Most of us have heard of blockchain, but as it has moved from buzzword to viable business applications, it has not always been clear how to take advantage of its benefits. Clearly, it is about more than just about coins and tokens, but how is it relevant to regular business?
Many people know that blockchain can increase security, traceability, and automation — but these attributes can seem abstract until they are incorporated into a business process. To help capture the benefits blockchain can provide, many organizations are looking to connect blockchain applications with the business systems they use in their operations every day.
With that in mind, IBM developed the IBM Blockchain Platform for Salesforce Connector, available via Salesforce AppExchange (in beta), that does just what it sounds like: allows users to build blockchain applications and connect them into Salesforce. This allows organizations to take advantage of the distributed ledger capabilities of blockchain, while maintaining the Salesforce screens their teams use every day. Developers can download the Connector today and get started.
By the way, if you’d like to learn more about blockchain and how it’s applied in business, IBM and Salesforce developed a free module you can access on Trailhead to learn more: Blockchain Basics.
As we’ve said, integrating those great blockchain capabilities with the Salesforce solutions that people are already using to do their work makes it easier to increase both adoption and benefits. Rather than building a separate interface to access blockchain, the Connector allows you to build blockchain applications with IBM Blockchain Platform and then easily connect them into new or existing Salesforce workflow. The Connector enables Salesforce to access records on the blockchain to read them, and also to make updates, so actions taken in Salesforce can be recorded on the blockchain.
To see how this works in practice, access this video to learn how Marsh — the world’s leading insurance broker and risk adviser — worked with IBM to transform the proof of insurance process using blockchain technology. Marsh, Salesforce, and IBM worked together to build a proof of concept that connected Marsh’s blockchain with Salesforce. As a result, a contractor in the field could use Salesforce via their mobile device to obtain required proof of insurance in seconds, versus the traditional method that can require calling the office and waiting several days for it to be issued and verified. The demo starts at 9:50 minutes into the video.
Blockchain provides trust, transparency, efficiency and innovative ways to develop business disruption. Applying those effectively in business requires the right tools and approach: Salesforce is the system of engagement that many organizations already use; and IBM Blockchain Platform, built on The Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric, includes the tools to help developers build and scale blockchain applications. It’s a powerful combination to jump-start blockchain success.
Developers can download the Connector at no cost via Salesforce AppExchange. Or, if you’d like to talk about how your organization could benefit from blockchain, or you’d like help to build apps and connect them to Salesforce, you can reach out to me directly.
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