Cloudcraze Introduces New Cloud E-Commerce Platform
Building an e-commerce platform that integrates cloud computing, social media, mobile devices and hosted applications into a single package is a tall order. But that’s what Cloudcraze, a relatively new application that has just reached version 3.0, promises to do. Here’s a look at the product, and what it says about trends in cloud computing.
Cloudcraze was introduced in 2009 to provide services related to the SalesForce (NYSE: CRM) Force.com cloud platform. The application has continued to evolve since that time, with the recently introduced version 3.0 of the platform bringing user interface enhancements.
Overall, Cloudcraze’s feature set is designed to make it simple for Force.com users to configure e-commerce storefronts that integrate with their SalesForce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data. According to the company:
CloudCraze gives Force.com users numerous advantages. Not only can they establish state-of-the-art online stores in one-fifth the time and one-fourth the cost of typical eCommerce sites, but also they can instantly leverage their SalesForce customer data to improve customer experiences and increase sales. Also, because CloudCraze is located in the cloud, enterprises incur no expense for physical computing equipment or application licenses. Capacity is instantly added or subtracted to accommodate changing business demands as needed.
Cloudcraze also touts the flexibility of its product, which can support multiple storefronts catered to both business and consumer sales. In addition, native data analytics tools provide easy reporting and data optimization measures.
And perhaps most interestingly, Facebook and Twitter integration adds a social media dimension, as does support for Cloudcraze users to pin their products to Pinterist, a feature the company claims is a first among managed CRM products.
The Cloud for Ordinary People
If there’s one lesson to take away from Cloudcraze’s development strategy, it’s the importance of user-friendliness within the cloud — especially when it comes to providing products that are appealing to “ordinary” end users, not just seasoned IT admins.
Cloudcraze makes a popular cloud service more usable by allowing customers to deploy it on their mobile devices and providing automatic integration with a wide range of popular features. Without value-added tools such as this, the resources of Force.com would be more difficult to deploy, particularly for small-business owners who hardly have time to wade through the disparate sectors of the complex cloud environments on which their businesses rely.