Salesforce.com introduces mobile cloud se...

Salesforce.com bolstered its mobile offerings with the launch on Tuesday of Service Cloud Mobile, a software product which aims to port its cloud and social tools to multiple mobile devices.

Service Cloud Mobile will revolutionize how companies sell, provide services, conduct marketing campaigns and innovate by providing them with a variety of ways to connect to customers, employees, partners and even products via multiple mobile devices, said Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com CEO.

During a presentation before Salesforce.com customers, Benioff stressed that although the market has been flooded with connected devices there remains large gaps.

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“Connected products are largely still one-to-one,” he said. “They connections are not multi-dimensional.”

For instance, there are mobile applications that allow people to control their camera with a smart phone. However, he said, there’s no mobile app to enable the user to obtain product information or assistance for the particular camera model he or she has. The alternative is still to make a call to the manufacturers call centre and get on cue.

“We still cannot connect to obtain rapid service, to make a quick purchase or connect to other connected products,” said Benioff. Service Cloud Mobile provides the following:

Co-browsing: Will allow companies to deliver agent-guided assistance to customers on mobile devices via any web browser.

Mobile service cloud communities:

Enables companies to provide a single destination for customers to quickly and easily find answers to questions via self-service, peers or company experts

Mobile chat: Connects customers with a line of service agent via instant chat to resolve issues as they appear

Touch-based agent interface: This enables service agents to easily manage and resolve cases on Amazon Kindle, Android devices and iPad or iPhone devices

Salesforce is doubling down on mobility because of the sheer pervasiveness mobile devices and touch technology, according to Benioff.

The move put Salesforce.com in the forefront of a still developing mobile customer relationship management market, according to Kamal Ammar, senior analyst for mobility and CRM at analyst firm InfoTech research in Toronto.

“Salesforce is already a leader in the cloud-based CRM space, multi-mobile device connectivity will put them another step further ahead of their rivals,” he said. “At the moment only TOA Technologies appears to be a notable competitor in this space.”

TOA, a developer of mobile workforce management software, is focused on much smaller deployments, said Ammar.

He sees the co-browsing feature of Service Cloud Mobile as a major advantage for companies that want to improve customer interaction.

“This feature has a huge potential of enhancing customer experience,” said Ammar. “Imagine, rather than being stuck in the call centre cue, customer can get instant connection to an agent that is an expert in a particular product or issue that the customer has.”

Mobile workers such as technicians can also benefit from the touch-based interface, he said.

“This could possibly enable technician on a remote repair assignment can get instant product information and even repair manuals for a specific product they’re working on right on their smart phone or tablet, reducing the need to carry around bulky product documents,” said Ammar.

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