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Event Coverage 7 minutes

Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2019: Top 10 Insights from Day 1

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Coresight Research

Key Points

The Coresight Research team is attending Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2019 in San Francisco from November 19 to 22. In this report, we highlight 10 key insights from the first day of the conference:

  • The major product announcement was Customer 360 Truth, which enables companies to combine customer data into a single record.
  • Salesforce announced several products that leverage its Einstein artificial intelligence (AI) technology combined with voice recognition.
  • Salesforce takes a proactive view on the ethics of AI, acting to prevent the deliberate or inadvertent use of its technology in ways that are harmful or discriminatory to others.
  •  Salesforce launches new apps with Apple and an app-development platform.

We include selected Salesforce acquisitions in the appendix.

The Coresight Research team is in San Francisco, attending Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2019 from November 19 to 22. In this report, we highlight ten 10 key insights from day one of the conference.

1) Salesforce announces Customer 360 Truth, which enables companies to combine customer data into a single record.

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 that companies can provide better customer service and create a personalized marketing journey with product recommendations. It also enables them to 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.
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) Salesforce is expanding voice recognition to customer experiences.

Einstein Voice Assistant was announced at Dreamforce 2018, initially enabling customers to receive personalized daily briefings and make conversational updates to Salesforce via the Salesforce mobile app or a smart speaker. In 2019, this platform has been upgraded to allow developers to build custom voice-powered apps, applying natural language processing to voice conversations.

Coresight Research CEO and Founder Deborah Weinswig with an Einstein Intelligent Voice Assistant at Dreamforce 2019.
Coresight Research CEO and Founder Deborah Weinswig with an Einstein Intelligent Voice Assistant at Dreamforce 2019.
Source: Coresight Research

 

The figure below displays examples of consumer technologies that integrate 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.
The intelligence revolution is the proliferation of AI-integrated consumer devices.
Source: Coresight Research

 

3) Salesforce combines voice recognition and AI to enhance customer service.

The new Einstein-powered Service Cloud Voice integrates telephony, unifying voice and customer relationship management data in real time in one centralized console. The platform can also integrate with transcription services to convert voice to text in real time, enabling Einstein to provide relevant AI-powered recommended responses, information and recommendations to service agents on voice calls.

The Dreamforce 2019 conference keynote included a demonstration of Service Cloud Voice from US insurance group State Farm. The company uses the technology in its call center to provide information on products and policy details when a policyholder makes an insurance claim.

State Farm uses the Salesforce Service Cloud to give agents the insights they need to service customers most effectively.
Source: Coresight Research

 

4) Salesforce demonstrates Einstein Call Coaching, which integrates voice recognition and AI.

Einstein Call Coaching is a new function of the Salesforce Sales Cloud. It enables managers to gain insights and identify trends within their 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.

5) Salesforce expands partnership with Amazon.

Salesforce and Amazon Web Services announced an expansion of their strategic partnership. Service Cloud Voice will seamlessly integrate with Amazon Connect to provide call center agents with a complete set of tools to deliver enhanced customer service. At the Dreamforce conference, Salesforce executives highlighted that Einstein Voice Assistant is compatible with a variety of devices from other cloud providers such as Google and Microsoft.

6) Salesforce’s Trailhead educational platform opens up job opportunities.

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.

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

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

 

7) MuleSoft enables companies to collect data from disparate sources to create a single source of truth for creating insights.

MuleSoft (which was acquired in March 2018—see appendix) is a platform for building application networks, enabling the integration of disparate datasets graphically 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 for its customers. This means that the company is able to communicate more effectively with its target market and offer accurate recommendations. The speaker used the example of having received an e-mail advertising a pair of sneakers that he had already purchased; by taking order history data into account, Louis Vuitton can avoid sending such e-mails to shoppers.

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

 

8) Tableau enables the visualization and interrogation of data.

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.

9) Salesforce takes a proactive view on the ethics of AI.

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 ZIP Code).

A panel discussion on the ethics of AI was held at Dreamforce 2019.
Source: Coresight Research

 

10) Salesforce launches new iOS apps and an app-development platform.

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.

Appendix

Figure 1. Selected Salesforce Acquisitions
Source: S&P Capital IQ
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