Salesforce.com Announces Supportforce for On-Demand Customer Service; Launched with Avaya, Cisco, Alcatel, Aspect and Genesys

Supportforce delivers customer success by deploying global contact centers and help desks without software - reducing implementation risks and costs

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — September 29, 2004 — Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), the market and technology leader in on-demand customer relationship management (CRM), today announced Supportforce, launched with the support of the industry's leading contact center infrastructure providers including Avaya (NYSE: AV), Cisco Systems, Alcatel (NYSE: ALA, Paris: CGEP.PA), Aspect Communications (NASDAQ: ASPT) and Genesys (an Alcatel company). Companies of all sizes can now easily manage and share customer service and support information on-demand through call centers, contact centers, help desks, virtual at-home agents, and other customer service operations. Because there is no software to install or maintain, companies can reduce the risks and costs traditionally found in complex and costly client/server implementations. Supportforce transforms contact centers and help desks the same way that salesforce.com has transformed sales force automation.

"Today's businesses are faced with the challenge of delivering faster, around-the-clock customer service, even as their organizations are growing more distributed around the globe," said Lou D'Ambrosio, Avaya's group vice president, global sales, channels and marketing. "Avaya's industry-leading IP telephony and contact center solutions extend advanced customer service capabilities across a business, ensuring that agents in any location can deliver enhanced levels of customer support. By integrating Avaya IP-based MultiVantage communications applications with Supportforce, companies can easily and cost-effectively implement an on-demand solution that improves customer experiences in a 24x7 world."

"Cisco is a firm believer in the Internet as the bedrock of tomorrow's contact centers. We share Salesforce.com's vision of a future focused on customer success," said Laurent Philonenko, vice president and general manager of Cisco's contact center business unit. "Seeing the ease with which Supportforce works in an on-demand model with Cisco Call Manager and Cisco IP Phones is an indication of the opportunities that lie ahead."

"Alcatel is firmly committed to delivering contact center solutions to the mid-market," said Thierry Seignol, vice president, Communications Applications, Alcatel Enterprise Solutions. "With the launch of Supportforce, we can provide hosted applications in combination with Alcatel contact center solutions that will set a new standard for delivering customer service applications."

"Today's customer-focused businesses are continuing to demand flexible solutions that are easy to deploy and take advantage of the latest innovations in Internet-based technologies," said Aspect Communications' senior vice president and CMO, Brian Gentile. "We applaud the introduction of Supportforce for addressing this market need just as Aspect's own Uniphi architecture does by simplifying the integration of new applications across the contact center. These types of solutions make it easier for businesses to take new strides in customer service, both quickly and cost effectively."

"Distributed organizations today face the challenge of providing customers with complete and consistent access to experts in the contact center and throughout the company," said Elliot Danziger, chief technology officer at Genesys. "Together, Supportforce and Genesys enable companies to achieve a virtual customer service organization with a single, central point of control. Virtualization offers unmatched insight into a distributed organization, delivering a complete view of customer interactions."

The culmination of more than 16 generations of on-demand leadership and development, Supportforce includes:

  • State-of-the-Art Customer Service Functionality: Supportforce features a multi-channel web services interface to provide a unified, 360-degree view of customer interactions across all channels. Supportforce also includes complete customer support and help desk functionality, knowledge management capabilities, web self-service and performance metrics to enable companies to easily manage and share customer information.
  • Complete Customization: Supportforce allows each company to create its own customer service application with full customization of the user interface, workflow, and data model. Custom Tabs allow for the addition of functional modules that extend Supportforce to create new on-demand applications to manage activities such as contact center staffing. Supporforce.com's secure sharing model allows the administrator to control data access between service, sales and other departments.
  • Full Integration with Existing Infrastructure: Through the newly released sforce Telephony API (STAPI) toolkit, Supportforce can be easily integrated with any telephony platform, including products from leading companies like Avaya, Cisco, Alcatel, Aspect and Genesys. Available at http://www.sforce.com, the STAPI toolkit provides sample code and documentation that companies can use to more easily integrate Supportforce with products from the leading contact center vendors and assist in deploying autodialing, rules-based routing, screen-pops, and call scripting to boost agent productivity and customer service levels.
  • Global Solution: Supportforce goes beyond standard language and currency translation to meet the needs of the multinational enterprise anytime, anywhere. Users can access Supportforce in all 11 languages supported by salesforce.com: Brazilian Portuguese, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Swedish. This allows companies maximum flexibility in designing a contact center strategy to support a global customer base.
"We're excited to be a Supportforce customer. We've been using salesforce.com's customer service functionality for over a year to support our operations in nine states and in our centralized call center with impressive results," said Marty Howard, CIO and senior vice president of Patient Care, Inc. "Integration with our switches using the sforce Telephony API (STAPI) toolkit will give us full screen pop and call routing capabilities. Supportforce helps us dramatically increase productivity while reducing costs across our growing home health care company."

"Alcatel, Aspect, Avaya, Cisco, and Genesys - these companies make up over 70 percent of the global contact center marketplace. Salesforce.com is launching Supportforce in great company," said Sheryl Kingstone of The Yankee Group. "By partnering with all the leading players, Supportforce provides customers with a strong breadth of options for their service needs."

Supportforce is now available at www.supportforce.com. Pricing for the entire salesforce.com suite of products, including Supportforce is $65/user/month for Professional Edition and $125/user/month for Enterprise Edition. Supportforce is currently available to all existing salesforce.com customers as part of its award-winning CRM service at no additional cost.

A launch event will take place from 5:15 p.m. until approximately 6:30 p.m. PDT today to introduce Supportforce. The event includes live demonstrations and presentations by leading contact center vendors. Salesforce.com is not changing the financial guidance provided on August 19, 2004 and does not expect to generate incremental revenue from Supportforce during fiscal 2005. A webcast of the event can be accessed live over the Internet at www.salesforce.com/investor. A replay will be available through October 6, 2004 by accessing the same web site.

About salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is the world’s largest provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software. For more information about salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.