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Our takeaway from the Dreamforce 2020 #DF2U keynote

Peter Chalmers December 3, 2020

We heard over the past few weeks that Dreamforce would indeed be held this year. However, it would be different as a widely distributed, virtual event labelled as Dreamforce Reimagined. Now known as #DF2U, the keynote kicked off today with James Corden in the virtual hosting chair. Somewhat different, somewhat unusual and yet it worked - establishing #DF2U as a, well, reimagined event different to the others we have seen this year. 

James held his ground in a world where he was unfamiliar and then handed over to Marc Benioff for what we always feel is the most exciting part of the keynote. The announcements and showcase of customer stories.

I recorded a Livestream with my SFDC Academy co-host Dan Fowlie just after the Dreamforce keynote with our immediate thoughts, which you can watch here

On with the show...


Salesforce Hyperforce

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So the first announcement off the blocks at #DF2U was Salesforce Hyperforce. 

When we first heard the news I did a quick google for Hyperforce and found it was a Power Rangers forum - I wasn’t sure but I was guessing that was wrong. And yes you and I both feel it could be the name of a new Speilberg movie, but it is not. It is the name that Salesforce has given for the re-architecture of the Salesforce platform to deliver a more scalable Salesforce on, it seems, one platform.

Details are a bit scant at the moment but from the Salesforce press release we do know it delivers:

Performance at B2B and B2C scale. With the elasticity of public cloud, customers can more easily access compute capacity as required to be more flexible and efficient. Hyperforce allows resources to be deployed in the public cloud quickly and easily — reducing implementation time from months to just weeks or even days. 

Built-in Trust. Hyperforce’s security architecture limits users to appropriate levels of access to customer data, protecting sensitive information from human error or misconfiguration. Encryption, at rest and in transit, comes standard, ensuring the privacy and the security of data. 

Local Data Storage. Through Hyperforce, customers around the world can choose to store data in a particular location to support compliance with regulations specific to their company, industry and region. 

Backwards Compatibility. Every Salesforce app, customization and integration, regardless of Cloud, will run on Hyperforce. 

One thing we heard a lot of today was the term “Single Source of Truth”. This is an often-used term and still somewhat of a Holy Grail when it comes to understanding customer interactions - but maybe we are getting a little closer to that.

When you lay Einstein over the top of your Single Source of Truth you get a powerful AI delivering insights into what you actually need to know. 

Like any good cake if you top that with the experience level, meaning you can deliver a consistent experience across all interactions regardless of device / platform, etc. then we are very much at the Holy Grail level - with sprinkles and a cherry on top.

For me, it still remains to be seen what exactly is Hyperforce and how it can be used, in particular with extending data centre support to other cloud services. So keep an eye out for more details on Hyperforce in the coming days / weeks - I, for one, will be looking forward to hearing more about Hyperforce.

 

Einstein Automate 

We then moved onto the second and, for me, more interesting announcement as this is about stuff that we can get our hands on and use in the upcoming releases.

What did we learn?

Einstein Automate includes:

  • New Flow Orchestrator transforms complex processes into dynamic, industry-relevant experiences using AI-infused bots, flows and components
  • New MuleSoft Composer for Salesforce gives everyone in an organization the ability to integrate data from multiple systems to Salesforce without writing any code
  • Pre-built resources from AppExchange and OmniStudio help teams implement automation quickly
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Flow Orchestrator

The new Flow Orchestrator, coming to Beta in Summer 21, is a low-code workflow development tool that allows users to compose workflows that automate complex, multi-user processes and approvals. Flow Orchestrator speeds up projects and processes with AI-generated next steps and recommendations that prompt users throughout processes and quickly identify bottlenecks causing delays. 

What does this mean? Flow is the way to go if you are thinking about automation in Salesforce. It is apparent Salesforce is backing this as the automation tool for now and the future.

But wait, there’s more!

Add on the upcoming Mulesoft Composer for Salesforce and you can deliver even more with Clicks not Code. This will be out in GA Spring 21.

MuleSoft Composer for Salesforce allows administrators and other business users to move faster with a library of pre-built connectors and templates to easily automate integrations. For example, Salesforce admins can quickly and easily connect their organization’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and payments processing systems to Sales Cloud to automate the quote-to-cash process, streamlining sales operations and improving seller productivity.

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And that leads us to the last part of the puzzle which is Einstein Automate Collection Page on the Salesforce AppExchange. 

Ok I will admit I hadn’t heard nor seen this until today and when I did check it out I was amazed at the depth and type of apps out there for Einstein, Flow (Templates and Actions), Einstein Bots. Yes, I have been living under a rock it seems.

Do yourself a favour, take a tour and see which apps you can use. There are a bunch that are free and I am positive that you will find something valuable.

Service Cloud Workforce Engagement

One of the biggest changes and challenges for 2020 is workforce management. It has been a challenge to move to this new paradigm as most of us are now working remotely and customers are also remote. This has been the driver behind introducing Cloud Workforce Engagement completing the service offering from Salesforce with the following:

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Service Forecast for Customer 360 uses AI based on data from the Salesforce platform and integrated third-party tools to help you organise your workforce and predict how many requests will come into the contact centre in real-time, across all digital channels and regions. 

For example, a retail service leader will be able to predict the number of Cyber Monday support requests and adjust their forecast accordingly, to account for expected phone demand versus chat. 

Service leaders will also be able to easily adjust in real-time to account for unplanned events, like an influx in calls in response to a social media influencer promotion. 

Omnichannel Capacity Planning enables service leaders to balance staffing needs across any digital channel — including phone, email, web chat, text and social channels — by assigning the right agents at the right time based on their skills and availability. 

For example, a bank may see customer calls dropping because of hour-long wait times on phone channels, but with omnichannel capacity planning, service leaders will be able to address these coverage gaps by cross-training agents to support multiple channels and businesses. 

Personalised Agent Engagement provides real-time coaching and on-demand training from anywhere by integrating myTrailhead, Salesforce’s online learning platform, directly into the Service Console. To increase agent engagement and performance, companies will be able to quickly onboard and continually train agents by delivering bite-size, guided learning paths directly in the agent’s workspace during their shift. 

For example, if a service leader at a meal subscription company identifies an agent who needs help understanding new pricing details, they will be able to deploy a guided learning path that explains a customer’s options.

 

Slack Acquisition

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Ok if you missed it Salesforce announced yesterday that they have acquired Slack for $27B (USD). So this was the final BIG announcement for the #DF2U keynote.

So what does the Slack + Salesforce picture look like? We were getting signals that Slack was pushing further into the enterprise space and looking for new ways to increase engagement, it will be interesting to see what new solutions they bring to the table with a Salesforce integration and how that changes the current model. 

I guess we will all be watching, but we already know that it will enable more real time interaction across both platforms. Will it replace Chatter? Will there be more bots working between the two? Will we be able to post GIFs in Salesforce? 

In all seriousness though this is a great alignment between two fantastic products. I think we have only seen some of the things we can do in Slack and when you bring that into the Salesforce space it enables another way of working. 

It is interesting to see that this will fall under Brett Taylor’s remit so I guess it is a watch this space and get ready for a whole new Salesforce world.

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All in all, the first keynote in the Dreamforce 2020 reimagination was pretty huge! I definitely long for the camaraderie of in-person networking events, but given that we’re all mostly stuck at home this year I’d say they did as good as I’ve seen for a virtual event.

If you made it this far and want even more Dreamforce, head to our Youtube channel to watch our recap on the SFDC Academy Livestream

And don’t forget, this is just the first keynote! Dreamforce sessions continue through the end of the year. Be sure to check back here for more updates as they come. Mahalo! 

Peter Chalmers

Peter Chalmers