Salesforce tackles service through the cloud

The company's Service Cloud can bind companies more closely to their customers, according to Salesforce
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Salesforce.com on Thursday announced Service Cloud, an extension to its software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that is intended as a way for companies to communicate with their customers over the web.

The software provides an infrastructure through which companies can easily connect to their customers through various applications and services available on the web, such as blogs, Facebook, Google and Amazon.com.

Service Cloud will offer software bundles that will start at $995 (£680) per month and will include options to build online communities where customers can communicate with each other.

Introducing Service Cloud, Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive of Salesforce.com, said: "This has been made possible through the emergence of native cloud-computing platforms like Force.com that are built to harness the power of other clouds like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.com."

Force.com uses platform-as-a-service software so customers can build applications and databases that can then be used as services on the Salesforce infrastructure.

According to Gartner analyst Michael Maoz, consumer demand will drive models such as Force.com. "[There is] consumer expectation that they can create answers and content as part of a community that will lead businesses and other organisations to adopt similar techniques to succeed."

These communities can be built by applications that gather information from websites such as Facebook, then feed that information into databases for use by a company's customer-service staff and partners. The communities build up and can then be used to improve relationships between companies and their customers.

Users of Salesforce software for these purposes include Dell and Starbucks.

Editorial standards