Growth, integration and AI – These were the key themes of the annual Salesforce user and world’s biggest software conference, Dreamforce18, held on September 25th-28th. Salesforce aims to triple its size in the near future. With Salesforce Customer 360 in the centre, integration between sales, commerce, and marketing clouds will soon be much easier. Einstein, the Salesforce AI technology, will be everywhere. This gigantic event hosted more than 2700 sessions and 171 000 participants, and four of us from Avaus.
Getting back to our home countries, after having wrap-up sessions and preliminary follow-up connects, here are our key takeaways from San Francisco:
Ambitious growth targets, and a strong focus on Salesforce partner enablement
- To ensure growth, Salesforce is putting in an extra effort in partner enablement. The aim is to ensure the availability of skills and capacity in the service of present and future Salesforce customers. Salesforce has passed the $10B revenue milestone and now aims at a turnover of $20B-$30B in the near future. Partners should prepare!
Marketing automation closer to other Salesforce clouds
- Salesforce is now bringing its marketing products closer to the sales, service, and the newly acquired commerce clouds. Backed up with the Datorama’s AI-powered marketing intelligence to boost the analytics capabilities, along with the DMP and Customer 360 product to be generally available during 2019, marketing and sales will soon have a new set of integrated tools available.
Einstein is at the heart of everything Salesforce
- Keynotes made it very clear: Salesforce is dead serious about Einstein, the layer of artificial intelligence built into the platform. The main sessions and breakouts demonstrated capabilities to coach sales reps, assist service agents, guide marketers, advice retailers and boost the end-user and customer experience.
- With Einstein, no deep technical AI expertise is required to enable significant business impact and benefits.
Lessons for Avaus:
- The Salesforce partner enablement initiative is vital for Avaus’ growth in present and future markets. As Salesforce growth is fueling demand for Salesforce skills, Avaus’ needs to continue its strong focus on attracting and developing new Salesforce talent. Avaus’ Salesforce certification paths have presently been fine-tuned to match the increased demand for specialists.
- The integration of Salesforce clouds will make service, marketing, and commerce work together seamlessly. The possibility to connect and map customers, and to reconcile customer identity across the clouds, will enable seamless experience across all channels.
- Einstein multi-cloud features are available for use today. Salesforce customers should, in growing numbers, leverage Einstein, and Avaus is ensuring we have the latest knowledge and skills to help them.
Avaus, as a Salesforce partner, was a happy part of this overwhelming, intense, and fun event, and to be the first to hear the news, meet our customers, and of course people from Salesforce itself.
Everyone can configure Dreamforce to be a unique event for themselves and to address very specific questions and topics. The Avaus team got to engage with world-class experts in the different clouds. We attended keynotes and partnership strategy sessions, and we got to enjoy a massive amount of the latest information and networking. A practical tip if you are participating in a future Dreamforce event for the first time: prepare and plan ahead. You need to build your agenda hour by hour, meeting by meeting.
All in all, we got a bagful of ideas for innovations and a good understanding of what will be around the next corner in marketing technology. It is evident that we are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, and with that comes enormous opportunities as well as challenges for the marketeer and the brands. Salesforce is clearly the frontrunner in addressing these opportunities with tools, solutions and an impressive innovation pipeline. Looking forward to helping our clients seize this opportunity with Avaus’ Salesforce competences!
Minna Kervinen, Steven Hahn, Sebastian Dehman, and Tuukka Valkeasuo