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HP Targets Salesforce Users With New Document Tool

By Erika Morphy
Jun 24, 2013 5:00 AM PT

It's no secret that Salesforce.com has already inspired virtually countless ancillary products and services, including Thunderhead.com's ONE Correspond for Salesforce 2.0. Another example launched even more recently, however, is HP Relate, a cloud-based document management product that provides tools for creating interactive documents within the Salesforce environment.

HP Targets Salesforce Users With New Document Tool

An extension of the HP Exstream customer communications management platform, HP Relate is a natural step forward from the company's Exstream product line, Aaron Weiss, director of marketing for HP LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions, told CRM Buyer.

"With Relate, we have taken the experience we developed in our customer communications management offering and parlayed that into a cloud-based solution targeted at Salesforce.com users," he said.

Simplified But Sophisticated

HP Relate aims to provide a document creation app that is simple to use but that creates highly sophisticated documents, Weiss continued. Toward that end, HP has built an intuitive template-creation process that consists of drag-and-drop tools for Salesforce.com fields.

"If a user wants to generate a quote or invoice, all he does is select the appropriate template and the specific customers," Weiss said. Controls in the app ensure brand compliance, Weiss said, "and ensure that from the standpoint of how businesses are communicating, they are putting their best foot forward."

The app can also be used to create event-driven proposals, Weiss added. The potential scenarios for this particular category are many, given that Salesforce.com continuously updates and expands its functionality: "Users can leverage all of the information in the various fields available to Salesforce.com users as they create documents," he explained.

Native Data Integration

There are, of course, myriad document creation tools available already, many of which -- like HP Relate -- are tailored for, or at least can be used with, Salesforce.com.

However, HP Relate stands apart from its competitors in a few key ways, Kent Lewis, product manager for HP Exstream, told CRM Buyer.

"A lot of our competitors use third-party design tools or HTML editors," he said. "We offer a full-blown, thin-client editor to design the templates. The business user can log in to create the template and maintain it without having to bother IT."

The designer of those templates, meanwhile, "has the ability to customize the document to a significant degree," he added. He or she can include additional pages, for example, possibly add a "Safe Harbor" statement if necessary and otherwise personalize the document before it goes out.

Also, being part of Salesforce.com App Exchange, HP Relate offers native data integration with Salesforce.com, Lewis said.

Next Up

HP Relate will expand its functionality in coming iterations, Lewis and Weiss say, although they declined to elaborate.

"We think that with the domain knowledge and experience we have built up with Exstream, we will able to add significantly to the features in the future," Lewis said.

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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