Top Highlights of Dreamforce 2016
Dreamforce 2016 is over and what an event it has been again. Over 1,70,000 visitors made their way to Moscone Centre in downtown San Francisco to celebrate what Marc Benioff coined as ‘Family reunion’.
Reviewing new technologies
Let’s take a moment and look beyond the U2s and Will.I.Am of the show and check what was the big news that Salesforce announced at this year’s Dreamforce. This year some real groundbreaking new things were revealed at the event. In this post we will focus on the three highlights that dominated the event. Those highlights are: Einstein, Commerce Cloud and Lightning.
Dipping into new ways to create value for customers: Einstein
It’s impossible to speak about Dreamforce 2016 without mentioning Einstein. Einstein, the guy with the relativity theory. Einstein is Salesforce new artificial intelligence (AI). Einstein was everywhere at Dreamforce. Not, really. He was mentioned in most of the keynotes and was visible as costumed person all throughout Moscone.
The only place he hasn’t been spotted was at Dreamfest during the U2 show but who knows maybe it was just a clever disguise or Einstein has so much artificial intelligence that he knew he had to stay home because the line at the shuttle buses would be way too long. So, what is Einstein? What does this artificial intelligence capability mean for Salesforce customers? It means that they can profit from advanced machine learning and predictive analytics. Maybe they even create automated content for their customers in a natural language. Einstein is self-learning. This means that for now it will be customised for every Salesforce customer and will grow and advance based on how they use him. You might know a similar behaviour from Siri. Einstein will allow businesses to predict the behaviour of their customers in the future. For example if you own an e-commerce site and you have a customer who buys shoes and then comes back later to shop a matching outfit, Einstein will discover this pattern and predict it so you can offer your customer the right item at the right time.
Unveiling: Commerce Cloud
Speaking of e-Commerce, let’s take a moment to look at Salesforce’s latest cloud which was revealed at Dreamforce: The Commerce Cloud. Basically Commerce Cloud is what was formerly known as Demandware and which Salesforce had acquired in July 2016. The commerce Cloud allows brands and e-Commerce stores to create unified commerce platform.
In 2016 technology needs to provide customers the same experience on every channel and sometimes even more so that it makes the channel borders dissolve and become one single platform. The unique thing about Commerce Cloud is that it takes the dynamic capabilities we all know and love from sales and marketing technology and brings these capabilities into the store. This creates the same dynamic and personalized experience for customers wherever they encounter a brand. In one sentence, Commerce Cloud can be described as: Commerce Cloud makes brands familiar to customers to make the customers feel like they know them.
Salesforce exciting new UI and development framework
All the product news that were announced at Dreamforce have one thing in common. They are powered by Lightning. Lightning is the new design and development framework from Salesforce, which helps the platform’s user interface to make a giant leap from the mid 90s to 2016. Lightning goes beyond user interface.
Lightning is the new way development in the Salesforce ecosystem. Instead of using visual force pages and the likes, Salesforce is moving to a true component framework with Lightning. For customers this means that they will be able to easily customize their Salesforce environments with a large array of components available on the AppExchange to fit exactly their needs. This will be so easy that no additional development work is needed. Adding a component to an existing Salesforce environment is as easy as putting two Lego pieces together.
Naturally, Dreamforce was full of different highlights but Einstein, Commerce Cloud and Lightning are the three product releases that will have the biggest impact on a wide array of customers. Of course questions remain, is Einstein really able to write complete text blocks in natural language? Will the commerce cloud hold what it promises and how easy to use is Lightning really? That’s for us to find out now and then it’s just to wonder how these things will develop and what news will be announced at Dreamforce’17.