• March 2, 2004
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Salesforce.com Integrates with White Pajama

Believers in the ASP model will sleep better knowing Salesforce.com partnered with White Pajama, and today made available its Hosted VoIP Contact Center for Salesforce.com. The pairing integrates White Pajama's contact center and telephony functionality with Salesforce.com's on demand CRM services. Customers that already bought into the CRM on-demand concept, or hosted delivery model, can apply the same low-cost monthly-fee structure to call center telephony solutions. "White Pajama is a good fit [for Salesforce.com], because it's designed to be hosted right from the start," says Chris Selland, managing director at Reservoir Partners. "It's a misnomer to call Salesforce.com, Salesnet, and UpShot [acquired by Siebel last fall] CRM, because they are all sales force automation solutions. They have limited customer service functionality and White Pajama builds that out, so it's a very smart move," Selland says. The move comes as Salesforce.com is gearing up for an IPO, which Selland expects will be completed by the end of this month. If it weren't for the pending IPO, he adds, Salesforce.com might have looked to acquire White Pajama as a competitive move against Siebel Systems, which in January acquired Ineto Services, another hosted call center and telephony company. VoIP cuts telephone costs by transmitting voice signals in packets over private or public networks via the Internet Protocol, obviating the need for separate telephone circuits. This provides three key benefits: lower cost, less complexity, and the ability to create a virtual call center where agents can work from home. "A lot of our customers are using Salesforce.com, so we decided to integrate with Salesforce.com. They don't do things like email routing and text chat and we can help them with that," White Pajama CEO Mansour Salame says. Similar to Salesforce.com, no additional hardware is required for the White Pajama contact center and telephony solution, except for a standard analog or VoIP phone. Once the solution is installed, Salesforce.com customers can further extend their CRM application by integrating White Pajama for IVR services that can prompt callers with personalized greeting and menus. It can also collect information from callers like PIN and account number, and provide answers to commonly asked questions like address and business or store hours. The White Pajama telephony solution can hold callers in queue for the next available agent, while music or personalized messages play, and can distribute interactions across multiple channels like telephone, emails, chat, and faxes, based on agent skill and availability. The product can provide screen pops into Salesforce.com that deliver calls and other interactions with contact information. Additionally, the White Pajama solution provides remote agent support, which connects to on site, remote, and home agents. Mansour says Siebel Systems' acquisition of Ineto helped to accelerate the agreement with Salesforce.com. Separately, Salesforce.com announced yesterday an agreement with WebEx Communications, a Web communications services company, to integrate Salesforce.com with WebEx MediaTone Network to deliver both sales automation and communication services through the on-demand delivery model. WebEx provides Web communications services for meetings, conferencing, events, training and support. The integration between the two companies' services will enable customers to quickly launch a WebEx meeting from Salesforce.com, and to capture information from the meeting in the Salesforce.com CRM application. The integrated service is planned for release in summer 2004.
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