Skip to main content

Rising to Swift Challenges in App Development

You may have heard about The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, or the idea of an MVP (minimum viable product). These methodologies say only build what subscribers ask—and will pay— for. Business app development isn’t a one-way street; sometimes a customer will come to you with an idea for a product you wouldn’t otherwise have had in your cycle. When that happens, a responsive company with a close relationship to its customers will be able to deliver something new. Such was the case when financial advisory firm White Glove came to Fastcall with a request regarding Einstein Conversation Insights.

Salesforce recently introduced Einstein Conversation Insights. ECI transcribes a recorded conversation, identifies keywords and records metrics (such as talk time per recipient) from phone calls, and provides recording shortcuts to quickly review the calls. Rob Lyons, head of technology for White Glove, identified a natural fit for ECI with his company’s existing use of Fastcall. “I saw this feature was available to us as HVS users,” Lyons says. “I wanted to see if this AI could give me insight into our sales calls beyond standard activity logging.”

Such requests are part of the job for Fastcall founder Rich Rosen, and they often spring from curiosity. “Subscribers ask us for stuff they do not really plan to implement,” Rosen says. “We do the work, it does not get used, but is available for the next subscriber.” Even so, this is where innovation is born. “It was worth doing as this is a differentiator,” Rosen says. “Not many other CTI apps have the integration. And it gave us a chance to reach out to the Sales Cloud product team at Salesforce. That’s always a good thing.”

Lyons’ request, “tracking to make sure that every interested lead is turned into an opportunity,” combined simple curiosity with the possibility of delivering real business value for White Glove, and a marketable product for Fastcall. “That is a driver in marketing, the perception of solving a problem,” Rosen says.

The ECI framework is built on top of Salesforce and Tableau CRM, which is the result of Salesforce’s 2019 acquisition of Tableau, a company building a self-service analytics platform. “However, the best thing about ECI is that it’s built in a way that is agnostic about the source of the call recordings analyzed,” says Antonio Grassi, CTO and co-founder of Fastcall. “These recordings can be uploaded to the ECI platform through the standard Salesforce REST API, from an external system, or from native Salesforce applications like Fastcall.”

Fastcall’s development team was ready to get to work as soon as the project kicked off, with little to no ramp-up. “We follow with close attention the new features released by Salesforce, and we try to adopt those that add value to our solution, as early as possible, usually starting work when these Salesforce features are still in Beta or pilot programs,” Grassi says.

As a Salesforce-only provider, Fastcall needed less than a month to take its integration with Einstein Conversation Insights from inception to delivery. Fastcall recordings are fed to the ECI platform in real time, returning helpful conversation insights to users of the new add-on.

White Glove received the desired conversation insights as well as daily overviews for managers, auto-generated by Fastcall and ECI. A further capability, analyzing past calls in bulk in ECI, is currently in progress, and both parties are confident of a similarly short rollout time frame. Salesforce plans to make ECI available to all subscribers, not just those using the High Velocity Sales module, so what began life as a speculative project for White Glove could soon become a sales tool for all Fastcall users.


Last Year's Top 5 Popular Posts

Clash of Titans - Platform Play

Platform Play, photo by Gabriel Jimenez A lot has evolved since my Clash of the Titans post that looked into how the big 4.5 (Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Adobe) and others are positioning themselves in the greater CRM arena. First, the commoditization of the business application has accelerated and the vendors’ focus on the underlying platform has increased. CRM, and enterprise software in general, has always been a platform play although this has not always been recognized and sometimes even negated. The obvious reason for it being a platform play is that the creation of positive customer and user experiences need a consistent technical platform. Or else we are ending up in engagements that are fragmented across interactions. This results in inconsistent and poor experiences. So far, so well known. A bit less obvious is the fact that there will be only few dominant platforms. Vendors, who want to become and stay successful on a grand scale need to

Digitization, Digitalization, Digital Transformation - A Stake in the Ground

Since about February or March of Anno Domini 2020 we regularly hear about how the Covid crisis is driving “digital transformation”. You now might ask yourself why I put this term into quotes. Bear with me for a minute, it’ll be explained … For sure, this crisis is forcing many a company into enabling its employees to work remotely. It also forced some companies to at least temporarily close physical doors as supply chains and/or delivery of products and services are severely inhibited or even broken. We also see a lot of companies implement interesting hybrid strategies that bring what we thought of being decidedly offline experiences into the online world. A good example for this trend are wineries that lost an important lead generation and sales channel with their temporary inability to host wine tastings in their cellars. Till now the opinion was that nothing can beat the experience of being down there in a wine cellar, surrounded by barrels of ageing wine, musty air, like-minded pe

CRMKonvo - Freshworks on Platform, CRM and useful AI

Freshworks has is now officially a fresh (sorry, I really couldn't resist this pun) member of the club of platform players. The company introduced its own flavour of CRM and a platform that they build upon. What is next? Lot's of ground to cover. A CRKKonvo with Prakash Ramamurthy, Chief Product Officer, Peter Stadlinger, Head of Products CRM and David Krauss, Senior Director Product Marketing at Freshworks. Together with Marshall Lager, Ralf Korb and Thomas Wieberneit they discuss market perspectives, what the value for customers actually is and how the innovations that the team has recently introduced fit in there. Prakash, Peter, and David bring a wealth of knowledge to the conversation, including a pretty interesting dive into how to train an AI based upon the idea that the human who is in front of the machine is still one of the most important trainers, due to tacit knowledge and wisdom that cannot be codified. Which also explains the trifecta of priorities that Freshwork

The Dirty Dozen of 2021 Trends

It's that time of year again. And although I'm not really into trend articles, I think it's time this year to start thinking about what's going on in the worlds of customer experience and customer relationship management – and how it's affecting businesses and customers. Especially since I was also asked ... So here's my list of developments that I think will be relevant in the next few years, in quite random order, and admittedly not entirely without overlap. Digitization - not Digital Transformation If there is one theme that has and continues to permeate through the Covid pandemic, it is that of digitalization. The pandemic has painfully brought to light the failure to make necessary investments in consistent processes and technologies in the past. As a result, many companies continue to have processes that are characterized by media disruptions. The need to improve here is also the overarching theme for some of the other developments and trends currently evi

Outlaw Spirit - Lessons from The Zoho Analyst Day 2021

The 2021 Zoho analyst day certainly was different. Different not only because it was not an offline but an online event but in the way it was prepared and conducted. Apparently, the team around Sandra Lo has taken up quite some lessons that other events had to learn, too. This is kind of the advantage one has not being the first one in a season. But this was only one part of it. The second part is that the whole event was run using Zoho software, in particular Zoho Backstage and Zoho Meeting. Overall, there have been some 150 attendees with what I assume, very different levels of knowledge about Zoho. The event In contrast to most other analyst events, this one required actual preparation, as product and roadmap topics have been sent out beforehand for self-study – and were kind of “required reading”. Going through all videos at least once was an exercise that lasted more than five hours. The event itself was split into two days of two and a half hours each, co