Launching with Salesforce Open CTI
As a cloud business we understand that technology moves very fast. No longer can you take snapshots of code and deliver it to customers as a ‘version’ that they use for an extended period of time.
As a cloud business that integrates with other cloud businesses that means we need to be extremely agile, as we deal not just with our own demanding product roadmap, but also new developments from our partners.
Until the Summer ’12 release Salesforce.com had integrated with telephony systems using a software-based CTI adapter. With the latest release they have moved to a browser based API called Open CTI. NewVoiceMedia is really proud to be launching our new integration with Salesforce Open CTI on the very same day that Salesforce.com release the upgrade.
I spent some time with our developers to understand how they were able to turn this new product around in time for launch day.
Steve Fenton headed up the development team working on Salesforce Open CTI, “Salesforce.com told us about their plans in advance of the Spring ’12 release. There were some preliminary steps in that release that changed the CTI panel in Salesforce to work on Web technology. We then had a couple of tele-conferences with the Salesforce.com team in the build up to the Summer ’12 release where they demo’d the new integration and discussed how me might use it.”
Salesforce.com provide really good quality API documentation Steve explained, “as soon as it was released, we had a proof of concept on a developer account within a couple of days. We then put the whole team on the Open CTI integration as soon as in-progress stories had flowed through the Kanban board.” (You can find out more about how Kanban boards are used to organise software development on Wikipedia).
Steve went on to explain that because of the way NewVoiceMedia had previously integrated with Salesforce via the API instead of the software-based CTI adapter we had a head start, “Their Open CTI API is really well suited to what we need – it gives us lots of opportunities to make further improvements in how the agents interact with Salesforce while taking calls.”
I asked Steve what it was about our development methodology that meant we could deliver a fully working solution to customers in such a short time frame, ”We have a principle whereby the product owner can change the “Pending” column as often as he likes – but once a story is in progress we let it flow through the board. This meant that we could switch to the Salesforce Open CTI integration almost immediately.”
“Because we break things down into single usable features, we can prioritise the most important parts of the integration and leave nice-to-have features, or features with higher levels of uncertainty to later. This is how we have created a fully working Open CTI integration to demo to Salesforce.com in one week.”
We hope this post has given you a good insight into the benefits of an Agile development methodolgy. For more information why not have a look at our Agile series of blog posts by Rob Lambert from our developer team.
If you are a customer looking to transition to the new functionality, one of our team will be in contact with you over the coming weeks to confirm the process and ensure a seamless change for your users.