Salesforce... Maybe its me?

I've been meaning to write this for a while.

When I joined, I was really excited to get a chance to use Salesforce for the first time.  I had held up Salesforce as a great example of the death of enterprise software and why apps were best delivered over the web.

Now, after having access to it for two months, I have to say, its pretty underwhelming... or maybe I just don't get it.

It seems to me that a great organizational help should help you establish a routine... should provide shortcuts for you and help bring order to chaos...  in a lightweight "companion" sort of way.   It should slip seemlessly into my lack of routine and help maximize my productivity.

So, when I started using Salesforce and its Outlook plugin, I was surprised at how much database setup needed to be done on simple little items.

For example, I started talking to someone from a new company that Oddcast had never spoken to.  I wanted to add that quickly to Salesforce, but you can't add a new contact company on the fly.  You have to set it up in the system first.  That was sort of a pain.  Plus, there's nothing automatic about its e-mail intelligence.  Its like an empty database.  You have to tell it the meaning of an e-mail and who it belongs with...   there aren't algorythms to detect when someone e-mailed me and I didn't e-mail them back.  LinkedIn does that with its new Outlook dashboard.

I'd love to see a little floating hotlist of recent contacts, and people I'd like to elevate to a "watchlist".  E-mails from watchlist people would get automatically sucked into the database and reminders would pop up if I haven't returned their e-mails.  I don't need this whole backend monster... I just need a little ping to remind me to follow up with someone I talked about something with last week.  Salesforce, in spite of its webification, still seems very heavy to me and very difficult to use for people who aren't good about the routine of updating contacts, etc.  I want "automatic for the people."