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Genesys and Salesforce Take Service Cloud Voice Integration To a New Level
On Wednesday, September 6, contact center and customer relationship management powerhouses Genesys and Salesforce announced a partnership to help businesses drive more value from data and AI with Genesys Cloud CX and Salesforce Service Cloud. In a pre-briefing for industry analysts, key spokespeople Olivier Jouve, Chief Product Officer, Genesys and Ryan Nichols, SVP product for Salesforce Service Cloud, walked through the significance of the expanded alliance to each firm.
From a Salesforce perspective, the foundation of today’s announcement was built four years ago at Dreamforce 2019, when the company announced Service Cloud Voice. At the time, Salesforce described Service Cloud Voice as allowing enterprises to “unify voice calls, digital channels and CRM data in real-time, for the first time.”
A significant aspect of the initial Service Cloud Voice announcement in 2019 was Amazon Connect's role. While Service Cloud Voice would eventually work with any Salesforce contact center partner, premises or cloud-based, that chose to build the integration, the initial delivered solution would be with Amazon Connect.
Nearly a year later in July 2020, AWS announced general availability of its Service Cloud Voice integration. It would be another year before additional contact center companies announced they integrated with Service Cloud Voice, e.g., Vonage in June 2021, and two years before a broad range of companies completed the integration. I should note that Nichols commented that the Salesforce Service Cloud Voice partnership with Amazon Connect continues as is. The Genesys announcement offers a second option for customers and prospects who are looking for a tighter integration between Salesforce Service Cloud and their CCaaS solution.
Genesys’s Jouve used the graphic below to illustrate that Salesforce Service Cloud and Genesys Cloud CX have a long history history. The first point on the graph, October 2015, pre-dates the acquisition of Interactive Intelligence by Genesys. As someone who was there when PureCloud – the product that was to evolve into the Genesys Cloud CX platform of today – was announced, I remember that PureCloud was designed from its inception to seamlessly integrate with Salesforce.
After ten years of partnership (Genesys Engage premises integration with Salesforce predates the graphic above), the two companies report that they have over 150,000 agents working on the combination of Genesys and Salesforce. A blog published at the end of 2022 stated that, “Genesys and Salesforce share more than 650 customers in more than 90 countries.”
A Q4 2022 decision by the two companies to create a joint product team to explore a next-generation solution led to the most recent news. Mike Szilagyi SVP, Product Management, Genesys explained during the analyst pre-briefing that after building the initial Service Cloud Voice integration – and ready to come to market – Genesys realized they could and wanted to do more to integrate the solutions beyond the available APIs..
It was in November 2022 that product teams from both Genesys and Salesforce sat down in a room and, “started talking about what else could we do, given everything happening in the customer experience space right now,” Szilagyi said. In addition, Genesys and Salesforce brought some joint customers together and asked them what they liked about both solutions and what they wanted to see. Some world-class companies were involved, including ADP and some equally well-known companies (supplied under NDA to analysts). Szilagyi summarized their “asks” into these five areas:
1. Deeper customer insights.
Moving beyond simple attribute mapping to:
- Unified real-time customer/experience data fabric.
- Personalization, contextual and predictive understanding.
- No blind spots into the customer experience and journey.
2. Efficiency via AI & automation.
Seamlessly enabling AI into existing workflows:
- Coordinated platform artificial intelligence features.
- Powerful self-service and personalization capabilities.
- Superpowered agents and workflows.
3. Empowered employee experience.
Moving from “over-the-top” UI experience to:
- Unified contextualized agent/supervisor workspace.
- AI-powered workspace tools to service customers better.
- Modern workforce training/proficiency, and enablement.
4. Greater value and outcomes.
Moving from bespoke engagements to:
- Unified engagement channels and capabilities.
- Greater insights, utilization & productivity of the workforce.
- Reduced operational overhead and load.
5. Reduce friction/make it easy.
Moving from large services engagements to:
- Native pre-canned integration and configurations.
- Recommended deployment patterns.
- Customer choice.
The graphic below was shared during the pre-briefing to illustrate how these “asks” come to life in the new joint offer. The combined solution, named CX Cloud from Genesys and Salesforce, is expected to be generally available in October from the Genesys AppFoundry and Salesforce AppExchange with many of the capabilities outlined. The companies shared that they expect to continuously add new functionality to support a growing number of customer use cases.
The last two major categories listed as joint customer requirements, greater value, and reduced friction, seem to emphasize what makes the new Genesys/Salesforce joint solution different from other CCaaS Service Cloud Voice integrations. While many of the advantages enumerated above might be possible with other vendor integrations, each would require a “bespoke engagement,” i.e., a more expensive and time-consuming process for customers. CX Cloud eliminates this pricey and lengthy process, while delivering the benefits of the integration.
By emphasizing customer choice, the partners recognize that the portfolios of Genesys and Salesforce continue to overlap, especially with respect to which solution handles digital engagement channels and AI. “There are going to be use cases where it makes sense to use Einstein and there are going to be use cases where it makes sense to use Genesys AI,” Szilagyi acknowledged. “We're going to be crystal clear on helping our field teams and our customers understand the customer choices involved,” he continued.
Let me close by relating a sentiment Nichols shared with the analysts. “Salesforce is throwing a little family reunion called Dreamforce (next week). It's where we highlight some of our big announcements. To know, and to have all our joint customers know, that everything we talk about next week is going to work for the channels that they run on Genesys and is going to work on the Genesys orchestration engine and with Genesys workforce management, is something that we could not confidently have said in the past. One of the biggest light bulbs of this partnership is for our customers to get the best of both of our innovations.”