Salesforce Teases a New “Agentforce Platform” for Customer Support

Benioff listed several features that the platform’s virtual agent will offer

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Salesforce Teases a New “Agentforce Platform” for Customer Support
CRMLatest News

Published: July 8, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has teased the launch of a new AI & automation platform for customer support.

Ahead of September’s Dreamforce event, Benioff took to X to offer a sneak peek of the platform and its customer-facing “Einstein Service Agent”.

In the post shared below, the CEO highlights the virtual agent’s essential features and how it will blend digital and human-assisted support for faster case resolution.

To achieve this blended experience, the virtual agent appears to build off the technology Salesforce rolled up after its 2023 acquisition of Airkit.ai.

Indeed, Airkit offers a low-/no-code bot-building platform that provides businesses with the building blocks to orchestrate AI-driven, conversational experiences.

Customer support teams typically leverage Airkit for service automation use cases. However, the solution allows firms to compose and automate cross-platform processes.

As such, companies may soon design sophisticated bank-end workflows that enable automated customer experiences that leverage the combined power of Salesforce applications.

In doing so, the Einstein Service Agent could play a pivotal role within Salesforce’s Einstein 1 vision, which — via Data Cloud — already enables a single cross-functional data ecosystem.

Benioff perhaps suggests this by noting in his post how the virtual agent can act “across service, sales, marketing, and commerce.”

The Einstein Service Agent: Airkit.ai on Steroids?

Alongside the core conversational AI, no writing conversational trees, and extensible low-code tools that Salesforce acquired from its Airkit.ai acquisition, the CRM leader has seemingly added much more might to the platform.

The addition of Mulesoft in enabling the insights that trigger cross-platform automations is notable. As is the real-time, harmonized data within Data Cloud, especially from an Einstein 1 perspective.

Yet, Salesforce appears to have also augmented the platform with generative AI (GenAI).

Airkit already offered some GenAI capabilities via the no-writing conversational AI. However, Salesforce seems to have taken this further by using the tech to read text, images, and audio/video.

That multimodal capability helps expand the possible use cases of a customer-facing virtual agent.

Nevertheless, no virtual agent — even those augmented with GenAI — will solve every customer query. Salesforce recognizes this and ensures omnichannel transfers and human handoffs.

Of course, many other vendors have delivered conversational AI platforms with similar capabilities in recent years, especially now that GenAI has made many previously differentiative features standard.

As a result, much of the added value now comes through ecosystem and orchestration, which is the ultimate differentiator for Salesforce.

Salesforce Differentiates Via Orchestration & Ecosystem

Benioff touched on his ambition to accentuate the value of low-/no-code workflow orchestration and the extensive Einstein 1 Platform ecosystem during last year’s Dreamforce event.

“Our intelligent platform includes an advanced workflow engine… automating trillions of tasks,” he said. “We need to make this technology accessible to non-programmers.”

Via Airkit’s low-/no-code tech within the Agentforce Platform, Salesforce further opens the door for these non-programmers. Benioff continued:

We must keep our platform open for all partners and our ecosystem to participate in the AI revolution.

“While there are fewer than 10 million hardline coders, low-coders and no-coders are essential Trailblazers driving this revolution.”

In pre-announcing the Agentforce Platform, expect this to again be a key theme during the CEO’s 2024 Dreamforce keynote.

 

 

Artificial IntelligenceAutomationChatbotsConversational AICRMVirtual Agent

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