2020 has been a consequential year for Salesforce. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the opening keynote of Dreamforce 2020.
With Dreamforce over, we have decided to break down the opening keynote by Marc Benioff and Co. and what it means for the nature of the tech industry.
As with all Dreamforce opening keynotes, this year began with a short introduction from Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce. It has been a big year for Salesforce with numerous big name acquisitions (Slack, Vlocity) as well as a record year in revenue. Yet, as with all events this year, he began with the biggest news of the year – the pandemic.
“This is not the Dreamforce that I wanted” was the echoing slogan of this keynote. But like the rest of the year, Salesforce have adapted to the situation. Standing in fake snow outside the Salesforce Tower he discussed the digital imperative and the year Salesforce have had. He thanked the Trailblazers and the healthcare workers for the work they’ve done throughout the year as well as announcing $21.1Bn of revenue they have made this year, 4.2 million new jobs globally and the 1.2 trillion global economic impact of the Salesforce ecosystem.
Next up was the biggest piece of news in the Salesforce ecosystem. Mere hours before the keynote Salesforce officially announced their acquisition of Slack. So it was only natural that the first guest in this keynote was Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack Technologies.
Stewart praised the innovation of Salesforce as well as the possibility of this acquisition becoming one of the standout events in technological innovation of the last 50 years likening it to the release Windows 95 and the Apple 2.
We discuss the importance of this acquisition in our previous blog but Stewart’s appearance in the keynote only serves to highlight the importance Salesforce places in its acquisition. The acquisition fit in well with the themes of Dreamforce. Slack will help Salesforce capitalise on the “digital imperative” by helping companies all of the world transition to a digital framework
Salesforce continued to highlight the importance of its customer 360 focus in this Dreamforce. Bret Taylor, COO and President, highlighted Customer 360 as the key to becoming digital fast. While the introduction of Slack will augment communication through Salesforce,
the biggest technological announcement relating to the Customer 360 was the introduction of Hyperforce. Hyperforce is a reimagination of their current CRM for public clouds.
“Salesforce Hyperforce is a quantum leap forward in how Salesforce can accelerate our global customers’ digital transformations and empower them to grow, fast and at scale, on our trusted platform.”
Hyperforce promises to have the security and power of Salesforce’s current solutions with the agility of a public cloud. This means Salesforce will now have the capacity to support its rapidly growing customer base. More importantly, it will have the complete backwards compatibility. In other words, all current Salesforce apps, customisations and integrations will be completely supported by Hyperforce.
The New Normal
As discussed above, one of the key themes of this keynote was how Salesforce pivoted to accommodate for the pandemic. In line with Salesforce’s “do well and do good” slogan, the keynote described some of the biggest accomplishments Trailblazers and the Salesforce Ecosystem achieved when battling the global pandemic. Salesforce bought and sent over 60 million pieces of PPE to over 300,000 hospitals all over the world.
They also discussed Salesforce’s relationship with the public sector. This included the state of Rhode Island, where Customer 360 allowed for a single source of truth and dramatically improved the ability for the state to get back on its feet using contact tracing during the pandemic
Perhaps the most exciting technological innovation announced in the key note is Einstein Automate. Einstein Automate is a combination of 2 next-gen innovations; Flow Orchestrator and Mulesoft Composer.
Flow Orchestrator combines the power of Flows with the ingenuity of Salesforce Einstein to create bespoke, personalised automation. This will help streamline complex and mundane processes, personalise customer experiences and increase employee productivity with AI-generated responses.
On the other hand, Mulesoft Composer is a powerful new tool which will help integrate disparate data silos quickly and efficiently. It is essentially a vast library of click-not-code connectors and templates that will mean Salesforce administrators will be able to connect their orgs to all manner of softwares all through Salesforce.
Finally, here are some more exciting features we can expect in 2021 announced in the keynote.
Einstein Discovery Tableau
Einstein will be incorporated into Tableau. This means the combined power of Tableau’s data processing with Einstein Intelligence has the potential to create powerful forecasts into the future.
Workforce engagement are new tools to ease the burden on your service workers. An add on to service cloud, workforce engagement will predict peak service times to manage staffing and give your service team a complete view of the customers they are dealing with.
As the world has been forced into remote working (and it doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon) Salesforce have created Salesforce meetings. Similar to Zoom and Google Meets, this is a video call tool that hopes to be introduced early next year.
Einstein Call Coaching for Video
On top of Salesforce Meetings, Salesforce is adapting its voice call coaching to video. This uses Einstein to recommend next best actions, automatically log commitments in-call and turn your “performers into top performers”
In spite of everything, Salesforce have had a hugely successful year. Through a global pandemic they have continued to innovate. This was summed up in the week of this opening keynote with the acquisition of Slack happening mere hours before the keynote and have rightly earned their place as the the #1 CRM in the world. I for one am excited to see what the future holds.