Salesforce has enhanced its Service Cloud with a user interface console designed to help customer service agents sift through reams of customer data more efficiently.
Dubbed the Lightning Console, the new feature has been based on the Lightning Experience which is effectively Salesforce's new design direction for its cloud services that aims to inject cleaner and more modern user interfaces into its main cloud software offerings.
The Lightning Console's main mission is to pull up the data a customer service agent needs to address a customer query or issue on one screen, rather than forcing the agent to bounce between multiple windows.
Algorithms in the console help provide recommendations to the data and actions an agent will need to solve a customer service case.
The console also allows for managers to track work assigned to customer service agents, so that they can see the workloads of their agents and assign tasks to the appropriate person.
The addition of Lightning Experience designed features in Service Cloud follows Salesforce's earlier reveal of an overhaul to its cloud-powered customer relationship management (CRM) platform and products, aimed at modernising user interfaces and enabling faster enterprise app development.
The Salesforce Lightning update is an evolution of the company's core Sales Cloud CRM offering and the Salesforce1 platform used for cloud app development.
Three key areas make up Salesforce Lightning. The first and foremost is Lightning Experience, the name Salesforce has given to the cleaner and more modern interface.
Lightning Experience is designed to make it easier to carry out important CRM tasks by ensuring that the required data can be accessed and viewed in a way that suits the customer's needs.
The company claimed that the new user interface for Sales Cloud will help salespeople to be more productive and make smarter decisions.
The second new component is Lightning Design System, which provides developers with a how-to manual to create apps based on Salesforce's new design interface and enable them for use on multiple mobile and desktop devices and operating systems.
The final additions are Lightning App Builder and Lightning Components, introduced in November 2014 with the unveiling of Salesforce1 Lightning, a framework and toolkit designed to simplify app development on Salesforce's cloud platform.
Lightning App Builder and Lightning Component allow app developers to build a suite of drag-and-drop components that can be configured to suit their needs, rather than requiring them to build parts from scratch.
Mike Rosenbaum, executive vice president of Sales Cloud at the firm, described Salesforce Lightning as the future of CRM.
"We designed and built a completely new Salesforce based on the collective feedback of more than 150,000 customers and 16 years of experience delivering the world's leading CRM," he said.
Sales Cloud is the first product to get access to Lightning, and other CRM offerings, such as Service Cloud, will receive the new design.
Salesforce also revealed Financial Services Cloud, a CRM product aimed specifically at the finance world, which was built from the ground up using Lightning Experience.
It comes as no surprise that Salesforce is evolving the look and feel of its products to keep up with the design and interfaces of the latest development and consumer software.
Salesforce explained that companies can choose when they move from the old to the new interface to prevent disruption to businesses reliant on Sales Cloud. The Lightning version of Sales Cloud is available now in preview, and will be available generally in October.
Salesforce has been busy overhauling its cloud products this year. The company revealed the latest version of Marketing Cloud in June that can now tap into CRM data to aid marketing activity.
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