The Intelligent Appointment Scheduling Blog

Is It Native? Should I Care? What to Consider When Buying Salesforce Apps

Salesforce’s AppExchange is a rich destination for Salesforce users, allowing administrators to select and download from over 3,000 applications that help fulfill business needs across the spectrum of Salesforce users. Increasingly, customers have come to TimeTrade with questions related to our own AppExchange listing, Scheduler for Salesforce, and inquired about the status of our application and whether it’s considered “Native”.

What does Native mean in the world of Salesforce?  Native for a Salesforce App means that the application resides totally within the Salesforce organization where it was installed.  There is no connectivity to third parties and the application does not require authentication outside of the Salesforce environment.

While we built Scheduler to be tightly integrated with Salesforce, it cannot be considered truly “native” due to the integration of our powerful availability API.  But we’re certainly not alone in that regard.  Powerful apps from well-known companies like Docusign and D&B have applications that are not considered “native” either.  When it comes to our Scheduler for Salesforce application, TimeTrade has been in the appointment setting business since 2000 and our platform has a robust capability that’s been powering our client’s appointments and meetings to the order of over 10 million per month.

However, when considering Scheduler, or really any App on the AppExchange, here’s what you should consider when thinking about Native vs Non-Native:

Does it provide the functionality that I need?

First and foremost, an App has to do what you need it to do.  Otherwise, it really doesn’t matter if it’s native or not.  In terms of scheduling appointments, there are two key pieces of functionality that need to be considered:

Can I book appointments for the people I need?  Don’t just consider simple 1:1 appointments, but make sure the system can book multiple configurations of people.  Do you have situations that may require 2 people, such as a Salesperson and Sales Engineer?  Or perhaps a Customer Success representative and a Support person?  How about a Salesperson and a member of a pool of people?  Appointment complexity increases when you add additional people to the mix and Scheduler does this easily.

Is Availability identified in real-time?  At the core of an appointment is the ability to tell the customer that a given time is definitely available.  Relying on processes that sync between systems means that double-booked meetings are going to happen.  That’s why TimeTrade calls for availability in real-time directly from your calendar of record such as Outlook, Google, Exchange, and Office 365.  A requirement that no native Salesforce app can offer

Is it easy to perform Administration?

A Native application doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to use or to set up.  In fact, usability has nothing to do with an application’s status or not.  When choosing an application for Salesforce, be certain to understand what it takes to license the application, provision users, set up schedules and connect calendars.  For Scheduler for Salesforce, we’ve made it easier than any other application to get set up and running.  One the application is installed, Salesforce users can be added to invitations automatically with zero user configuration.  And for large organizations where personnel may change frequently, that capability is critically important so you’re not burdening your Salesforce Administrator with constant personnel requests.

What About Security?

This is often a critical question for any customer evaluating a Salesforce application.  A Native application has no transfer of data outside your Salesforce organization, which certainly has benefits.  However, if a non-native application provides the capabilities you need, review their security process during the sales cycle.  Well known companies like Docusign and D&B provide important business solutions and have non-native Salesforce applications.  At TimeTrade, we taxke the protection of your data very seriously.  As part of this commitment to our subscribers, we conduct SOC  2 (type II) audits on an annual basis.  No other scheduling vendor has this level of data security.  Further, our Scheduler for Salesforce application doesn’t share any PII information outside of the Salesforce organization.  All personal information can be anonymized to reduce security concerns.

Do Native Apps Perform Better?

Another misconception of native applications is that they should perform better since they are natively installed within Salesforce.  However, many non-native applications are also built within Salesforce using the same techniques as native apps, and only require an API integration for key data elements.  When you are evaluating solutions, take note of performance during demonstrations and trials and identify if there are lags.  Also, when evaluating scheduling tools, be especially aware of data synchronization schedules.  TimeTrade’s Scheduler product leverages APIs for deep integration not only within Salesforce but with large global customers everywhere and with 10m appointments per month, our API performance is fantastic.

Do Native Apps Have Better Support?

Some native applications are simple, easy to install and run like clocks.  Others are more complicated, require constant administration and significant support.  Scheduling solutions are inherently complex, with multiple considerations involved with virtually every Salesforce user.  When choosing between vendors, ask about the support team and review the AppExchange for reviews about support.  When it comes to customer support, being native or not really doesn’t matter.  What matters is the experience of customers and the ability to quickly resolve customer issues.

Ultimately, when reviewing an application and deciding whether or not to make a purchase of a product on the AppExchange, customers have to do their homework.  Native or non-native is one consideration, but the chart below can help your decision-making process beyond this one simple question.

 

Does The App Do What I Need It To Do?Scheduler for Salesforce provides appointment solutions across clouds to all Salesforce users in an organization
Can The App Work With My Use Cases?Scheduler for Salesforce works with 1:1 meetings, multiple internal attendees, multiple external attendees, 1 or more internal pools, or  any combination.  Appointments for Marketing, Sales, Service, Support and Customer Success are all easy to set up
Will The App Schedule Meetings Properly?Scheduler for Salesforce is connected to your organization’s calendar of choice, whether that’s Exchange, Office365, Google Calendar or even Salesforce.  There’s never double-bookings because Scheduler checks for availability in real-time.
Is My Data Secure?Scheduler for Salesforce is based on the TimeTrade appointments platform, with SOC 2 level security offering a highly secure environment for customers.
Is It Easy To Set Up?Scheduler for Salesforce is available for download on the AppExchange and is even available as a TrialForce version to instantly download and install.  No other Salesforce scheduling solution offers this instant accessibility.  After installation and configuration, all Salesforce users are instantly available to book meetings.  There is no separate administration needed for most meeting types.
What Support Is Offered?Scheduler for Salesforce relies upon the experienced support team of TimeTrade, the leader in online appointment setting since its founding in 2001.  Our 5 Star AppExchange listing highlights the customer support experience for many users.  In addition, the Scheduler product line is always being upgraded with the newest version (Dreamforce ’18 v6.0) recently added.

 

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Written by Steve Connolly

Steve has more than 20 years of product management experience, with the last several years working on products designed for B2B sales and marketers. Steve is responsible for the Scheduler product line within TimeTrade, which integrates into CRM solutions such as Dynamics and Salesforce. Prior to joining to TimeTrade, Steve was Director of Product at Lattice Engines.

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