thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
Salesforce in Acquistion Talks with Slack – Good News or not?

Salesforce in Acquistion Talks with Slack – Good News or not?

The News Today various media outlets broke the news that Salesforce is in advanced talks with Slack Technologies about a possible acquisition. The news had two effects: Slack stock went up nearly 40 per cent during trading hours while Salesforce stock loses out by 5 percent, which basically says that Salesforce investors are not so convinced about this acquisition being a good thing, whereas Slack investors clearly are. Slack and Salesforce share an integration, which is listed on appexchange since 2019. There have been speculations on Slack being a good target for Salesforce that date back till August 2016, basically ever since the integration between Salesforce and Slack got announced. The Bigger Picture There are several aspects to this news. Salesforce already has Chatter, a tool that often gets negative feedback. The company also owns Quip, which is essentially a solution for the collaborative creation of documents and spreadsheets. And Salesforce has created work.com, as a solution to increase business resiliency and to improve collaborative work. On a larger scale, and accelerated by the Covid crisis, the need for fast and efficient communication and collaboration of distributed work forces and their customers, using various means of communication is there. Actually, it has been there for quite some time, as the emergence of solutions from Slack to Teams, Zoom, etc. proves. E-mail is still very important, but only a part of this communication, which includes near instant chat, voice and video communications as well as collaborative work on documents – inside and outside an organization. Another part is, that this communication needs to be tied to business processes and enable...
Fastcall drives cooperation of Salesforce users with Intercall and solves Covid challenge

Fastcall drives cooperation of Salesforce users with Intercall and solves Covid challenge

The News Fastcall, a renowned developer of CTI solutions that are exclusively dedicated to Salesforce, recently announced the release of its Intercall solution. Intercall helps teams to communicate and interact internally from within Salesforce. The app allows phone and video communication. Using Intercall, an employee can call coworkers via their Salesforce user profile instead of using a particular phone number, making it unnecessary to know the current location of the coworker or to perform repeat calls due to unavailability. It is a first-of-its-kind Salesforce app and offers video and screen sharing within an integrated Salesforce phone application by leveraging Salesforce and Twilio. Intercall is the latest addition to Fastcall’s suite of applications and is designed to enhance work-from-home productivity for Salesforce users. Phone applications found in the Salesforce AppExchange today, including Fastcall’s namesake application, enable companies to increase productivity by empowering sales and service team members to communicate quickly and effectively with clients and prospects via phone. Intercall allows companies to streamline their internal telephone and video conversations whether within or between departments, therefore complementing Fastcall’s capabilities. Main benefits of Intercall include: Screen sharing and video conferencing in virtual meetings while working within Salesforce instead of an external application. Intercall also creates Salesforce activities for every Intercall call.Replacement of phone directories that are more often than not outdated while enabling a centralized phone directory with data that is already in Salesforce.Calling coworkers via multiple endpoints at the same time with ringing the softphone, mobile phone, and desk phone all at the same time, Intercall prevents wasting time by dialing multiple numbers until you connect to a teammate and the...
CRMKonvo – Freshworks on Platform, CRM and useful AI

CRMKonvo – Freshworks on Platform, CRM and useful AI

Freshworks has is now officially a fresh (sorry, I really couldn’t resist this pun) member of the club of platform players. The company introduced its own flavour of CRM and a platform that they build upon. What is next? Lot’s of ground to cover. A CRKKonvo with Prakash Ramamurthy, Chief Product Officer, Peter Stadlinger, Head of Products CRM and David Krauss, Senior Director Product Marketing at Freshworks. ogether with Marshall Lager, Ralf Korb and Thomas Wieberneit they discuss market perspectives, what the value for customers is and how the innovations that the team has recently introduced fit in there. Prakash, Peter, and David bring a wealth of knowledge to the conversation, including a pretty interesting dive into how to train an AI based upon the idea that the human who is in front of the machine is still one of the most important trainers, due to tacit knowledge and wisdom that cannot be codified. Which also explains the trifecta of priorities that Freshworks follows with its CRM: UI/UX firstAI that actually worksnative customer 360 It is also about value, where we do a short deviation towards pricing and, of course, platform. Enjoy a fascinating discussion with empathic points...
CRMKonvos – Someone who went out excitedly to find Customer Experience

CRMKonvos – Someone who went out excitedly to find Customer Experience

In this episode we welcomed Lars Brodersen, author, publisher, and long time CRM expert. Lars is the author of the customer manifesto, which he wrote as a reaction to a series of pretty unsettling customer experiences, starting from soured milk in his Latte Macchiato followed by an I don’t care attitude of the waitress via a horribly wrong order confirmation by a car rental agency, a new appliance breaking and the repair service being an awful long time away, or the electrician being available only after various attempts and a long awaited for package finally being lost. It is the story of someone who moved out, just to find traumatic experiences. All in all, nothing that we haven’t experienced. Yet, he reacted differently, by writing the customer manifesto, which emphasises on one simple truth: Companies are there to serve the needs of their customers. This is their sole reason of existence. This “earned” Lars a spot in our CRMKonvos, with us talking about this, his books and what CRM is or should be. Listen in to some worthwhile...
Freshworks officially cool now in the club of platform vendors

Freshworks officially cool now in the club of platform vendors

A few days ago, together with a group of fellow analysts, I was invited to attend the 2020 Freshworks analyst days that covered a lot of ground from corporate vision through strategy and of course, some announcements for the Freshworks Refresh 2020 Global Virtual Conference. These announcements came shortly after the company appeared in the fourth Gartner Magic Quadrant for 2020 and after being ranked #16 in the 2020 Forbes Cloud 100 list. All this clearly shows some ambition – and success. As you may be aware by now, these announcements included Neo, the new Freshworks platform and the new Freshworks CRM product. These two topics created the most discussion points between the Freshworks executives and the analysts. Of course, these two announcements were supported by statements on the corporate vision, mission and current standing as well as product vision. Impressive customer testimonials were not missing, too. My Take This I need to divide into three sections, one about the event itself, one about strategy and one about the new products. Let me start with the analyst day itself. The Analyst Day Of course it was a fully virtual event, thanks to Covid-19. The “day” was split into two sessions of four hours each across two days. Each day was closed with a social gathering after the content sessions, where we could talk shop or just banter, having a drink. This was akin t the lobby talk that one has during breaks or after a day full of information. All sessions were live. There haven’t been any canned statements. Questions that were asked via the chat during the various...
CRMKonvos – Raj Balasundaram on AI in Marketing and more

CRMKonvos – Raj Balasundaram on AI in Marketing and more

It was a Tuesday again. This time Ralf Korb and I greeted Raj Balasundaram, Senior Vice President of AI at Emarsys as our guest – and had a second one, but more on this special appearance below. Of course we were interested in both sides, Emarsys, the marketing automation company that was recently acquired by SAP, and in his deep experience with the implementation and use of AI based systems. We had lots of questions like: Where is the marketing automation market headed? What is your view on marketing automation tools at the intersection of CDP’s, personalization, RTIM, Customer Journey Orchestration? Will these market segments merge? Will they jointly create another one? What is the difference between Marketing Automation and Marketing Clouds? Is one used rather for B2B purposes and the other one more on the B2C side? Or is it different concepts? What is the role of AI and M/L? What is AI after all? Is it just a vendor generated hype? Why should AI work now, after the previous hype cycles failed to deliver on the promise? What are promising applications of AI and machine learning in marketing? Lots of ground to cover. And then we also touched pricing, which currently is a very hot topic. Raj has an interesting point of view – that I like a lot. Last but not least, Ray Gerber, Chief Solution Officer at Thunderhead, who started to follow the CRMKonvo as an interested and active community member came in for some more in depth AI discussion. Things couldn’t get any better, and of course we didn’t stick to the hour that we gave ourselves. Too...