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9/9/2009
01:14 AM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Salesforce.com Upgrades The "Service Cloud"

Service Cloud 2 adds the new Salesforce.com Answers and brings Salesforce.com Knowledge and Salesforce.com for Twitter out of beta and into general availability.

Service Cloud 2 adds the new Salesforce.com Answers and brings Salesforce.com Knowledge and Salesforce.com for Twitter out of beta and into general availability."The world of customer service is changing," declares Alex Dayon, Salesforce.com's senior VP of product management. "Contact centers are disconnected from the conversations" going on via social media, he says, and companies need to connect with customers where they are.

Salesforce.com began moving down that path earlier this year with the debut of the Service Cloud, and the product is now the fastest growing portion of Salesforce.com's business, with more than 8,000 customers, says Dayon. And Service Cloud 2 updates that offering with a variety of upgrades and new features.

Don't Miss: Salesforce.com Coins "The Service Cloud

Salesforce.com Answers, is designed to extend the corporate knowledge base to include expert and user-generated knowledge. A modern take on classic discussion forums, the feature is designed let companies build customizable Salesforce.com Sites portals or Facebook apps where customers can ask questions and answer each other's questions. Using the built-in rating system, companies can filter appropriate knowledge from Salesforce Answers into Salesforce.com Knowledge. Currently in the pilot stage, it's due to be available in the first half next year.

3AnswersScreenShot Salesforce.com Answers lets users ask, answer, and rate questions on custom sites or on Facebook.

SalesForce.com Knowledge is Knowledge-as-a-Service, the company says, a multi-tenant knowledge base designed for cloud computing. Dayon says it's intended to make all of your company's product information "interaction ready." Using technology acquired last year when Salesforce.com bought software maker InStranet Salesforce.com Knowledge is "a big disruption in the knowledge base world," Dayon says. The subscription-based multi-tenant knowledge base can be deployed in days, for $50 per use per month, and will be available in the fourth quarter of 2009.

2KnowledgeScreenShot Salesforce.com Knowledge creates a cloud-based multi-tenant knowledge base.

Finally, Salesforce.com is rolling out Salesforce.com for Twitter, which has been in beta since March. The feature, built into every Service Cloud license, lets custoemrs service personnel use Twitter to capture knowledge from key Tweets and then use Twitter to spread than knowledge.

Salesforce.com For Twitter lets customer service agents search Twitter in real-time to find the relevant customer service conversations. Once a relevant tweet is ID'd, the service lets monitor the service conversation in the Service Cloud, routing the "case" to the appropriate service representatives -- who can respond via Twitter.

1TwitterScreenShot Salesforce.com for Twitter extracts conversations into "cases" that can be forwarded to customer service reps. Salesforce.com doesn't break out how many Service Cloud customers are small and midsize companies, but Dayon says the company's overall revenue is about one third from small businesses, one third from midmarket companies and one third from large corporations.

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