Excel is used by many as an all-purpose workhorse for lots of business tasks – including some that it is not best suited for (see Excel: the Pine-Sol of Technology) like creating databases, to some that it is perfect for, like creating sales forecasts.
When multiple employees are collaborating on an Excel spreadsheet, they have a few choices as far as sharing updates and new versions. They can email the file back and forth, which can make it difficult and cumbersome to track edits and versions. Then there are online collaboration spreadsheet alternatives like Google Spreadsheets, which allow real time shared editing but require using a different application entirely. Another option is to use an application like Office Live, which allows collaboration and sharing of native Excel files which are stored on their server.
eXpresso is sort of a cross between Google Spreadsheets and Office Live. Similar to Google Spreadsheets, users can interact while editing using the instant messaging feature, and work on documents offline if you are away from an internet connection. Like Office Live, it uses regular Excel files.
eXpresso recently announced that it has become an approved AppExchange for Salesforce.com, which integrates use of the two applications, allowing users to collaborate on spreadsheets from within Salesforce.com.
As an approved AppExchange offering, eXpresso has been certified by Salesforce.com for seamless operation within the Salesforce.com environment. “Corporate sales, in all its forms, is an inherently collaborative process. eXpresso is a natural fit with Salesforce.com because it allows sales teams to initiate, build, share and store the spreadsheets that are essential to their daily sales activities,” said John Howard, vice president of business development for eXpresso. “We believe Salesforce.com users will quickly find eXpresso, through its integration within Salesforce.com, to be a major boost to their overall performance and efficiency.”
Once downloaded, eXpresso allows Salesforce.com users to access and edit their Excel spreadsheets from within the Salesforce.com environment, simply by clicking on the eXpresso tab on the Salesforce dashboard. Spreadsheets can be created or updated using Salesforce data, and files can be shared and/or simultaneously viewed and edited in real time with any number of invitees.
Pricing for eXpresso starts at $15/month.
Laura Leites, Assistant Editor, Smallbiztechnology.com
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