Salesforce.com has been an ongoing web application success story over the past few years. Securely accessing an individual enterprise’s customer database on-demand from the web and promoted largely through viral customer adoption, I have encountered many enterprises who have come to rely on Salesforce.com as their primary Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. It is a classic in terms of how it allows businesses of all sizes to manage their customer database without the hassles of dealing with IT management while adopting to the individual enterprise’s business rules and building a secure archive of the enterprise’s sales and support activities. From their own company website:
Why? Perhaps it’s because we deliver integrated, completely customizable enterprise applications for companies of all sizes. Or maybe it’s because Salesforce is so easy to learn and use, and thanks to the power of the on-demand Apex platform, it can be up and running in weeks or days—not the months or years required by traditional client/server CRM software. Or it could be the unprecedented speed with which our customers see real, tangible ROI. Or maybe it’s because of our 100-percent dedication to the success of our customers.
Today Skype and Salesforce.com issued a press release announcing:
“the availability of a new version of Skype for Salesforce via salesforce.com’s AppExchange. Skype for Salesforce provides seamless Skype integration into Salesforce on-demand CRM applications and aims to improve workforce productivity and to streamline customer and partner communication.”
Skype for Salesforce enables real time customer conversations via:
- Skype-to-Skype and Skype-to-SkypeOut voice calls; the latter optionally using Skype Unlimited Calling within North America or Skype Pro in Europe and Asia
- Receiving calls via SkypeIn
- Embedding Skype presence indicators into Salesforce
- Text chat with customers and prospects using Skype IM
- Conference calls for up to ten participants involving any combination of Skype and non-Skype users.
Skype for Salesforce was developed by Skype Partner PamConsult, the publishers of the very popular Pamela personal digital assistant for Skype. Extracting from the Salesforce.com AppExchange description:
Skype for Salesforce offers you full Skype functionality in your Salesforce screen. You will see the online status of your Skype contacts, you will be able to call them with one click and also receive calls. For received calls with caller ID, Salesforce automatically retrieves the record of that person so you are prepared when you take the call.
You may also import your Skype contact list. This allows for easy Skype calling from Salesforce.
Conference calls are also supported and allow you to easily, directly from Salesforce, start a conference call with a few clicks.
and concludes with
We also plan to release a (commercial) Premium version with added functionality like call recording, call transfer,
With Salesforce.com’s over 646,000 subscribers at over 29,800 companies, Skype for Salesforce represents one more viral step towards building Skype adoption, especially in the SMB market. More to follow after interviews with some of the principals involved.
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