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Salesforce.com
leader Marc Benioff has announced that his company is "doubling down"
on its Salesforce Service Cloud portfolio by spending $50 million to buy
Assistly, an instant customer-service help desk built for the cloud.

"(It
puts) us at the heart of the new trend of customer service help desk
applications that have instant sign up and zero-touch onboarding, expanding the
potential reach of the Service Cloud to millions of companies around the
world," Benioff said.

Used
by fast-growing firms like Spotify, Instagram and Square, Assistly’s platforms
gives user company employees the ability to log into a single interface to
manage service cases and engage with customers across a number of different
means of communications like Facebook, Twitter, web chats e-mail and even
phone.  The interface enables user
employees to filter cases, apply business rules and use the platform’s
workflows to make sure customer inquiries never fall through the cracks no
matter what channel of communication they use.

“We started Assistly with the
goal of bringing awesomely responsive customer support tools to the millions of
small businesses struggling to serve customers in today’s social world,” said
Alex Bard, CEO of Assistly.

The
purchase by Assistly follows a whirlwind romance between the two companies that
developed into something more serious than just going steady. Just a month ago
Salesforce and Assistly partnered to offer an integrated Assistly for
Salesforce solution. Clearly the pairing went so well that it enticed Benioff
and crew into bringing the solution completely in house.

Salesforce
executives say that the purchase rounds out its Service Cloud customer service
and support solutions by giving it more capabilities in the start-up market.
Salesforce hopes to target the Assistly technology at a market that it numbers
in the millions, small and emerging companies with fewer than 99 users. The
company touts Assistly’s flexible pricing as the biggest draw, as the help desk
firm currently allows its users to either pay by the hour in order to allow
their employees from different teams to handle peak customer service loads or
to upgrade users to full-time agents on a monthly flat-fee basis.

“We’re
committed to making the Service Cloud number one for the smallest to the
largest companies in the world,” said Alex Dayon, executive vice president,
applications, salesforce.com. “We are excited that with Assistly’s innovative
technology and business model, the Service Cloud will now enable even the
smallest companies to become a social enterprise.”