Salesforce doubling down on AI
A little over a year ago, Salesforce introduced Einstein, making a huge bet that artificial intelligence (AI) would play a major role in the future of information technology. Now, the CRM giant is doubling down on that bet, reports Enterprise Cloud News (Banking Technology’s sister publication).
At the start of its annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco today (6 November), Salesforce executives will spend the balance of their time focusing on what they are calling the “fourth Industrial Revolution”, specifically intelligence, whether that is AI, machine learning or adding additional automation into the sales and marketing process.
While not announcing a major new product or technology, Salesforce is looking to show its users an overall strategy focused on how intelligence can make the company’s products and platforms easier to use, especially for non-technical employees.
At the same time, Salesforce is planning more outreach for what the company calls “trailblazers”, those who are building applications using Salesforce’s various tools and platforms that shed further light on what customers are doing and thinking.
To hammer this point home, Salesforce commissioned a study from IDC that found – unsurprisingly – that the company’s ecosystem of customers and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications are creating some 3.3 million jobs.
All of this points to the disruption that all industries are now undergoing as automation, AI, machine learning and IT are all becoming more ingrained, especially in the sales and marketing process, and as more nimble companies looking to dislodge entrenched enterprises.
Einstein a go-go
“What we are going to talk about at Dreamforce is really about how intelligence is reshaping every single industry, whether it’s manufacturing, to high-tech, to healthcare or finance,” said Jim Sinai, vice-president of product marketing for Salesforce Einstein, before the 6 November start of Dreamforce.
“One of the things that we are really focusing on is what does this mean for our customers’ customers,” Sinai added. “At the end of the day, what our customers are focusing on is how do they stay focused on their customers through this disruption and how do they bring that laser focus to their customers to capture market share and growth, and to be in a good position to move through this industrial revolution. That is what Salesforce is all about.”
To emphasise this point, Salesforce wants to show that it can make its various products and tools highly customisable, personal and easy to use. It has also attached the prefix “my” to several of its existing platforms, including Einstein, IoT, Lighting, Salesforce and Trailhead.
There’s also an update to Quip, a collaboration platform that Salesforce inherited when it bought the company in 2016 for $750 million.
Within the IoT platform, Salesforce is adding IoT Explorer, which adds three features: A low-code orchestration that allows for automation of the code and makes it easier to create apps; Customer Context, which helps interpret the data that is coming into the business; and Proactive Engagement, which helps the business respond to the data by creating workflows.
mySalesforce is the company’s newly updated mobile application development platform, which also takes advantage of low-code to help build apps faster and allows users to get these apps listed faster on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
The final update is to Quip. Salesforce is introducing Live Apps, which brings all the collaboration documents, such as Salesforce apps and calendars, into one location for a given project. The company is also adding APIs and template to offer an additional layer of customisation.