Salesforce.com Tackles the Next Frontier in Contact Center Technologies with Service Cloud 2 - Delivering Innovation without the Pain of Upgrades
Five-minute upgrades will set a new standard for enterprise cloud computing, by delivering upgrades while users work
Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud 2 and Cisco’s Unified Communications combine to deliver a complete contact center in the cloud
Service Cloud 2 empowers companies to amaze their customers with an integrated customer service experience that leverages their own agents as well as real-time conversations happening throughout the cloud
SAN FRANCISCO – October 5, 2009 – Salesforce.com [NYSE: CRM], the enterprise cloud computing company, today announced five-minute upgrades and a new partnership with Cisco, further extending its leadership position in cloud computing and bringing Service Cloud 2 to companies of all sizes. Companies will be able to access the Service Cloud 2 even during planned maintenance windows with the new five-minute upgrade technology. Making industry leading service and support technology available to companies of all sizes, salesforce.com and Cisco unveiled a complete call center running entirely in the cloud with a combined solution integrating telephony with CRM. The five-minute upgrade technology and new solution with Cisco are delivered with Service Cloud 2, salesforce.com's next generation solution for customer service. The Service Cloud 2 exponentially increases the quality of service, while lowering the cost, by leveraging the expertise of the community.
The New Standard for Contact Centers - The Five-Minute Upgrade
Upgrades and planned maintenance windows have always been viewed as a necessary evil in the world of software. Many times these upgrades actually made the application less useful with broken customizations and integrations. Ten years ago, salesforce.com built applications on the multi-tenant, real-time Force.com platform and was able to deliver completely seamless and invisible upgrades to customers three times a year. Salesforce.com delivered the industry's best technology, upgrades that improved its applications, and did it all without creating headaches for companies.
Today, salesforce.com is unveiling another revolution for the cloud computing industry with the new five-minute upgrade. The five-minute upgrade represents an incredible technology achievement demonstrating the power of the Force.com platform and infrastructure. Never before have companies been able to take advantage of the latest technology innovations and evolve their customer service at the rate they are able to with the Service Cloud 2. Salesforce.com is the only company able to provide its customers with the five-minute upgrade technology, which will deliver:
- Access: Now, companies will have read-only access to their Service Cloud 2 deployment during planned maintenance windows, enabling companies to continue servicing their customers all while going through a full upgrade. Maintenance windows will allow customers to access their data in read-only mode for the duration of the maintenance, except during a five-minute cut-over time, setting the new standard that all cloud computing applications will be measured against.
- Real-Time, Mirrored Data Centers: Five-minute upgrades are only possible because salesforce.com has real-time, fully mirrored data centers. When salesforce.com upgrades the service in one data center, companies will still be able to access their applications through one of salesforce.com's other global, real-time, mirrored data centers.
Cisco and Salesforce.com - Delivering the Contact Center in the Cloud
Salesforce.com and Cisco today announced a combined solution to deliver a complete contact center in the cloud. The Cisco and salesforce.com Customer Interaction Cloud brings together salesforce.com’s Service Cloud 2 with Cisco Unified Communications. The solution empowers small and medium sized companies to run their customer service completely in the cloud. Salesforce.com and Cisco share a vision about moving technology into the cloud and leveraging social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google to deliver services to their customers where they are already collaborating.
For more information on this announcement, please refer to the joint press release issued earlier today.
Service Cloud 2 – New Product Innovation for Customer Service and Support
On September 9th, salesforce.com announced the next chapter in the customer service revolution with Service Cloud 2. New product innovations introduced for the customer service industry included:
- Salesforce Knowledge: A year after salesforce.com acquired Instranet, salesforce.com will offer the world’s first integrated multi-tenant knowledge base, the first ever multi-tenant knowledge base fully integrated with CRM and designed for cloud computing. The core Service Cloud 2 knowledge base will deliver the same benefits available to any application built on the Force.com platform including rapid deployment, immediate results, simple customizations, automatic upgrades and more.
- Salesforce Answers: For years, customer service centers have been limited to knowledge articles produced by company employees, and have not benefited from the explosion of consumer wisdom that exists across the Web. Utilizing the Service Cloud 2, Salesforce Answers will deliver a unique online experience that helps companies leverage the expertise in the cloud to bring the right answer to their customers. Salesforce Answers will enable companies to start the conversation with a unique online customer community, crowd-source knowledge and leverage Facebook.
- Salesforce for Twitter: Twitter provides a free platform for users to answer the question “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less and broadcast the answer to a broader community. These “tweets” can cover any topic area, including specific companies, brands and products. In today's Web-driven world where there is an expectation of real-time interaction, Salesforce for Twitter and the Service Cloud 2 give companies an easy way to join the real-time customer service conversations happening on Twitter by enabling them to search Twitter in real-time, monitor service issues on Twitter, join Twitter conversations, establish a Twitter support channel and deliver real-time knowledge.
Comments on the News:
- “The five-minute upgrade is a revolution for the industry and a revelation for customers. The power of the Force.com platform has eliminated yet another painful legacy from on-premise software by making upgrades nearly invisible for customer service organizations. No longer will the customer service market be held back by traditional technology," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. "The Service Cloud 2 represents the future of customer service."
- "With the introduction of five-minute upgrades, salesforce.com has once again taken the traditional software model and turned it on its head. Allowing companies to access their applications, even during an upgrade is a monumental achievement that the rest of the industry will be spending the next few years trying to catch up to," said Bruce Richardson, Chief Research Officer, AMR Research.
- "Since we started using salesforce.com's Service Cloud 2, we have been able to streamline our incident management process and provide an improved self-service experience for our customers, together improving their overall satisfaction. We think the new innovations coming from salesforce.com, including Salesforce Knowledge, will be the next step forward in allowing us to focus on our customers' needs, instead of our infrastructure," said Brent Flanders, Perceptive Software vice president technical services.
Pricing and Availability
- The five-minute upgrade feature is currently scheduled to be available in beta in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010 and pilot starting in Q1 of fiscal year 2011.
- The combined solution from salesforce.com and Cisco is currently scheduled to be generally available in the first quarter of calendar year 2010.
- Salesforce Knowledge is currently scheduled to be available in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010 for corporate sales customers. It is currently scheduled to become generally available in fiscal year 2011.
- Salesforce Answers is currently scheduled to be available in pilot in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010 and to become generally available in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011.
- Salesforce for Twitter is available today at no additional charge on the Force.com AppExchange for Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited Edition customers.
- For more information, please visit http://www.salesforce.com/servicecloud2
- Follow salesforce.com on Twitter @salesforcenews
Salesforce, the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce (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 applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce 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://www.salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.