This Tuesday, Salesforce.com announced the release of Winter 10 version and explored new features that soon will be added to the mix. Right off the bat I would like to declare that this new release has a lot of more to offer compare to the previous one and I thank Salesforce for that!
The highlight of the new features is the Realtime Quotes that will be available soon to all Salesforce.com customers. In any sales environment one of the aspects of the Sales process is to be able to track what goods potential and existing customers are interested to purchase and Salesforce supports that by the means of Opportunities.
The one thing that always bugged me though was that Salesforce did not have a feature to allow communication of that information (in terms of Quotes or Invoices) to those customers as soon as the deals reached to a more solid state (proposing or closing).
I believe Salesforce is very late in the game to introduce this feature and already many customers have sought other means to fill that gap and now most will face the question whether to migrate the existing solutions to what's provided out-of-the-box or stay with their current vendors...
Also the fact that Salesforce PriceBooks are not customizable hinders the possibility of tailoring Salesforce to any specific pricing calculation model. Concepts such as automated Volume Discounts calculation that could be applied to Opportunity line items, or any other custom pricing models.
Moving on, on the Custom Cloud side, Salesforce yet again is gaining momentum by introducing "Batch Code Processor" and "Code Scheduler".
Many admins in the past, in order to process event-driven data to be able to provide custom roll-ups, Analytics and better summary-data visibility of child objects in the system, were forced to max out their workflow rules or develop triggers which most of the time would hit the Governing Limits or just fail in bulk DML operations.
With these new features many of those scenarios can be easily addressed and even more complex logic can be applied to solve problems and fulfill business requirements!
Cases such as data de-dupping, data heath checks, rebuilding account hierarchies.... Sky is the limit!