Salesforce Kicks Off Massive Dreamforce with Technology Updates, Renewed Social Commitments
DREAMFORCE ’18 — Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual partner and customer extravaganza, is underway this week in San Francisco. Here’s some background information and a wrap-up of what happened on Day One.
Now in its 16th year, Dreamforce 2018 is not only the largest Salesforce event ever, it’s now the largest event in the software industry, according to the San Francisco company. (Take that, Microsoft Ignite, which is also underway this week.) Dreamforce 2018 boasts 171,000 register users, 2,700 sessions and more than 10 million online attendees.
While those numbers may be staggering, it’s worth noting just how fast the CRM, commerce and cloud company is growing. Salesforce generated $10.5 billion in fiscal 2018 and expects to generate $13.2 billion in FY 2019. (For perspective, note that there only a relative handful of software companies that generate as much as $3 billion annually; Salesforce will add that much to its topline this fiscal year alone.)
Emboldened by the company’s success, co-CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff took to the stage for his annual keynote address to reaffirm his company’s commitment to standards and decency. Among other things, Benioff called for a new era in technology, one that is more sustainable, fair and prosperous for all. While noting that capitalism has proven itself to be the “greatest platform for change,” the time has come for a more “inclusive capitalism” for the fourth industrial revolution, which has been propelled by powerful digital innovations.
“Technology is not good or bad, but what you do with it is what matters,” he said. The industry, he added, needs to restructure and commit to better ethics and re-imagined values. “Is what we are doing ethical and humane?” Benioff challenged. “Every CEO better be able to answer that.”
Turning its attention to some of its most progressive customers, Salesforce showcased the pioneering work of Unilever, Adidas, United Way, Brunello Cucinelli and more. Each of these “Trailblazers” is transforming its business via digital technology, resulting in not just better performing organizations but more socially responsible ones, too.
Salesforce Chief Equality Officer Tony Prophet took to the stage during the extended keynote to showcase how Marriott was using Salesforce technology to enhance customer experiences and leverage advanced digital innovations. He demonstrated how a customer could use a mobile app during a trip to request an early check-in, arrange to have a warm coffee waiting for them upon arrival and even get a digital key sent to their mobile device. Once in the room, he also demonstrated how that same mobile app could be used to change the temperature of a room, order event tickets and more by simply engaging the in-room, voice-activated speaker. With a customer’s permission, Marriott can save settings and apply them to the guest’s visit to the same hotel or many others in its vast collection of properties.
The key to all of this was Marriott’s decision to leverage Salesforce’s Customer 360 platform, and its new Einstein Voice technology, to the fullest. Speaking of the platform, Salesforce officials unveiled on Tuesday Salesforce Customer 360, which it describes as “a new way for companies to connect Salesforce apps and deliver unified cross-channel customer experiences.” A key piece of the company’s customer success platform, Customer 360 will help companies “move beyond an app- or department-specific view of each customer by making it easier to create a single, holistic customer profile to inform every interaction.”
In addition to this announcement, Salesforce also announced on Tuesday that it will expand its relationship with AWS; specifically, new product integrations that will dramatically simplify how customers can securely share and synchronize data across AWS and Salesforce services. The new capabilities will demonstrate the companies’ continued investment in delivering deeper levels of integration between AWS and the Salesforce Lightning platform.
There are other news items to report:
- On Tuesday, MuleSoft, a unit of Salesforce, unveiled the next major release of Anypoint platform, “bringing the power of the application network graph to every customer.” The application network graph improves the way companies access information about their applications and systems.
- And earlier this month, Salesforce unveiled its next generation of “low-code” tools for companies to build apps faster. The new tools are part of Salesforce Lightning and AppExchange, and were designed to help IT and business users to create “intelligent, connected experiences without building from scratch.”