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AWS, Salesforce, team up for intelligent applications

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Amazon Web Services and Salesforce have announced an expansion of a global strategic partnership to allow customers to build and deploy powerful new business applications more swiftly.

Developers will be able to build and launch custom applications that extend the power of both platforms by connecting Salesforce data and workflows natively into their solutions running on AWS, and make it easy for Salesforce developers to integrate AWS data and workflows into their Salesforce applications. 

Salesforce will also embed AWS services for voice, video, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) directly in new applications for sales, service, and industry vertical use cases. With these new offerings, customers can purchase out-of-the-box solutions directly from Salesforce and then consume the integrated AWS services on a pay-as-you-go basis. 

“For more than five years, our customers have benefitted from a tight relationship between AWS and Salesforce. Now, we are taking the partnership to the next level by integrating our offerings so developers using both AWS and Salesforce can build unified applications much faster and simpler than ever before,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services. “With this partnership, we are significantly simplifying developers’ lives and empowering them to develop applications however they want, from wherever they want globally, at any scale.” 

Marc Benioff, chair and CEO of Salesforce, said: “With a more strongly unified Salesforce and AWS platform, our customers around the world can create a single source of truth across sales, service, marketing, and commerce, and achieve success from anywhere.” 

Typically, organisations use Salesforce to manage their customer relationships and build new applications leveraging the Salesforce platform, while using AWS for their compute, storage, and database needs, along with AWS technologies like Amazon Connect (an omnichannel cloud contact centre) Amazon Redshift (a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud), and AWS Lambda (a serverless compute service that enables customers to run code without provisioning or managing servers). 

Previously, significant custom integration code was often required for customers that wanted to combine AWS and Salesforce capabilities for their applications. These new offerings will enable them to use AWS and Salesforce services together, seamlessly, through new, unified platforms. The companies have also collaborated on new low-code tools to help customers innovate and build applications that connect data in real-time between Salesforce applications and AWS services. 

Salesforce provided the following information on the benefits of the partnership:

  • Create custom business applications faster and easier: New low-code and click-to-launch development tools will accelerate the creation of custom applications, built on top of Salesforce and AWS services. Salesforce’s point-and-click development tools will operate directly on data from AWS services like Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) or Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), as if the data were native in Salesforce. 
  • Unleash the power of customer data with real-time events: By natively connecting AWS’s services with the Salesforce platform, real-time data will securely move between the two providers, allowing customers to more easily automate workflow and maintain a single view of the end customer. 
  • Simplify security, identity and access management: A new guided setup experience will make it easier for customers to bring Salesforce products and AWS services together. Sign in to AWS from Salesforce Setup or into Salesforce from the AWS Management Console to simplify service authorization, user identity, security, permissions, and data management and governance between Salesforce and AWS. 

New Intelligent Applications 

  • Sell, service, and engage smarter from anywhere: Customers will be able to innovate quickly with pre-built out-of-the-box applications and add-ons that leverage AWS services for voice, video, and productivity with AI/ML functionality. For example, customers can activate virtual call centres and empower high-velocity sales teams with Amazon Connect and AWS AI/ML services, pre-integrated into both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. 
  • Launch industry-specific customer solutions: Customers will be able to deliver new digital experiences and services to remain ahead of industry disruption by leveraging AWS technologies like Amazon Chime SDK (embedded real-time communication capabilities), Amazon Textract (intelligent data extraction from scanned documents), Amazon Comprehend (natural language processing to uncover information in text), and others directly within Salesforce Industry Clouds. Starting with a telehealth solution, Healthcare customers can deploy an intelligent virtual care platform to deliver personalized patient experiences. 

One of the users of the combined service is Standard Bank, which offers banking and financial services to individuals, businesses, institutions and corporations in Africa and abroad. Alpheus Mangale, chief engineering officer of Standard Bank Group, said of the new offering: “Technology is ushering in a new era of innovation for the Financial Services industry, where new digital solutions make the customer experience more personal and convenient. The Salesforce and AWS partnership does exactly this, and is helping Standard Bank to innovate faster and provide greater value for our customers throughout the African region.”

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