This year, Salesforce brought the magic of Dreamforce to our offices, living rooms, and kitchens around the world.
Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff stood before a holiday-themed Salesforce Park with a message of the power of community amid uncertainty. He celebrated those who have stepped up for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nothing is possible without you, our Trailblazers,” said Benioff. “A lot of the help – in the distribution, the acquisition [of PPE] and in the support, things we’ve really needed to provide – came in partnership with you.”
While Benioff highlighted Salesforce’s exceptional quarterly results, he emphasised that in a year of unprecedented disruption, the company has been guided by its core values.
“Doing right and doing good is what is driving our culture forward. Whether it’s innovation or philanthropy, or culture,” said Benioff. “We are trailblazers, together.”
Come on down, Slack
Benioff also welcomed Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield to the Dreamforce keynote, following the announcement of the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Slack*, saying that combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 will be transformative for customers and the industry. The combination will create the operating system for the new way to work, uniquely enabling companies to grow and succeed in the all-digital world.
“This moment is one that we will remember in a couple of decades from now,” Butterfield said. “I think this is a pivotal moment and opportunity to transform the way we work so that we’re not as reliant on the physical office, that we can have a digital HQ.”
Benioff also introduced Bret Taylor, Salesforce President and Chief Operating Officer, who reflected on the shift to digital that many companies have made over the past year.
“We’re in an all-digital, work-anywhere world,” Taylor said. “Doctor’s offices have moved to telemedicine, [we’re] doing business over Zoom, consumer goods companies are going direct-to-consumer via custom apps. We’re not going back.
“When I look at what it means to grow in this new normal, it’s Slack plus the Customer 360.”
Digital experience is an imperative
Every business, Taylor continued, across every industry, needs to deliver seamless, connected digital experiences.
“This year is all about change. We have gone digital overnight. And we’ve been using this phrase with our customers, ‘the digital imperative’, because, let’s be honest, it’s 2020. If you don’t have a digital business, you don’t have a business.”
In this time of enormous disruption, customer expectations are changing rapidly. This year’s State of the Connected Customer report surveyed 12,000 consumers and 3,600 business buyers worldwide, and found that 88% expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19. A huge 80% of business buyers expect to conduct more business online, while 58% of consumers expect to do more online shopping after the pandemic than before.
It’s a challenging environment, in which leaders will separate from the pack.
“Trailblazers are using this year as an opportunity to overcome that adversity and accelerate that move into digital. To really transform customer experiences and recognise that next year is going to continue to accelerate this move towards the digital consumer, and the digital customer,” Taylor said. “I talk to a lot of CIOs and I know this is really hard in practice. Data silos and legacy systems feel like an anchor that are preventing you from moving forward and getting to where you want to go. This is why we created the Salesforce Customer 360.”
Announcing Hyperforce: The world’s #1 CRM on major public clouds
Taylor also announced a significant upgrade to that Customer 360 Platform. With Hyperforce, the world’s #1 CRM platform has been reimagined to securely and reliably deliver Salesforce Customer 360 on major public clouds.
“We have been working for the past two years on probably the most significant technological shift in this platform since Marc and Parker created it over 21 years ago. We call this new capability Hyperforce. We’ve had to completely re-architect Salesforce to work in this way,” Taylor said.
“As a consequence it is horizontally scalable. That means that if you happen to be a B2B company with 10,000 customers, or you’re a B2C customer with 100 million or more consumers, you can now use Salesforce as your single source of truth for all of that data.”
Announcing Einstein Automate: Making every experience intelligent
“Creating connected, intelligent experiences for customers, employees, and communities is of the utmost importance,” Sarah Franklin, EVP & GM, Platform, Trailhead & AppExchange, Salesforce, told us as she introduced the new Einstein Automate.
Franklin explained how these intelligent innovations are helping governments go digital, fast – and helping local businesses get back to growth by making every customer experience intelligent.
AI-infused flows and bots help organizations automate tasks and workflows. Packaged libraries empower organisations to be able to quickly use solutions specific for their industry.
“With Einstein Automate, every organisation in every industry around the world can go with the flow of change,” said Franklin.’
Announcing Salesforce Service Cloud Workforce Engagement
With stores either closed or offering limited hours, contact centres today are dealing with a huge surge in the volume of questions from customers across service channels like phone, chat, text, and social media.
Service leaders need to be able to organise their entire workforce from anywhere and distribute the right work to the right agents based on skills and service channel. Enter Service Cloud Workforce Engagement.
To be made available in northern-hemisphere Summer 2021, Service Cloud Workforce Engagement will help service leaders in contact centres predict demand for customer service, staff appropriately, and remotely coach agents in real-time to deliver trusted service experiences.
How Trailblazers are succeeding
To navigate uncertain times, Benioff delivered a playbook for customers to drive success in the digital imperative. The playbook has three chapters, focused on leveraging intelligence, unifying data, and creating great experiences.
To explain, Benioff shared three stories of customers taking a Trailblazer’s mindset to succeed in an unexpected year.
The State of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 story
When the pandemic hit, the government of Rhode Island – an east-coast US state with a population just over 1 million – had to look at new ways of moving into action fast. In the keynote, Marc Benioff spoke with Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and we learnt how her team leveraged intelligence and automation to combat COVID-19 cases and protect the health of Rhode Island’s population.
Bentley Motors’ Beyond100 vision
Live from Crewe, England, the Bentley Motors team shared how the organisation has transformed this year with a connected data strategy.
“With a 360-degree view of the customer, we can create a single source of truth that allows us to create extraordinary experiences for our customers and that’s what we need moving forward,” said Dr Astrid Fontaine, Member of the Board for People, Digitalisation & IT, Bentley Motors.
Bentley had been a B2B company until the pandemic hit, and it had to market and sell directly to consumers. Today – less than a year into this transformation – Bentley brings the showroom experience to every prospect, digitally.
Customer Audience 360 is driving personalised and relevant experiences across every channel. Customer 360 Privacy Centre ensures Bentley Motors can collect and respect its customers’ privacy preferences and remain compliant. And with Tableau, Bentley builds a full picture of the business and turns insights and predictions into action.
AT&T: Seamless, connected digital experiences
Marc Benioff sat down with AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh to talk about AT&T’s seamless, connected experiences.
“They [AT&T] were able to train more than 30,000 remote retail sellers on this new experience in under five months. That’s going digital, fast!” said Benioff.
The show must go on – all month!
“We’ve heard some amazing stories today,” Benioff told us as he brought the keynote to a close. “But this is just the beginning of Dreamforce.”
Dreamforce to You runs for the entire month; and all Trailblazers can sign up at Dreamforce.com for the entire Dreamforce to You experience — including DreamTX starting 14 December.
DreamTX is four days, five channels, with hundreds of sessions deep-diving on innovation and new products.