Cisco and Salesforce Collaboration—Past and Future

A look at how technologies like IoT and Einstein are transforming the face of contact center

7/19/2018

As we look back on the last 18 months, we see some tectonic shifts that have changed the contact center landscape in important, and basically good ways. Salesforce and Cisco announced that they will be working together to develop and market solutions for Cisco’s collaboration, IoT, and contact center platforms with Salesforce Sales Cloud, IoT Cloud, and Service Cloud.

These companies’ decision to collaborate in the same market space to create a single set of native offerings designed to provide customers using those platforms unparalleled reach and control in their business environments. The decision to align rather than continuing working in parallel is thematically appropriate to capturing the evolution of contact center technology in 2017. In 2018, we see things like WebEx Teams as an embedded “feature” in Salesforce’s administration representing further fruit of collaboration, and an example of the kind of generativity this fusion enables. The “fourth industrial revolution” has indeed arrived.

Salesforce’s Einstein, IoT, and your bottom line

The integration of systems and of resources into more streamlined, savvy, and effective versions of older systems is a hallmark of good technology. In light of emerging business needs and trends in customer behavior, it is safe to say that “old school” ways of doing things are almost necessarily parallel, serial, redundant, and even, ineffective.

Think about what it means for contact centers to place agents on phone lines when customers are texting, or chatting, and perhaps don’t want to interact with IVR or talk to a stranger. Customers’ expectations and behaviors have changed, and it seems that 2017 was the year in which technology and service infrastructure realized it needed to adapt to those changes.

The failure to capitalize on effective, new technologies doesn’t just stop at the quality of customer service provision—though that certainly matters a great deal. It also means falling behind on critical business indexes—like this little thing called Sales.

The Internet of Things officially arrived in 2017; in 2018, IoT is getting unpacked and getting really comfortable. In 2017, companies began to realize that this ocean of information could be mined to create incredible sales opportunities as well as unprecedented customer journey tracking. The truth is out there. And we don’t need Scully or Mulder to find it! Instead, we need smart IoT sensitive AI and machine learning together with a human touch to leverage that information.

In 2017, Salesforce positioned itself to starting doing that with Einstein, and Cisco with Context Services.  In 2018, contact center and CRM companies have to invest in businesses they serve to ensure they are ready to implement this cutting-edge technology, now available to them.

Failing to capitalize on effective, available technology means falling behind on critical business indexes—like this little thing called Sales.

Customer Journey, further refined

What does all this add up to? It adds up to 2018 being the year that businesses finally realized that technology now exists making it possible finally to catch up with customers’ service expectations. Why limit service to what can be had out-of-the-box? The fusion of service provision, and the fusion of technological strands, the dramatically increased connectedness of the world, in general, and customers increased connectedness to their service, in particular has defined 2017…

Transitioning in this technology is just the sort of thing that Cisco’s Customer Journey Solution is all about; this is what the IoT is making possible; this is what Salesforce’s Einstein and Google’s Dialogflow are aiming at. Together, these are the sorts of things Kenneth Chong is talking about when he describes the Connected Digital Experience with words like “contextual”, “continuous”, “effortless”, and “relevant”.

2017 was the year a series of realizations, pieces of technology, and business demands converged. It was the setup year for the slam-dunk. In 2018, we want to make sure we fully utilize the business lessons, the collaboration opportunities, the information, and that sweet, sweet tech that will make that possible. Get connected with this stuff today so that 2018 continues to be all that it promises to be.

2017 was the year a series of realizations, pieces of technology, and business demands converged. It was the setup year for the slam-dunk. In 2018, we want to make sure we fully utilize the business lessons, the collaboration opportunities, the information, and that sweet, sweet tech that will make that possible. Get connected with this stuff today so that 2018 continues to be all that it promises to be.

The truth is out there. And we don’t need Scully or Mulder to find it!

2017 was the year a series of realizations, pieces of technology, and business demands converged. It was the setup year for the slam-dunk. In 2018, we want to make sure we fully utilize the business lessons, the collaboration opportunities, the information, and that sweet, sweet tech that will make that possible. Bucher + Suter's Connects for Salesforce provides the link between Cisco and Salesforce. Get connected with this stuff today so that 2018 continues to be all that it promises to be.

 

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