Salesforce updates AppExchange with personalization, new Lightning tools

With the expansion of its enterprise marketplace, Salesforce is highlighting new IDC data showing the Salesforce ecosystem will drive 3.3 million new jobs by 2022.

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Salesforce on Tuesday is launching an expanded version of AppExchange, adding new tools and partnerships that customers can find on the enterprise marketplace. They're also adding intelligent search results and personalized recommendations to the platform.

The launch represents AppExchange's evolution from a simple app directory to a "full blown ecosystem," Leyla Seka, the executive VP of AppExchange, told ZDNet. Today, 87 percent of Salesforce customers are using apps from the 11-year-old marketplace. The latest updates, particularly the personalization features, were designed to expand its reach further, Seka said, by "helping [customers] find the right solution and potentially solutions they didn't know were available."

With the update, AppExchange will make recommendations to customers based on factors like their location, install history, site activity, profile data and the activity of other, similar customers. Search results will also be more customized.

Meanwhile, continuing its evolution from a simple app directory, AppExchange will now offer up content from Trailhead, Salesforce's online learning platform. Trailhead "trails" will be embedded within Product Collection pages, so customers can find educational material relevant to the apps they're looking for.

The new AppExchange will also now include Lightning Data, giving customers access to specialized data sets they can buy. The marketplace also includes Lightning Bolts, which out-of-the-box offerings from Salesforce partners that include Lightning "Components," customer data and business logic.

Ultimately, AppExchange will be a hub where customers can get anything Salesforce related, Seka said, "whether you're buying an app, a component, data set, or eventually maybe even a bot or algorithm."

The updates to AppExchange coincide with new data from IDC illustrating Salesforce's economic impact. The new research, sponsored by Salesforce, estimates that Salesforce and its ecosystem of customers and partners will drive 3.3 million new jobs and more than $859 billion in new business revenues worldwide by 2022.

For every dollar Salesforce will make by 2022, IDC estimates, the Salesforce "ecosystem" will make $5.18. The research firm reached this conclusion since spending on cloud computing subscriptions typically increases spending on ancillary products and services, like additional cloud subscription and professional services or supporting software or hardware.

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