Dreamforce 2019 – LiveArea’s Recap
Customer 360, Trailblazers, B2B, voice, values. It’s an exciting time for Salesforce and its community of partners, and Dreamforce was once again an unmissable event.
December 4, 2019
Author: Peter Giersch
Dreamforce 2019 was once again an important and impressive event. The showpiece gives us the opportunity to hear directly from Salesforce on the direction the company and its partners will take as we close out the current financial year, and head into an exciting FY 2021 in February. It also offers clients and prospects visibility into exciting opportunities to take commerce to new levels.
This year the latest evolution of Customer 360 – the data platform that pulls from multiple sources to provide a single view of customer data – was the big announcement. This makes sense, as a kind of central anchor point for many of the cloud services that Salesforce offers: B2B and B2C Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Mulesoft, and Lightning OMS, among others.
Education was a focus, with Trailhead, the enablement of the ‘Trailblazer community’, another key push. This is a smart move from Salesforce. The company needs to continue expanding its education to build an expertise pool of developers and practitioners — like the team in LiveArea — that understand (and are ambassadors for) its solutions. Be sure, partners like LiveArea will continue to be key to the growth and success of Salesforce.
In partnership with Apple, Salesforce announced the launch of a redesigned mobile app and new Trailhead GO learning app, plus a Salesforce Mobile iOS Software Development Kit, which enables developers to easily build and deploy native apps for iPhone and iPad. This is another smart move considering results from last week’s Black Friday, the biggest day ever for mobile shopping with $2.9 billion in sales coming from smartphones. Salesforce also announced that Amazon Web Services’ learning content will be available on Trailhead.
There was also a focus on B2B, with announcements around new and updated B2B cloud services. Salesforce demonstrated a version of a B2B app for grocery store owners, which facilitates stock management, re-orders, and promotions, whilst allowing CPG suppliers to monitor and optimize inventory, as well as offering loyalty rewards to their B2B customers.
Voice was another big topic, driven by Salesforce’s Einstein AI technology and voice assistant. Voice recognition has been implemented across the Salesforce platform to enable improved customer service among its cloud offerings. One key front-end innovation is the development of a drag-and-drop interface, where Einstein can easily be dropped into a front end without coding. Einstein-powered real-time transcript creation and voice applications in B2B and staff training were also touched upon.
And one thing that couldn’t be ignored was Salesforce’s focus upon ethics and values. This seemed to be tied into ‘online accessibility’ and empowering consumers and employees through technology. There were also some wider points around diversity, inclusion, and equality, and how technology can be an enabler here, as well as some digging into the ethics of AI.
Overall, the thread that ran through all of these trends was ‘customer experience’, and how each of Salesforce’s cloud offerings are now geared towards elevating the end-to-end customer journey. Whether that’s software development to facilitate first-class mobile apps; continued improvement in quality and accessibility of voice technology; how Customer 360 and Mulesoft drive personalization efforts, or the continued improvement of Lightning OMS; it’s clear Salesforce is focused upon ensuring its multi-cloud offering is extremely competitive in the customer experience environment.
This is an exciting time for Salesforce and it’s community of veteran partners like LiveArea. Opportunity is robust. Innovation is everywhere. Strategy is spot on. For me, reciprocal value was a key takeaway from Dreamforce – the value of teaming with an industry leader such as Salesforce, and the value LiveArea can deliver in implementing the Salesforce vision and innovating on the journey we take together with clients.
Author: Peter Giersch
Peter is Senior Vice President, Global Alliance at LiveArea. With over 15 years experience as a leader across all areas of digital solutions including sales, business development, strategy and operations, Peter leads LiveArea’s direction and strategic alliances with a broad network of partners to ensure the delivery of best-in-class commerce technology and strategy.