Companies large and small are scrambling to keep up with the demands of an increasingly mobile world, and on Thursday Salesforce unveiled a new line of tools that's designed to help.
Salesforce Service for Apps taps the CRM giant's Service Cloud to let any organization to embed multichannel customer service -- including live video chat with a customer-service agent -- directly into the mobile apps they offer their customers.
Salesforce SOS is the first to arrive in the new line. Similar to the Amazon "Mayday" button, it provides live, personalized and interactive video support, on-screen guided assistance and screen-sharing with an agent.
Arriving in beta later this year will be four other Service for Apps offerings.
Chat for Apps will make it possible for a customer to message an agent instantly without leaving the app they're using. A mobile gamer, for instance, will be able to chat with a support agent for real-time, personalized advice on a gaming technique, and the agent will have the necessary context to know which game or level the customer is inquiring about, Salesforce said.
Tap-to-Call for Apps, meanwhile, will enable customers to access live phone support immediately from any mobile app. If a distressed traveler needs to inquire about a missed connection, for example, a tap within an airline's mobile app can connect them to an agent for real-time support without the need to provide personal information, flight numbers and other details.
Knowledge for Apps is another of Salesforce's upcoming offerings, and it gives customers in-app access to knowledge articles and FAQs.
Finally, Cases for Apps is designed to let users quickly create and monitor cases, use their device's camera and location to provide additional details, and receive a notification when the case is resolved. A citizen could use it within a city's 311 app, for example, to send a picture and the location of a broken sign or street pothole, automatically generating a repair case so the city can resolve the issue.
Salesforce SOS is priced at $150 per user per month with an Enterprise Edition license of Service Cloud; Service Cloud pricing starts at $135 per user per month.
Chat for Apps, Tap-to-Call for Apps, Knowledge for Apps and Cases for Apps are planned for private beta in the latter half of 2015. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability. In the meantime, Salesforce customers interested in joining the private beta program should contact their account executive.
Also on Thursday, Salesforce announced Desk.com for Apps, a new software development kit powered by Desk.com that aims to help small and medium-size companies embed support into their own mobile apps. That offering is currently in private beta; pricing will be announced when it becomes generally available.