Cisco and Salesforce have announced a strategic alliance that will see the two companies jointly develop and market new services in cloud, Internet of Things, and customer service areas. The goal is for both companies to be able to offer products that are more fully integrated with the other.
Salesforce EVP of Strategic Product Alliances Ryan Aytay explained that the strategic alliance with Cisco will simplify the customer experience across sales, service, and IoT, and empower mutual customers of Salesforce and Cisco products to be far more productive.
The new partnership will include native integration of Cisco Spark and WebEx into Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud via the Salesforce Lightning Framework. According to the two companies, the integration will allow joint customers to communicate in real-time using chat, video, and voice without leaving Salesforce or having to install a plug-in, eliminating the hassle of toggling between apps.
The two will also be collaborating on IoT services, specifically Cisco Jasper and Salesforce IoT Cloud, which will now be more closely integrated. Cisco Jasper provides clients with real-time visibility into launching, managing and monetizing IoT devices, while Salesforce IoT Cloud analyzes IoT data and events to generate additional information.
The hope is that combining both IoT tools will allow companies to quickly and cost-effectively leverage billions of IoT data points. A fleet of connected trucks with IoT devices managed by Cisco Jasper could pass data directly to the Salesforce IoT Cloud, for example. The truck management company could then build a tool to provide customers with real-time delivery updates or flag truck maintenance issues that need to be addressed.
Customer service is another area where the two companies say the new alliance should provide dividends by being able to offer clients a more complete service solution, including everything from communications infrastructure to an integrated, intelligent agent desktop experience.
While Cisco's Unified Contact Center Enterprise offers intelligent contact routing, call treatment, network-to-desktop computer telephony integration and multichannel contact management, the Salesforce Service Cloud's customer service app provides agents with a broad set of customer information to help them deliver better customer service. Integrating the two solutions should help companies manage their call centers more efficiently.
Coming Next Year
"Our goal is for technology to fade into the background so people can get their best work done," said Rowan Trollope, who is SVP and GM of Cisco's IoT and Applications Groups. "Cisco and Salesforce coming together to form a strategic alliance can eliminate the friction users experience today, so they can become more productive."
The collaboration-integrations between the two companies are expected to be available in the second half of 2017, as will the IoT integrations. Customers will need both a Salesforce license and a Cisco Spark or WebEx license to benefit from these integrations. Integrations between Cisco's Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Salesforce's Service Cloud are available today through the Salesforce AppExchange.