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  • Author: Amol Dalvi

    Amol Dalvi

Archive for the ‘Integration’ Category

Google SocialGraph API

Posted by Amol Dalvi on February 1, 2008

Google has launched an API around social networking. In the words of Google:

What is the Social Graph API?

The Social Graph API makes information about the public connections between people on the Web easily available and useful for developers. Developers can query this public information to offer their users dramatically streamlined “add friends” functionality and other useful features.

Now here is what I understand of it – 

We all know that Google crawls the web and figures out which pages link to each other. Google is also crawling the web to find out how sites are related to each other. This is done using –

 a) “XFN”: You can change the links on your page (the <a href=””> tags) to include a parameter called “rel”. “rel” basically indicates how is the linked site related to the current site – is it a friend’s site, or is it a colleague’s site, or is it another of my sites, etc.

b) “FOAF”: Include a series of tags at the top of your site page(s) to indicate who your friends are.

Google is basically going through the “rel” parameters and the FOAF xml tags and storing how one site is related to another. And they have now made this information available to everyone via their new API.

Take a look at the 3 minutes video here, particularly the scenario at the end.

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Integrating Vontoo and Salesforce.com

Posted by Amol Dalvi on December 19, 2007

Last week we released the latest version of 5Buckets. This last release was centered around one major feature – integrating with Vontoo.

Vontoo integration screenshot

Vontoo is a permission based voice messaging product. Their tagline is “Say It. Send It. Track It.” Essentially you can create audio clips and have Vontoo make phone calls to your list of opt-in subscribers. Sounds a little intrusive? Initially I thought so too. Phone calls after all have a little urgency to them. So receiving marketing messages on your phone is definitely annoying.

However, there are many situations where I want to get a phone call – school delays, weather alerts come to mind first. But beyond those reminder of a webinar I signed up for or a company wide communication by the CEO also lend themselves to phone calls. Vontoo has a customer in the music industry. The band has recorded messages and phone calls go out to fans about upcoming concerts, ticket sales & CD releases. Hmm, I certainly won’t mind a recorded message from Bono or Paul McCartney. 🙂

5Buckets is now integrated with Vontoo. It is another “output device” much like ExactTarget is an output device for email communications. The “input device” – the placeholder for phone numbers & email addresses – can be Salesforce.com or your own SQL Server database. For example, you can create a report in Salesforce.com that lists customers that completed their one year anniversary with you. Every day, 5Buckets will pull from Salesforce.com the list of customers with anniversary today and send them a pre-recorded voice message from Vontoo thanking them for their business.

This simple scenario can be extended to include email communications. For example, 30 days before the anniversary date an email could be sent by 5Buckets reminding the same customers that their renewal is due. An email as a renewal reminder, and a personal phone call on their anniversary thanking the customer when they renew.

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Integrating Salesforce.com and Boldchat

Posted by Amol Dalvi on November 17, 2007

A project we are wrapping up here at Right On Interactive is an integration between Salesforce.com and a chat tool called “Boldchat”. You may have been to web sites where they let you chat with the sales person or a customer service representative. So, instead of emailing or calling the company, you can chat with a live person right on the company’s website. Boldchat is one such product that enables companies to provide the chat feature on their website.

                                                                                 Click to Chat 

We have a customer that uses Boldchat on their website; the chat is used by prospects looking for product information. We recently implemented Salesforce.com for this customer and customized their online quote request form to create an Opportunity in Salesforce.com when someone submits the form. Customer was really happy with the way the Opportunities were coming in from the online quote form (slight digression – the quote form checks if the person submitting the form is already in SFDC and creates or updates the record; additional data is captured in a custom object) that he decided that he wants the chat sessions in Boldchat to create Opportunities in SFDC too.

Boldchat is a mature product. They have a well documented API. So, the initial question of “how can we get the data out of Boldchat” was answered quickly – use the API! The next question on my mind was – “but chat sessions are quite unstructured”. Unlike an online quote form, an IM session is very loose and “all over the place”. There is no telling when or how chat visitor indicated their name, their contact information or what product they were looking for. I even looked at the some of the chat sessions and the sessions were literally all over the place. They ranged from simple questions to detailed technical discussions.

We solved the problem by using what’s called a “pre-chat survey”. The chat visitor is required to fill-out some initial information like their name & phone number and some other optional information. That gives us the basic information we need to create/update Contacts in SFDC; and the entire text of the chat session is then dropped in as an Opportunity with the LeadSource set to Boldchat.

 Boldchat’s website is: www.boldchat.com and more info about Boldchat’s API is here: http://wiki.boldchat.com/api/ 

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