July 26, 2021

A virtual Dreamforce under the sign of automation

The first guest of the opening keynote of Dreamforce 2020, virtual version, will have been Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, whose company is now joining the Salesforce universe. Trying to keep the spirit of the conference open, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff played host to announcements, including Hyperforce and Einstein Automation, and user stories.

Salesforce’s $ 27.7bn buyout of Slack last week caused a stir two days before the annual Dreamforce conference opens, which this year deprived of the usual physical edition that turns Moscone Center into a buzzing beehive. San Francisco. The essential meeting of the Salesforce ecosystem gives rise to an increase in the number of participants every year. Here he is concentrated this time on virtual exchanges. The keynote by Marc Benioff, CEO of the firm, which still constitutes the high point of the event, has nevertheless been kept on a course identical to other years. The CEO made it live in the early hours of the morning in San Francisco, from Salesforce Park at the bottom of its head office tower, in a Christmas setting.

It is in this context that Marc Benioff welcomed for a brief exchange Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Slack, whose own premises are located a few blocks of buildings from there. The Slack CEO compared the buyout of its technology by Salesforce to other historical associations in IT, such as VisiCalc and the Apple II, saying it was a moment that will be remembered in a few minutes. decades. Regarding this reconciliation, he described the different layers of automation and applications (Sales Cloud, Marketing and Service Cloud) above which Slack brings the conversation part, in context, allowing decision making. “When you put it all together, you really have the opportunity for end-to-end digital transformation,” he concluded.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, in Salesforce Park, a respectable distance from Marc Benioff, given the health circumstances. (Credit: Salesforce)

Hyperforce to Deploy Salesforce to Public Clouds

Like other years, Marc Benioff’s keynote gave pride of place to the charitable world, presented technological innovations and left the floor to customer testimonials. In this context of a pandemic, Salesforce has chosen to highlight that of the governor of the state of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo, who used CRM tools to carry out as quickly as possible a follow-up of the Covid-19 contact cases. . All accompanied by a virus testing policy. Almost 30% of the population has been tested and the positive test rate is less than 2%. The governor gave other examples that made it possible to rationalize certain treatments of her administration by passing them in the cloud, in particular on the management of unemployment insurance. Later, Adrian Hallmark, CEO of Bentley Motors, was invited to testify on the use of Salesforce software.

Among Dreamforce’s product announcements, COO Bret Taylor presented Hyperforce. The Californian supplier has redesigned the architecture of Salesforce software so that its Customer 360 applications, the Sales, Marketing and Service clouds, but also Commerce Cloud, Industries, etc. can in the future be deployed on most public cloud infrastructures, in a secure manner. Customers will be able to choose to store their data in the region of their choice to meet their regulatory requirements.

Create automation workflows without coding

On the functional side, Salesforce announced Einstein Automate, a workflow automation solution designed to improve team productivity, the health situation of recent months having shown the need to speed up certain tasks. The offer is based on a low-code development tool, Flow Orchestrator, which makes it possible to compose workflows to automate complex processes involving the approval of different users. It also includes the MuleSoft Composer cross-application connection tool. In the Salesforce portfolio, Einstein points to the AI ​​technologies infused in the various clouds of the publisher. In the case of Flow Orchestrator, the AI ​​recommends the successive stages of the workflows and identifies any bottlenecks that could slow them down. An example of a process creation is given, that of approving a mortgage loan that requires extensive verifications and can be streamlined into an automated workflow to process applications without delay. Flow Orchestrator won’t arrive until summer 2021, and only in beta.

An example where Flow Orchestrator maps the different stages of a workflow for processing mortgage loans. (Credit: Salesforce)

As for the Mulesoft Composer, it will be used to connect to Salesforce software applications and disparate data used in companies so that users can obtain “a 360 ° view of their customers without coding a line”, describes the supplier in a press release. A library of pre-built connectors and templates is provided to automate integrations or to quickly build a complete customer profile. Another example is given. Salesforce admins can connect their company’s ERP and payment system to Sales Cloud to automate a process that starts with developing a quote and continues until payment is received from the customer. The availability of Mulesoft Composer is announced for early 2021. Already, on Salesforce’s AppExchange marketplace, some 700 automation solutions built by Salesforce and its partners are offered: RPA solutions, Einstein bots, flow models, actions and components, Mulesoft connectors, process libraries, etc. All accessible from the Einstein Automate page. Another solution already available, OmniStudio, allows you to create dynamic interactions with customers, without coding, and deploy them on different channels and terminals. Guided flow models will allow the aggregation of applications.

Dynamically plan support teams

Also among the product announcements is Service Cloud Workforce Engagement, a dynamic human resources planning software that allows department managers to organize their teams wherever they are, according to the different skills. This solution meets the needs that have emerged since the start of the pandemic with the influx of calls to support services across all channels (telephone, emails, chat, social media) and the need to have to manage employees who intervene. from their home. In this situation, site-based organizing tools were no longer suitable. The dispersal of teams requires a connected view of all employees and customers, emphasizes Salesforce. Within Service Cloud Workforce Engagement, AI is used to predict customer service demand, assign agents with the skills we need at any given time.

Earlier this month, Salesforce also announced the results of its third fiscal quarter ended October 31. The SaaS publisher’s revenue reached $ 5.42 billion, up 20% year-over-year. GAAP net income of $ 1bn is generated against a loss of $ 109m last year. Forecasts for the 4th quarter are between $ 5.665 billion and $ 5.675 billion (an increase of around 17% compared to last year). For the 2021 fiscal year which will end at the end of January, the publisher forecasts a turnover of between $ 21.10 billion and $ 21.11 billion.

Salesforce committed to the Gaia-X European cloud project

In the first 9 months of the year, the European market accounted for 21% of total Salesforce revenue. The publisher’s revenues amounted to $ 3.25 billion, up 34.4%. Over the 3rd quarter, growth was 30.6% to $ 1.15 billion. This is the region which “has shown the strongest growth for several years,” confirmed Denis Terrien, executive vice-president, CEO for Southern Europe of Salesforce, during an online press briefing for France. Appointed last May at the same time as another CEO for the Germany / Austria region, the executive vice-president reaffirmed the American publisher’s desire to invest on the continent. Hyperforce will allow services to operate on all clouds on the market by offering data residency, he said, before recalling that Salesforce had also decided to get behind the European cloud initiative Gaia-X, at like many other providers.

In addition, the efforts made by the American publisher in acquiring skills in its technologies are also reflected in France. Salesforce has decided to invest € 1 million in it with three associations, the Mozaïk foundation, the Simplon foundation and Les Entreprises pour la Cité. The French subsidiary is still managed by Olivier Derrien who reports to Denis Terrien. On the employment side, the latter indicated that Salesforce France continued to hire 20% more within its own workforce and that, taking into account the positions created throughout the ecosystem around the cloud applications of the editor, 1,800 jobs were currently open in France. “Here is our societal commitment to help France transform,” he concluded.