Powerful Platform, Weak Service, Once Customized You Can't Leave
Andy Hasselwander | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated December 18, 2014

Powerful Platform, Weak Service, Once Customized You Can't Leave

Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Enterprise

Overall Satisfaction with Salesforce.com

Our entire organization uses Salesforce.com, at various permissions levels. We use SFDC for salesforce automation, project management, time tracking, and reporting of basic financials, such as bookings.
  • Reliability is excellent; it never breaks down.
  • Flexibility is "good". It's easy to add fields to object types, and easy to add new custom objects. Reports can be created willy-nilly... which actually can create problems.
  • The mobile application has been a pleasant surprise. I've used it to look up clients or contacts while out of the office, and recently started using it to add contacts.
  • The back-end data structure for Salesforce.com is very confusing, and takes a long time to master. It's not a traditional relational database, and created objects that link to each other takes a lot of practice. Furthermore, accessing data in typical "relational" ways isn't easy--you have to call these relationships using special '__r' fields in objects.
  • While reports are easy to create, they can be maddening to get right. Again, it's possible to do most things, but the basic report authoring capabilities of SFDC haven't improved much in 7 years.
  • Support is horrible, particularly when compared to a young company like Hubspot. Example: when we needed to turn on Bulk API access, the request took a month, went through four levels of tech support, and it was impossible to get anyone on the phone. With Hubspot, you call, and they fix it. For what we pay, this is not really acceptable.
  • Generally, it feels like Salesforce is at a point where they nickel and dime customers for features. We pay a lot for the system, and it always feels like there's something else that we need to buy.
  • Development in APEX is cludgy. APEX is like Java, except it's not. The testing requirements are over-the-top. I wish Salesforce had a talented team of APEX / VisualForce devs on staff that you could rent hourly. As is, we have to find independent guys that may or may not be reliable.
  • Efficiency: Logging of projects, calendaring of projects. Not intended use; custom dev.
  • Pipeline: Moving to an integrated pipeline helps meet financial targets, but it's not clear that SFDC is any better than other systems in doing this. It's all about the user entering the data, and the manager ensuring compliance.
  • Reporting: Dashboards do keep meetings moving more smoothly, and keep objectives on track.
I would say that the only real "alternative" that we looked at was Excel. It was the industry standard at the time and we went with it.
We can't really leave! Rebuilding what we built in SFDC (custom objects, VisualForce pages, the data themselves, APEX triggers, etc.) would take 1000s of hours and would be insanely ROI-negative. This is the thing with a critical system like SFDC--you can't really leave, or at least not without massive pain. Be absolutely sure you want the system before committing. Think about it--SFDC has every incentive to make it hard to leave. Can't blame them--it's a brilliant business model.
Salesforce.com is a good solution, but I am hesitant to give it a full recommendation because of poor support, a small developer community, and a relatively high expense. Furthermore, once you're "in," good luck ever getting "out." Make absolutely sure you want SFDC before purchase.

Salesforce Reliability

Salesforce is available whenever you need it. Have never had it go down.