Dreamforce 2019 concluded with a bang on November 22, enriching the lives of delegates as always. Here are the key takeaways from the tech extravaganza.
1. Commitment to Strategic Alliances
The image of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff delivering his keynote address in front of a screen displaying the who’s who of the tech space: Microsoft, Apple, AWS, Google, IBM, HPE, Cisco, Dell, Alibaba — with Salesforce in the middle – makes a striking statement of the new world order in tech. The actual address underscored Salesforce’s commitment to being a key and responsible player in the comity of enterprises. He said “We realize you do have more than Salesforce, and we commit to you we will work with everybody. We will not create boundaries between us… We will operate as one community.”
True to form, DF19 saw Salesforce unveiling a slew of major strategic partnerships and alliances with Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.
First off the block was the redesigned Salesforce Mobile App and a Trailhead GO learning app. Both deliver rich customer experiences with exclusive iOS and iPadOS features.
The new Service Cloud Voice integrates seamlessly with Amazon Connect. Customer agents get a complete set of tools to make their jobs easier, and customer service improves in the process.
Salesforce Tableau expands its strategic relationship with Amazon Web Services. One of the major announcements in DF19 was the Modern Cloud Analytics (MCA), which help customers unlock the power and flexibility of self-service analytics in the cloud.
Extending the core of strategic partnership to Microsoft, Salesforce named Microsoft Azure as its public cloud provider for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The new integration will connect Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud with Microsoft Teams.
Salesforce is now $17 billion strong and now has enough leverage to become a unifying force even between disparate technologies it doesn’t own.
2. Focus on Customer 360 and Integrated Customer Data
DF18 saw the launch of Customer 360, to consolidate disparate customer data and make it actionable. At DF19, Salesforce expanded the scope of Customer 360, pushing it as a simple and user-friendly platform to bring all the clouds together.
DF19 also saw the launch of Customer 360 Truth, a new set of data and identity services. Customers may now connect data from across sales, service, marketing, commerce and other domains, and build a “single source of truth” through a single, universal Salesforce ID for each customer.
Salesforce’s thrust on Customer 360 underscores its wider commitment to data analytics. “Data is an important part of everything we are doing and everything you are doing as our customers…. …. We can squarely say this fourth wave of computing is now upon us… We’ve moved from systems of record to systems of engagement… to systems of intelligence. Now we’re moving from systems of intelligence towards something we’ve talked about for years – a single source of truth,” underscored Benioff in his keynote address.
3. Analytics Spread to Voice
Einstein Voice, which enables users to talk to the CRM, occupies a pivotal position in the Salesforce’s stable of products.
The new Einstein Voice Skills launched in DF19 stretches Einstein’s capabilities. Enterprises can now create custom voice-powered apps to reimagine workflows and processes, eliminating manual data entry or manual Salesforce navigation from the mix. A simple set-up page allows developers and admins to build custom skills for any CRM action.
The Service Cloud Voice also receives a significant enhancement. The new Voice integrates telephony natively inside Service Cloud, to unify phone, digital channels and CRM data in a central console. The new transcription capabilities convert voice to text automatically. This takes customer support to the next level, enriching insights and serving up AI-powered recommended responses to customers.
The new Einstein Call Coaching for Sales Cloud allows managers to surface insights and trends within conversational data. The Natural language processing capabilities identifies keywords and raises alerts to significant trends such as spikes in competitor mentions or budget discussions.
4. MuleSoft’s New Integration Tools and Learning Modules
Now, anybody can become an “Integration Trailblazer.” MuleSoft’s new pre-packaged connectors, accompanied by learning modules, allows even a layman to connect data sources from anywhere, leverage Einstein’s intelligent data mapping capabilities, and roll out API-led connectivity. All without a single line of code.
MuleSoft, along with Deloitte, Accenture and other partners have committed to skill up 100,000 Integration Trailblazers over the next five years.
5. Focus on Tableau
Expectations were high on something big in analytics, considering that Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Tableau had not created a stir so far.
Salesforce did not disappoint here either. Tableau unveiled AskData, a Netflix-style, AI-powered, visualization recommendation engine. The enhanced natural language processing solution can now interpret complex questions, including year-over-year and geo-spatial comparisons.
Metrics, another new Tableau innovation, allow users to create and track key performance indicators from various dashboards easily, in a consistent format. The new Tableau Catalog allows IT to manage the proliferation of data sources and analytical content. …and Tableau’s yoga party on Friday morning was the icing on the cake.
Dreamforce is never just about tech announcements anyway. Energy provider ENGIE talked about how it uses the cloud to become part of the climate change solution. There was no shortage of star power either. From former U.S. President Barack Obama to film director Richard Curtis and World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe, big names from the corporate world, Hollywood and other fields made F19 a happy meeting ground of delegates with the big names.
The annual Dreamfest benefit concert, which raises millions of dollars for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland featured Fleetwood Mac and the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers.
With more than 171,000 registered attendees and 13 million online viewers, Dreamforce 2019 was easily the world’s largest tech conference. So start planning for DF 2020!