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Cisco and Salesforce.com put SME customers in the cloud

Ian Grant

Small and medium-sized companies will be able to run their customer contact applications online. This follows yesterday's deal, struck between network equipment maker Cisco and online customer relationship manager Salesforce.com, to deliver a complete contact centre in the cloud.

The Customer Interaction Cloud combines Salesforce.com's Service Cloud 2 CRM system with Cisco's unified communications system.

This allows customers to use the salesforce.com CRM application as their primary agent desktop while retaining full Cisco Unified Contact Center capabilities to operate a customer care or support centre in any industry.

Salesforce.com and Cisco said the move addressed a growing demand for cloud computing-based customer service solutions in the SME market.

Half of all service conversations take place online, the firms said. These included social media, blogs, wikis, forums, and online search, as well as call centres.

Aimed at firms with 30 to 300 telephone agents, the system needs no new hardware, software, datacentres or telephony equipment.

Both firms will sell the service from 2010.

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