Customer service software firm Zendesk has launched its new open standards CRM platform, Sunshine, as well as new sales and data and analytics tools. The new products mark an expansion from Zendesk’s traditional customer support solutions.

The announcement was made at Zendesk’s global user conference, Relate 2018, taking place in San Francisco this week. The company has over 125,000 paid paid accounts including Australian customers Catch Group, Cotton On Group, Carsales, zipMoney and Bing Lee.


Sunshine is designed with open standards and is built on the AWS public cloud. According to Zendesk, it is a more flexible solution that’s not tied to legacy technology.

The openness means Sunshine and developers can adapt to changing customer expectations, something Zendesk argues is sorely missing in the current market.

“It’s time to break free from CRM platforms that think they’re the centre of the universe and lock you into an outdated view of the world,” said Mikkel Svane, Zendesk founder and CEO.

“We built Sunshine to shed light on the many different dimensions of customers and their data, while giving developers the freedom to build the way they want in the public cloud.”

Sunshine launches with Profile, Events and Custom Objects capabilities to capture and catalogue customer data. Profiles gives Zendesk customers a “single, unified view of the customer across all applications”. Events captures customer interactions in chronological order, and Custom Objects allows the addition of other relevant data.

In September Zendesk acquired FutureSimple, the company behind Base — best known for building sales force automation software — and has been exploring the impact AI and machine learning can have on its products.

Sales and data tools

Zendesk also announced Zendesk Sell, a sales force automation (SFA) tool that integrates with Sunshine.

“Sell marks the first step in integrating SFA software into the Zendesk family of products,” a company statement said.

“With Sell, information will be able to flow seamlessly between support and sales on the Sunshine CRM platform, resulting in a single conversation with customers and better alignment between teams.”

The company also unveiled Zendesk Explore, a data and analytics tool for improving customer experiences. Explore allows users a single view and measurement capability across all Zendesk support channels, according to the company.

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