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Dreamforce 2021

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Author: Peter Giersch, Senior Vice President of Alliances, LiveArea, a Merkle Company

September 30, 2021

It is hard to believe a full year has passed since Dreamforce ‘20! As we continue our long-standing partnership with Salesforce, Dreamforce is always a marquee event that the LiveArea, a Merkle Company, team looks forward to every year. Dreamforce ‘21 was no different.

Taking place virtually (as well in person for a select few) for the second year in a row, Dreamforce ‘21 highlighted Salesforce’s leadership position as the trusted enterprise helping enable businesses to transform.  The format may continue to adapt and evolve, but the content was as strong as ever. Whether you are a customer, prospect, or partner, this years’ Salesforce+ powered Dreamforce experience offers a tremendous amount of invaluable content to educate and inspire. From the Trusted Enterprise vision, to the growth opportunity of the Salesforce Economy, to powerful client digital transformation success stories, to an array of impressive product & solution updates, Dreamforce 2021 was action packed. Not to mention some impressive performances from Metallica, Lionel Richie, Foo Fighters, and more, letting those of us who have missed seeing live music experience it through the screen.

While we missed the annual invasion of the streets of San Francisco, the delivery of Dreamforce on the Salesforce+ platform allowed our global LiveArea, a Merkle Company, teams to experience Dreamforce ‘21 live or on-demand access to over 124 hours of content across 150 sessions. In a year where online streaming has well end truly established itself as the forefront of entertainment, Salesforce+ echoes online platforms like Disney+ and Netflix.

Overall, Dreamforce ’21 was an impressive example of the blending of the physical and digital worlds that we all live, work, and play in 2021. While we all miss the in-person Dreamforce experience (and we hope for a return to some variation of that in 2022), we recognize that the Dreamforce experience has forever been changed.  

While it is almost impossible to write a comprehensive blog on all things Dreamforce ‘21 given the sheer volume of content, our team did highlight a few of their favorite ‘can’t miss” Episodes. Enjoy our take on sessions and we encourage you to sign up for the Dreamforce On Demand Experience here.

Our Picks

Episode 2 “Welcome to the Trusted Enterprise”

This is a great way to get Marc Benioff’s perspective on the business, the “Trusted Enterprise”, and why there is so much buzz around where Salesforce is headed in the future with Customer 360. It is a key way to get a sense of the strategic direction and focus areas for Salesforce as they finish out ’21 and move into ’22 and beyond.

Episode 3 “Welcome to Your Digital HQ”

There is a lot of discussion around the Slack acquisition, how it fits into the Salesforce solution portfolio, and the potential (and imperative) of the Digital HQ. Slack was a massive investment by Salesforce and our team is closely tracking how this solution evolves into the Customer 360 Platform story. This episode shares some insights into where this is all headed.

Episode 24 – “Be a Trailblazer: Skill Up and Connect from Anywhere”

The “Salesforce Economy” is a very real thing – we are experiencing it every day here at LiveArea, a Merkle Company. The client demand for skilled, trained, and enabled Salesforce staff continues to be very strong. In this episode, you can learn about how to build those skills via the robust Trailblazer learning platform. Whether you are looking to build skills on solutions like Commerce, Service, Marketing, or other clouds, or deepen your Industry expertise at the business or technical level, Trailblazer is the community destination for you.

Episode 33 – “Connected Customer Service Designed for Effortless Experiences”

We talk about it all the time at LiveArea, a Merkle Company. As a company whose DNA is predicated on delivery amazing commerce experiences, we have evolved our thinking and definition around the experience beyond the transactions. Customer service experience matters. The “unboxing” experience when your purchase arrives at your door matters. Our team liked this episode given that it aligns to what we are discussing and implementing with our clients in the real world. Check it out – it is definitely worth the time investment!

Shifting gears: Dreamforce by Role

As a 14+ year Salesforce Partner, with our original partnership roots established with Salesforce via key acquisitions such as Demandware and ExactTarget, LiveArea, a Merkle Company, has a focus on Commerce. From generating demand via Marketing Cloud solutions, to transacting on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, to servicing customers who are powered by Service Cloud, our team is paying very close attention to the updates and announcements across these solutions as the they continue to innovate. Check out the following for the high-level landing page that allows you to jump in to a ton of detail by solution:

Commerce: 17 episodes / over 6 hours of content

Marketing: 20 episodes / over 6 hours of content

Service: 19 episodes / over 8 hours of content

Architects & Developers – 21 episodes, over 7 hours of content

 

We Are in Great Company

Dentsu Gold Level Sponsorship – Dentsu, parent company of LiveArea, a Merkle Company, was Gold Level sponsor at Dreamforce. The team presented two sessions at the event; one highlighting how Journey Builder and Automation Studio optimizes messaging, and another showing how fusing marketing and service can bring about stronger experiences. Check them out here.

 DEG, a Merkle Company (our sister agency) was the recipient of a Salesforce Partner Innovation Award for their work with Neutrogena, marking their third Partner Innovation Award in three years. Check it out here.

Threekit – Threekit is one of our newest partnerships that we are very excited about.  Threekit’s solution allows brands to create immersive product experiences using 3D, virtual photography, and virtual reality. As the “customer experience” becomes a competitive differentiator, Threekit’s solution is an amazing additive dimension to the experience.  At Dreamforce 2021, Threekit showcased their technology by allowing users to configure Astro (one of the many loveable cartoon characters popping up in the event’s visuals). It was a fun way to highlight the interactivity that their product allows and how it works alongside Salesforce Revenue Cloud and sent attendees on a mission to personalize their Astro for a chance at winning a plush version of their design.

Mirakl – Iain Nairn, CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, shares his insight into how the company has embraced the marketplace model and how it has enhanced their customer-focused digital offering, in Mirakl’s Platform Pioneer Insights. The data from the marketplace helps inform the company’s decisions, including identifying the top trending brands and regionally specific information. As the fifth largest online retailer in Canada and one of Canada’s leading digital-first purpose-led companies, Hudson’s Bay Company’s use of marketplace will allow them to maintain their strong position in the Canadian market and expand their offering in the premium space for all sellers. 

Wrapping Up

Dreamforce ’21 for partners, customers and prospects has no shortage of updates and inspiration.  Our teams will continue to reference back to the on-demand sessions and this information becomes important input into our partner roadmap as we close out the 2021 fiscal year and plan for the 2022 year. With the momentum that the Salesforce organization has in the market, along with the critical supporting capabilities such as the Trailblazer program and strong product development teams, we look forward to our opportunity to helping our clients innovate across the Salesforce 360 platform.   

 

Author:

Peter Giersch is Senior Vice President of Alliances.

 

 

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