UPDATED 08:00 EDT / NOVEMBER 19 2019


At Dreamforce, Salesforce doubles down on voice and customer tracking

Salesforce.com Inc. today announced a variety of new features and services at its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco aimed at helping companies improve interactions with customers.

Leading the announcements are new declarative tools that are designed to allow any developer or administrator to build customized voice assistants for employees across any role or industry.

Called “Einstein Voice Skills,” the new service is said to bring the power of voice to every customer experience spanning the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform and enabling millions of customer relationship management users to talk to Salesforce.

“Voice is a huge shift for the industry and will be as impactful in businesses as it’s been in our homes,” Bret Taylor, president and chief product officer of Salesforce, said in a statement. “With Einstein, Salesforce is bringing the power of voice to every business, giving everyone an intelligent, trusted guide at work.”

The Einstein voice solutions for sales reps and service agents also use natural language processing to transcribe calls to automatically deliver insights that are claimed to make customer experiences smarter and more efficient.

Salesforce’s Customer 360 Platform is introducing a new set of data and identity services that are claimed to build a “single source of truth” of their customers to deliver seamless experiences. An advancement on an existing product, the functions empower companies to deliver on the needs of their customers across marketing, sales, commerce, service and more, the company said.

Customer 360 Truth enhances data management across Salesforce apps and other systems and provides instant access to consistent, reconciled customer data. The service includes Customer 360 Data Manager ,which delivers the ability to access, connect and resolve a customer’s data across Salesforce and other systems; Salesforce Identity for Customers, which offers a single, authenticated and secure relationship between a customer and all of a company’s websites, e-commerce stores, mobile apps and connected products; and Customer 360 Audiences, which builds unified customer profiles across known data such as email addresses and first-party IDs and unknown data such as website visits and device IDs.

The company’s voice over internet protocol or VOIP services are also gaining a boost, with Service Cloud Voice integrating telephony directly into the Service Cloud console. Claimed to be a first, the service unifies telephony, digital conversations and CRM data in real-time for both agents and supervisors.

“Salesforce is doing exactly the right thing in making AI-powered business insight available through a variety of interfaces and interaction modes,” said Ryan Duguid, chief of evangelism and advanced technology at the workflow automation firm Nintex UK Ltd. “We likely won’t see a smart voice assistant on every desk; in many open workplaces, the result would be too much noise. But in other settings – for a salesperson driving to a meeting, for example, or a grease-covered mechanic – voice-driven AI could be super helpful.”

The Dreamforce conference was dominated by product announcements, but Salesforce also committed to broader environmental goals. Reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development goals, Salesforce announced that it is donating $17 million and 1 million volunteer hours to challenge poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

“This year we’re bringing our commitment to the SDGs to life at Dreamforce and encouraging all of our attendees to take meaningful action,” said Suzanne DiBianca, chief impact officer and executive vice president of corporate relations at Salesforce. “Together, we can push further and faster to effectively address the world’s most pressing challenges.

On Monday, Salesforce announced a deeper partnership with Apple coming into Dreamforce along with a new employee training app called Trailhead Go.

Photo: Salesforce

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