In the company’s September 9th press release, salesforce.com’s chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, stated: “With Service Cloud 2, salesforce.com is doing for customer service what we did for sales: proving that the cloud is a better way. The customer service market is being held back by traditional technology. With two-thirds of customer service interactions moving to the cloud and the popularity of social networks, it is high time for a change.”
We definitely agree, it is high time for a change. But let’s be clear: salesforce.com is not selling knowledge as a service -- any more than it is selling “sales as a service” or “service as a service.” It is still selling software functionality over the Internet, so that you forgo the expense of buying and maintaining this software yourself.
In the press release, the company’s announces Service Cloud 2 -- what they claim is “the world’s first knowledge as a service.” Really? So where is “knowledge” found on the salesforce.com’s pricelist?
As described, the product is “the first ever multi-tenant knowledge base designed for cloud computing.” The “cloud” in this case, consists of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, also articles found by search engines, plus the client’s internal storehouse — all filtered, consolidated and deployed to client service agents and public websites.
The fact is -- cumulusIQ invented the term Knowledge as a Servicesm (KaaS). Our service mark is now pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But more to the point, we actually do what knowledge as a service means. We don’t offer software functionality; we offer specialized knowledge, prequalified and on demand from cloud-based experts.
as a Service is too important a concept simply to become marketing speak. Vendors like us, that actually do offer
knowledge as a service, will emerge — possibly with the help of technology from
vendors like salesforce.com. But it is a
mistake to confuse the platform with the product.