A new alliance between tech giants Cisco and Salesforce will bring new, joint solutions for the enterprise in collaboration, IoT services, and customer service. The global partnership was announced on Thursday, and most of the products will be available in 2017.
According to a press release, the IoT services portion of the alliance will be built on an integration of Salesforce's IoT Cloud and Cisco Jasper. Back in February 2016, Cisco acquired Jasper for $1.4 billion, which solidified its strong move into the market. The goal of the integration is to offer "visibility, control and recommended customer actions for connected devices, providing businesses with a more comprehensive and intelligent view of their IoT services," according to the press release.
Cisco Jasper offers tools for managing and monitoring IoT devices in a deployment, while the Salesforce IoT Cloud takes the events created by those devices and sends them back to Salesforce, the release said. This could potentially allow Salesforce users to better utilize their IoT data to make business decisions.
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The press release announcing the partnership offered the example of a fleet of connected trucks sending their data to the Salesforce IoT Cloud. "In the Salesforce IoT Cloud, the truck management company can build business logic to provide customers with real-time delivery updates or flag truck maintenance issues that need to be addressed," the release stated.
The new alliance between the firms also brings a focus on collaboration tools. Cisco Spark and WebEx will natively integrate with Salesforce's Sales Cloud and Service Cloud via the Salesforce Lightning Framework, the release said. Customers using the integrated products will have access to text-based chat, video, and voice contact directly from Salesforce, without the need of an additional tool. The integration could be helpful for salespeople, as it would simplify the process for reaching a potential contact.
Customer service was also noted as a point of interest for the partnership in the release, citing a "complete customer service solution" that includes infrastructure options and an intelligent desktop agent. Cisco will contribute its Unified Contact Center Enterprise for contact management, connected with Salesforce's Service Cloud for better customer management.
"We're thrilled to announce this strategic alliance with Cisco, which will simplify the customer experience across sales, service and IoT and empower our mutual customers to be far more productive," Salesforce executive vice president of strategic product alliances, Ryan Aytay, said in a press release.
As noted above, the integrations for IoT and collaboration will be available in 2017. However, the customer service efforts are available now through the AppExchange. To leverage these new integrations, users must be aware that both a Salesforce license and a Cisco Spark and/or WebEx will be needed.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Salesforce is partnering with Cisco to form new integrations in IoT and collaboration, and boost their efforts in customer service.
- Cisco Jasper and the Salesforce IoT Cloud will power the IoT integration, which will make it easier to leverage collected IoT data in Salesforce.
- Customers will need a license from both companies to use the integrations.
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Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.