Customer relationship management (CRM) solution provider Salesforce.com has introduced two new platforms at the beginning of Dreamforce 2015. Speaking at the show, the firm’s chief executive, Marc Benioff, unveiled two solutions that will help firms to connect with their customers: Lightning and Thunder.
Mr Benioff started by explaining that there are now more than one trillion customer interactions that firms need to sort through. At their heart is the customer and therefore it is essential that firms reach out to people and engage in the right way. To this end Lightning and Thunder have been developed. The first platform is Lightning, which is a responsive desktop Salesforce1 experience that has smart analytics and a modern user interface (UI). In addition to being available to enterprise cloud customers, small businesses can use Lightning. Sales staff can easily gather information from predictive data, graphs and visualisation tools, allowing them to sell more products and services to customers. Third-party apps are also available, and a Gmail plug-in will be rolled out in the future.
Salesforce users will also be able to take advantage of a new tool that acts as an assistant. Salespeople can pull up customer contact details or schedule appointments with the product, with the IQ technology sorting through vast amounts of data to highlight who should be called to close a deal and when customers need to be called back.
In addition to Lightning, Thunder was debuted. This platform will power the Internet of Things (IoT) cloud. By utilising the solution users will be able to capture IoT events, engage with customers, and trigger one-to-one real-time rules. Salesforce has also partnered with Microsoft, with the organisation becoming its first Thunder customer. In an example explained by Mr Benioff, it was shown how a customer might buy Office 365. Microsoft will detect that a new account has been created, but perhaps the mobile app has not been installed. By highlighting this Microsoft can then generate a rule that automatically reminds people to download the app.
The partnership also includes Salesforce1 for Office and Salesforce App for Outlook, with Lightning also being integrated with OneNote and Skype for Business. Microsoft’s range of products will be shown on Lightning’s opportunity page, meaning that users can easily see their saved notes or action Skype calls to customers. Despite both Microsoft and Salesforce competing in the CRM market, the Office Graph powered Office Delve can also be integrated with Salesforce data.
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