Salesforce Adds App Hub to Centralize Customer Service on on Monday launched App Hub, an upgrade to its customer service platform. App Hub features more than 50 apps for a wide range of functions including e-commerce, email marketing, telephony and text messaging.

Partner apps available with include Harvest, JIRA, MailChimp, Olark, Shopify, Twilio, Five9, NewVoiceMedia, OneReach, RingCentral and TalkDesk.

The integration technology is the heart of the offering, said Leyla Seka, general management and SVP of

“What we did is partner with a number of integration providers in order to be able to offer the apps that small businesses really want to use,” she told CRM Buyer.

Increasingly, is being used as a hub where small businesses manage all of their operations that touch upon the customer, she said. As businesses grow, they need more scale and functionality from, which is what App Hub provides.

App Hub appeals to this group because it gives small businesses one place from which to manage their customer engagement without having to build the integration points themselves, Seka said.

How Makes It Work uses several methodologies to create the one-stop-shop effect.

Its Canvas technology displays third-party apps that are in use in the agent console, so users won’t have to toggle back and forth between the apps.

For example, an agent can access a third-party shipping app integrated into the console to help track a customer’s wayward package, without leaving also has built-in telephony integrations that enable agents to provide multichannel assistance from vendors, such as Five9 and TalkDesk.

This integration allows incoming service calls, email or chat requests, or requests from social media to appear directly in the agent view.

“There are enough integration partners and apps participating in our App Hub that a company can choose almost any service provider with which it feels comfortable,” Seka said.

The third piece of new technology offered in this upgrade is Desk Connect, which syncs data from support cases to

Desk Connect also allows App Hub partners and their data to integrate with as well.

The benefit of this is that users have an easy migration path to Service Cloud, Seka said.

Growing Complexity of SMBs

Companies that might want to move onto the Service Cloud are a growing constituency of, which at heart is designed for small businesses.

Even though they officially remain “small businesses,” however, these companies are in need of increasingly complex cloud and software applications, Seka said.

Global SMB cloud revenue will grow 22 percent over the next five years, as companies utilize a wider set of cloud apps, she noted, citing an IDC forecast.

Other companies whose operations will remain comfortably ensconced within also will benefit, given the out-of-the-box integration the new version offers.

“Customer service is becoming the center of these businesses, no matter what their size,” said Seka. “ App Hub addresses these needs and trends.”

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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