Salesforce deal could give Evernote a big lift in businesses

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Evernote's deal with Salesforce to be fully integrated into the Salesforce experience, announced last week at their annual user conference, gives the company a strong foothold in the enterprise through the sales department. You have to assume from there, they have plans to branch out to other departments, which could also benefit from a tool that lets you save all of your digital bric-a-brac in one central place, creating folders or tags which provide a structure to share those notes with others and find it later on.

Evernote has always been my favorite example of the cloud-mobile connection. You can access it on any device from phone to tablet to laptop or desktop, anytime, anywhere and it doesn't matter whether you have connectivity or not. You can still capture the content and then it will sync across the platform whenever you connect to the internet. 

Everyone in a company is collecting content throughout the day, and the Evernote Business tool provides an easy way to collect, organize, comment and share. As I wrote the other day on a post on FierceContentManagement, it becomes in a sense a de facto content management system, a way to store, find, and share content and prevent employees from reinventing the wheel when content exists already.

So, while salespeople can surely benefit from an app that enables them to collect and save notes, news, contracts, presentations, business cards, and other content related to a customer, so can just about any other knowledge worker in the company, whether it's project managers, marketers, or even busy executives. Mobile workers may come up with ideas at any time, may want to take a picture of a book or business card, capture web content, or take voice or typed notes to process later. And employees who still take notes the old fashioned way on paper can scan the notes into Evernote, or use one of the notebooks from Moleskine, which work with the Evernote Page Camera feature to make it easy for users to add and annotate notes into the app.

Adding to Evernote's usefulness, the app can also read PDFs and other types of documents including Microsoft Office documents in Evernote without opening the source application.

It's also worth noting that last month Evernote made some big changes to the tool, making it more complex for individual users like me, but very likely making it more palatable to a more lucrative business audience. For instance, the Evernote Web Clipper, the browser tool you use to capture web content, used to let you simply select all or part of a web page, tag it, choose a folder, and leave a brief note. The new version adds more features that were previously separate tools, part of the Evernote Trunk including Evernote Clear, which lets you view a web page with just the text and pictures and none of the clutter, making it much easier to read without distraction. It also integrates drawing program Skitch, which lets you annotate a page. What's more you can not only save a post to your personal Evernote folder (or presumably a shared one), you can also share the post with others.

There are other content management tools in the Salesforce ecosystem including Seismic and Koral, a company that Salesforce purchased in 2007 to deal with content management. Unfortunately, Salesforce never seemed to do much with it. Today, Salesforce has the Sales Cloud, which is designed to be a central place to store, share and collaborate on sales collateral documents.

Evernote might not be ready to replace these systems, which have been built specifically to manage content, but it does provide a central place to share all of the content related to a given client or project and that could prove very useful to employees across every department in a company.

With the Salesforce deal, Evernote now integrates fully with Chatter, the Salesforce enterprise social tool allowing people to share notes or even link a note to a tag and automatically post to the Chatter stream whenever you create a linked note. One can assume Evernote will make similar connections to other popular enterprise social platforms.

Regardless, if the Salesforce partnership proves successful,  it could be like an enterprise Trojan Horse, giving Evernote Business a way inside businesses from which it can sell to other departments, which could also benefit from this tool. And that could be huge for a company trying to take find a more lucrative income stream beyond individual users.

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