Salesforce acquires Assistly

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Salesforce today announced it has bought two-year-old firm Assistly in a deal worth $50 million (£32 million).

Assistly specialises in customer service applications. Using its platform, companies can address customer complaints or queries using a number of social networking channels, web chats, email or phone all through a single interface.

The major selling point it pushes though is set-up time. As it is hosted in the cloud, Assistly can be set up in a matter of minutes and can scale for any number of employees to utilise.

It also sticks with the cloud ideal pricing model, charging in as small increments as per hour. For full-time users, there is a pretty small $49 fee per person per month for unlimited use.

The pricing and apparent simplicity of Assistly makes it appeal to the small and medium business (SMB) market.

Salesforce is already famed for its CRM, but Marc Benioff, chief executive (CEO) of the company, is keen to incorporate this SMB customer support element further into his business, building on its existing Service Cloud platform.

“Salesforce has spent over a decade democratising enterprise applications in the cloud,” he said.

“The Assistly acquisition doubles down on that strategy by putting us at the heart of the new trend of customer service help desk applications that have instant sign up and zero-touch onboarding [making an employee more productive], expanding the potential reach of the Service Cloud to millions of companies around the world.”

With the inclusion of social networking elements, Assistly also bolsters Salesforce’s latest drive towards the “social enterprise” – a point it laboured at its recent Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, attended by Cloud Pro.

A blog on Assistly’s website attempted to reassure customers little will change at the company but its innovation will move faster thanks to Salesforce’s copious resources.

It read: “The team at Assistly will continue to operate as we have in the past. The product will evolve, and you will see us remain the super-responsive and innovative force you’ve come to know.”

“We will continue to add features and capabilities for your benefit, but at a faster rate using the resources of is committed to Assistly’s success and your success. I assure you that Assistly will maintain its focus on helping companies like yours deliver awesomely responsive customer service.”

Alex Bard, CEO at Assistly, added: “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.”

“As part of and the Service Cloud family, Assistly can continue to deliver and improve one of the world’s most-innovative customer-service applications. For our customers, this will be an unbeatable combination.”

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.