When arriving to Dreamforce I was first hit by the childish frenzy around the new marketing park and wilderness themes (trailblazer, trailhead, campfire, ‘dev forest’, ‘startup valley’, ...) , and the new mascots (Astro, Einstein, Cloudy the goat, Codey the bear) joining the already well-known Sassy and Chatty.
Also, I witnessed (again) a new series of videos staging people gazing happily at their smartphones while executing crucial business actions or reviewing complex dashboards in the most incongruous or dangerous places: on the sidewalk, zigzagging around lighting posts or road excavations, across the street, ...
Probably the mindfulness sessions in the program were there to compensate the total disconnection from reality experienced elsewhere?
Salesforce also enriched the stormy weather terminology in use in its Cloud: besides ‘enlightning’ any existing feature (Lightning Experience, Lightning Components, Lightning Bolt, etc), ‘Thunder’ made its place across the keynotes as the IoT platform. Lightning never strikes twice at the same place, though it stroke everywhere.
But enough gossip!
At DF16, Salesforce also unveiled a bunch of new tools and features for its core platform.
Salesforce continues focusing on collaboration, mobile, AI, and IoT, with new products and features announced. The company seems to move toward a more unified approach, integrating many of its core components onto a single platform.
The announcements made on day one of Dreamforce were primarily updates to existing products, or to technologies that the company acquired more or less recently.
Salesforce's new AI platform, Einstein, took center stage among other trends to ease professionals’ life.
1. Artificial intelligence for everyone: Einstein
Einstein as "artificial intelligence for everyone" is supposed to strengthen all Salesforce business units. The principle is that data is collected and then fed into customisable AI models. Users are then able to leverage Einstein Services or use it to build AI-powered apps as well.
Not sure if Einstein would be pleased to further hear that "he will empower every Salesforce user to get closer to their customers, automatically discovering relevant insights, predicting future behavior, proactively recommending best next actions and even automating tasks. With advanced AI capabilities for sales, service, marketing, commerce and more, Einstein will act as everyone's very own data scientist."
Einstein’s ears must have been burning during DF16, or perhaps he rolled over in his grave.
Quip is a productivity company acquired in August this year. Its flagship product is based on the concept of a "living document" that combines tasks, spreadsheets, and documents for collaboration.
Users will be able to use SSO to access Quip with their Salesforce username and password. Additionally, a new Lightning Component for Quip will enable teams of employees to access their Quip Living Documents from the Salesforce platform, or extend its capabilities into other apps.
Their marketing during DF16 was quite viral, the least that one can say, enrolling badged users on the platform without real formal consent, as far as I’ve experienced.
3. Salesforce1 Mobile App
Salesforce originally launched its mobile app flagship end 2013, continually adding new features and functionality from its core products over time. Besides the new branding initiative called MySalesforce1, which will allow a business to brand their Salesforce1 app and list it independently in mobile app stores, other new features were announced and are available now, like:
- The ability to go offline and create records
- The Forecasts app
- Improved search using iOS Spotlight
- Easier login methods
- Enhanced Dashboards
- Use of Price Books
- Microsoft integration
- User interface improvement
- A new calendar
- Lightning voice to record calls and take notes
4. Thunder IoT Cloud
For those unfamiliar, Thunder is the data processing engine that Salesforce's IoT Cloud is built on. Salesforce announced new IoT profiles to bring together more disparate data sources to help improve the customer experience.
A new IoT Traffic Monitor will ease managing traffic from IoT-connected devices. A dashboard displays how these devices are operating and any cause impacting operations.
5. Salesforce Platform
The core Salesforce Platform also got a lot of improvements. The Salesforce Lightning framework has a new iteration called Lightning Bolt that will accelerate the ability to speed up the creation of a new community, next-generation portal or customer-facing website.
The Platform is also getting some new features for productivity, including a redesigned navigation bar and App Launcher in Lightning Experience.
6. Marketing Cloud
I will not end this Dreamforce review blog without mentioning the major Salesforce marketing cloud leap announcement and the full roadmap of integrating it with the core Salesforce CRM (Sales and Service cloud).
Did you miss Dreamforce - San Francisco?
Here is your opportunity to check the major announcement in just half a day, and rest assured we are in Europe so it will be ‘amazing’, ‘spectacular’, but not Disneyland.
Dreamforce to You will strike down in Amsterdam on the 22nd of November and in Brussels on the 1st of December. We're excited to announce that we will be present at these events. More info can be found here.