Are Lies and Half-Truths the New Normal for Ebsta?

I guess the fake news temptation was just too great. With Donald Trump and Nigel Farage championing distorted reality day after day, the Content Manager of Ebsta could not resist the temptation to get into the mix. Hey, it worked for the Alt-Right and the Russians; why not for an upstanding English company that sells automated email syncing for Salesforce.

In her recent post, the Ebsta Content Manager slams “automated email Integration for Salesforce” which is weird because that is what Ebsta sells. She equates automatic Salesforce email syncing to an elaborate con job. “Users noticed that what these tools provide is less quality and more noise…automatic email sync tools like Implisit and Matchmymail promise to higher productivity and ensure accurate data. Here are the fundamental problems with those claims:

  • Problem #1 – Adding all emails is not user-friendly
  • Problem #2 – Unresolved Items
  • Problem #3 – Salesforce storage is expensive

Instead of telling the truth that Match My Email is a top-rated “Integration as a Service” app that is highly rated by its customers and taking market share from Ebsta, the Content Manager came up with three lame objections to automated email syncing and logging apps as a way of dissing Ebsta’s worthy competitors.

Problem #1 – Adding all emails is not user-friendly

Au contraire. Adding all emails to Salesforce is super user-friendly. When all emails are automatically added to Salesforce records, then users can trust the email data in Salesforce to be 100% accurate. The more users trust the data in Salesforce, the more they use Salesforce. I don’t get it. What could be more user-friendly than trust? Distrust?

Automated email syncing creates amazing meta-data in Salesforce that can be used to create List Views like COLD LEADS. For example, show me all the Leads that have not sent us an email in the past week. The user can look at the List View to see which customers are being unresponsive without having to open each individual Lead and look at the email activity. That sounds pretty user-friendly to me.

What isn’t user-friendly is an app like Ebsta that stores email data off-line.

  • because off-line email data cannot be used in Salesforce to create Reports, Dashboards and List Views.
  • because off-line email storage makes Salesforce super slow. Every time a user opens a record in Salesforce an applet has to query a remote database, find the relevant emails and then download them as links to Salesforce. Opening the email involves another time lag.
  • because Ebsta controls the user’s email data. If the user stops subscribing to the Ebsta service then the email data in Salesforce is lost, gone, caput. By controlling the user’s email data in Salesforce, Ebsta has the user over the proverbial barrel. No pay, no play.

Problem #2 – Unresolved Items

This objection is what they call in the persuasion business, ‘past the sale’. In the preamble to the objection, two products are mentioned – Implisit and MatchMyEmail – even though the objection only applies to one of the products [which I assume in this case is Implisit, though I am not familiar with the product].

The author knows full well that Match My Email does not have an ’unresolved items’ problem. ‘Unresolved items’ are impossible with Match My Email. Either an email matches to a Salesforce record or it does not. Since Match My Email is based on a ‘multiple email and SFDC object matching algorithm’, the app matches emails to all relevant Salesforce records, standard and custom – the user never needs to choose which record to associate an email with, it is done automatically by the app.

So this ‘problem’ related to ‘unresolved items’ is not true for Match My Email. A cynical person might call this ‘problem’ a lie.

Problem #3 – Salesforce storage is expensive

Salesforce storage is expensive. Or at least the list price of Data Storage is expensive, $3,000 per GB per year, though I have heard that most customers negotiate substantial discounts. A GB of Data Storage can store approximately 250,000 emails.

Salesforce believes that customers should pay subscription fees for functionality and that storage should be an extra charge. For example, Enterprise users only get 20MB of data storage with a base subscription. 20MB that was the disk drive storage capacity on an Apple Classic in 1992. This pricing policy is probably left over from the 1990’s when storage was expensive and Salesforce was still a start-up that didn’t have the skills to manage big data.

Whatever the reasoning behind Salesforce’s storage pricing, Salesforce can charge a lot for data storage because data are valuable. The more data a user has in Salesforce; the more the user can get out of the Salesforce platform. Salesforce has rightly decided that users will pay for the ‘control’ of their valuable data.

Off-site apps like Ebsta also understand the value of ‘owning’ and ‘controlling’ user data. They know that the longer a user subscribes to Ebsta and the more of his or her email data is stored in Ebsta’s cloud, the harder it is for the user to switch email integration vendors. Ebsta understands like IBM and Oracle that ‘owning’ the user’s data is the stickiest and most profitable business model for a software vendor. Ebsta can be sure that even if another vendor has a better app, one that lets its users control their own email data and use that data to run their businesses more efficiently, Ebsta subscribers can’t switch to the superior email integration app because Ebsta holds their email data related to Salesforce hostage.

Conclusion

In this era of divisiveness and false information, what ethical code should the public expect from an automated email integration app featured on the Salesforce AppExchange ?.  True, false information about something as benign as email integration for Salesforce is not exactly going to start a war.   In my opinion, Ebsta should restrict their Content Manager and tell her to focus on why Ebsta is better, not making up lies and half-truths about why Ebsta’s competitors are worse.

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