Big CX News from Salesforce, RingCentral, Microsoft, 8×8 and Five9

Salesforce is teaming up with Accenture to accelerate the deployment of generative AI for CRM

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Published: May 12, 2023

Kieran Devlin

Kieran Devlin

Salesforce Partners with Accenture on Generative AI

Salesforce is partnering with Accenture to enhance the deployment of generative AI for CRM.

The solution will allow companies to scale Einstein GPT, Salesforce’s generative AI for CRM, which intends to improve agent productivity and customer experiences. Einstein GPT, released last month, was touted as “the world’s first generative AI for CRM” and combines ChatGPT with Salesforce’s AI to provide a multi-purpose tool whose range of features includes scheduling messages, writing emails, personalising content, creating visuals, and writing code.

Bill Patterson, EVP and General Manager, C360 Applications at Salesforce, said:

Accenture and Salesforce together have years of experience in AI and play a critical role in ensuring customers get the most value from this technology. We want to come together to bring the visionary and technical expertise needed to unlock new possibilities for AI- and data-powered CRM, driving a profound transformation in customer interactions.”

Salesforce’s Generative AI in IT Survey of over 500 senior IT leaders discovered that 84 percent believe generative AI can help to serve their customers better. More than half of the respondents are experimenting with or actively utilising generative AI in their businesses, and 67 percent are prioritising generative AI within the next 18 months. Salesforce interprets these findings as a need to ensure the deployment of the technology is carried out effectively.

RingCentral Surpasses Q1 Expectations with $534m Sales

RingCentral started the first quarter of 2023 strongly by exceeding expectations with total revenues of $534 million.

RingCentral’s revenue growth reflects a 14 percent year-over-year growth. Key product innovations were also highlighted during the vendor’s quarterly earnings call, with references to RingSense, RingSense for Sales, RingCentral for Teams 2.0, RingCentral for Frontline Workers, and RingCentral Overlay.

Vlad Shmunis, RingCentral’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, was naturally optimistic about his company’s earnings call. “We had a good first quarter, as we exceeded the high end of guidance across key metrics,” Shmunis said. “Our open platform, deep integrations to top third-party applications, 99.999% reliability, global reach, and integrated UCaaS and CCaaS platform continue to resonate with customers and distinguish RingCentral from competitors.”

Among other positive takeaways from RingCentral’s earnings call was the business exceeding the high end of guidance for subscriptions, with a revenue increase of 16 percent year-over-year to $508 million. Annualised Monthly Recurring Subscriptions (ARR) were also up.

Microsoft Invests in Builder.ai to Simplify Business App Development

Microsoft has partnered with Builder.ai to create AI solutions that streamline enterprise software and app development.

Builder.ai produce AI-powered development software that empowers businesses to build their native web and mobile apps without requiring technical expertise. Builder.ai’s “Natasha” AI product manager tool will be integrated with Teams and available for users looking to develop their own business apps and software.

Sachin Dev Duggal, Chief Wizard & Founder of Builder.ai, commented:

From my first meeting with Microsoft to the moment we agreed to collaborate more strategically, one thing has been really clear-Microsoft’s commitment to helping everyone unlock their true potential. We are ecstatic that the world’s largest software company chose Builder.ai as a collaborator to lay down deeper roots in helping the next 100m businesses and beyond become digitally native.”

Builder.ai’s solution breaks software down into intuitive “lego-like” features, a system complemented by customisation options from a network of designers and developers comprising a “human-assisted, AI-powered assembly line”, as Builder.ai’s announcement describes the offering.

As well as Natasha’s availability through Teams, there will be further integrations across Microsoft’s portfolio, including Azure OpenAI Service and other Azure Cognitive Services. The strategic collaboration also includes a Microsoft equity investment in Builder.ai.

8×8 Quarterly Revenues Grow

8×8 finished the financial year 2023 on a high note as its fourth-quarter revenue grew two percent to $184.5 million.

8×8’s $250 million acquisition of Fuze has begun paying off, with $26.9 million of the total quarterly revenue and $111.3 million of revenue for the financial year. As a consequence of the positive quarterly earnings, 8×8 can continue paying off its debts, reward its shareholders, and invest money into technological innovations.

Samuel Wilson, 8×8 Interim Chief Executive Officer, was reflective on 8×8’s financial year. “Fiscal 2023 was a year of milestones for 8×8 as we continued to invest in innovation while increasing our profitability and cash flow,” Wilson said. The CEO  namechecked 8×8’s record service and total revenue, successful integration of its Fuse operations, global coverage extension of its communications platform, and introduction of platform-wide generative AI integration as highlights from the year.

Overall traffic for unified communications and contact centre had been increasing, thanks to 8×8’s global network of carriers and an efficient traffic allocation model for carriers.

Although 8×8 had lower-than-expected revenues the previous quarter, the latest earnings mean 8×8 ended the financial year on a high.

BT Adding Five9 Intelligent CX Platform to Contact Centre Offerings

BT has developed its partnership with Five9 by introducing the Five9 Intelligent CX platform to its contact centre offerings.

Five9’s platform will be available to BT’s customers as a managed service embedded with BT’s global voice and data services. Customers can further digitise their workplace through voice, unified communications, digital channels, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Andrew Small, Managing Director, Global Portfolio, Business at BT, said:

Our Five9 partnership offers BT customers a secure and future-proof route to migrate their contact centre into the cloud. BT and Five9’s combined expertise will help customers manage the transition seamlessly and enjoy the full benefits of a managed CCaaS service.”

By integrating Five9’s CX Platform with BT’s Global Managed Voice platform, customers can utilise an end-to-end managed service and access BT’s capabilities, experience, and cloud migration expertise. BT customers can add multiple Five9 solutions, including analytics, workflow automation and optimisation, digital engagement channels, and artificial intelligence to support contact centre agents.

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