We noticed that our customers who had configured Computer Telephony Integration were often struggling to maintain the quality of their telephone records in Salesforce.

These telephone numbers need to be accurate as CTI systems can only 'recognise' the customer when their telephone number is correctly stored in Salesforce without any extra characters or bad formatting.

An Idea?

After we were asked by a few different customers to help them with this issue we spent a lot of time looking at whether there was any standard Salesforce functionality to help manage phone number accuracy in Salesforce.

We couldn't find anything that would help out of the box. Then, we looked for a 3rd party application to help. We couldn't find anything on the AppExchange either so we started to work on a new application for our customers.

Without realising it, we'd just started the journey of creating an app that would eventually be called RingsTrue.