Salesforce automation tools planned for next year include robotic process automation, document scanning and inclusion in the Salesforce platform, and low-code business process automation.

Ahead of Dreamforce’s virtual user conference in the next Week there were previews of the tools. The upcoming features address customer requests for Salesforce automation that involves complex workflows across multiple employees, such as the approval and documentation processes for a mortgage, said John Kucera, Salesforce senior vice president of product management.

“One of the things What we’ve heard from our customers is that they don’t just need to [automate] small tasks within Salesforce and integrate them into another system – they want whole multi-user workflows that involve many people in one system in one process “said Kucera. “You need to have it automated, integrated, and in one place to monitor and expand. That was a big focus for us.”

Salesforce has had a number of low-code automation tools under the Maintained the name Flow, with Flow Builder and Process Builder being the most recent to evolve from its Lightning platform. Flow Orchestrator, now in beta and expected next year, offers more sophisticated multi-level, multi-user workflow automation with the familiar Flow drag-and-drop interface.

Also coming in 2022 is MuleSoft RPA- Tools that came from last month’s acquisition of Servicetrace. RPA technology complements Salesforce’s API-based automation tools, said Craig Le Clair, analyst at Forrester. RPA bots are fragile and often break down when applications are updated or software workflows are disrupted. APIs are arguably more stable.

The Servicetrace acquisition “is kind of an admission that RPA bots play a legitimate role in the world alongside APIs,” said Le Clair. MuleSoft RPA low-code tools will initially target document automation to process and extract data, Salesforce said.

Also available next year and now in beta is Einstein Document Reader, optical character recognition used to add static forms and documents to a Salesforce user’s data repository. Coupled with Flow Builder, it’s a smart automation tool that is catching up with Salesforce with competitors like Microsoft, Google, and Adobe who already offer document extraction tools, Le Clair said.

Overall, the Salesforce automation tools represent an effort for Salesforce to enable these processes within its platform so that users do not leave their environment to build process automation applications, said Le Clair. But, he added, Salesforce needs to rethink the choices it offers for creating and editing workflows.

“One of the criticisms of Salesforce is that there are already three or four different workflow tools – some are at the end of their life and others are new, ”said Le Clair. “[It] begs the question of how much they are committed to a unified level of process. But I think that’s what they are trying to do. You see where ServiceNow is going, you see the competition. They want the same product functionality. ” . “

Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and basic technologies for TechTarget.

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