ABSI - far beyond system integration

On 11 October 2018     By Reindert Verbiest , Samuel Moyson , Stijn Frans      Salesforce

The world’s #1 B2B technology conference is now over. With over 271.000 visitors during 3.5 days, one can tell this year’s Dreamforce was another success. 

There were fantastic announcements, about 3000 sessions, great entertainment from Metallica (who uses Salesforce to rock its social media accounts!) and Janet Jackson, yet again we were blown away by Salesforce’s power to organize such an amazing event.

ABSI sent a few team members to San Francisco who like to tell you what they have learned during this instructive journey. Let’s take a look into the most interesting keynotes and takeaways from Dreamforce!

A 360 degree view of your customer

By Stijn Frans

Something you couldn’t miss at Dreamforce while watching one of the keynotes was the Customer 360 announcement. To demonstrate this new functionality, Salesforce created customer success stories for clients ranging from Metallica to Unilever.

The Customer 360 experience will help address the need of having a 360 degree view of your customer. The challenge this functionality tries to address is to integrate all existing systems in a company to have all customer information in one place. Currently a company can have multiple systems for each department, containing pieces of information for one customer. Having this information in one place helps you to be more connected to your customers.

On the Salesforce platform, the Customer 360 interface will allow you to link multiple instances of service, marketing and commerce clouds. The service cloud person accounts, marketing cloud subscribers and commerce cloud customer profiles will be linked by a unique 360 customer ID. And thanks to the help of the Mulesoft anypoint platform, it will be possible to add external systems.

360 degree view over customer

Amongst all the fish, a whale… Einstein Voice

By Reindert Verbiest

Out of all the impressions I got out of the week, the one which truly grasped my attention, and was on par with the Keynote of Al Gore, was the Sales Cloud Keynote. More precisely, the part about Einstein Voice.

This was not a demo about voice recognition, that’s old stuff after all. What Einstein Voice brings to the table, is an intelligent assistant and automatic record updates. Einstein Voice recognizes what’s being said, interprets it and then goes out and lines up all the actions it thinks you want to make. It’s just up to you to confirm it.

Nicely made warm by the examples, it was time for the demo. Now, I assume that this demo is scripted to every little detail, and with a few thousand of people in the room and another several thousands watching online… rightly so. I’m actually surprised to a point that they do live demos on Dreamforce. Surprised and impressed, that is. As it’s a strong signal to send that you believe in your product. In this particular case, it went wrong.

This is what the presenter said: “Met with Michael at Acme Health.” 
This is what Einstein Voice understood: “Met with Michael at Anthony HillMet with Michael at Anthony health”

Take a look yourself on this YouTube-video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUEdpOJ93PU&t=2166s (35min:35sec)

Which is close, but obviously still wrong. But did it, in the big scheme of things, go wrong? Or did this demo, by going wrong, set my expectations just right? Now I know it still has the need of checking whether or not Einstein Voice understood what you said. (or whether or not you clearly articulated, depending on how you look at it). Which is fine, it’s an assistant, not a replacer. The potential is absolutely massive! The benefit of using Einstein Voice is that you’re using your voice. I can go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Doing this administration, whether it is looking for information, notifying a colleague, creating a task or updating records, I guess it’s nobody’s favorite part of the day. Even though out of the demo it looked like it’s not perfect (yet, and again, that’s fine), these occurrences will become nothing more then the new typo.

Imagine it working perfectly and we might lose the need for screens entirely… We’re in for some exciting times and I’m on board. After all, (credits for this quote to the Dreamforce attendee who I accidentally overheard), it’s better to not know where the ship is heading, then to miss the boat entirely.

Salesforce & Apple: A new strategic partnership

Salesforce and Apple are improving developer tools and training for ALL. Here are 3 new services/changes that the two giants will launch:

  • Get Started with iOS App Development Trailhead Trail: Launched by Apple to support developer learning. This app will allow even those who aren’t developers to build native iOS apps in Xcode with Swift. 
  • Salesforce Mobile software developer’s kit: developed by Apple and Salesforce and optimized for Swift!
  • Redesign of the Salesforce Mobile App on iOS for even better user experiences!

How will customers involve our product roadmap

By Samuel Moyson

More then 65.000 ideas on Salesforce IdeaExchange, but what happens with those? How is Salesforce using those ideas to build their product roadmaps. As we are speaking it’s not transparent for the community. As Salesforce is a community enabling company, they want to change this experience. Parker Harris (Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder) and Bret Taylor (Chief Product Officer) hosted a ‘True to the Core’ session to open the discussion with the community on how the Idea Exchange can be improved.

One of the improvements Salesforce will do is involve the community also in planning and prioritizing ideas. During this session the attendees were enabled to participate live in the Summer ‘19 release planning.

Summer '19 release planning

Salesforce will also host a Co-innovation roadshow on World Tours to enable people to give feedback on the IdeaExchange and to continuously improve it.

More info can be found HERE

And there is more...

Discover in part 2 more about what we learned at Dreamforce and what we think is interesting to share with you!