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Salesforce.com and Cisco partner to deliver the new face of customer service

~ Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud 2 and Cisco’s Unified Communications combine to deliver a complete cloud computing solution for customer service ~

Salesforce.com, the enterprise cloud computing company, and Cisco today announced a combined solution to deliver a complete contact centre 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. Cisco and Salesforce.com - Delivering the Contact Centre in the Cloud The combined solution utilises a connector to integrate salesforce.com’s Service Cloud 2 with Cisco Unified Contact Centre’s functionality. This allows customers to use the salesforce.com CRM application as their primary agent desktop while retaining full Cisco Unified Contact Centre capabilities to operate a customer care or support centre in any industry. Through this offering, salesforce.com and Cisco are addressing a growing demand for cloud computing-based customer service solutions in the SMB market. With the Customer Interaction Cloud, agents may become more productive, and customers can use the cloud to achieve a more rapid time to value with no hardware, no software, no data centres and no telephony equipment to install. The solution was built to focus on organisations with 30 to 300 reps or agents and reflects both high market demand from prospects as well as requirements from existing customers. The Future of Customer Service Cisco has led the way in expanding the scope of customer care with the introduction of ground-breaking products such as Cisco Unified Contact Centre which delivers intelligent contact routing for all media, call treatment, and network-to-desktop computer telephony integration (CTI) over an IP infrastructure. This helps enable companies to rapidly deploy a distributed contact centre infrastructure. Customers are increasingly turning to the cloud to answer their customer service questions. The Service Cloud 2 lets companies join the conversation with their customers, by providing a cost-effective solution that unites the contact centre and the cloud to establish a new model for customer service. 8,000 companies have already selected the Service Cloud 2 for their customer service operations Built on the Force.com platform, the Service Cloud 2 transforms customer service through the power of cloud computing, and brings together industry leading cloud computing platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to capture every conversation and utilize every community expert in the cloud. By capturing these conversations, the Service Cloud 2 empowers companies to deliver the expertise of the community to customers, agents and partners regardless of location or device - ensuring that the quality of customer service can be consistent across every channel. Enabling Transformation from Cisco Unified Contact Center to Customer Collaboration Cisco Collaboration Solutions improve and accelerate rich personal, team and customer experiences to help organisations drive innovation and improve decisions while building trust and accelerating team performance. Customer care has seen significant changes in the last 10 years—with new capabilities such as multi-channel contact and introduction of IP-based contact centres—and customer service organisations are now looking to take this to the next level by forging collaborative relationships with their customers and elevating their customer care. This transformation to Customer Collaboration recognises that customer interactions can take place anywhere online, in social media, blogs, wikis, forums, and online search. Cisco’s Collaboration Solutions and Cisco Unified Contact Centre help companies smoothly integrate inbound and outbound voice calls with Internet applications such as real-time chat, web collaboration, and e-mail. Organisations can support customer interactions regardless of which communications channel the customer has chosen. Comments on the News “The Service Cloud 2 has seen tremendous momentum and validation from customers, prospects, and partners and truly represents the future of customer service,” said Alex Dayon, senior vice president, customer service & support product line of salesforce.com. "The combination of Cisco’s Unified Communications and salesforce.com’s Service Cloud 2 will provide companies with a true cloud based option when it comes to their customer service needs. Companies will no longer have to manage routers, servers and switches when it comes to their contact centre, they can focus on delivering the best customer service possible." “In the decade since we entered the market, customers have validated Cisco’s approach to the customer care market through tremendous adoption of our collaboration solutions,” said John Hernandez, General Manager of Cisco’s Customer Contact Business Unit. “Now together with salesforce.com and the Service Cloud 2, we’re taking customers beyond the contact centre to Customer Collaboration, where organisations can be more proactive and effective, create deeper relationships with their customers, and help build their brands through customer advocates. The rise of social media, and the confidence it has spawned amongst Internet users to engage, makes the possibility of collaboration much more of a reality.” "Effective customer service requires a right combination of CRM capabilities and communications mechanisms to properly capture and disseminate timely information," said Jeffrey M. Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, Inc. and the founder of the SaaS Showplace. "This alliance allows companies to leverage Cisco and salesforce.com’s mutual capabilities to deploy cloud-based, customer service solutions that can better serve their customers in an increasingly competitive environment." Availability The solution is currently scheduled to be generally available in the first quarter of calendar year 2010. Salesforce.com and Cisco will each be offering the combined solution for sale. Details of pricing can be found on Cisco’s and salesforce.com’s respective websites. Additional Resources View more information about the Service Cloud 2 at http://www.salesforce.com/servicecloud2/ and about Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions at http://www.cisco.com/go/cc.

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.

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