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It’s been a newsy couple of days for Salesforce. Last week, the San Francisco company debuted Einstein Voice and Einstein Voice Bots — two voice assistant development platforms for enterprises — plus cloud-based presentation designer Quip Slides. And on Monday, it announced a partnership with Apple that’ll see key iOS features integrated into the Salesforce Mobile App.
But it was just getting started.
Salesforce today announced the undoubted headliner of its 2018 Dreamforce conference: Customer 360, a highly configurable new service that aims to unify cross-channel customer experiences.
“Seventy percent of customers say connected experiences — an engagement with a brand that reflects an understanding of past actions, product usage, and a host of other personalized factors — are very important to winning their business,” Salesforce wrote in a press release. “Despite this, disappointing (and disconnected) experiences are an all too common occurrence … Companies need a new way to empower their organizations to manage and create connected customers experiences that surface the right information to the right people at the right time.”
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Customer 360 was designed with ease of use in mind. It’s highly customizable, allowing admins to quickly connect apps, map teams, and reconcile disparate data sources. And it’s powerful: With no more than a few mouse clicks, said admins can create a single representation of data for all connected systems within a given organization.
In keeping with the spirit of unification, Customer 360 adopts a single ID system that enables every service, channel, and app to recognize customers regardless of how they identify themselves. Profiles are continuously matched and prepared in the background, ensuring they’re always up to date and on tap.
“Unlike massive data lakes or data warehouses that can become costly and slow systems down, Customer 360 leaves data in the system where it originated, retrieving it only when needed,” Salesforce wrote.
So what’s it take to deploy it? Customer 360 is compatible with MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform, which allows users to connect apps, databases, and devices with APIs directly to it. (Salesforce acquired MuleSoft for $6.5 billion in early May.) And for companies with specific use cases in mind, Customer 360 ships with prebuilt packages for Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Commerce Cloud. In Service Cloud, components will have prebuilt connectivity to Customer 360; in Marketing Cloud, data from Customer 360 will populate each template; and in Commerce Cloud, data and events will be distributed to every system connected to Customer 360.
“The concept of the single customer view is not new, but how Salesforce will deliver it is. Customer 360 handles data the right way, letting it reside in the systems that manage it and calling upon it when needed, rather than creating massive centralized lakes of duplicate data,” Salesforce said. “Now companies will be able to focus less on data management and more on delivering truly unified cross-channel experiences.”
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