Salesforce Inc. kicked off its Dreamforce conference this week, bringing together 40,000 members of its vast community in San Francisco for the first time in more than two years and unveiling new offerings to allow them to connect with each other in new ways. long after the event concludes Thursday.
The Dreamforce event, built around the theme of “Big Reunion” after a global pandemic of limited in-person events, featured the release of a real-time data platform called Salesforce Genie to power management products of the company’s customer relationship.
The company also launched a new collaborative feature for Slack, which was acquired by the CRM giant last year. This week’s announcements recognized that the pandemic has changed a lot in the business world, and Salesforce has responded to this new reality by strengthening customer engagement tools.
“A lot is happening, but we have to recognize that a lot has happened,” said Marc Benioff (pictured, right), co-founder and co-CEO, in his keynote of today. “We have to have a beginner’s mind. What do we really want and what is really important to us? We want to connect with your customers in a whole new way.
Important platform change
Salesforce’s new way of connecting with customers through Genie has been characterized by Benioff co-CEO Bret Taylor (left) as “the most significant change to our platform in 20 years”. The real-time data approach is designed to meet the expectations of a highly personalized engagement that integrates meaningful data at lightning speed.
“Customers today, in modern times, move in real time,” Taylor said during today’s keynote. “Personalization must now be done in milliseconds. We have completely redesigned our CRM.
The company’s announcements this week reflect Salesforce’s focus on maximizing the value of its major acquisitions over the past few years. Genie will include connectors for the MuleSoft integration platform, which Salesforce acquired in 2018, and its Tableau data virtualization offering, acquired in 2019.
Salesforce’s latest addition to its Slack messaging platform includes a new Canvas tool that will allow users to store information in a workspace on the channel and link to workflows. Canvas was built on technology from Quip, a startup co-founded by Taylor that Salesforce acquired in 2016.
“It’s like Quip graduating from high school and going off to college,” Taylor said during a media briefing after his commencement speech.
The greatest of enterprise applications
The Dreamforce event comes a month after Salesforce beat quarterly expectations but provided a disappointing fiscal 2023 forecast. That didn’t stop Benioff from noting during his keynote that Salesforce recently outperformed competitor CRM. SAP in the area of business applications.
“I have high regard for SAP,” Benioff said. “They had a great neighborhood; we had a better quarter. This means that Salesforce is the largest enterprise applications company in the world.
Salesforce’s warnings about the upcoming fiscal year reflected an acknowledgment by company executives that sales cycles were stretching and new offerings had come under greater scrutiny. Benioff noted today that his business is well positioned, but the current post-pandemic economy has meant a journey into uncharted waters.
“What we went through over the last two years was obviously completely different,” Benioff said during his media session. “It’s a new day from where we were two years ago to where we are now. The shopping environment is robust and business relevance has never been higher. »
A new look for Salesforce could be seen within the first hour of the main session itself. Unlike years past when Benioff walked into the Dreamforce boardroom alone, today he was joined by Taylor.
The joint presentation reflected the culmination of a rapid career progression for Taylor, who co-created Google Maps in his first job out of college as a group product manager between 2003 and 2007. Taylor has took the opportunity during his post-keynote session with the media to acknowledge Benioff’s influence on his tech career.
“When I started my company, Quip, my first phone call was with Marc, because I had never sold enterprise software before,” Taylor said. “Marc is my mentor and my friend.”