A few months ago, I heard about Koral. It’s a content management web application that works directly with Salesforce (as well as stand-alone). I signed up C3 and exchanged some very nice email with the developers, who promised our little nonprofit a free account with far more storage than we get through Salesforce (I think it was 10 GB).
Koral allows you to tag your uploaded documents, which makes for much easier searches than organizing by folder. “Is that document in ‘promotions’ or ‘media kit'”? The site used all the Web 2.0 tricks to make for a very pleasant experience. If it’s a PowerPoint file, you can hover over the document and see a little preview. It integrated right within Salesforce opportunity records, so you can attach documents directly to a deal you’re working on (in our case, we used it for major gifts). And it used versioning so you could update a document and see a history that the file was updated and by whom.
I was excited about it at first as a good solution for us, but then development slowed. We upload to it when there’s new documents, but there’s no easy way of transferring what’s already in the Salesforce “documents” area over. We’d have to re-download all those files and use their Windows upload tool to get it back up. Just haven’t had the time. While it works well with Opportunity records, that’s only useful for us for a limited set of donations. What we need for Koral to do is work with the “Send Email” functionality. It’s easy to attach a document stored in Salesforce in an email sent through Salesforce. We have some templates set up to answer common questions that have files attached, or email is sent on the fly. But there’s no way to get at a document stored on Koral that way, so we have to have files in two locations anyway. Plus, it doesn’t help us that Koral only previews PowerPoint files. We need it to preview Word .doc and PDF files. The developers said this was “in the works” months ago.
I shouldn’t have been surprised to read on TechCrunch this morning that Salesforce bought Koral! Confirmed on the Koral blog. I’m happy for them. It would have been nice for Koral to notify their users of this first, but since it was just announced yesterday I guess I can let it go. Maybe the email is still coming.
Anyway, TechCrunch previews what the new “ContentExchange” application looks like, and it appears to be very similar to what Koral already is except with the Salesforce interface. I don’t see any evidence that my two main wishlist items (preview PDF & .doc, and attach in email) have been addressed, but certainly the email issue should be easier to deal with now. I can’t be the only one who wants this.
There’s also the question of pricing. Koral was donated to us. Will Salesforce honor that with their new application? Will the Salesforce Foundation be able to offer this new ContentExchange app to nonprofits, at the very least at a deeply discounted price? Content management is a huge issue in nonprofits, as we typically don’t have the infrastructure or resources for SharePoint servers and the like. Especially for nonprofits of our size (teeny tiny). Koral focused on integration with Salesforce around documents used to close deals (which is why previewing PowerPoint was their first priority), but nonprofits in particular desperately need content management for educational and public-facing materials, as well as the standard business documents and “sales-y” stuff.
I guess we’ll soon see.