The only surprise in today’s announcement from Salesforce that it is adding more muscle to its Service Cloud is that it hasn’t done it before. Given the focus of Salesforce’s customer-centric apps and the fact that so much customer prospecting is done on mobile, adding better mobile functionality is just about obligatory.

Salesforce’s Customer Companies

With Service Cloud Mobile, Salesforce is offering mobile co-browsing, mobile communities, mobile chat and touch-based agent interface technologies, all designed for customer service in the cloud.

It is also offering a new app designed for customer service reps that will allow them to offer personalized support by mobile to customers by connecting internally to an activity stream.

The objective, Salesforce says, is to turn companies into what it describes as "customer companies" -- with a subtext that says Salesforce will be offering the technologies to do that.

These are companies, Salesforce says, that can connect to their customers in a way that was never possible before by connecting everything -- customers, employees, partners and products -- and revolutionizing the way companies sell, service, market and innovate.

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Service Cloud Mobile: connecting enterprises and customers

Service Cloud Mobile

Service Cloud Mobile is the next logical step after Salesforce Touch, which brought the Sales Cloud to Mobile devices, and the Salesforce Touch Platform, which enabled developers build custom apps once and then use them with any mobile device.

In fact, this release, according to Salesforce is just the first of a number of "innovations" that will be delivered over the course of this year. It hasn’t said what or when, but it does look like a substantial development of its mobile strategy. is doubling down on mobile… The first in a series of innovations we'll deliver this year, Service Cloud Mobile is helping customer companies transform the way they deliver customer service for the mobile era," Alex Bard, SVP and GM of Service Cloud, said.

Specifically, in this release, enterprises will be offered:

  • Co-Browsing: This is the element of the release that enables agent-guided customer interaction through any web browser and on any mobile device. This enables enterprise agents to talk customers through complex forms or actions. The gain here is improved customer experience.
  • Mobile Service Cloud Communities: This is a mobile portal optimized for mobile devices. They are branded and enable companies to provide a single destination for contact with the company. It enables mobile workers to contact relevant company contacts on the go.
  • Mobile Chat: Enables users to chat in real time with a live service agent to resolve outstanding issues.
  • Service Cloud Touch: Allows service agents to resolve issues on the go with an Amazon Kindle, Android device, iPad or iPhone.

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Service Cloud Mobile dashboards

Mobile Service Cloud Communities is generally available today at no additional cost for Service Cloud Enterprise and Unlimited Edition customers. Service Cloud mobile chat is also generally available now. Co-browsing is currently scheduled to be generally available in the second half of 2013.

According to Salesforce, Service Cloud has more than 34,000 customers at this time and with plans for further developments over the coming year, is likely to gain even more traction. More on this once the new releases emerge.