5 Key Takeaways From Dreamforce’18

October 4, 2018

When it comes to the world’s biggest, busiest SaaS conference, Salesforce makes it mark with 4 days of inspiration, innovation, learning, fun, and giveaways. More than 170,000 attendees from 83 countries descended on San Francisco this week to attend the annual Salesforce Dreamforce conference. The firm used the conference to unveil a multitude of new integration, productivity, and AI platform services, and also announced new strategic partnerships to help its partners connect with customers in new ways. It is difficult, to sum up, all at once over four days.

In an interesting keynote, Keith Block, co-CEO at Salesforce, said: “Nearly every company and every industry is going through an amazing digital transformation. Salesforce is enabling our customers to drive growth and success by putting their customers at the center of everything they do.” Below is a brief rundown of some key announcements so far at Dreamforce ’18.

1. Strategic Partnership:

Maybe the two biggest announcements Salesforce made was a new partnership with Apple and an expanded one with Amazon Web Services.
Apple and Salesforce strengthened ties by bringing together their CRM platform and iOS to create new mobile apps for business. Working together, Salesforce is redesigning its app to embrace Apple’s platform with exclusive new features on iOS. The firms will also provide tools and resources for millions of Salesforce developers to build their own native apps. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple said: “With the powerful combination of iPhone, iPad, and iOS – together with native Salesforce apps and the new Salesforce SDK – we can deliver great customer experiences for businesses around the world.”

AWS also got in on the act, with the two firms expanding their global strategic alliance announcing product integrations aimed at simplifying how customers can securely share and synchronize data across AWS and Salesforce services. “Because of the deep relationship between AWS and Salesforce – Salesforce runs the vast majority of their public cloud workloads in AWS, and Amazon relies on Salesforce across various businesses to enhance customer relationships – we have a unique ability to integrate our services and provide customers with enhanced solutions,” said Matt Garman, vice president, AWS Compute Services.

2. Say Hello to Einstein

Salesforce looked to strengthen ties between marketing and sales with tweaks to its Pardot solution that is now powered by Lightning and its Einstein AI platforms. It claims this will allow sales and marketing teams to work on a single platform and share campaign insights and customer history. It announced Einstein Voice, a new platform service that brings the power of voice to millions of Salesforce users. With Einstein Voice, any user will be able to talk to Salesforce, opening up new possibilities for employees to work smarter and connect with their customers in engaging new ways. There was an extremely deliberate and pervasive emphasis on active inclusivity at Dreamforce.

3. 360-degree view of your customers 

One of Salesforce’s biggest product announcements was Salesforce Customer 360 which delivers a 360-degree view of each individual customer, regardless of how many data sources your organization is juggling. Every company wants to deliver connected customer experiences across channels and departments.

For customers of Salesforce B2B products, all information is in one place, in a single data model for marketing, sales, B2B commerce and service. This makes it easy for a marketer to see how their campaigns turn into leads, opportunities, pipeline, and sales. A sales rep can see support cases before they go into a meeting. Support reps can see open sales opportunities. Customer account hierarchies and contact relationships enable even deeper visibility. With Customer 360, administrators register their various instances of Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Service Cloud.

It’s clear that customer relationships are becoming more complex and dynamic, and a modern Customer 360 is necessary to provide a complete picture of each one. Customer 360 will help companies move beyond an app or department-specific view of each customer by making it easier to create a single, holistic customer profile to inform every interaction.

4. Customer Experience requires end-to-end coordination

At Dreamforce, it seemed the terms “Digital Transformation” and “Customer-Centricity” were used almost interchangeably. It makes sense when you consider the digital transformation imperative—digital disruption has made the customer the scarcest resource in the economic equation. Deeper relationships protect that resource better than any other strategy, and digital data is what makes those deep relationships achievable at scale.

But like any healthy relationship, it’s all about communication. All it takes is one bad interaction between two or more human beings on both sides to set the customer on the path toward churn. They don’t even necessarily need to be bad touchpoints; can be just uncoordinated. In business, two rights can make a wrong!
How to achieve great customer experiences was the subject of many sessions, and it’s clear that it starts with an end-to-end, coordinated process.

5. Unify Customer Experiences with Financial Services Cloud

Announced new advancements in Financial Services Cloud to unify customer experiences across consumer and commercial lines of business in banking, wealth management, and insurance. Financial Services Cloud transforms the way wealth managers and retail bankers engage with clients and their families. Now, with a new solution for business and commercial bankers, as well as new AI innovations and integrations, financial institutions can unlock customer loyalty by delivering smarter and more connected experiences across every customer touchpoint.

Salesforce also showed its another side, announcing $18m in grants to local school districts and organizations to address the Bay Area’s top issues such as public education, homelessness, and cleanliness.

The sum included a $15.5m (£11.8m) grant to San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), $2m in grants to address homelessness and hunger in the Bay Area, and a $500,000 grant to the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

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