Highlights of the Dreamforce 2019 Keynote
November 26, 2019
The weather in San Francisco was beautiful this year and each morning of the week was perfect for a stroll through the storied streets of San Francisco. The weather was mild – the real heat could be found inside of Moscone Center Tuesday, November 19th as the keynote kicked off with a bang.
Mark Benioff came out after about 45 minutes of programming set around the company brand, culture, and social responsibility to introduce the two main themes for the keynote: Salesforce Customer 360 and Data.
Mark begins by pointing out how much digital transformation is affecting technology and allowing artificial intelligence to take root in our homes and lives through devices like smart watches, voice-driven personal assistants, robots, and Internet of Things (IoT). He referred to this digital transformation phenomenon as the “Intelligence Revolution”.
The Salesforce team highlighted the fact that Salesforce Customer 360 is the root of Salesforce and customers’ service success.
A short demo by Sarah Patterson, Sr. VP of Product Marketing at Salesforce illustrates a case study where StateFarm is introducing a digital transformation proof-of-concept where they are actively recording and analyzing audio recordings of call center interactions. These clips can be split to show which party is speaking and allow for isolating key parts of speach and then allow can be tagged and placed into a resource library to allow other employees to get insight into an optimal sales conversation leading to an organic training opportunity.
Stephanie Buscemi, CMO at Salesforce, followed Sarah and kicked off a demo that shows the impact of voice recognition and AI to collect, process, and analyze content. They showed a call get transcribed in real-time using Amazon Alexa, then uses Einstein’s natural language processing to recognize the topic and suggest an answer to the question along with an upsell suggestion with
This can allow us to serve B2B, B2C, and B2B2C customers better by having a good pulse on the front line customer reps and determine their training and how they can be transformed and coached through others’ interactions.
Natural language processing to surface the right articles or piece of information to serve the customer quickly with accurate information.
Interactive email is a neat feature that Ebony Beckwith previews for the audience. She is the Chief Philanthropy Officer and EVP of Marketing at Salesforce. She shows how using embedded and interactive forms direcly in email can encourage for the collection of three times the from customers by using this method. As a marketer I found this particularly interesting as I can see the value in getting lead information with fewer clicks and opportunities for customers to leave the interaction.
Bret Taylor, President and Chief Product Officer as Salesforce showed off the new page designer in Salesforce Commerce Cloud that allows for simple personalization of content using Einstein product recommendations. He also showed how Einstein can also be used to dynamically generate layouts for B2c and B2B eCommerce pages that will maximize personalization of buying experience based on information already known about the customer.
Bret brings up Sarah Franklin, EVP & GM, Trailhead Platform at Salesforce, who illustrates how this same data platform can be used with a mobile device to drive in-store experiences that are also customized to the customer’s specific desires.
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Benioff once again took over the presentation, taking time to outline the power of a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) when dealing with a customer. Fragmented data and systems means for fragmented experiences and creating a SSOT is the way to attack this business challenge. Bret was brought back up on stage to demo a new drag and drop designer as part of the core Salesforce product that allows for the connecting of all customer experiences. With just a few clicks he integrates number of Salesforce-provided apps which immediately connects the data for use across the application and analytics.
Bret then points out that one of the connectors is to MuleSoft. This means that any of numerous apps, databases, and systems that connects to MuleSoft, which is a popular middleware provider that Salesforce acquired, can connect through to Salesforce and all of its applications. As long as the MuleSoft connection is properly mapped, anything from these external sources can all be brought back into the fabric which makes up the SSOT in Customer 360.
A short portion of the presentation was dedicated to an introduction of Tableau. Salesforce recently acquired Tableau so they quickly discussed the value of the merger of the companies and their technologies and showed off a quick demo of Tableau use cases.
Richard Socher, Chief Scientist at Salesforce showed a very forward-thinking demo showing the power of voice recognition as part of digital transformation, and AI decision-making allowing for the changing a rental car reservation powered by a fully automated phone conversation, resolution negotiation, and a well-rounded customer service experience. Of all of the demos, I found this to be particularly fascinating and seemed more ready for real-world application than I could have imagined.
The keynote peaked with a reveal of the very cute, Alexa-like device called Einstein. This Alexa-driven voice recognition technology allows you to interact with your Salesforce instance, while having a purpose for an adorably branded doll to reside in the center of your conference table. You can ask natural language questions and you will get data-driven replies. Salesforce’s Principal Mobile Architect, QingQing Liu, poses various questions and gets back verbal responses about performance metrics across a number of business units. Then she sat down at her laptop to demonstrate how one creates a new interaction on the device, so that new questions can be handled by the engine and provide a relevant response.
DJ is a long-time marketing consultant and technologist, helping companies with marketing strategy and marketing technology. He loves telling stories about applied technologies and the impacts it has on buyers.