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No matter what business you’re in, there are two things equally critical in you being able to do your job: data and files. Where data points you to the most influential decision makers, helps you decide what kind of deals to offer, and targets future sales, files are the backbone of that data, giving you supporting documentation of credit scores, official agreements, important photographs, and more. While Salesforce is the most powerful CRM on the market and the ideal home for your data, file storage may be best handled in an external tool, depending on costs and use cases – if you want to give clients the ability to upload documents directly into a folder, for example. There are a number of powerful integrations with Salesforce and document management platforms, and choosing between them can be a challenge. Today, I’d like to help clear the muddy waters a little.

When deciding which of the many integrations to use for your company, the first question you should ask yourself is: what tool am I using now? If your team is already heavily using a cloud-based storage platform, such as Google Drive or Box.com, your decision may already be made for you. It is easiest to drive user adoption with a tool your team is already accustomed to using. That said, if you’re on the market, it’s a great time to reevaluate the tool you are currently using and check out some other options. If you don’t already have an established tool, it comes down to cost and features. While costs can vary widely depending on your storage needs, features to look out for are: drag-and-drop functionality, folder structure and hierarchy, configuration of folder permissions, security options, the ability to email links to folders and files, and customizability. At CloudMyBiz, our four favorite solutions for external, integrated file storage for Salesforce are Box for Salesforce, S-Drive, Cirrus Files, and Dropbox for Salesforce. At present, they tend to offer the most robust feature sets, and we recommend starting there.

-Jared and the Salesforce Guys