Dreamforce is epic – there is no better word to describe one of the largest technology conferences in the world. We shared our anecdotal perspective in this post, but want to now take a deeper dive into the core takeaways from this year.
The zeitgeist of Dreamforce 2017 seemed to revolve around these themes:
Making the pieces work together:
This was the first year for some time where a ‘big announcement’ didn’t appear within the core Customer Success Platform. Much of the engineering effort this year has gone into the nuts and bolts of making it better integrated. Complex development is being supported with Salesforce DX® which is now generally available and maturing at a rapid rate and Platform Events, an internal messaging bus, also generally available. These two capabilities will have significant impact on enterprise scale deployments.
Einstein represents an audacious effort to embed AI tools into everyday use. This whole-of-platform upgrade is designed to make machine learning as easy to deploy as adding a field or a custom object. More meat was put on the bones of last year’s announcement with concepts like Einstein Bots and Predictive Builder give point and click prediction engines.
Google is the big winner here with renewed focus on integration with Google office productivity products and the Marketing Analytics suite. More enigmatically it was announced that Google Cloud Platform™ will be a preferred service alongside Amazon Web Services as Salesforce expands its presence globally. ANZ customers may already know AWS provides the basis for the new Australian Data Centre. It’s likely the GCP aspect is some time off.
Trailhead® for everyone:
Change adoption in SaaS has always been a little more complicated than software vendors have made out. Salesforce’s Trailhead Community, which they use to train the ecosystem will be opened in mid-2018 for 3rd parties to create end-user training. Fun, quirky and heavily gamified it will quickly become a must have in any deployment, supported of course, by the right design and content.
IoT Cloud® becomes myIoT:
Salesforce is claiming a rebuild of IoT Cloud, whilst unclear how much underlying tech has been rebuilt it is more easily available with it being accessible to anyone with an Enterprise addition and willing to pay the additional monthly fee per org. It’s also better integrated into the Platform, promising admins the ability to ‘do IoT’. This approach may be the start of Salesforce rebuilding some of their remaining ‘off platform’ apps.
Lightning® becomes dynamic:
Lightning has made massive leaps forward in the past year in performance and capability. Dynamic page layouts now mean that components can be shown or hidden based on data giving significant options for configuration driven development. New branding options allow Lightning’s colour scheme to match your branding.
So what does this all mean?
The Salesforce bandwagon confidently drives on. Their leadership in all the categories they compete in and single platform approach is unlike anything in the market. It is too early to know how important, real or impactful many of the concepts at Dreamforce 2017 will be in the coming year but some things appear certain:
New tools: Lightning, Einstein, Platform Events, Salesforce DX are huge leaps forward in capability. Salesforce organizations that deployed a few years ago can now be made faster, smarter, user-friendly and more easily deployed.
Prime Time Platform: The emphasis on Community, partnerships and integration as well as the testimonials and attendance from large enterprise all point to the fact that Salesforce has come of age and is increasingly being considered as a strategic platform across industries as well as governments.
Game changing AI: The promise of business-driven AI on-demand, mixed with data from organizations like Google is potent. If Salesforce can pull this off it will redefine CRM as a category.
Never ending change: Dreamforce is a tyring event. Keeping up with Salesforce and the new tools, capabilities and assets that grow with the platform is an even bigger challenge. Salesforce has laid out the challenge for the ecosystem to keep up, the winners will be the ones who can match their pace.
It’s an exciting time to be right alongside Salesforce on their continued course to bring the latest capabilities for business transformation to market, and it’s our clients that will be at the forefront of this industry innovation. Visit this page to learn more about our Salesforce Practice and industry-leading solutions.