• May 11, 2007
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Cisco and Salesforce.com Get Connected

Cisco Systems and Salesforce.com announced the availability of Cisco Unified CallConnector for Salesforce.com, an integrated communications and CRM system intended for SMBs, remote workers, and branch offices. It is designed to increase productivity for end users and satisfaction for their customers by improving interactions with a more personal touch, according to the companies. It is available at no cost from Cisco and may also be found on the AppExchange.

Unified CallConnector extends the capabilities of Salesforce Call Center Edition, announced as part of the company's Winter '07 release in January. Call Center Edition introduced prepackaged integrations with a number of call center products and Internet telephony systems; Unified CallConnector represents a stronger level of interoperability, extending benefits to every Salesforce.com user with a Cisco IP phone. Inbound calls will create screen pops within Salesforce.com with a complete view of customer history, activity, opportunities, and outstanding tasks. Outbound calls can be automatically initiated from the Salesforce.com contact list and logged.

"The Cisco unified CallConnector for Salesforce.com represents a natural evolution of delivering Cisco Unified Communications combined with Salesforce on-demand CRM applications to provide even greater flexibility and visibility to our customers," said Peter Alexander, vice president of worldwide commercial marketing for Cisco, in a written statement. "The joint solution offers SMBs a complete user-friendly solution for improving employee productivity and delivering superior customer service."

"Cisco and Salesforce.com have brought together Internet telephony with on-demand CRM to help change the way SMBs connect with their customers," said Kendall Collins, senior vice president of marketing for Salesforce.com, in a written statement. "The Cisco Unified CallConnector for Salesforce.com will help enable any company to directly integrate their communications system with their Salesforce applications--at no additional cost."

The functionality of Cisco Unified CallConnector for Salesforce.com is not revolutionary--many existing contact center and CRM systems can do similar things. However, it is rare for these capabilities to exist as an integration between an on-demand CRM vendor and a telecommunications provider's VoIP offering; it's not unreasonable to assume that more pairings of this nature will follow.

Related articles:

THE 2007 Service Leaders, Part 1

SAP Sounds Off on SOA and Collaboration

Salesforce.com Makes a Vertical Splash

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