Twitter gains salesforce.com support, anticipating the next great thing?

March 30, 2009
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Welcome Mary Wardley with this guest post.

 

Mary is IDC’s vice president of CRM and Applications research in my Software Business Solutions Group. Catch up with her on Twitter @mwardley
This week Twitter took another giant step up the credibility ladder with salesforce.com’s addition of Salesforce CRM for Twitter to their Service Cloud offering. The productized solution from salesforce.com propels and enhances Twitter’s presence in the enterprise application architecture of tomorrow. 
The micro-blogging site is quickly becoming one of the leading ‘go-to’ locations on the Web for expressing yourself, quickly and easily, particularly if you have a question or issue that needs to be solved. While major brands such as Comcast, Dell, and JetBlue have made the news in their use of monitoring the facility for customer issues, it has been a very manual process. 
This is one of the first ‘For Twitter’ products that helps bring this information back from the ‘cloud’ into enterprise applications for actionable responses.
The January 2009 announcement of the Service Cloud(See this blog’s post from January 15th) was the first significant step in turning the orientation of customer service from on


Welcome Mary Wardley with this guest post.

 

Mary is IDC’s vice president of CRM and Applications research in my Software Business Solutions Group. Catch up with her on Twitter @mwardley
This week Twitter took another giant step up the credibility ladder with salesforce.com’s addition of Salesforce CRM for Twitter to their Service Cloud offering. The productized solution from salesforce.com propels and enhances Twitter’s presence in the enterprise application architecture of tomorrow. 
The micro-blogging site is quickly becoming one of the leading ‘go-to’ locations on the Web for expressing yourself, quickly and easily, particularly if you have a question or issue that needs to be solved. While major brands such as Comcast, Dell, and JetBlue have made the news in their use of monitoring the facility for customer issues, it has been a very manual process. 
This is one of the first ‘For Twitter’ products that helps bring this information back from the ‘cloud’ into enterprise applications for actionable responses.
The January 2009 announcement of the Service Cloud(See this blog’s post from January 15th) was the first significant step in turning the orientation of customer service from one of complacency where organizations wait for customers to come find them with their problem to seeking out customer issues in the great Cloud known as the Internet. 
That first step from salesforce.com established a requirement to address customer activity tracking in the Cloud. They started with Amazon, Google and facebook support and now this week added Twitter. The Salesforce CRM for Twitter capability will allow Service Cloud users to search through Tweets to find relevant entries, to then monitor those entries, join the conversation and ultimately respond to the request or issue either exclusively to the initiator or to the entire stream of users concerned about that topic.
On March 5th in this blog post I advocated that enterprise applications vendors figure out how to solve the problem of capturing information such as Twitter. The example was the Governor of MA’s office. What this newly announced product from salesforce.com does that is so important is that it allows salesforce.com’s service offering to join the two worlds of the organization and the Internet. 
While many end user organizations have seen the opportunity and requirement to monitor and interact with the Web 2.0 world, many of these new initiatives are developing into Web 2.0 silos and we know that silos are BAD. The organization needs to know about what’s going on in the Cloud, particularly if it is with an established customer – and vice versa. 
Salesforce CRM for Twitter adds a Twitter tab to the salesforce.com screen and enables ‘Tweet-to-Case’ capability which will allow the agent to follow up with the customer with a Tweet, by phone or other channel. In this way the case can be tracked and ultimately it will join the other customer information upon which analytics can be performed.
Now that salesforce.com rose to my challenge, I have a new problem for them. Today it’s Twitter but ultimately, it’s less important that it’s Twitter and more important that the access to these individuals through an application architecture be completed. While we talk about the social graph in terms of individuals there is an analogous technological graph that needs to completed in the background. 
Give the people a chance to speak and they take advantage of it – everywhere and anywhere. The challenge to all technology providers is insuring that their architecture is flexible enough to move quickly to take advantage of whatever or wherever this is happening. Today it’s Twitter, but only a few short years ago everyone was talking about mySpace. 
That almost seems passé now. These sites for expression are nomadic. A few gather, there’s excitement, more folks (customers) congregate, they build a base, they establish rules of engagement but then ‘wait!’ something new looks interesting and their off!
 Salesforce.com was onto it when they adopted the Cloud as their ubiquitous nomenclature and synonym for the Internet. The cloud is an amorphous arena out of which phantasms begin to appear and ultimately coalesce into fully formed shapes. This will happen more rather than less and technology vendors need to construct their architecture to be able to respond and take advantage of it.