& cplSiteName &

Salesforce Targets CSPs With New Cloud Framework

Iain Morris
5/4/2016
50%
50%

Salesforce is eyeing a bigger slice of business with communications service providers (CSPs) after launching a new framework aimed at helping companies shift their critical systems into the cloud.

The cloud-computing pioneer already sells its CRM (customer relationship management) software to CSPs but sees bigger opportunities in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market if it can remove some of the obstacles in its path.

According to Andy Baer, Salesforce.com Inc. 's senior vice president of global communications and media, CSP customers including Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), Italy's Fastweb SpA (Milan: FWB) and Sky Italia have been struggling to integrate different cloud apps and use these alongside their legacy systems.

By addressing the pain points, Salesforce clearly hopes to provide a spur to its own CSP business as well as those of partners and affiliates.

A prime example is the recently announced partnership between OSS/BSS player Matrixx Software Inc. and Vlocity Inc. , a cloud software company that uses the Salesforce platform and counts Salesforce as one of its key investors.

Announced in January, that partnership unites Matrixx's real-time engine and digital commerce functionality with Vlocity's omnichannel and CRM capabilities and has been "well received by the industry," according to Baer.

"The whole initiative already takes advantage of this communications framework and is 100% compliant with it," he says.

Light Reading had originally reported that Salesforce might be looking to play a bigger role in the communications space with a B2C offering following a conversation with Jennifer Kyriakakis, Matrixx's vice president of marketing, in March. As noted at the time, the tie-up between Matrixx and Vlocity has even raised the possibility of Salesforce investing in or acquiring the former as a means of building up its B2C capabilities. (See Matrixx Lines Up New Customers, Funding.)

"I won't speculate," says Baer when asked if Salesforce is considering takeover moves in this area. "What we're doing is partnering with as many of the companies already mentioned and others that may become interested to create a model the industry can rely on."


Want to know more about cloud services? Check out our dedicated cloud services content channel here on Light Reading.


Developed in accordance with TM Forum guidelines, the Salesforce framework includes a data model specification based on the cloud and is designed to support interoperability between cloud functions from different providers. It also aims to help operators integrate their legacy systems with the cloud.

Baer claims the UK's Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), a subsidiary of Liberty Global, has already benefited in this way from working with Salesforce. "Previously, more than 80% of customers started shopping online but less than 20% completed it online and there was no way to connect online and offline experiences," he says.

Sitting on top of Virgin Media's existing systems, the Salesforce platform ensures that customer service agents can see details of a prospective customer's previous online activity, says Baer, and has led to improved commercial rates for the operator. "Liberty Global is now looking at extending this to the rest of the Group," he says.

Besides Vlocity, the new Salesforce framework appear to have attracted support from a range of software vendors, including Apttus, bit2win, ClickSoftware , CloudSense, Comptel Corp. (Nasdaq, Helsinki: CTL1V) and Sigma Systems .

It also has the backing of systems integrator Accenture , a major player in the OSS and BSS market, although Baer insists the framework is open to other OSS and BSS players. "We're comfortable integrating with any of the legacy providers and we do that with customers already," he says. "At Telefónica in Latin America our solution sends orders downstream to Amdocs, while at Virgin Media the downstream system is a Netcracker product."

Six CSPs have participated in reviewing the framework, including Liberty Global, Fastweb, Sky Italia and Australia's Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS), and Baer is confident that others will quickly want to become involved following today's announcement.

Salesforce has continued to report impressive rates of sales growth, with revenues growing by 32% last year, to $5.37 billion.

Even so, its net loss widened to $262.7 million in 2015, from $232.2 million in 2014.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/7/2016 | 11:21:15 AM
Re: how CSP responding to it
Wow, I did not know Salesforce was losing money. It sounds to me like the company is taking the classic Silicon Valley tactic of sacrificing profits in order to grow. 

The company is going to be occupying the tallest tower in San Francisco soon. The Salesforce Tower, as they call it. Growth over profits!
pramodmisra
50%
50%
pramodmisra,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/5/2016 | 12:34:10 AM
how CSP responding to it
Though it could be a good avenue for Salesforce but any inputs on how CSPs are taking it.wil they are keen to go into this space along with Salesforce.
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telecom Jargonosaurus Part 1: Repeat Offenders
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
AT&T's Stankey Serves Up a Stinker at HBO
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/10/2018
Broadcom Buys CA – Huh?
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading, 7/11/2018
Verizon Taps Malady as Acting CTO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/12/2018
FCC's Rosenworcel: US 'Falling Behind' on 5G
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed