Salesforce wants call centers to be as easy as using their CRM solution that has millions of businesses around the world using it. Yesterday they launched Service Cloud Voice. On the surface it's a very complete offering with one key missing piece. The telephony stack. But that missing piece is what makes it so interesting.
Salesforce is taking the BYOC approach. BYOC is bring your own carrier, and with that open approach Salesforce can be all things to all business, and while they have aligned with Amazon Connect out of the box, it will only be a matter of time where the same offer is made via Cisco, Microsoft and a host of other so-called "partners" of Salesforce. When that happens we'll likely see the likes of 8x8, Vonage, Dialpad and other OTT players who are already in the Salesforce ecosystem in North America, and others from around the globe, possibly making the usual noise about being integrated with Service Cloud Voice.
Why is Salesforce doing this?
Between the rising tide of AI (artificial intelligence) and voice as a service capabilities, with delivery modes like real time transcription, and the CRM role being like the central nervous system for business interactions with customers, Salesforce needs that layer of voice interactivity to ensure that their CRM is the brain behind customer interactions. With almost all comms heading to the cloud, that interactivity and integration is crucial to not only their future, but their customers future. Add in the steady deployment of chatbots that lead to a real-time conversation, voice messaging that can be "pre-recorded", voice assistants like the Google Assistant and Amazon Echo, and you have more and more voice interactions that are going to need to be tied back to the CRM.
Salesforce is also taking a first mover position, as Microsoft with Dynamics and HubSpot, two of their competitors have yet to move in this direction. So while it's expected for both of those CRM plays to head in the same "me too" direction, with the news Salesforce has now set the bar for others to follow and will have the luxury of being compared to, versus having to make the comparison.