Now Powered By Lightning UX Framework, Salesforce Community Cloud Upgrades Its Digital Experience

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Salesforce is enhancing its Community Cloud to empower partners to design more vibrant, highly customized portals for organizations looking to better engage customers, employees and their own partners.

In its two most-recent releases, and one coming later this year, the CRM leader is "extending the digital experience," making design and branding a core component of the platform used for deploying self-service online communities, Anna Rosenman, senior director of product marketing for Community Cloud, told CRN.

Salesforce is focused on giving systems integrators the ability to use pre-built templates, components, and themes to address needs of customers in specific verticals looking to engage diverse audiences, Rosenman said.

[Related: Salesforce's AppExchange Updates Technology Partner Program To Promote Cutting Edge Capabilities]

Salesforce introduced Community Builder in 2015, a product taking a templatized approach to launching community portals. Last year, Lightning Bolt (pictured) provided a framework for building portals and community clouds faster with reusable components.

Those capabilities undergird this year's series of Community Cloud upgrades.

The Summer release of Community Cloud added CMS Connect, a tool for integration with most popular content management systems, Rosenman said.

"Now they can leverage existing investment in a CMS system and create personalized experiences for whoever is viewing this content," she told CRN.

Before that, Salesforce introduced the ability to target specific audiences with unique content. The next release in the winter will go further by enabling dynamic creation of custom themes that display branding geared to customers or partners accessing the Community Cloud portals, all guided by CRM data, Rosenman said.

Those upgrades, for example, could allow a vendor to deploy a channel portal with content and a user experience that discerns between partners in different tiers or geographies, she said.

Partners told CRN the user experience-oriented upgrades are timely as Salesforce integrators increasingly adopt Lightning Bolt as their approach to building reusable templates and components specific to the industries they specialize in serving.

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