Dreamforce18 – A celebration of a thriving ecosystem!
“This is a celebration of you, our Trailblazers, of everything you are doing. It’s an incredible moment.”, said Marc Benioff, Salesforce Chairman and Co-CEO as he kick-started the 16th Dreamforce with his keynote. And celebration it indeed was – with 171,000+ “Trailblazers” coming in from around 90+ countries assembling at this Natural Park Themed Venue with 400+ Live trees, Waterfall, and 400+ exhibitions displaying a plethora of services and solutions built around the Salesforce ecosystem. With their sheer exuberance, the Trailblazers indeed blended learning and fun at every step. Live performances by Metallica and Janet Jackson at the DreamFest was the icing on the cake.
Salesforce clearly is one of the most thriving and focused Ecosystem in the Tech Space today and the event hammered this point all the way through – even on the public billboards!
What was the Buzz all about?
Inorganic extensions to the ecosystem
It is a huge year for Salesforce in terms of its key and focused acquisitions.
Mulesoft Inc. – Enhanced Integration Cloud
Attic Labs – Enhanced Backend for Collaboration Tool – Quip
Cloudcraze Software LLC – Enhanced Commerce Cloud
Datarama Inc. – Enhanced AI/ML Capabilities for Marketing Cloud
The $6.5bn acquisition of Mulesoft was the biggest buzz – and rightfully so – as it shall now allow Salesforce users to build microservices and connect disparate platforms in an organization with SF for a connected and holistic Customer Experience.
One of Salesforce’s biggest product announcements at DF18 was Customer 360, enabled and powered by Mulesoft. There is indeed a market need to make customer data actionable no matter how and where from that data is brought together. Customer 360 – as a concept – does exactly that – consolidating customer insights across the Salesforce clouds, through the acquisition, retention, servicing and advocacy tracks.
Having seen the demo, I can say that Customer 360 is still not there in terms of offering a true comprehensive customer view—it’s more of an admin tool for connecting various Salesforce clouds as of now. But it created a buzz at almost all the sessions and conversations and I am positive that Salesforce will execute the concept on ground in much granular detail, sooner than anticipated.
In the world of Siri and Alexa, Salesforce’s Einstein too has found his own voice. This excited both the analysts as well as the attendees as now users can update Customer info, Compose emails/ updates, and schedule meetings by just talking to their mobile device and Einstein Voice will transcribe all these commands using NLP to sync up the CRM!
Salesforce also strengthened its partnerships with Amazon and Apple which now means that Salesforce has access to the power of Siri and Alexa too. This will only enhance the key benefit of using Cloud CRM – that of accessing data across multiple devices – with Salesforce Mobile SDK being optimized for Swift (Apple’s programming Language) and Amazon Connect CTI Adapter being available on AppExchange.
Customers can now also purchase Google Marketing Platform products — including Google Analytics 360, Google Optimize 360 and Google Tag Manager 360 — directly from Salesforce in the U.S. and Canada. This simplifies the buying experience for customers looking to increase their marketing effectiveness with an integrated mix of industry-leading solutions, including Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Sales Cloud and Google Analytics 360. Read more.
Dreampitch is now more of a mainstay at the Dreamforce, and it surely was back again this year giving startups a great opportunity to get a grant of $250,000. Many startups locked horns in front of a panel of judges and will.i.am, with each getting 5 minutes to pitch to the panel on why they were the most deserving.
So there you go – the five key takeaways from Dreamforce’18. Now what can we expect from Salesforce after the curtains came down on the event? In part two, I predict two key areas that Salesforce will (have to) focus on over the next one year to drive greater adoption and market share. Stay tuned!