What is

Salesforce is corporate performance management platform for sales representatives that has a user interface resembling a social networking website. It features a central newsfeed containing updates, such as information about an employee's presence, and it centralizes information about an employee, such as their role at the company and contact information.

Salesforce acquired the technology behind in 2011 when it acquired Rypple, a Toronto company that sold cloud-based human resources (HR) software. The application has been through several iterations, expanding its focus to improve employees' remote work experience. seeks to help businesses adapt to changing work environments, including hybrid work models, where some employees work in offices, while others work remotely, and still others alternate between both settings. is designed to organize employee relationships, improve the post-COVID-19 work experience and provide self-service tools.

Salesforce features and capabilities is a digital ecosystem of applications that enable businesses to structure information to make it searchable and accessible. It also lets employees access that information through a single interface.

Additions to the platform since 2020 include the following features:

Workplace Command Center. A dashboard that lets managers monitor applications and tools and track potential health risks through contact tracing. It can create reports with information about employee wellness, location and contacts.

Contact tracing. This application enables organizations to track health-related interactions in the office. Employers can collect data from staff members who have been infected with or exposed to COVID-19.

screenshot of Salesforce's contact-tracing application
Salesforce's includes an easy-to-use contact-tracing application as one of the first applications introduced with the 2020 shift.

Shift Management. This shift scheduling application lets organizations model the occupancy of their worksites and visualize relationships among employees as shifts change. Businesses can also use this application to design, implement and enforce plans and policies for limiting the amount of people on premises. They can use this tool to make informed decisions about COVID-19 policies and then implement those programs at scale.

Emergency response management. This application provides emergency communications capabilities, so an organization can allocate resources and initiate an emergency response.

Volunteer and grant management. For organizations that depend on grants and volunteers, this feature is for volunteer coordination and automation of the grant management process. It also matches qualified volunteers with appropriate events.

Wellness assessments. This application helps employers determine if employees meet criteria for returning to on-site work. It asks questions aimed at determining if employees are vaccinated, have been exposed to anyone with the virus or are sick themselves. It can use this information for contact tracing, as well.

Reskilling. With the Salesforce Trailhead application, employers can prepare their workforce for returning to the physical office and adapt to the hybrid work environment. The application also helps track employee training and onboarding new employees.

screenshot of Salesforce's Trailhead application
Salesforce's Trailhead application gamifies employee onboarding, training and reskilling by rewarding progress with badges.

Employee Workspace. This central digital hub lets employees access corporate applications, resources and collaboration tools, and facilitates employee communication in the remote work environment.

screenshot of Salesforce social media-like workspace's employee workspace provides a social media-like user interface that enables employees to access company applications and update their status.

Employee Concierge. Employees use this search-based employee self-service portal to find answers to job-related questions and resources, including technical support and information about benefits.

IT Service Center. This app enables employees to make and track IT service requests. IT departments can use it to track and resolve service requests, as well as to monitor help desk performance.

Workplace Strategy Planner. Organizations use this application to make data-driven decisions about which locations and physical workplaces to operate based on evaluation of the risks and organizational priorities, COVID-19 public health data and government guidelines.

Broadcast Messaging. This app lets employers and business leaders send text messages to up to 2,000 employees at once.

Digital Trust Cards. This app helps businesses broadcast which COVID-19 safety protocols they have implemented and display this information on their websites.'s response to COVID-19 pandemic

Salesforce added several applications to in 2020 to meet business demands for tools to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These applications include Digital Trust Cards, Employee wellness assessments, contact tracing and reskilling applications.

Salesforce retired the original platform in 2015. Between 2015 and 2020, functions were integrated into Salesforce Lightning, an application aimed at improving the user experience of Salesforce products, particularly on mobile devices.

Salesforce retained the domain name and repurposed it as part of its pandemic response effort. It became a remote-first work platform in 2020. The same year, the company also developed the Vaccine Cloud to help healthcare companies manage COVID-19 vaccine administration.

What types of businesses should use is designed for all types and sizes of businesses, but it can be particularly helpful to organizations that do the following:

Examples of organizations that fit into these categories include:

  • healthcare
  • mail and package delivery services
  • nonprofits
  • public sector
  • retail

The takeaway for a post-pandemic world

As the coronavirus pandemic has developed and evolved, companies look to strategize for long-term remote work. Salesforce adapted its offerings to an increasingly mobile-first strategy since the first iteration of The pandemic has accelerated that trend, with Salesforce developing the new to focus on supporting a remote-first work strategy.

Learn about the HR and employee tools Salesforce is adding to, including artificial intelligence-powered concierge bots. These offerings are intended to support workers who will be remote after the pandemic ends.

This was last updated in August 2021

Continue Reading About Salesforce

Dig Deeper on CRM tools and strategy

Content Management
Unified Communications
Data Management
Enterprise AI