Kicking Off Dreamforce

df18-during-headerDreamforce kicked off in earnest yesterday, grinding traffic south of market down to a crawl, and ushering in a series of exciting announcements about Salesforce products and services.

At the top of the list was news about Salesforce Customer 360 which “comprises a set of powerful platform services that will enhance data management across Salesforce apps and provide instant access to consistent, reconciled customer data.” This sounds very much like functionality being offered by many of the Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) we reviewed in our recent CDP Buyer’s Guide, and I am very much looking forward to learning more.

Also on tap yesterday was big news about a new strategic partnership between Salesforce and Apple, with plans to redesign Salesforce mobile apps to more fully embrace iOS and plans for new tools that will allow Salesforce developers to build their own native apps with a new Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS.

Today is all about Einstein, with the Einstein AI keynote, and a series of in-depth conversations focused on Artificial Intelligence. Addressing topics like “How AI Has Changed the Future of Work,” “How AI Will Drive Business Transformation,” and featuring an “AI Dreamtalk with will.i.am,” audiences today will hear a lot about how Einstein can help them drive business objectives.

If you couldn’t make it to SF this week for the conference, you can tune in to much of the content via live broadcast here, and I’ll be following up with another post after the conference that highlights the best stuff.

 

Dreamforce 2016 by Peggy Reinders

by Peggy Reinders

May the force be with you! With Dreamforce that is. Marc Benioff and his conference team are a force greater than the Jedi to reckon with. Each year the content, products, and vibe keep getting better. There’s no need to awaken the force – it’s always present in the feel-good powerhouse Marc has built.

DreamforceThis year’s theme was two-fold. ‘Become a Customer Trailblazer’ (by using Salesforce products to connect to your customers in a new way) and ‘Be Your Best’ (in other words, slow down and be mindful!)

As an Analyst covering customer identity management (the integration of Adtech and Martech or #Madtech), I was excited to learn about their current position with Advertising.  In comparison to other cloud providers, Adtech has not been their strong suit, so the timely acquisition of Data Management Platform Krux made things that much more interesting this year.

As a mindful practitioner trained in the Mindful Schools curriculum, I was also eager to see how mindfulness and meditation would be integrated into the fabric of the event.  We’re used to seeing mindfulness at events like Wisdom 2.0.  But Dreamforce?

In the spirit of present moment awareness, here’s what caught my eye at #DF16.

  1. Salesforce Einstein: Albert Einstein was everywhere- the mascot, the quotes, and in the product. Salesforce Einstein (the product) is an artificial intelligence platform intended to be your personal data scientist. In the sales cloud, Einstein can combine data from email, calendars, social platforms, salesforce, etc. and predict which leads a salesperson should call first based on probability of close rate.  In the marketing cloud, Einstein can create predictive journeys.  Predictive modeling is not new to marketing. But what sets Einstein apart is the ability to make predictions based on images. If I were to post an image to Facebook of my tattered Aldo boots, Einstein could see the image in Salesforce Social Studio, recognize it as an Aldo shoe, and then recommend to Aldo that they send me an email asking what happened to my boots. Pretty cool stuff for a frequent Aldo shoe buyer like myself!
  1. Lightning: Living in San Francisco, I was excited to learn about Lightning because it’s something I rarely see these days! With all the hype, bottom line is that Lightning allows you to build apps without code, provides a consistent look and feel across the cloud products (sales, service and marketing), and enables single sign on across all three interfaces.  Hmmm….. not as exciting as I had hoped.  Although ease of use (and speed as Salesforce would say) is still very important in the integrated product world.
  1. Krux/Advertising Studio: Mum was the word on the Krux acquisition.  There were logo placements in powerpoints, but little conversation about how they’ll fit into the Salesforce family.  The deal closes in Nov so we should expect to hear more then. Krux aside, Salesforce did a nice job showcasing their current Advertising Studio integrations.  What started out as Facebook now includes LiveIntent, Google, Instagram, and Twitter.  LiveIntent was the popular partner at the show.  Their identity based platform unlocks the addressable media channel in email newsletters.  As someone who worked on the original version of a similar product in 2000 (DARTmail for Advertisers/DARTmail for Publishers), I was happy to see that the benefit of integrating advertising with email is finally coming to fruition.  #Madtech
  1. Mindfulness: I never imagined I’d be walking through the Dreampark and would run into an Engaged Mindfulness Zone.  Buddhist monks were leading a meditatiDreamforce monkson session and I loved it!  This year Dreamforce was filled with mindfulness sessions, a meditation room, and even a day of compassion to help people learn about the benefits ofmindfulness.  The most mindful moment happened during Benioff’s keynote as he touted the need for mobile software and being connected.  He asked the crowd to raise their hands if they had a smart phone.  The only ones not to raise their hands were the monks!  “Oh, the monks are not raising their hands. They do not do more than one thing at a time. They’re breathing and relaxing. Saddest moment of the keynote,” he said.  Ha! Sad, but funny.

Another Dreamforce under my belt!  Oncedreamforce again, I came away educated, connected, mindful, and inspired to make the world a better place.  A big thanks to Marc and the entire Dreamforce team.

Until next time!

Peggy