Apple Integrates Salesforce Mobile App With Siri Shortcuts
Apple and Salesforce have collaborated to launch a revamped version of the cloud computing software giant’s app that can be controlled by voice. Apple’s Siri voice assistant can now operate the iOS app as part of the long-discussed partnership between Apple and Salesforce.
The biggest impact of the partnership is the iOS features that are now built into the Salesforce Mobile app, including the voice elements. Essentially, Siri now operates the app like its an iOS native tool. For instance, users can ask Siri about their next meeting and the voice assistant will use Salesforce to pull up the business profiles of the person and other relevant details culled from Salesforce’s Einstein AI. The update also adds some other Apple features to the app, including Face ID to open it and Handoff to keep updates synced across several devices. Salesforce and Apple also debuted a new Salesforce Mobile SDK so that developers can use the updated Apple software tools when creating new ways to use Salesforce.
The inclusion of Salesforce into Siri Shortcuts is important because of how it allows Salesforce to customize its app more than would normally be possible. Salesforce is likely benefitting to the improvements Apple made to Siri and the Shortcuts system earlier this year, including more conversational information gathering. Siri has been famously reticent in opening up Shortcuts and Siri integration to third-party developers. It’s why there are so many more Alexa and Google Assistant apps in comparison. Apple tends to stick to big, established companies when it comes to creating shortcuts. That’s true for the enterprise side like Salesforce as well as consumer-facing services like the recently added ability to order groceries from Walmart through Siri.
Business Software Race
Apple has worked with several major enterprise businesses to enhance their apps on its platform, including IBM and Accenture. Apple wants businesses to be as comfortable using their products as consumers, and unique offerings are a good way to encourage the businesses to sign up. And the prevalence and popularity of iPhones and other iOS devices gives Apple a solid lead on many fronts when it comes to enterprise services.
That doesn’t mean Apple and Siri lack competition, however. Microsoft has been doubling down on business and enterprise services for its Cortana voice assistant, including shutting down the Cortana mobile app. There are also a growing number of smaller companies looking to bring voice technology to businesses, from startups like Aider to mainstays like Oracle. Few companies have the name recognition of Apple and Salesforce, though, so any moves they make together bear watching when it comes to applying voice to enterprise technology.