Today we welcome up-and-coming CRM vendor Zendesk to the diginomica partner family.
The long-established CRM segment is undergoing multiple transformations as it adapts to a more digitally connected world, in which customers demand a more rounded experience. The rising importance of customer service has given an opportunity for Zendesk, which originally found success with its flexible and intuitive support ticketing system, to broaden its footprint. With its latest results posting 36% annual growth and revenues expected to top $1 billion this year, Zendesk is riding that wave.
In late 2018, having already added engagement and analytics products, an acquisition led to the launch of Zendesk Sell, adding salesforce automation. At the same time, the company introduced its Sunshine CRM platform, built on Amazon Web Services. This has positioned Zendesk for a future in which sales and support are converging into a single continuum. As VP of Product Strategy Sam Boonin told us at the time:
We think they're going to merge together in very interesting ways ... We don't think CRM is going to look like it does now in five years.
Zendesk is also up-to-speed with the rise of conversational interfaces, and last year added technology that helps brands connect to customers across messaging and social media channels. Integration to the likes of WhatsApp is important to customers such as flower delivery business Bloom & Wild, who we spoke to about their use of Zendesk last year.
We see Zendesk as part of a new breed of vendors that take a more connected approach to enterprise applications than earlier generations. Its decision to migrate its infrastructure to AWS to create the Sunshine platform has given the vendor a very modern microservices architecture that allows customers to integrate closely with their own customer-facing and internal applications built on AWS. This is a markedly different approach than previous generations of enterprise applications, as Boonin told us:
Philosophically, companies like us — born of the public cloud, with restful interfaces, well after open source had become mainstream — we don't think of vendor lock-in, we think of openness.
Overall, Zendesk brings an innovative, fresh approach to engaging and serving customers that is very much in line with our own notion of the XaaS Effect in which businesses use digital connections to build a long-lasting relationship with customers.
In Zendesk's first contributed article as a diginomica partner, Adrian McDermott, President of Products, explores how businesses can embrace AI without losing the human touch, arguing for an approach that capitalizes on the respective strengths and weaknesses of machines and people.
We look forward to finding and telling more stories of how Zendesk's customers are using its platform to improve the customer experience and find new digitally connected ways of building engagement. We were planning to be at the annual Zendesk Relate conference, due to take place this week in Miami, but sadly that has had to be canceled due to coronavirus concerns. In such times, platforms like diginomica are all the more important for telling those stories and we'll be working to bring them to you over the coming days and beyond.