Salesforce Expands Scope of CRM Services

With traditional customer relationship management (CRM) software showing its age in the new era of cloud computing, enterprise mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT), CRM kingpin Salesforce has been continually expanding the scope of its enterprise solutions.

Its latest effort is field service software for "today's connected world," following on the heels of a financial services vertical offering and an expansion of its CRM solution for e-mail.

Salesforce last week announced Field Services Lightning, described as a modern approach to field service, which brings together data from connected IoT devices and customer data from its other software.

"With Field Service Lightning, companies can now unite customers, connected devices, agents, dispatchers, and employees in the field with one powerful service platform to deliver a seamless customer experience from phone to field," the company said.

With an expected 20.8 billion devices expected to be online by 2020, Salesforce said the impact on field service will be staggering.

"As connected devices become smarter and more predictive, it will create new opportunities to reinvent the customer service experience," the company said. "Yet, since its inception, field service has been disconnected from customers and the service organization, creating disjointed customer experiences and limiting field employees' effectiveness."

Earlier this month, Salesforce announced the general availability of its Financial Services Cloud vertical solution. It's designed help wealth management companies and financial advisors engage more effectively with customers. This is done through building one-to-one relationships, increasing productivity and leveraging the mobile and social capabilities in the underlying Salesforce platform to increase the quality and timeliness of customer interactions.

"Advisors are under more pressure than ever before to meet the growing expectations of today's digitally demanding investors," the company said, citing pressures such as new proposed regulatory changes. "At the same time, advisors struggle to increase their client-facing time, as their days are filled with manually gathering client insights and information from separate systems to prepare for meetings. To succeed, wealth management firms must equip advisors with the latest technology to increase productivity and engage with clients on their terms."

The company also announced last month the SalesforceIQ Inbox for Outlook. Previously available for Google's Gmail, it now includes functionality for Microsoft's leading enterprise e-mail service, Outlook. Salesforce said the offering helps users of its Sales Cloud turn their e-mail into a modern CRM app.

"It transforms reps' inboxes by connecting their e-mail, Salesforce CRM and customer social data," the company said. "SalesforceIQ's Relationship Intelligence technology connects the dots and unifies customer data by leveraging data science to automatically capture, analyze and surface information that is relevant for stronger customer relationships."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.