Once again Salesforce smashed it out of the park at Dreamforce 2015. Stevie Wonder, Green Day, parties and product announcements galore. The hotel room industry is alway under stress in San Francisco when Salesforce’s annual conference is on, so this year Salesforce even rounded up a cruise ship doubling as a floating hotel with the Dream Boat housing 1100 conference participants. http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF15/dreamboat.jsp
That aside we picked up 7 key things from Dreamforce this year.
Customer Experience Platform
Salesforce as we know is not just for the Sales team anymore. The entire focus is around providing exceptional customer experiences. From the Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud to Community Clouds, the entire Salesforce platform has evolved into a complete suite of business applications for B2B and B2C companies
IoT Cloud + Thunder
The Internet of Things (IoT) means that it is no longer enough for software to only track relationships with companies and people anymore. The IoT cloud provides a pathway to manage Internet connected devices. Collecting data from devices like remote sensors, websites and apps. The idea behind the IoT Cloud is an ambitious first step into a world where you will interact more and more with customers using apps, bots and drones. Yup, I said it. So what is the Thunder part of this story? Thunder is like an engine that allows you create automated repossess to events collected from these devices, apps and sites. Think workflow rules for “things” not on Salesforce.
Salesforce’s acquisition of RelateIQ has resulted in the new Salesforce IQ. This basically connects small businesses to their CRM via their email interactions collected from gmail or exchange mail and calendar accounts. It is a way to automate the process of CRM data entry and it’s positioned primarily at those Sales Cloud users in the small to mid market. Salesforce IQ has some other interesting capabilities including the ability to create automated reminders and follow up tasks and shows you how your contacts connect to other decision makers in a business. It also has a native mobile app experience that is better on both Android and iPhone than the mobile-web experience of the formerly named Salesforce 1 Mobile (more on that in a bit).
So last Dreamforce the Lightning framework was a big part of the Salesforce 1 announcement. This is being positioned as a reimagined user interface designed around each company and sales rep’s actual sales process. Think streamlined custom steps in the data collection process (screens and fields presented to the user) that mirror the actual workflow and decision path they follow. Once again this is an ambitious step towards improved user experience – think intelligent software that acts like an invisible hand helping the user to ask the right questions and get the right information. All of this requires some back end admin magic and wizard training but using flows to generate user experience is the new task of the Salesforce consultant and admin to helping clients leverage the power of Lightning Experience.
Analytics Cloud (Wave Analytics)
So reports and dashboards got you down? In Salesforce you can collect and report on anything. Analytics Cloud or Wave Analytics is the next step in this journey towards being able to take action on collected data. With the ability to create more meaningful data visualization, the goal of this new generation of capabilities in Salesforce is to help business leaders understand whats going on by presenting data in an a more obvious, meaningful way, and thus allowing them to make rapid choices day to day based upon the health of the business.
Salesforce1. I still kept asking “what is this?, the new force.com?” and I don’t know if I ever really got it. Apparently neither did anyone else so Salesforce wisely renamed this App Cloud. Makes more sense to me now. Its the entire set of application design and development tools for you to take any other app – mobile or cloud based – and move it onto the Salesforce platform. Apex, force.com, Heroku the Salesforce managed application platform competing against Amazon web Services and the before mentioned Lightning framework that include Lightning Experience and Lightning Connect. (Connect:think plugging into external business applications and databases via a cloud based platform). So the well named App Cloud is the Salesforce Developer story really.
New Vertical Apps for Health Care and Finance
In an effort to open new doors in two important but specialized verticals for Salesforce- Health Care and Finance, Salesforce announced two new apps. The Health Cloud is targeted at healthcare providers delivering a more out of the box patient portal and data sharing platform. Think of Salesforce community for patients, where they can login, get their results and records, interact digitally with care givers after or before the point of care. For the Finance vertical they get a new Financial Services Cloud- a custom version of Sales Cloud that mirrors the 1:1 client portfolio manager relationship. Think Salesforce Community features for financial advisors and their clients. Clients can login, see their portfolio, ask questions and get replies while the advisor and see the history of everything in the Salesforce person account of the client.
What did you learn at Dreamforce 2015? Anything we missed? Any questions about the 7 key take aways let us know firstname.lastname@example.org