How IBM Runs Salesforce

December 7, 2017

IBM serves millions of leading brands and customers in 170 countries as one of the most complex service communities in the world. However, not even a 105-year legacy of innovation means guaranteed immunity to disruption. 

Customers depend on IBM support to deliver mission-critical applications for their customers, yet its global service department had been operating with 300 different–and aging systems–to field thousands of service requests per day, resulting in a disjointed agent experience and an inconsistent customer experience. The time had come to evolve its customer support systems with new levels of engagement.

As the next step in their global strategic partnership, IBM partnered with Salesforce and Bluewolf to support a historic service transformation, designing a new, intelligent agent platform with Service Cloud, Live Agent, Field Service Lightning, Service Analytics, and IBM Watson. At project completion, one-third of IBM’s backend service systems will be retired and thousands of IBM products will be supported by this new system.

Like IBM, consider these four steps to unlock business value and drive a better service experience for your users and customers:

  • Build your vision–you can’t boil the ocean, so instead, pinpoint the specific business areas that will help you lead, quicker. For IBM, a priority was modernizing its contact center–providing a 360 view of the customer, omni-channel capabilities, and cognitive support–to drive a more personalized user experience and increase time to value.
  • Leverage best-of-breed technology–IBM specifically chose Salesforce for its best-of-breed reputation, its open API architecture, and its large and growing ecosystem. Avoid implementing technology for technology’s sake; uncover how technology will help drive your business outcomes and get you on a faster path to innovation.
  • Configure over customization–technology customization within an organization as complex as IBM is unavoidable, but IBM desired a more streamlined customer support transformation. Understand how other companies are using and experiencing Salesforce out-of-the-box to help standardize configuration requirements. IBM kept its processes simple and uncomplicated for its new agent platform–and went from zero to production in four months.
  • Fail fast, recover faster–just because a company is large, doesn’t mean it has to move slowly. The customer support transformation group operated as a start-up within IBM, with a small team and agile approach. This enabled them to move and learn fast, refine quickly, and get the system right before releasing changes and training to the wider organization.

Companies of all sizes are under pressure to provide exceptional user and customer experiences. Learn how IBM runs Salesforce–and how you can too.

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