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Event Coverage 8 minutes

Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2019: Top 10 Insights from Day 3 and Wrap-Up

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Coresight Research

Key Points

The Coresight Research team attended Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2019 in San Francisco from November 19 to 22. These are our key insights from day three—and the event overall.

  • The major product announcement was Customer 360 Truth, which leverages the MuleSoft platform to pull data from diverse sources to offer a single source of truth.
  • Einstein AI has been implemented across the Salesforce platform, and now functions such as “complete the set” can be added to a commerce platform via a drag-and-drop interface.
  • Voice recognition has also been implemented across the platform and is enabling new applications such as real-time call transcript creation and tools for sales team coaching. Service Cloud Voice now integrates with Amazon Connect to provide enhanced customer service.
  • Education was a major focus at Dreamforce: Salesforce worked with Apple to perfect Trailhead educational apps for iOS, and Trailhead also offers courses covering AWS. Veterans and career-changers can take Trailhead courses and earn badges to build and enhance their careers.
  • Other key topics included the essential need for diversity, Salesforce’s elevation of the ethical use of its platform to the C-suite, and Sales Cloud’s accessibly to visually impaired workers. In Southwest Airlines’ customer-service contact centers, roughly one in 10 employees use accessibility tools.
  • The highlight of day three was a fireside chat between Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff and President Obama, who discussed his current activities including his foundation. President Obama advised the audience to “be kind, be useful.”

1) Customer 360 Truth pulls together data from disparate platforms to create a “single source of truth” to enable businesses to make informed decisions

The major product announcement at Dreamforce was Customer 360 Truth, which connects data across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more to create a single, universal Salesforce ID for each customer. Customers’ previous interactions and shared preferences are combined to create a comprehensive profile—a “single source of truth.” This means companies can provide better customer service and create a personalized marketing journey with product recommendations. It also helps predict the best sales opportunities.

Salesforce announced the latest iteration of Customer 360, a platform of tools designed to gather customer data into a single record
Source: Coresight Research

 

2) MuleSoft is a major, behind-the-scenes enabler of the Salesforce platform and driver of the single source of truth

MuleSoft (which Salesforce acquired in March 2018) is a platform for building application networks, enabling the graphic integration of disparate datasets without the need for programming. At the conference, Louis Vuitton (a customer and partner of Salesforce) demonstrated how it integrates inventory data with consumer purchasing data to create personalized marketing e-mails—enabling the company to more effectively communicate with its target market and offer more accurate recommendations. The speaker used the example of having received an e-mail advertising a pair of sneakers that he had already purchased: With order history data, Louis Vuitton can avoid sending such an e-mail.

Louis Vuitton uses MuleSoft to create personalized marketing e-mails, such as to promote its fiber-optic bag
Source: Coresight Research

 

3) Voice recognition has been implemented across the Salesforce platform and is enabling new levels of customer service

When Einstein Voice Assistant was announced at Dreamforce 2018, it could let customers  receive personalized daily briefings and make conversational updates to Salesforce via the Salesforce mobile app or a smart speaker. This year, the platform was upgraded so developers can build custom voice-powered apps, applying natural language processing to voice conversations.

Einstein Call Coaching is a new function of the Salesforce Sales Cloud. It gives managers insights into and identify trends within the sales teams’ conversations with clients. The software uses automatic speech recognition and natural language processing to identify keywords in sales call transcripts—such as competitor names—and provides recommendations on objection handling or pricing discussions, for example. Sales managers can then use these insights to coach and train salespeople. The software can replay relevant sections of conversations and provide statistics on the performance of a sales team.

The figure below displays examples of consumer technologies that integrate artificial intelligence (AI), such as smart watches and intelligent voice devices. Salesforce describes this proliferation of AI as the “intelligence revolution.”

The intelligence revolution is the proliferation of AI-integrated consumer devices
Source: Coresight Research

 

4) Salesforce’s Einstein AI technology is available throughout the platform and features built-in product recommendations such as “complete the set”

The Einstein AI platform includes a function called “complete the set,” which makes complementary product recommendations. This feature can be added by dragging and dropping it onto an e-commerce webpage. Kiehl’s demonstrated this functionality on its website: When a shopper adds a personal care product to the digital cart, the AI suggests the remaining items in the set, to “complete the routine.”

Kiehl’s “Complete the Routine” Source: Coresight Research

 

5) Education was a major theme at Dreamforce: Trailhead, AWS and Apple

Salesforce offers an online learning platform, called Trailhead, through which individuals can complete online educational classes to earn Salesforce badges and certifications. During the keynote presentation on day one of Dreamforce, the company offered the example of veteran Sheldon Simmons, who struggled to build a career after leaving the military. Although he did not have a technical background, Simmons earned these certifications and is now a Salesforce consultant.

The company also announced that Amazon Web Services’ learning content will be available on Trailhead.

Apple and Salesforce announced the launch of two apps: a redesigned Salesforce mobile app and a new Trailhead GO learning app, for iOS and iPadOS. The companies also announced the new Salesforce Mobile iOS Software Development Kit, which enables developers to easily build and deploy native apps for iPhone and iPad. The companies announced their strategic partnership at Dreamforce 2018.

Tailhead on iOS
Source: Company reports

 

6) Tableau rounds out the product portfolio and enables users to drill down into data without the need for programming

Tableau, a wholly owned subsidiary of Salesforce, demonstrated at Dreamforce how its graphical user interface can be used to analyze insurance data, filtering claims by type, region, geography and date. The user is able to view various levels of detail without the need for programming. Tableau also enables the user to interrogate the data by typing a query in in plain English—the platform uses natural language processing to understand the query and its built-in intelligence software to analyze and answer it. Marc Benioff, Co-CEO of the company, commented that Tableau shares similar values to Salesforce of equality and giving back to the community.

Veteran and Salesforce Consultant Sheldon Simmons with Coresight Research CEO and Founder Deborah Weinswig at Dreamforce 2019.
Source: Coresight Research

 

7) A B2B app can be as fun and offer similar functionality as a consumer app

The Commerce Cloud keynote featured a demonstration of the Kellogg’s app for grocery store owners, which has similar functionality to a consumer e-commerce app. Grocers can shop for products, place and monitor orders and respond to promotions. Consumer packaged goods companies can monitor and optimize inventory pictograms by asking retailers to upload a photograph of relevant shelf sections.

The Kellogg’s app demonstrated many of the marketing technologies employed in consumer apps, such as personalized product displays and promotions. Apps can also use gamification—technology initially used in video games—which enables interactive rewards features such as points and levels, to entice B2B customers to make additional purchases.

B2B gamification Source: Coresight Research

 

8) Salesforce gave the ethical use of its platform a C-level focus

Salesforce’s Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer Paula Goldman gave a presentation on the ethics of the use of AI. She cited data from Capgemini Research Institute: 41% of senior executives claim to have abandoned AI projects for ethical reasons. Salesforce is acting to prevent its technology being used for unethical purposes as well as inadvertent unethical use—for example, people being discriminated against due to variables that correlate highly with race (such as a ZIP code).

9) Key topics included diversity and accessibility

Salesforce introduced the Obama keynote with a short video on diversity, and President Obama commented that companies are missing out on essential talent and ideas by excluding people of different sexes, races and other characteristics, particularly in a global marketplace.

In one example of securing often untapped talent, Salesforce’s Sales Cloud helps Southwest Airlines make its systems more accessible for workers. In Southwest Airlines’ customer-service contact centers, roughly one in 10 employees use accessibility tools: Salesforce’s Service Cloud interacts with screen readers and offers a robust set of keyboard shortcuts and high-color contrast to help visually impaired customer-service representatives use its Lightning Service Console.

10) In a fireside chat, President Obama advised the audience to “be kind, be useful”

In a fireside chat with Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff, President Obama talked about what he has been up to since leaving office. In addition to writing a memoir (with seven of eight years complete), President Obama has been engaged at a grassroots level, working with young leaders globally, many of whom do not have high-profile degrees or credentials. He commented, “Being a leader is not having your name in lights but listening to people. The common thread is compassion, empathy, agency and a willingness to empower others. Good things happen when you combine these things.”

President Obama also outlined three concerning issues: 1) climate change; 2) the rise of extreme inequality, in nations and between nations, driven by globalization; and 3) the rise of the new information age.

Source: Coresight Research

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