Online communities, self-service portals, and customer-facing websites are key ingredients in the armory of any company with a decent online presence. In a tech-neutral world where everyone has the know-how to roll out such options, enterprises strive for deep customization and branding of their digital assets, as a key differentiator. Until now, such efforts were easier said than done. Enter Lightning Bolt, the latest in the never-ending line of innovations from Salesforce.
Ever since the launch of the Community Cloud, over 25% of Salesforce customers have launched multiple communities, as a workaround for rolling out custom communities. Bolt caters to this pressing need, enabling them to launch highly customized communities easily, in double quick time, with minimal effort.
Lightning Bolt is a new framework representing the next level of advancement to the Lightning Templates launched almost a year ago. Bolt builds on the power and flexibility offered by Lightning Components and makes it even easier for Salesforce partners and customers to build next- generation web portals, cutting edge websites, and savvy user communities.
Bolt allows the community owner to customize the community or portal completely, infusing it with the functionality and design specific to the brand. Developers may not just tinker with the superficial such as layout, color combination, and logos, but also customize at the features and components level.
There are several advantages in choosing Lightning Bolt over any other option, to facilitate such deep customization.
Lightning Bolt takes personalization to a new level by offering a unified and consistent experience from any device the end-user chooses to access the website or community
A key USP of Lightning is the ability to create web portals and mobile apps using drag-and-drop functional components. This easy method gets the job done in a fraction of the time and investment, compared to alternatives.
As it is with all Salesforce products, Lightning Bolt draws on Salesforce’s business logic, workflows, customer data, and the expertise of the ecosystem. There is seamless integration with the CRM, with all customer interaction automatically captured in Salesforce CRM. Bolt apps come integrated out-of-the-box with Salesforce CRM and the Community Cloud, and may be connected to other systems easily using API.
An array of out-of-the-box templates solutions developed by top Salesforce partners, packing in industry best practices make it possible to roll out powerful and high-quality portals and communities within minutes.
Salesforce partners have already built 1,000+ customized Lightning Communities over the last year, allowing customers and employees to connect and collaborate in new ways. Bolt allows such developers to go a step further and develop industry-specific solutions, such as B2B e-commerce, partner relationship management, patient care portals and similar other solutions in a much faster and easier manner.
Bolt offers “ready to go” fully functional apps, complete with complex business logic. Enterprises may either use such apps as it is, or build on these core to customize as required, either by working with the original partner-creators or through in-house developers, to gain powerful branded community or website. These apps are device neutral, allowing users to collaborate seamlessly, anytime, anywhere, in any circumstances, as long as the device is connected to the internet.
The AppExchange will soon feature a new Lightning Bolt category, for Salesforce partners to peddle their Lightning Bolt solutions. Many of the top partners have already developed industry-specific Bolt portals, communities, and other solutions.
Online communities boost performance by up to 40% in employee engagement, partner sales, case resolution, and more. With the enhanced capabilities of Bolt powered apps, this figure is set to rise even further.
Early trends indicate something big. For example, eWAY, one of the pioneer adopters, created a self-service online community using Bolt in just four days, and the new community reduced their case deflection rate by 50% in a matter of weeks.
The early bird gets the worm. The Lightning Bolt framework will be available with the Salesforce Community Cloud license from October 2016, and partners will start distributing their Bolt solutions through the AppExchange by early 2017. It pays to leverage the Bolt framework to deliver superior customer experience, and gain competitive advantage, now.
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