Category Archives: Salesforce

Bolt Data Announces New Partnership with Five9

The Bolt Data partner network is ever-expanding, and our intention is to foster new relationships that not only complement our solution offerings, but help to make them more robust. With our added focus on Salesforce Service Cloud Voice over the past year, it only made sense to connect our organization with some of the most well-versed telephony experts in the arena, Five9.

Five9 is an industry-leading provider of cloud contact center solutions, bringing the power of cloud innovation to more than 2,000 customers worldwide and facilitating more than six billion call minutes annually. The Five9 Intelligent Cloud Contact Center provides digital engagement, analytics, workflow automation, workforce optimization, and practical AI to create more human customer experiences, to engage and empower agents, and deliver tangible business results. Designed to be reliable, secure, compliant, and scalable, the Five9 platform helps contact centers increase productivity, be agile, boost revenue, and create customer trust and loyalty.

At Bolt Data, we partner with our clients to create fully integrated and intelligent solutions that pave the way for connected service, or what we like to call “Service In Sync.” We, along with Five9, operate from the understanding that integration and systems in sync are the key to service success. Customer demand and expectations are consistently growing stronger, and in order to meet their needs; Bolt Data and Five9 play an integral role in enabling all teams to have access to complete 360-degree customer data to provide the highest-touch experience possible.

With Salesforce’s recent Bring Your Own Telephony announcement (read more on that here), and the similarities in our core beliefs, it was a natural fit for us to team up with Five9. Our purposes are interwoven: if we view the customer experience as a business, the contact center is the front door to a foundation built on service pillars. Organizations are now facing the fact that they must reimagine the way they provide customer experiences. Together, we help businesses realize the results of that CX transformation.

Additional Resources

Old School vs. New School: Phone Feature Comparison

How to Add Cloud-Based Phone Service to Salesforce

The Guide to Choosing a Salesforce Service Cloud Voice Telephony Provider

With Salesforce’s Service Cloud Voice Bring Your Own Telephony (BYOT) announcement, it’s big news that if you want to bring your own telephony provider (in lieu of Amazon Connect’s voice capabilities), you can now do so! You might be asking,

“OK, great! So now I ‘have a choice in voice’ and can pick my own own provider, but now what?”

We’ll break down what that means for you and answer the questions you absolutely need to ask as your explore the Bring Your Own Telephony solution.

First ask yourself:

What technology is my chosen telephony provider currently using, and how does that line up with SCV?

Confirm the platform and the underlying telephony are both compatible and supported with Salesforce and Service Cloud Voice. Many times we will see a cloud platform housing a telephony provider, instead of them being one and the same, so it’s good to do some background checking on your chosen provider so you are aware of their technological capabilities

Where are your customers and what language do they speak? Which languages does your solution support? (e.g. for transcription, voice bots, etc.)

Find out which countries you need to support (i.e. if you have contact centers in India and Canada, you need to confirm that your provider offers service in both those areas)

What telephone system and contact center features do we need? What will we need in the future?

Service Cloud Voice currently focuses on the below feature list, so in addition to taking stock of your current system and needs, it’s a good idea to keep these in mind as well.

****Current Feature List****

Agent SSO (requires manual login)

All call control events

All Transfer Types: Warm, Cold, & Merged Calls

Data Dips from IVR to Salesforce Objects

IVR data (Call Attributes) in SF Voice Call Record

Real-Time Transcription

Persist Active Calls on when browser is refreshed

Post-Call CTR Data sync

Call Recording Pause/Resume

Transcription Pause/Resume

Call Recording Playback (in UI)

****New Summer ’21 Features****

Deskphones/Hard phones

Queued Callback

Timed After-Call Work

External Routing

Then ask your partner/provider:

Do you implement the solution yourselves or use specific solution integrators, and if so, which? If yourselves, how many certified Salesforce resources do they have on staff? 

Choose a partner with experience in business process and technical knowledge. Getting a new phone system is a change, and for any change management to be successful, people need to want to adopt and champion the new system. Having a partner that can translate complex technical concepts to adapt to business processes is what makes the system come to life and people WANT to use it.

What should I look for in the sales process? 

Typically a good partner will be consultative in approach and not try to “sell” you on a product, but rather they’ll walk you through best practices, needs and provide you with initial thoughts and solutions, then match those with the effort required in a  written quote. Then, you’re ready to start!

How can I prepare to meet and vet partners?

One thing that can really help is having a process flow of how your contact center or customer service teams works, or a general outline of their workflow, to most quickly identify solutions. Also be prepared to speak to your pain points, business goals and ideal support process flow.

Which countries do you actively support? Do you have a team on the ground? 

During the vetting process, but especially during implementation, you want to make sure your partner/provider can offer in-country support or at the very least time zone support.

What does the implementation process look like?

Your partner should be able to provide a sample timeline and overall effort needed to complete your switch to Service Cloud Voice. We’ve seen implementation last two weeks and some take 18 months – it’s all about your unique solution and needs. Make sure to make time for porting numbers you want to keep and for training users on the new system.

What else should I ask?

One thing to note is that when Amazon Connect launched as the original telephony provider for Service Cloud Voice, it also encompassed the AWS services like S3 for storing call recordings and Lex for speech capabilities. If you choose to use another provider, be sure to ask them how those features would work. 

One more thing: which telephony providers are offering this again?

Here’s the list we have so far, with more partners anticipated to go live in late Summer/Fall (Safe Harbor!). For more info, ask your Salesforce account team.

SCV – Telephony providers: 

  • Amazon Connect (being the original option!)
  • Five9
  • Avaya + Tenfold
  • Genesys + upland InGenius
  • Natterbox
  • Talkdesk
  • Vonage

Additional Resources

Salesforce SCV Bring Your Own Telephony Announcement

Old School vs. New School: Phone Feature Comparison

How to Add Cloud-Based Phone Service to Salesforce

Salesforce Announces “Bring Your Own Telephony”

It’s here! Your choice with voice! When Salesforce launched their new telephony product, Service Cloud Voice, it was great, fully integrated, customizable, future proof, and all the good things! The only question we heard time and again was, I’m not sure I’m ready for Amazon Connect to be my telephony provider (fyi, Amazon Connect is the telephony provider behind the scenes for SCV), and would love if I could bring my current provider (like Five9, Vonage, etc). Wellllll the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the GA release of BYOT (Bring Your Own Telephony – will be here on June 15th! Below we’re bringing you the 411 on this new update!

Why do I want this/Why do I care?

Service Cloud Voice is known to add value to your contact center by doing the following:

  • Native integration for the best possibly Omni-Channel routing and supervisor visibility (view and balance all agent work, from all communication channels)
  • Real time transcription and more modern features, for more efficient tools and productivity, improving agent training and handling increased volume
  • A complete Customer 360 view, enabling all teams to provide the best possibly customer experience, improving KPIs like First Contact Resolution and CSAT while connecting all service channels and data

Previously Service Cloud Voice came with Amazon Connect, but now that you can choose from other telephony providers, you can find the solutions that works best for your team!

Who does this apply to?

Customers who want to bring their own telephony system, so say you have Vonage and love it, but wish it were part of what Salesforce is doing with their voice product (ie, more integrated with Omni Channel routing, etc), now you can have the best of both worlds – your chosen telephony provider AND Salesforce, working together better than ever!

What does it do?

The goal of BYOT is that telephony providers will be offering a contact center solution utilizing their telephony platform that works in a way similar to how Amazon Connect currently powers Service Cloud Voice. In every aspect, the objective is for the Service Cloud Voice product to be as integrated and as native as possible, whether a customer uses BYOT or Amazon Connect.

Which partners are offering it, is mine included?

Here’s the list we have so far, with more partners anticipated to go live in late Summer/Fall (Safe Harbor!). For more info, ask your Salesforce account team.

SCV – Telephony providers: 

  • Amazon Connect (being the original option!)
  • Five9
  • Avaya + Tenfold
  • Genesys + upland InGenius
  • Natterbox
  • Talkdesk
  • Vonage
via Salesforce

When can I get it? 

Generally Available in the Summer ’21 (232) release on June 15 (unless you were lucky enough to be part of the Spring Pilot earlier this year!) (Locate your instance in your org, then go to https://trust.salesforce.com/en/ to find your Summer release date)

What exactly is Service Cloud Voice for BYOT/partner telephony?

Service Cloud Voice with BYOT will open up the capabilities and benefits of Service Cloud Voice to a range of telephony partners. 

Sounds great, but I need the technical nitty-gritty, where can I find that?

If you’re a techie, we’ve got the deets! In short, what has happened is that other telephony providers in the telecom world have been given a set of APIs that enable them to connect their telephony services or cloud phone system to Salesforce and achieve a contact center experience similar to the capabilities available with Service Cloud Voice with Amazon Connect. 

To give a deeper dive, essentially the BYOT telephone providers have built an integration with their telephony product and Salesforce’s SCV product – powered by  a combination of server-side REST API and client-side JavaScript libraries to build their entry point to Service Cloud Voice in order to support features such as agent auth, agent call controls, VoiceCall record creation and updates, real-time call transcription, after-call work, call recording playback, VoiceCall reporting and metrics, and supervisor monitoring. Your BYOT provider will have put all of this into a managed packaged and added a connector, both will then be installed into your org, configured, tested, and you’re off to the races! (And if you’ve been around since the start of Open CTI days, what’s different now is that Service Cloud Voice natively integrates the phone call on the Salesforce platform to make voice a digital channel. This is an end to end solution for phone support, inclusive of everything from telephony setup to agent automation to call analytics. Service Cloud Voice leverages components such as Omni-channel, Workforce Engagement, and Einstein.)



New SCV BYOT Resources:

New Service Cloud Voice Documentation (from our friends at Salesforce, includes a new learning trail with demos, trailheads, customer stories, training webinars, and more!)

Official Release Notes: Use Your Telephony Provider with Service Cloud Voice for Partner Telephony (Generally Available)

Additional Resources

Old School vs. New School: Phone Feature Comparison

How to Add Cloud-Based Phone Service to Salesforce

Salesforce Winter ’21 Release Highlights

What Field Service Users Want to Know

With the release of Winter ’21 comes a long list of exciting features to improve organizations in across all industries, but we’re, naturally, focusing on the field service industry.  With COVID-19 greatly affecting companies throughout the world, the service industry has been a pivotal component for companies to continue to move forward.  Salesforce has recognized the need for enhancements to help meet the problems companies are facing throughout this strenuous time. 

Read on for some of our favorite updates!

Note: Field Service Lightning (FSL) will be rebranded as Salesforce Field Service (SFS) with this release. 

Record Product Warranties

Throughout our years working with organizations in the field service industry, we have seen the importance and impact that a successful warranty system can have within a company. Salesforce is taking a big step into improving their current warranty capability. 

Here’s what’s new:

Technicians and mobile workers will have a larger hand within the warranty practice.  Mobile workers are gaining the access to view all warranty details, as well as creating claims on the job, ultimately speeding up the claims process. Additionally, as Assets are installed and created for a customer, mobile workers will able to create and attach warranties to the asset upon installment or repair. 

Why it’s awesome:

Customers who purchase a warranty are doing so in the trust that it will protect their asset in both a timely and cost-efficient manner.  When a claim is processed quickly, the customer is seeing the value of their dollar and will be more likely to renew the warranty contract in the future.

Why Bolt?

Bolt Data has implemented successful warranty engines for many our customers.  Through this time, we’ve seen how an effective warranty process can help the service industry become a profit area for a business.  When customers are seeing the return value of a warranty through the repairs, they are more likely to continue to retain the warranty contracts, increasing sales and profitability. 

Maintenance with Advanced Recurrence

Routine maintenance is a common occurrence in the field industry world.  Customers expect their products to be in working condition as much as possible. One way to achieve this goal is through routine maintenance scheduling.   The ability to perform appropriate maintenance on assets will be improved with Winter ’21.

Here’s what’s New: 

Multiple maintenance schedules can be set up and configured to interact with each other within the same asset. With this set up, a work order will be auto generated, and the technician will know exactly what to do when arriving on site. 

Why it’s awesome: 

Let’s say an asset has a semi-annual and an annual maintenance contract. This means there will be a time once a year where two maintenance work orders will be scheduled around the same time.  Asset Up-time would be disrupted twice now within a short time frame to accommodate for both maintenance service appointments. With Winter ‘21 setup, the system will recognize both maintenance work orders and ask the technician to complete the tasks during the same service appointment. 

Why Bolt?

Much like with maintenance contracts, a large portion of Bolt’s clients regularly implement recurring work order creation to handle routine maintenance contracts.  It is important to maximize the effectiveness of the time that technicians are at a customer’s site, and to minimize the number of trips a tech has to conduct.  Bolt understands the dynamics of creating a dispatch system to have the most efficient time usage for each technician. 

Target Work Priorities Using Service Appointments

Companies can have a large number of customers, which is a great thing! But this also means that there is an even larger number of assets or products to maintain and repair. When combining the amount of service appointments needed with the amount of technicians available, many companies get in trouble deciding who, when, and where a tech should be dispatched!  With this enhancement, dispatchers will now receive more help in scheduling the finite technicians to the important calls first, and the lower priority calls later.

Here’s what’s new: 

Custom formulas can now be used to help prioritize which service appointments are the most important.  These formula fields can interact directly with the optimizer to ensure that the high priority items are getting service first.  

Why it’s awesome:

Let’s imagine a technician’s calendar.  It will be full of high priority, medium priority, and low priority appointments.  But, there are times where service appointments exist that are critical and do not appear on any tech’s calendar; this is the problem.  By creating the applicable formula field (say based on due date), the optimizer ensure that the appointment is on a calendar over a less pressing matter.  If needed, it will even bump the lower priority appointment to a later date.

Why Bolt?

Since working in the realm of field service for the last 7 years, with some members even longer, this has been a common demand and requirement since optimizations have existed.  Before, there was no real way to do so and Bolt would implement our own solutions to help solve it.  With the help of these engines and updates, we’re positive we can do so faster and more accurately. 

Amp up Sales Cloud with Voice

Service doesn’t just include those who go out and fix assets, perform routine maintenance, or handle installations; it also includes those at the beginning of the service appointment – the call center agents.  Winter ’21 provides Voice; an intelligent native telephony system. 

Why it’s awesome:

Voice will provide real-time call transcripts and tie into the digital channels that your agents already use. From these transcripts, Salesforce has now built in a Einstein Next Best Action component to work with the Actions and Recommendations component to help agents with a variety of call change events. 

Why Bolt?

Simply put: Bolt knows service.  We have worked heavily on the dispatch side of the service world for years and have come to learn the array of issues that can lead to a Service Appointment being required.  We are excited to continue to help clients make the connection between the case management all the way through the completion of the service appointment. 

Einstein Recommendation Builder

In the last few years, Analytics and Automatic AI have been an ever improving force in the technology world. Salesforce is taking these ideas and improving their own with every new release.  Winter ’21 comes with a recommendation builder.  While the builder works for all objects and builds, it is also especially functional within the realm of Field Service. 

Why it’s awesome:

This feature can be used to connect different objects to each other, and then provide recommendations on specific criteria. In other words, Assets and products can be tied together to help assist technicians with the correct tools and consumables to get a job done. When technicians arrive with the necessary items to get the job done the first time, their time is now free to move to the next appointment with a happy customer behind them. 

Salesforce’s organizational impact leaves no department untouched, and the amount of information can be overwhelming at times. We hope the updates we’ve distilled here today help paint a clearer picture of what to expect, but if you’re curious about diving deeper into any (or all) of the above and exploring their impact on your organization, we’re happy to help. Bolt has a great track record of helping the service side of companies: 25% increase in service revenue, 23% technician productivity increase and 22% workforce utilization increase, for example. We understand that first time fix rate is a major KPI that can help drive a more efficient service program.  With this latest Salesforce update, doing so has become even easier. 

Related reads:

Salesforce Summer ’20 Release

Answering Your Questions About Service Cloud Voice

Answering Your Questions About Service Cloud Voice

Thanks again to everyone who was able to join us last week for Cut the Cord, our Service Cloud Voice (SCV) panel discussion. Service Cloud Voice is the contact center product from Salesforce, with fully integrated telephony powered by Amazon Connect (and a host of AWS tools). If you missed the session, you can check out the recording here.

We had many great questions come in after the webinar and thought it would helpful to recap the answers here as a resource for you. Let us know in the comments or shoot us an email (hello@bolt-data.com) if you have a question too!

What’s different about Service Cloud Voice?

Service Cloud Voice brings the communication channel everyone wants – phone calls – into the Salesforce cloud, where it enhances the customer 360 view in a powerful way. Now the agent can see a true and complete picture of their customer, showing all customer actions and information, including their equipment on site, techs who have visited, products they bought, account history and more! All of that information in one place and available for your contact center teams is a game changer. Nothing else is fully integrated like Service Cloud Voice. In addition, this product will benefit from the resources and improvements that Salesforce and AWS will provide, which makes it quite the future-proof solution. 

What is the value of real-time transcription?

For agents, it helps reduce the burden of documenting the call and helps focus their attention on the customer.

For the customer, they won’t have to repeat information, like order numbers or spelling, because the agent can scroll back to the beginning of the conversation to grab that info to copy and paste.

For supervisors, multiple calls can be monitored. From a quality assurance perspective, if you are a very customer-centric company, you can flag certain undesired words, and if, for example, an agent says “I can’t” that call could easily be coached in real-time.

Just remember, everything from the second the customer dials your contact center to when they hang up is not only recorded, but also transcribed. And with the Amazon Connect customization options, if there are SLAs that needs to be met, those can easily be accommodated too.

How does licensing and pricing work? 

For licensing, Service Cloud Voice is essentially two parts. The first is an add-on platform license and the second is a choice of one of three platform minute bundles. Included in those platform minute bundles are supporting AWS services (like LEX Voice IVR, Call Recording, Call Transcription, Call Audio storage, and Lambda integration) as well. Since this is a fully integrated and equipped product, things like call recording are standard OOTB.

We always recommend to get final licensing info directly from your Salesforce AE, especially because they have a calculator tool that can help factor in your inbound minutes (including toll free), outbound minutes and number of agents, to help choose the platform minutes bundle that is right for you.

What about my numbers?

Yes, you can port your existing number, and yes, you can get new DIDs and Toll Frees if you want as well (provided by Amazon Connect). Amazon calls it “claiming DIDs” and you can have a new number in virtually seconds. Billing for DID and TF minutes pulls from the platform minute bundle in Service Cloud Voice, and all billing comes from Salesforce (although telephony will show separately). 

How can I dip my toe in without taking a risk on a new product?

We recommend choosing a small group of agents, or one team out of your center, to start with and once comfortable, go live with other groups across your organization. This is a very flexible and scalable product, so you can quickly and easily add or remove capacity. We have known of several retail customers that add capacity during the holiday season for example.

If you’re a telco expert, Salesforce guru, or AWS ninja, we’d love to hear what YOU think about this product! Comment or send feedback to hello@bolt-data.com, we are always looking for that one question we haven’t thought about yet!

Additional Resources

Your Guide to Cutting the Cord with Service Cloud Voice

Old School vs. New School: Phone Feature Comparison

How to Add Cloud-Based Phone Service to Salesforce

Old School vs. New School: Phone Feature Comparison on Salesforce Service Cloud

Will Salesforce take the cake in this head-to-head duel?

Do you have a dinosaur of a phone system and want to replace it, but don’t want to lose any features? Never fear! Today we’re examining how the features of Salesforce Service Cloud stack up to (and surpass) traditional methods. We’re providing an apples-to-apples comparison so you can make the best decision for your business.

Many IT companies see the need for a flexible and easy to use phone system that meets today’s technology needs, so they set out in search of a cloud-based phone system, only to be afraid to make the switch because of cost, voice quality or a non-friendly user interface. While all of those could be viable phone system threats, Salesforce Service Cloud has already cleared those hurdles, which is why we’re moving on to take a look at the nitty gritty of old school PBX features versus the new school version offered in Service Cloud.

Here’s the breakdown:

FeatureOld SchoolNew School
Workforce ManagementUsually handled via a separate systemUse Omni-channel agent presence to see who’s logged in, out and for how long, along with a multitude of other reporting options
Customer SurveyAn option at the end of the call to leave feedbackCustom surveys can be linked to everything from customer calls or chats to field service work orders
Call RoutingIncoming call is placed in a queue and is then routed to a specific person or group of people based on pre-established rules and criteriaOmni-channel routing and custom queues make sure work is distributed fairly based on time and capacity
ReportingPulling call reporting from standalone phone system interfaces, then managing data to create reportingCustom reports and dashboards report in real time on every field and action in the database
Call Recording (QA, etc)Records the call for quality or training purposesCalls are recorded, but Service Cloud Voice offers a new feature where audio transcript of the call with real time analytics for sales and service are provided
Supervisor modeAllows supervisors to listen in to help or observe agentsSupervisor consoles support activity monitoring for both phone calls and chats, including whisper mode and chat preview
Other communication channels, email, text messaging, etcUsually handled via separate device, not integratedNative to Service Cloud, your customers can reach you via chat, email, SMS text and even social media

Something else to note is that the new features offered by Service Cloud provide you with abilities that old school phone systems just don’t do; things like agent chat and chatbots, which enable your customers to connect to you via a different channel besides phone calls, and also to communicate in different ways to get answers and help faster. Now that you can add social media to the mix, Service Cloud can also handle incoming messages from customers reaching out via social channels, which helps you watch the market, connect to those who need help and turn any interaction into a complete brand experience. 

Previously, Service Cloud didn’t include telephony, and relied on Open CTI and other options to be able to connect voice to telephone. All that is changing now, with the introduction of Service Cloud Voice this summer. It’s the first console (no separate system or stand alone screen pop) and also the first to offer live voice transcription using Einstein (Salesforce’s AI platform and tools) for guiding agent actions and providing unprecedented detail in reporting and analytics. One exciting note about this real-time voice transcription is that managers can monitor and support multiple calls as they happen, reading the text rather than listening live. This is a huge help while working remotely in order to support the agents, especially as it relates to whisper features. 

While we’re on the subject of telephone, it’s interesting to consider legacy features, too. For example, email has replaced fax for the most part, and texting replaces voicemail in many cases. This is something else to consider when weighing pros and cons of phone systems, because the features that are “must haves” today may not be a necessity in the ever-changing tech world of tomorrow, so it’s important to consider how “future-proof” a solution may be.

Something else to think about is portability of work location, meaning with a cloud platform all you need is the Internet to work, versus having to be signed in to a desktop in a specific location. With businesses taking on more responsibilities per role than ever before, where and how people work is now a deciding factor in choosing their work tools as well. This also applies to people working in different geographic areas, or businesses that need a reliable backup in case of a disaster recovery scenario.

With today’s customer taking on more work and with less time, they are looking for the same thing you are; reliable, complete and top of the line service, in every channel possible.  Voice will always be a staple for customer communication, and as the phone and voice features continue to evolve, it’s important to review current features and ways to communicate, in order to offer the best customer service possible to your clients.

Other Resources

How to Add Cloud-Based Phone Service to Salesforce

How to Add Cloud-Based Phone Service to Salesforce with Service Cloud Voice

Hint: There’s a Cloud-Based Phone System You Already Have (and Don’t Know About)

What phone provider should I pick? What phone system has the best reviews? What’s MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) and UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service)? After a quick Google search, you feel like diving into the world of telephone systems is having to learn Greek! Good news, because I’m here to point out an angle that will save you time and money, meet every “must-have” and position your business for both now and the future. We do this by taking a look at a system that’s most likely already in place within your business.

What system is this? It’s Salesforce, a top performer in the CRM category and used by many sales groups worldwide to track, maintain and grow their customer relationships. The Salesforce platform has been around since 1999 and has grown and added different components (called clouds) each year. With these additions, Salesforce not only provides a platform for sales and other teams, but now for customer service, help desk and field service groups as well. And because all of your teams would be working in one system, just with different options and functions, all the information about your customers and company is visible to everyone, empowering the best decisions across the board.

All of that sounds great, but what about my phone system? Maybe you just switched to a beautiful Avaya system, or maybe you have an old PBX in a phone closet, but either way, Salesforce and their partners have several different options so that you can keep your phone number, all while increasing functionality and moving to a newer and easier cloud-based phone system. 

We’ll begin with some basic tech specs around the Salesforce platform. This is not something you install on one computer and have to be at that computer to use; it’s entirely cloud-based, so all you need is the Internet to use it. It’s built on one of the most secure and trusted platforms in the world (so no worries on hackers) and there are tons of resources dedicated to constantly improving and adding to the platform. With three releases a year, you have the latest and greatest without having to buy upgrades or change systems.

Another item to note is that there are multiple ways to plug phone functionality into Salesforce. The first is the DIY approach, which can range from building custom code to using a pre-built integrator from your telephony provider.  This could mean that your phone provider has their own integrator, uses a third-party app or they know how to use Salesforce’s Open CTI (which stands for Computer Telephony Integration) type connection. The second option is a new product from Salesforce, Service Cloud Voice. This is a native voice component, powered by Amazon Connect, the call center platform created by and for Amazon, using AWS infrastructure. Service Cloud Voice is the new kid on the block, launching July 21st, 2020, with a roadmap that includes other types of possible voice connection options. Let’s dive in!

Option 1

Salesforce +  your phone provider + their chosen method of connecting voice to Salesforce

Of the methods mentioned above that your phone provider can use to connect to Salesforce, I’m going to discuss the most generally accepted open-source model. This is using Salesforce’s Open CTI adapter to connect and enable Salesforce to work with your desktop softphone (aka using your computer as a phone). This code sits on a server in the cloud and provides a bridge between your phone and Salesforce, allowing you to make calls from right within your Salesforce instance. You can take this a step further and use a softphone that’s already part of your telephone system or one that is compatible with your current phone system. With an Open CTI option, all voice set up, billing and support is typically done by your phone or Open CTI provider.

Pros: Open source, so build to connect to almost any system and leverage existing telephony provider

Cons: Most cases won’t be able to include native functions. For example, you may not be able to attach a call recording to a contact without a manual work around or building out some further automation.

Open CTI Architecture (Source: Salesforce)

Option 2

Salesforce + Service Cloud Voice (powered by Amazon Connect) 

Service Cloud Voice (find the org. pre-requisites and set up steps here) is the new add-on product for pre-built, out-of-the-box telephony within Salesforce.  It is the first product ever to provide voice services and call center phone system features natively inside Service Cloud, appearing on the agent console (no separate system or stand alone screen pop), but also to offer live voice transcription using Einstein (Salesforce’s AI platform and tools), for guiding agent actions and providing unprecedented detail in reporting and analytics. One exciting note about this real-time voice transcription, is that managers can monitor and support multiple calls as they happen – reading the text rather than listening live. This is a huge help while working remotely in order to support the agents, especially  as it relates to whisper features. 

Pros: With the combined technology powerhouses of Salesforce and Amazon, this product seems to have everything to fuel the contact center of the future, and the real-time voice transcription connecting to Einstein is reminiscent of The Jetsons! It’s also worth noting that while the telephony is powered by Amazon Connect through the Service Cloud Voice product, the billing is handled by Salesforce. In other words, if you already have Salesforce, this feature would add on to the monthly bill, helping to streamline expenses. 

Cons: It’s brand new, so as we move forward, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on anything we find!

Salesforce’s architecture of Service Cloud Voice (Source: Salesforce)

There are far too many features of Service Cloud Voice to cover here, so check back often as we share more in-depth details. For all your burning questions, shoot us a note! Let me know in the comments below your preferred telephony provider and how they integrate with Salesforce; I’d love to see all the options out there! Happy dialing!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As a project manager, Rachel has worked on the Salesforce platform, and also with other CCaaS and UCaaS solutions as well, and her love of all things telephony and voice ranges from old school PBXs and punchdown blocks, to the current cloud technology of today.

Salesforce Summer ‘20 Release – Field Service Highlights

Salesforce announced their Summer ‘20 release and you won’t want to miss the field service highlights! We greatly enjoyed attending the release readiness webinar virtually (Can anyone say “confetti”?!). Salesforce is working hard to enhance the functionalities of Field Service Lightning (FSL) and its mobile app, continuing to blaze a trail for future success for field service teams everywhere. As field service is our bread and butter, we selected the most impactful features we feel will help FSL and Service Cloud become stronger and more robust than ever.

Read on to find out what our top picks are!

Mobile App

What’s always been great about the FSL app is that it’s geared toward mobile and front-line workers, making it independent from the core Salesforce app. The goal of FSL mobile is to provide service resources with the ability to quickly enter information about installations, repairs and service appointments. 

Here’s what’s new:

Deep link actions – this feature will allow mobile workers to launch a link that will help them navigate to another app with the simple click of a button. 

Why it’s awesome:

Imagine a service technician, busy repairing machinery at a customer site, and needing to input multiple pieces of information from other applications relevant to the products they are servicing. Instead of having to exit FSL, mobile team members will be able to utilize the deep link action to navigate to “connected” apps straight from the record they are on, such as the work order, with the click of a button. This allows mobile workers to have access to vital information from multiple sources seamlessly. The new feature will also allow for the transfer of information to other components of the cloud by grabbing data from the connected app, leading to accuracy and efficiency. 

Core FSL Features (and Managed Package)

With enhancements to the mobile app streamlining the workflow, there are additional features that will be available to enhance the browser experience. Check out what’s coming soon to the FSL browser experience below:

Advanced Recurrence Feature 

Here’s what’s new:

The Advanced Recurrence feature expands support for preventative maintenance, down to warranty and serial number or lot/batch number. This simplifies how contract managers improve maintenance schedules. This feature interacts with calendars and schedules, and has the potential to carry over to work orders as part of your business process.

How is it used:

With Google calendar-style maintenance schedules, you can allow the user to associate yearly, monthly, weekly and daily recurrence patterns on maintenance schedules for their assets. Parallel or dependent service schedules are based by priority; this new feature also allows users to define major and minor maintenance plans by creating rules that can be prioritized via a sort order value. 

In relation to work orders, the advanced recurrence feature helps users manually generate work orders with one click. Users can utilize Advanced Recurrence to define multiple granular calendar style recurrence patterns for work orders. 

Why it’s awesome:

We love how automation helps the field service team and overall workforce move faster and perform more efficiently. With advanced recurrence, this is sure to optimize performance for scheduling and keep customers happy with on-time preventative maintenance.

Resource Management – Shifts and Expenses

Here’s what’s new:

From seasonal coverage for holidays, to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses need systems that can accommodate frequent changes to workforce availability. With the improved Shifts view features, options like multi-day shifts allow you to quickly edit records to show more data at a glance. The improved view lets the user select which fields to display on the Shift view such as job profile, status, service territory, shift number and start time. 

Along with the new Shift features, expense management grants mobile workers the ability to easily capture work-related expenses, and you can create an expense report from these items as part of your business process. Capturing expenses as part of a work order will help techs on the go not miss a beat or a cent! 

Why it’s awesome:

By simplifying and clarifying resource management with extra efficiency, field service administrators can focus on the big picture rather than tedious tasks, helping everyone be more productive.

Count Rule

Here’s what’s new:

Count rules are a type of work rule that allows admins to create parameters to not overload service resources. For example, setting a weight limit of equipment for each resource per day. You can also limit the number of appointments per resource per day to meet regulations and contractual obligations. With the enhancements, you are able to easily hover over a shift and make changes to the record without navigating away from the Shifts view. 

Why it’s awesome:

With this new support for workforce planning, managers can ensure resources meet daily schedule needs and limitations as well as load capacities. With a Count rule in place, dispatchers and service agents can easily select the pertinent Count rule to filter candidates based on the requirement. 

There you have it – our field service highlights for the FSL Summer ’20 release! The features extend beyond what we’ve mentioned here, and there may be some additional pieces that can help complete and improve your service processes. You can read through Salesforce’s Release Notes here.  Feel free to drop us a line and we’ll be happy to field your questions, and don’t forget to pass these field service highlights on to your teams and Salesforce admins! We wouldn’t want anyone to miss out.