Getting in Front of the Wave

On Wednesday, September 30th, Google will open up their Wave preview to about 100,000 people.  Details are at Google Wave Developer Blog and The Official Google Blog I am excited to announce that we have put together a new demo on how you might leverage the Wave platform on salesforce.com and how you might leverage salesforce.com from Wave.

Wave is a truly exciting and seminal Cloud technology.  Google Wave was invented by two brothers Jens Rasmussen and Lars Rasmussen at Google that builds on the concepts of AJAX combined with fresh look at Operation Transformation.  It’s difficult at this point in time to fully understand the ways in which this technology may transform web based communication.  It will be up to the community of developers working within and without the enterprise to realize the evident potential of Wave.

From a technical perspective, Wave has the ability to interact with other cloud platforms, like the Force.com platform.  It is this interaction that we have demonstrated in relatively short time frame in the demonstration announced in this post.

The use case for the demo is a fictitious Mobile Services Company named Booyah.  This company asks customers to register the products that they purchase and one piece of information that is returned upon registration is an email address for support.  The email address is actually to a Wave robot created by the company’s service and support organization.  When a customer encounters a problem with their product, they can begin the process of resolution by contacting the robot from Google Wave.

This initial contact begins an interaction to provide results from the company’s knowledge base, which of course is implemented using salesforce.com’s Service Cloud.  Through a short series of questions and responses a list of possible solutions to the customers problem can be presented.

 

Behind the scenes, the robot identifies the customer by her Wave id and can tailor the interaction based on the customers purchase and support history providing a personalized yet automated path to resolution.  The robot also creates a case on the salesforce.com side so that this support interaction can be managed by Booyah.

To take the experience beyond a simple knowledge base search, the customer also has the option of requesting a live chat with an available support representative.  This is where Google Wave really starts to shine.  If none of the suggested solutions work for the customer, she can simply click a link to request a chat.  Wave sends this request to the robot which in turn makes a request to salesforce.com to find an available representative.  That representative is then added to the wave as a participant and the personalized service begins.

Behind the scenes the robot request is evaluated by a salesforce.com web service built in Force.com Code.  When the representative is found the web service creates a task and a reminder for the task and assigns it to the representative.  The representative is, of course, working in the salesforce.com UI and sees an alert window as the reminder is triggered.  The representative can simply click on the link to the case shown in the alert window to access the case.

The cool part about this is that when the case was created, enough information about the wave was included so that the active wave could be embedded directly into the layout of the Case detail page.  This embedded Wave has full interactive capability so that the support representative can carry on the conversation with the customer from the Case detail page.  And, the wave, which was the original channel for the support case can be accessed at any point in time later, including all the interaction with the customer.

 

I’m confident that with the creative minds in the Force.com community, as evidenced by the fantastic Sites created during our Sites contest, that many more and truly valuable use cases can be implemented by combining these two amazing platforms.

If you want to learn more about creating Force.com and Wave solutions be sure to attend the Riding the (Google) Wave session at Dreamforce this year.

You can also stay up-to-date on Google Wave at the Google Wave Developer Blog.

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Getting in Front of the Wave