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Salesforce.com Updating to Service Cloud 2

Salesforce.com has had a pretty strong showing in 2009, due in part to the company’s introduction of Cloud Service (a SaaS application) at the beginning of this year. Early this month, Salesforce announced an upgrade to this application, Service Cloud 2, which consists of three phases to be launched from now until early 2011.

One of the Service Cloud 2’s web-based options is already available to Salesforce.com customers: Salesforce for Twitter. The company integrated Twitter into their platforms in March 2009—and was one of the first enterprise software developers to do so—and now the integration functions within the Service Cloud. This update allows users to track and monitor conversations in Twitter, as well as tweet from the Service Cloud.

Later in 2009, customer service reps will be able to access Salesforce Knowledge, allowing users to quickly access company knowledge bases to provide more efficient customer service. These bases will be like company-specific FAQ pages, and the application will also be integrated with Google search integration.

Salesforce Answers expands customers’ accessibility to company information by allowing platform users to create customizable forums where people can ask and answer questions and rate their peers’ responses. Making this forum feature more modern is the social networking element: Answers also allows companies to set up Salesforce Answers communities on Facebook fan pages, and the information from this integration will be imported into the Service Cloud.

No doubt more enterprise-meets-social-networking features will be added to the Cloud 2 arsenal—at a San Francisco event two weeks ago, Salesforce Founder and CEO Marc Benioff called the company a “cloud computing evangelist” and intimated that real-time search and microblogging give CRM “incredible capabilities.”