We all know that the communications industry is facing enormous disruption. New, over-the-top players, such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, threaten traditional business models. At the same time, operators struggle to provide customers, who are shopping for services or resolving issues across separate channels, with a seamless experience. In fact, according to our “2016 Connected Subscriber Report,” more than a third of subscribers would be more likely to stay with their current provider if they didn’t have to repeat information to every service agent on support issues.

To enable communications service providers (CSPs) to better meet the needs of today’s digital customers, Salesforce today unveiled its Communications Industry Framework to help CSPs accelerate their transitions to the cloud and improve customer engagement across channels. The framework includes assets such as data model specifications; a white paper with entity- relationship diagrams and usage patterns; API and process documentation; and much more.

Built in accordance with TM Forum Frameworx, the framework empowers communications companies to implement the world’s #1 CRM solution to address key business processes, such as managing accounts, ordering services or handling billing inquiries, faster than ever before. More importantly, the Salesforce Communications Industry Framework provides a blueprint that gives providers the tools to transform their businesses in this new era of cloud, mobile and social technologies:

  • Integrate Salesforce into existing environments: A common communications industry specific data integration strategy simplifies data transfer from one app to another and facilitates information-sharing between Business Support Systems and Operational Support Systems within communication providers.

  • Improve customer experiences: With best practices and API and process documentation, providers can quickly build workflows that provide employees with 360-degree views for every customer and empowers them to create personalized customer journeys.

  • Ensure alignment with TM Forum standards: Providers can ensure alignment with TM Forum’s Frameworx, a suite of best practices and standards created by the global industry association for the communications industry, while at the same time modernizing their businesses for the cloud.

  • Aligned with future Salesforce releases: Because the framework is built at the meta-data level of the Salesforce Platform, future product releases from Salesforce -- delivered three times each year -- can be deployed seamlessly.

Salesforce did not do this alone. To ensure the framework meets the unique needs of the communications industry, we worked with key partners in the development process, including independent software vendors Apttus, bit2win, ClickSoftware, CloudSense, Comptel, Sigma Systems and Vlocity, and systems integrator Accenture.

Dan Ford, vice president and general manager for Vlocity Communications, Salesforce’s strategic ISV in the communications industry, believes this can be a game-changer: “CSPs need to increase operational agility and deliver a consistent customer experience through every channel and on any device. Many CSPs are now transitioning from costly, legacy on-premise CRM/BSS application stacks to Salesforce’s cloud platform and partner applications like Vlocity Communications, which can be delivered in half the time and cost. By engaging its key partners and customers in the development of the Communications Industry Framework, Salesforce has crafted a clear roadmap to guide CSPs’ transition to the cloud.

Be sure to visit the Salesforce Communications Industry Framework website for more information, or download the framework with all assets directly from the Salesforce Partner Community.

Want to learn more? If you are at TM Forum Live! next week, make sure you join us at several key panels and events during the week:

  • Internet of everything (IoE) panel on May 10 at 2:15 p.m. in Muses Conference Room 2: “Adapting to and Benefiting from Evolving Ecosystems”

  • Case study with Telefonica on May 10 at 2:40 p.m. in Muses Conference Room 3: “Delivering Consistent Results Across Multinational Operations”

  • Customer centricity panel on May 10 at 4:15 p.m. in Rhodes Conference Room 1: “Creating a First-class Customer Journey in a Complex Value Fabric”

  • Keynote with Sky Italia on May 11 at 9:25 a.m. in Rhodes Conference Room 1: “Streamlining CE: A New Paradigm for Digital Customer Engagement”

  • Schedule a demo to learn how Salesforce -- and partners CloudSense, Comptel, DataMi, Orange Group and Sigma Systems -- leveraged the Communications Framework for TM Forum’s Catalyst project to demonstrate how CSPs can use mobile channels to engage with customers.

  • Interested in meeting with Salesforce at the event? Please contact Maria Elena Rial at mrial@salesforce.com to schedule a meeting