Toru Takahashi
3 min readNov 24, 2018


Relate Report; Zendesk will be Customer eXperience Platform

I attended Zendesk Relate 2018 in San Francisco.

In Zendesk Relate, Zendesk launched their new products; Zendesk Sunshine, Zendesk Sell, Zendesk Explore.
Through this announcement, I feel that Zendesk is moving toward a sort of Customer Data Platform or more like Customer eXperience Platform.

As a noteworthy point, Zendesk Sunshine is to resolve a critical issue of prior Zendesk, which is based on a legacy architecture of support ticket. Previously, their products are/were(just launched, so still) associated with a ticket strongly. Only support department or IT department is able to manage Zendesk products. But, they built a new data layer to manage customer data under Zendesk Products. By Zendesk Sunshine, we have powerful capabilities including Profiles, Events and Custom Objects that allow customers to store and connect to all their customer data.

This would be released from them to involved with not only support but also Customer Success or more customer-facing roles using Zendesk Sell (a.k.a Base (CRM product), Zendesk Connect (Proactive communication tool).

As a Support Engineering Manager, I got some impressions;

  • Customer Support” is shifting to “Customer eXperience“, which covers entire customer communication among multiple departments toward unified communications with customers. So, now, Support needs to change own mind as being a Sales and being a Customer Success, and being a Marketing to collaborate together. Because you are not the only person who talks with a customer.
  • All SaaS platform having multiple products related customer communications will move towards being Customer Data Platform. So, in the future, the important thing is to be a Unified Customer Data Platform which unifies multiple customer data in real-time. Because each platform has a strong point than others, for example, Zendesk is a strong Support platform which provides Ticket/Chat/Proactive Communication/Phone/Documentation/etc. And, 1 enterprise company will potentially have multiple CDP platforms. Each CDP has a function to manage customer data. At that time, we will see a data sync issue between multiple platforms. At that time, the next challenge on CDP, as from my own service (Arm Treasure eCDP) standpoint, is to unify all customer data in real-time and enrich customer data through multiple platforms.

Overall, I had enjoyed spending a lot of sessions in Zendesk Relate. I appreciate Zendesk Japan team, especially Hirai-san, who organized my trip.

I hope I will join as a speaker in the next Zendesk Relate.

With other companies coming from Japan. I'm at the lower right.