Is Salesforce.com’s Knowledge power, or will Solutions do the job?
In 1597, the English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon famously wrote in his Religious Meditations, of Heresies, that, “knowledge is power.” The question in 2012 is, is Knowledge power in Salesforce.com, or will Solutions do the job? The answer, of course, depends on your budget, your business requirements, and how you want to deploy a knowledge base for your organization.
What are the main differences between Knowledge and Solutions?
To start with, here are some of the things they have in common:
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s consider the areas where Knowledge outshines Solutions (hyperlinks in this section will take you to the appropriate Salesforce help page):
- Suggested Articles in Knowledge appear when you select a case in a Service Cloud console. Suggested articles also display in the sidebar as you enter details in the Subject of a case.
- Knowledge Articles use Synonyms and Stemming (the process of reducing a word to its root form) to optimize search results.
- Categories allow Article filtering to narrow down search results, such as by product, customer type, geographic region.
How much will the additional functionality of Salesforce Knowledge set you back?
Knowledge currently runs $600/per user annually, and is an add-on “feature license,” meaning you can buy for only some of your employees. This is different from an “edition” license that is either turned on or off for you organization as a whole.
One interesting thing to note is that, because Knowledge is a feature license, you only have to have one Knowledge license to make it available on your Customer Portal and Sites, while still using Solutions internally. The one drawback to using Solutions internally and Knowledge externally, of course, is maintaining two separate knowledge bases that don’t communicate with each other.
Finally, here are a couple things to watch out for with regard to setup of Knowledge:
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