Insights from Dreamforce 2017, the Salesforce Event of the Year
This is what we call the 4th industrial revolution. There’s all these amazing new technologies, things like autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence and nanotechnology and mobile computing and all these things are really hitting at once. And companies are really transforming themselves and bringing all these new technologies in really to connect with their customers in new ways. Everyone wants to join the 4th industrial revolution. We can’t leave anybody behind. – Marc Benioff at Dreamforce 2017
It’s not everyday that you hear of a tech event bringing together 170,000 customers, partners, admins and developers, but the 15th edition of Dreamforce managed to do just that. Touted as the biggest customer service event of the year and the largest software conference in the world, Dreamforce 2017 was a memorable gathering of ingenious and highly-skilled people that we’re proud to have witnessed in person. Below you can find some of the impressions of our CTO in regard to the keynotes that she attended and the best new features that were announced during the event.
5 Keynotes that Will Keep People Talking for Months
Marc Benioff kicked off Dreamforce ‘17 with yet another inspiring keynote, this time wearing some customized Adidas sports shoes. The company’s CEO started by thanking the Salesforce Ohana, the community of customers and partners who have helped shape Salesforce’s history. Next, Benioff pointed out that Salesforce is built on 4 core values: equity, growth, innovation and trust. In that direction, Salesforce has appointed a Chief Equality Officer, Tony Prophet, earlier this year, and has invested $6 million thus far to achieve equal pay among genders.
The fourth industrial revolution, which has AI-driven decision-making at the core, was also brought into discussion, with the mention that customers are the real driving force behind it. After all, 70% of companies doing B2B transactions now expect a personalized experience. Moreover, 90% of B2B buyers await sellers to have good knowledge about their needs.At the end of the Opening Keynote, Benioff introduced My Everything, a series of customized experiences for many Salesforce components. Keep reading if you want to find out more on this topic!
Salesforce Einstein empowers employees with endless knowledge and keeps customers happy by making more than 475 million predictions every day. That’s pretty neat, considering that the platform has just turned one, wouldn’t you say? Bill Hoffman, Chief Analytics Officer of US Bank, took the stage during the Einstein Keynote to demonstrate how AI can help Salesforce users trail new blazes. After all, Einstein is now part of several Salesforce Clouds.
What’s next for Salesforce Einstein? A Prediction Builder, Bots, Data Insights and a new data-explorer feature, according to Hoffman, who called the A in AI “augmented,” simply because “there’s nothing artificial about it.”
The Commerce Cloud Keynote was yet another memorable one. Commerce Cloud CEO Jeff Barnett explained how products made by Salesforce partners make it possible to offer digital shoppers a unified retail experience.
Barnett commented on how by the end of the year there would be $21B of merchandise processed through Commerce Cloud, which is more than 35% YOY and more than twice the industry average. This is achieved through 2,750 sites live in 50 countries. To give you an idea about the effectiveness of the Commerce Cloud, these sites touched more than 440M unique shopper visits during Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year, compared to Amazon’s 200M.
This year, Barnett announced several new features. The inclusion of Einstein AI capabilities will improve the accuracy of personalized search recommendations. Barnett showcased how these capabilities increased the average customer revenue by 6% for footwear maker Ugg, which had early access to the feature.
There was no big marketing campaign, no big systems implementation. It was merely turning on the innate capabilities of Einstein Commerce Cloud to provide a more personalized experience. – Jeff Barnett, Commerce Cloud CEO
The next thing Barnett demoed was what happened after connecting adtech of Marketing Cloud’s Data Management Platform (DMP) with the Commerce Cloud. Automating targeted mailing creation and making personalized recommendations is definitely something that can help retailers of all sizes. Compared to IBM, Oracle and Infor, Salesforce is somewhat new to the retail industry, but it still manages to make its presence known. Also, by acquiring Demandware and turning it into Commerce Cloud, one could argue that Salesforce didn’t actually start from scratch.
The Salesforce Admin Keynote didn’t only have it’s own hashtag – #AwesomeAdmin, but also its own Karaoke show, brought to us by Apex & The Limits. If you’re familiar with Salesforce, you probably already know that Apex & The Limits is the company’s band and the collective author of hits such as I Love WIT. You can find more of their songs on YouTube, in case you want a sing-along version of the challenges Salesforce customers, partners, admins and developers encounter every day.
Mike Rosenbaum, EVP CRM Applications, Kris Lande, Sr. Director Admin Marketing and Mike Gerholdt, Sr. Manager Admin Evangelism each talked about the amazing things made by the #AwesomeAdmin community. Some of them were:
- 63K ideas submitted
- 300B+ Process Builder transactions
- 218K+ custom Lightning components
Riding a high-speed motorcycle and owning a business might not have much in common, but Salesforce wanted to prove quite the opposite during the Community Cloud Keynote, which was aptly titled Put Your Customer in the Driver’s Seat. One of the reasons for this theme was the fact that Ducati, the renowned Italian motorcycle maker, was among the companies that showcased how Salesforce solutions enable companies to tighten their relationships with customers.
The ‘Connected Motorcycle’ envisioned by Ducati would gather information from the two-wheeled vehicles including mileage, maintenance histories and the overall state of each bike, and combine it with CRM data from Salesforce. Where does the Community Cloud come into play? In the portal built by Ducati using this platform.
Ducati has a long history of driving innovation with mechanical and electronic solutions that enhance the real-world, physical experience of riding a performance motorcycle. From this foundation, we have been able to evolve the relationship between the rider and machine even further to create a more ‘connected’ experience. By participating in Dreamforce, we will share our learnings and expertise to help others challenge traditional techniques by finding new ways to build better relationships with customers and increase ownership loyalty through brand confidence. – Jason Chinnock, CEO of Ducati North America
All in all, the Dreamforce 2017 keynotes brought new things to get excited about in the immediate future, at least until the Spring ‘18 Release, which we’ll also cover in detail, much like we did with the Winter ‘18 one.
5 Most Talked-About Salesforce Announcements
Dreamforce 2017 was all about customization and branding, and the five new features for existing products confirmed that once again. Intuitively named myLightning, mySalesforce, myEinstein, myIoT and myTrailhead, the feature will empower all of us Salesforce users to customize our experiences beyond the limits of imagination.
Ever wanted to bring Salesforce.org more in line with your business? The Theming and Design system of myLightning will enable you to change your Org’s colors to match your brand, and that as early as spring 2018. This feature will also come with App Builder with Dynamic Pages, Lightning Flow and Lightning Bolt. More good news about it? myLightning will be available at no additional cost!
mySalesforce, on the other hand, will enable devs to create their own mobile apps that can later be launched on Google Play & Apple stores. Customized apps will enable you to go beyond connecting with the customer and partner community, as users are offered a unified experience, all thanks to mySalesforce.
myEinstein is all about building point & click AI models that can manipulate the data inside of Salesforce. More importantly, myEinstein enables Salesforce users to build chatbots for around-the-clock customer service. Best of all? They can be created in just a few clicks!
The Salesforce ecosystem expands with each passing day, so looking for a way to train up is essential. Enter myTrailhead, the feature that enables businesses to create their own Trailhead platforms. Challenges, modules and badges are powered by gamification, to make the entire learning experience fun. Don’t act surprised if myTrailhead becomes the industry standard for learning!
Having noticed that most IoT cloud projects never reached completion because of how code heavy they were, Salesforce introduced myIoT. This feature takes the “Clicks not code” approach to automate things using an UI that resembles the Process Builder. Using myIoT, you can bring the power of CRM to connected devices.
Were you at Dreamforce 2017, as well? What new features did pique your interest? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
Can Dreamforce 2018 Top All This?
Considering the great number of new features we see every year, there’s no denying about that. We’ll leave you to watch and listen another Apex & The Limits song, which was released just this week, in expectation of Dreamforce ‘18.
Our advice would be not to sleep until Dreamforce 2018 kicks off, and to take advantage of all the new or improved Salesforce features. Want to talk more about any of them? Get in touch with us!