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Salesforce and Apple Partner to Improve Mobile Engagements

Salesforce and Apple Partner to Improve Mobile Engagements

The News: Apple and Salesforce have teamed up to provide several enhancements for mobile and service workers that leverage the combined strengths and features of Apple’s iOS and Salesforce’ Service Cloud architecture. The partnership announcement brings Apple innovations into Service Cloud and Field Service for customers, service agents, and field technicians and builds on the Apple and Salesforce strategic partnership that was first announced at Dreamforce 2018.

Apple Messages for Business in Service Cloud is now generally available with Service Cloud Digital Engagement. ARKit will be available in the Salesforce Field Service Mobile app and the Salesforce Field Service iOS widget in the summer of 2024. You can read additional details on the Salesforce website.

Salesforce and Apple Partner to Improve Mobile Engagements

Analyst Take: Salesforce and Apple announced they have partnered to deliver several Apple innovations into Service Cloud and Field Service that are designed to improve the quality of mobile engagements and experiences:

  • Apple Messages for Business in Service Cloud are designed to provide customers with the ability to easily connect with customer support, get personalized shopping recommendations, schedule appointments, complete purchases with Apple Pay, track shipments, and more, all within the Messages app.
  • Apple’s ARKit delivers field service teams augmented reality (AR) capabilities within the Salesforce Field Service Mobile App. With the ARKit, field technicians can create detailed 3D renderings of large areas, measure spaces, and map objects using simple image capture using their iOS phone or tablet device.
  • The Salesforce Field Service iOS widget offers field service technicians a quick view of key account information such as upcoming appointments, work order details, and directions to their worksite directly on their iPhone home screen.

Supporting Friction-Free Messaging through Apple Messages for Business

Many customers have become accustomed to interacting with businesses via non-voice channels, such as SMS. However, Apple Messages for Business is a service that lets a business make direct contact with customers using Messages, which offers better privacy and platform integration than SMS. Customers are able to terminate a conversation whenever they like, keeping their contact details private, simply by deleting the chat in Messages.

Apple Messages for Business also supports a range of richer interactions, including appointment scheduling, making purchases, and tracking shipments. However, the biggest asset it provides is the ability to engage with customers via the platform they prefer. According to Salesforce, the company saw 79% of its engagements over Black Friday and Cyber Monday on mobile devices, and within North America and EMEA, with around 50% of those engagements occurring on Apple devices.

The ability for Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service customers to leverage Apple Messages for Business will be a key catalyst for driving better and more friction-free engagements with customers, particularly in regions where iOS is dominant. Moreover, the use of secure messaging platform technology can also support more personalization based on the customer data that is attached to the user’s iOS account.

Apple’s ARKit Delivers More Convenience for Field Workers

The delivery of AR functions to mobile and field service workers through Apple’s ARKit can rightly be considered game changing in terms of improving the ability to capture the elements of a physical space quickly and accurately. A demo of the ARKit functionality demonstrated a worker being able to quickly measure a door simply by scanning the frame with the device’s camera, and capture the entire dimensions of a room, along with the objects located within.

While the process is faster than physically needing to pull out a measuring tape, it also enables greater safety for workers, who no longer need to physically climb ladders or squeeze into spaces where there is poor lighting or visibility. There are dozens of use cases where the technology could provide significant productivity benefits, across both consumer and business applications. Further, the ability to then capture and store this information within Data Cloud ensures that the information that is gathered does not suffer from transcription errors.

Improving Worker Experience and Productivity through the Salesforce Field Service iOS Widget

The final Salesforce and Apple announcement focuses on leveraging an iOS widget to enable real-time key account information related to field service jobs. Field service workers have traditionally needed to utilize several tools to manage their workday, from scheduling apps to mapping applications. By incorporating a widget into Salesforce Field Service, workers can quickly access upcoming appointments and relevant work order details within Field Service, while getting an estimate of the travel time to the next appointment, along with directions that can link to a GPS mapping application.

The goal is to make it easier for field service workers to complete the administrative parts of their jobs more quickly and efficiently by removing friction. Doing so enables them to focus on accomplishing their core tasks, enabling more time to be spent not only on completing the job itself but also ensuring that any customer experience tasks are handled, such as taking the time to explain the job, what was done, and answering any additional customer questions without the distraction of administrative work.

All told, these three announcements from Salesforce and Apple are reflective of the larger trend that mobile and field service workers can see significant benefits from the integration of technology that links the physical world with the digital one. The most valuable aspect is the ability to integrate and consolidate this data into a cloud-based platform, enabling close analysis of the processes and tasks, which can then yield even greater insights into what processes are working well and what needs improvement or refinement.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Salesforce Q3 FY 2024 Revenue Hits $8.72B, Up 11% Year-over-Year

Salesforce Announces Deal To Buy AI Bot Provider Airkit.ai

Apple Abandoning Home-Grown Modems?

Image Credit: Salesforce

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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