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From Vision to Value: How Dreamforce 2023 is Shaping the Future of Business

  • colm_barry

Finally, after soaking up the avalanche of information and insights from Dreamforce 2023, I've gathered my thoughts to share some reflections. 

Although smaller in scale than previous years, it still packs a punch that leaves even a four-time attendee like me in awe. The conference is a masterclass in branding and product marketing, from the cinematic presentations to Salesforce's whimsical forest-themed venues.

But, why should you care about Dreamforce? Because it isn't just a showcase; it's a roadmap for businesses to navigate the future. Whether you are just getting started with Salesforce or you are a seasoned professional, you will find valuable insights here that you can put to use immediately to take your company to the next level.

From a partner standpoint, staying updated on these new product rollouts is crucial. We're not just spectators; we're strategists thinking about how to translate this vision into value for our clients. Plus, we are not just Salesforce consultants looking to fix the here and now; we want to be your execution partner in implementing innovative tools that will help you scale and fuel future growth.

With this in mind, let's delve into the key takeaways that are set to redefine business strategies across the board.

Einstein 1: A New Dawn for AI in CRM

Salesforce once again set the technology industry ablaze. In the main keynote on Day 1, the Einstein 1 platform was the major announcement. 

In a landscape where data is the new oil, Salesforce's Einstein 1 Platform is the refinery we've been waiting for. It's not just a facelift for your CRM system; it's an overhaul. This platform allows businesses to seamlessly integrate data from various external systems. But that's not all. It empowers you to create AI-driven applications with minimal coding effort, thanks to its low-code/no-code capabilities.

The real showstopper? Einstein Copilot. This intelligent assistant comes with a unique feature—the Einstein Copilot Studio. This no-code platform lets you tailor your Copilot, creating custom prompts and workflows that align perfectly with your business needs.

The Three Pillars of Copilot Studio  

Prompt Builder: This feature empowers admins to build, test, and optimise prompts grounded with data graphs from Data Cloud. It's like having a data scientist and a UX designer rolled into one, ensuring that your prompts are not just intuitive but also data-driven.

Skills Builder: With Skills Builder, admins can select which workflows to expose through their Copilots. Companies that have already integrated their customer workflows in Salesforce can now, with a single click, specify which to expose as Copilot skills. This provides full control over which business processes generative AI gets used in.

Model Builder: This is where Salesforce opens the door to external AI models like Amazon Bedrock, SageMaker, or Google Vertex AI. Companies can now bring their predictive and generative AI models, integrating them seamlessly into their Salesforce ecosystem.

The Einstein Trust Layer: Security and Ethics in AI

Are you concerned about how your data is handled by these AI technologies? Rest easy. At the heart of every Salesforce AI product lies the Einstein Trust Layer—a fortress of security features designed to protect your data like a vault. Not only does it mask sensitive information and securely retrieve it when needed, but it also leaves no trace behind, thanks to its zero-retention policy. Plus, it actively detects harmful content and keeps a meticulous record of all data activities for auditing. Most importantly, Salesforce ensures that your proprietary data remains just that—yours. Salesforce never uses your data to train any AI models, offering you unparalleled data security, privacy, and ethical peace of mind.

Data Cloud: The Omnipresent Data Ecosystem

Unlocking the full potential of AI on Salesforce's Einstein 1 platform hinges on the capabilities of Data Cloud. Imagine Data Cloud as your digital refinery, taking your raw data and turning it into 'digital black gold,' fuelling intelligent business decisions. By leveraging Data Cloud, you gain accelerated access to Salesforce's cutting-edge tools: Einstein Copilot for automated customer engagement, Einstein AI for predictive analytics, and Tableau for data visualisation. These tools not only speed up your ROI but also strengthen your business against future challenges.

The newly introduced CDP Page Layout simplifies data connections and integration, empowering businesses to build a comprehensive, 360-degree customer profile. This panoramic view enables targeted marketing and personalised customer experiences. The icing on the cake? For Enterprise licences and above, Data Cloud and Tableau come complimentary, supporting up to 10,000 profiles—a significant cost-saving opportunity.

Salesforce Consoles: A New Paradigm in Customer 360 View

After attending several product keynotes, it’s clear that Salesforce has done more than just tweak its platform; it has transformed it. The newly unveiled AI-powered Salesforce interfaces—now supercharged by Data Cloud—do more than just collect data. They offer businesses an unprecedented, holistic view of customer profiles, enabling data-driven decisions like never before.

Sales Cloud

In my opinion, the keynote presentation on Sales Cloud was a huge step forward.

  • A Quantum Leap in Sales Forecasting: Unveiling the Next-Gen Sales Cloud Platform - One of the standout features is the next-level forecasting capabilities, which now employ AI to furnish predictive insights. But this isn't mere number-crunching; it's akin to having a seasoned analyst on your team, enabling razor-sharp, data-driven decisions that remove the ambiguity from sales projections.
  • Automation: The New Backbone of Sales - The platform has also rolled out advanced automation features that touch every node of the sales cycle—from lead generation to the final handshake. Imagine automating routine tasks so your sales team can focus on what they do best: closing deals.
  • Your Sales Strategy, Visualised - And let's not forget the newly designed dashboards. Think of them as your sales strategy's mission control center, offering real-time data and performance metrics at a glance.
  • A GPS for Market Opportunities -The integration of geographical mapping tools is another highlight. This feature serves as a GPS for identifying untapped markets, allocating the right agents to the right territories, and navigating your markets with unprecedented precision.
  • Industry-Agnostic Solutions - What sets this update apart is its scalability across 13 different industries. Whether you're navigating the complex regulations of healthcare and finance or the fast-paced world of retail, Sales Cloud offers tailored solutions that have you covered.

Service Cloud

Similarly, the Service Cloud keynote was impressive. When combined with Einstein Copilot, generative AI has the potential to revolutionise many facets of customer service. 

  • Automation and Self-service - Imagine a self-service portal that not only answers customer queries but anticipates them. Or consider an email system that's so intelligent, it can draft responses for agents, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. 
  • Surfacing the Insights - In the realm of knowledge management, Einstein Copilot can sift through vast repositories of information to provide agents with the most relevant and up-to-date solutions, thereby streamlining internal processes. 
  • And let's not forget Field Service - With AI-driven route optimisation and real-time data analytics, field agents can resolve issues more efficiently than ever before. These enhancements result in a significant boost in productivity for both businesses and agents, coupled with an elevated level of customer satisfaction across all touchpoints. 

Financial Services

The Financial Services Cloud (FSC) keynote outlined a future built on responsible AI use, operational efficiency, and customer-centricity. With the Einstein AI Trust layer, companies can streamline onboarding and ensure robust compliance, laying the groundwork for sustainable growth. 

  • Scaling Growth with Trust - With the Einstein AI Trust layer built in, companies can now use AI to focus on seamless onboarding journeys and flows. Through KYC (Know Your Customer) integrations and robust compliance management, businesses can not only build trust but also lay the foundation for sustainable growth.
  • Reducing Cost to Serve - The importance of service automation as a transformational tool for improving productivity was highlighted. Automated systems reduce manual errors and lower service costs, allowing for a more streamlined customer experience.
  • Driving Personalisation & Relationships - Tailored services are no longer optional; they're a necessity. By understanding unique customer needs, we can build stronger, lasting relationships.
  • Data Cloud Revolution - The keynote introduced out-of-the-box connectors designed to harmonise your data across multiple systems. This allows agents and users to surface the right insights and information at the right moments. 

Overall, FSC is setting new standards by converging technology and strategy to deliver unparalleled value.

Marketing Cloud & Commerce Cloud

In the main keynote, one announcement that I felt went under the radar was that Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud is now on the Salesforce Einstein 1 platform. The Einstein 1 platform offers a number of benefits for Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud users, including:

  • Improved performance and scalability: The Einstein 1 platform is built on a new, cloud-native architecture that is optimised for speed and scalability compared to previous versions. As a result, users of both Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud can anticipate vast enhancements in both speed and reliability.
  • Enhanced AI and machine learning capabilities: The Einstein 1 platform provides Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud users with access to a wide range of AI and machine learning capabilities. As a result, tasks can be automated, customer experiences tailored to each individual, and customer behaviour patterns predicted.
  • Greater integration with other Salesforce products: The Einstein 1 platform makes it easier to integrate Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud with other Salesforce products, such as Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. This allows businesses to create a unified customer experience across all channels.

Conclusion: A Clear Vision to Value

Salesforce's Dreamforce 2023 has set a new benchmark for how AI, Data, and CRM can come together to accelerate the time to value for businesses. With Einstein 1, companies can now see a clear vision of value for future road-mapping. No matter what industry you are in, the new Salesforce platform offers tools that are not just incremental improvements but quantum leaps in technology.

So, as we step into this new era of AI-driven business solutions, one thing is clear: Salesforce is not just selling software; it's selling the future. And that future looks incredibly promising.

If you’re looking to implement a Salesforce solution or want to enhance and streamline your current platform, we’re here to help, so please feel free to get in touch if you want to discuss further.

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