Salesforce is “doubling down on mobile,” according to the company, with a handful of initiatives including its new Salesforce Service Cloud Mobile.
Salesforce Service Cloud Mobile allows employees to manage customer relations more effectively from mobile devices such as smartphones. Features include a shared Web experience, so those employees can guide customers through forms or transactions on a device; a portal for customers to access company information and experts; and a mobile chat for service agents to interact with customers.
Salesforce will implement the co-browsing module by the second half of 2013; the information portal, known as Mobile Service Cloud Communities, launches this week; the mobile chat module is already available. Salesforce has indicated that this mobile platform is the first of several products it will roll out throughout 2013.
Service Cloud Mobile builds atop two previous Salesforce releases, Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Touch. The latter, introduced at last year’s Dreamforce, is designed for easy access to Salesforce data on a variety of mobile devices; its interface offers the ability to view Chatter feeds, contacts, accounts, and company data-points such as inventory.
It’s perhaps inevitable that Salesforce would take a more aggressive position on mobile devices and the cloud, given the tech industry’s gravitation towards those segments. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook—which established methods of online communication that Salesforce has attempted to port, in its own way, to the enterprise—have increasingly turned to mobile devices as a source of revenue and continuing relevancy.
But Salesforce also faces a variety of competitors, not only from large IT vendors such as Oracle (in many ways its bête noire) but also a variety of startups offering lightweight, cloud-centric CMS and ERP tools. If Salesforce wants to stay relevant, it needs to evolve in ways that allow it to undermine the bulky legacy systems of older tech companies while fending off threats from innovative newbies. That means creating innovative software and delivering it on every possible device.