California-based customer service software firm, Zendesk, Inc., today launched Sunshine, an open and flexible customer relationship management (CRM) platform built completely in the public cloud on Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS). Zendesk Sunshine enables businesses to connect and understand all their customer data, wherever it lives, and gives their developers the ability to build and deploy customer apps and services faster. Sunshine is built entirely on open standards, with the security, scalability and reliability of AWS built into its core.
Zendesk launched Sunshine, as well as a new sales force automation tool, Zendesk Sell, and the data analytics product, Zendesk Explore, at its global user conference, Relate 2018, taking place this week in San Francisco.
A New CRM Platform for Evolving Customer Experiences
Businesses are trying to keep up with customers’ changing expectations, but are being held back by legacy technology. Traditional CRM platforms force companies into proprietary technologies that limit their view of customers and make it difficult to connect customer data spread across internal and external systems and services. At the same time, these closed CRM tools are directly at odds with developers’ need for flexibility and freedom.
“It’s time to break free from CRM platforms that think they’re the center of the universe and lock you into an outdated view of the world,” said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk founder and CEO. “We built Sunshine to shed light on the many different dimensions of customers and their data, while giving developers the freedom to build the way they want in the public cloud.”
“The Zendesk platform gives us the ability to adapt to our customers’ changing needs and expectations,” said Gerardo Soto, director of innovation at Stanley Black & Decker. “Our developers also see tremendous value in the possibility of using the open source tools they already know and love on AWS, which would ultimately serve our customers and the business better.”
According to the Gartner report, The Eight Building Blocks of CRM: Information and Insights published in February 2018, “Customer information and insight is the lifeblood of successful CRM systems and is essential for superior customer engagement. Relevant customer data can power, among other things, customer service interactions, personalization, marketing campaigns, field sales opportunities, lead management, social interactions and cross-sell/upsell activities.”
Introducing Zendesk Sell and Integration with Sunshine
Today the company also announced the launch of Zendesk Sell, a new sales force automation (SFA) tool built to enhance productivity, processes, and pipeline visibility for sales teams. Sell marks the first step in integrating SFA software into the Zendesk family of products.
With Sell, information will be able to flow seamlessly between support and sales on the Sunshine CRM platform, resulting in a single conversation with customers and better alignment between teams.
Today, Sunshine launches with powerful capabilities including Profiles, Events and Custom Objects that allow customers to store and connect to all their customer data.
With Profiles, businesses can create a single, unified view of the customer across all applications. Using Events, companies can capture any customer activity such as customer service interactions, website visits, purchase transactions, and shipping history in a historical timeline. Custom Objects allows companies to collect additional relevant information like products owned, equipment rented, or even telemetrics from a connected car from outside sources, then store this data directly within Zendesk.
With this information, customers can use Sunshine to not only create a complete picture of their customer but also model the relationship customers have with the data and the business.
Introducing Zendesk Explore
As data and analytics become increasingly important to how businesses build and scale personal, connected experiences for their customers, Zendesk also announced the general availability of its data analytics tool, Explore.
Integrating seamlessly with all of its products, Zendesk Explore makes it easier for companies to see and analyze data across all Zendesk support channels. With Explore, businesses can now get a single view of the customer across all teams and channels so they can focus on measuring and improving the experience they deliver.