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Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Greg O'Connor, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan

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Obama for America’s Technology Dream Team Taps Salesforce for Mission-Critical Engagement with Millions of Voters and Volunteers

Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), the enterprise cloud computing (http://www.salesforce.com/cloudcomputing/) company, today announced that Obama for America’s winning 2012 presidential campaign tapped Salesforce for many functions central to its 2012 operations. With the Salesforce Service Cloud, Salesforce Chatter and Salesforce Platform, President Barack Obama’s successful campaign powered its constituent correspondence, contact center, battleground state budget management and surrogate event management functions. Hundreds of campaign workers and volunteers took advantage of the flexibility and massive scalability of salesforce.com’s cloud computing platform to manage and respond to 5.7 million voter inquiries and 1.5 million voter contact records over a span of 13 months, including an enormous Election Day spike of 80,000 inquiries in a single day.

Comments on the News:

  • “Key to the campaign’s success was a technology platform that allowed us to engage with constituents and make data-driven decisions in real time,” said Michael Slaby, chief information and innovation officer, Obama for America. “In addition, Salesforce massively scaled to meet our real-time engagement and decision-making needs.”
  • “The Obama campaign represented as talented a group of technology innovators working together that has ever been assembled,” said Vivek Kundra, executive vice president, emerging markets, salesforce.com. “We’re honored they chose salesforce.com’s social and mobile cloud technologies to deliver so many different solutions that were central to the first campaign built for the social era.”

Salesforce Massively Scales and Helps the Obama Campaign Win

The Obama team needed to rapidly deploy a solution that would massively scale without purchasing or maintaining costly software, hardware or infrastructure. Speed, scale and cost were key factors in its decision to choose the enterprise cloud leader, salesforce.com. Salesforce.com’s social, mobile and cloud technologies powered these mission-critical functions of the President’s winning campaign:

  • Constituent Correspondence: The campaign turned to the Service Cloud to manage 5.7 million voter inquiries over a period of just 13 months, averaging more than 14,000 inquiries per day and peaking at 80,000 inquiries in a single day on Election Day.
    • The campaign deployed the Service Cloud to manage millions of incoming pieces of correspondence via email and the Web that were then classified, tagged and organized according to the interests, needs, or requests of the correspondents, who contacted the campaign about polling locations, the President’s policy positions, donations, and hundreds of other topics.
    • Hundreds of volunteers were given access to the app via the Salesforce Platform’s field-level security, where they reviewed each inquiry and tagged those requiring resolution.
    • Stories about how the President’s policies had personally affected constituents were submitted into Salesforce. Automated workflow allowed staff to nominate promising stories for further promotion. One story submitted online was highlighted in President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.
  • Contact Center: The Obama campaign selected the Service Cloud to power its contact center because it needed to move with tremendous speed, getting hundreds of volunteers instantly ramped up as the campaign’s primary contact center agents. Volunteers from around the country logged into the Service Cloud and, using VoIP technology, became instant contact center agents able to respond to millions of voters from across the country. Deploying the Service Cloud’s visual workflow and call scripting features, the Obama campaign enabled its volunteers to resolve inquiries quickly.
  • State Campaigns Budget Management: Distributing scarce resources among the 50 states is critical in any campaign. A custom app built on the Salesforce Platform tracked “committed” and “actual” budget data from the states in real time, allowing state directors to maximize resources coming from the campaign and powering dashboards at campaign headquarters that allowed the finance team to make more strategic spending decisions. All of the collaboration in this app was powered by Salesforce Chatter, the #1 enterprise social network and the standard for how businesses and organizations collaborate. Chatter’s social networking features such as profiles, real-time feeds and trending topics combined with the information and processes in Salesforce helped the Obama campaign collaborate around information in the budgeting app and make vital decisions more quickly.
  • Surrogate Engagement and Event Management: Among the more difficult tasks for a presidential campaign is managing speaking requests and tracking appearances of thousands of individuals who serve as official campaign surrogates. More than 4,000 individuals requested to speak on behalf of the President’s campaign during the 2012 election and the list included everyone from grassroots Democratic Party activists to some of America’s most well-known celebrities from business, entertainment and politics. To successfully manage this daunting task, the Obama campaign developed another custom app on the Salesforce Platform. Using custom objects, the campaign designed an app that managed the vetting process for thousands of potential surrogates and tracked their appearances and created itineraries for more than 7,000 events across the country.

Businesses and Government Agencies Trust Salesforce to Build Their Social Front Office

More than 100,000 companies and government agencies including Burberry, GE Capital and the Texas Department of Information Resources have successfully deployed Salesforce technologies to connect with their customers, constituents, partners and employees in entirely new ways. This success extends to the public sector, where leading innovators across the U.S. federal government, as well as state and local governments in more than 90 percent of states, are using salesforce.com to transform government for the social era.

A worldwide social revolution is taking place today. There are more than 4.5 billion social network users across the globe, and they are having more than 150 million conversations every day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. But the social revolution is no longer just a consumer movement, it is creating a customer revolution for every business and government agnecy. Salesforce.com’s transformational cloud, social and mobile technologies are enabling businesses and government agencies to build their complete social front office. With six product lines -- Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Chatter, Work.com, and the Salesforce Platform -- salesforce.com customers have the tools to unlock greater levels of productivity and growth between themselves and their customers and constituents.

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About Salesforce.com

Founded in 1999, salesforce.com is the enterprise cloud computing leader. Using salesforce.com’s social and mobile cloud technologies, companies can connect with customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways. Based on salesforce.com's real-time, multitenant architecture, the company's platform and apps give customers the tools to create a social front office and revolutionize the way they sell, service, market, collaborate, work and innovate.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

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