Highlights of Dreamforce 2018

With over 171,000 Salesforce professionals descending on San Francisco in late September, and around 3,000 informative and inspiring breakout sessions decorating the four-day convention, Dreamforce 2018 was officially the biggest Salesforce event of all time.

Part of what makes Dreamforce the premier technology event of the year is that Salesforce often takes the opportunity to announce new additions to its product suite, as well as new developments in the world of business and cloud technology. This year was no exception!

Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from Dreamforce 2018:

New strategic partnership with Apple

What happens when two technology giants join forces? Beautiful things. Apple is the company behind the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and its newly announced strategic partnership with Salesforce is no doubt set to make the number one CRM platform even more accessible to both users and customers.

These are exciting times, but what does this new partnership mean for Salesforce users?

A brand new Salesforce mobile app: Complete with exciting Apple capabilities such as Face ID and Business Chat, the redesigned Salesforce app with also utilize Siri technology, which opens up a world of possibilities.

A Trailhead mobile app: Trailhead is arguably the world’s most sophisticated open learning portal, and is responsible for launching the career of thousands of Salesforce professionals. Trailhead arriving on iOS is fantastic news for both fresh and experienced members of the Ohana.

Salesforce mobile SDK: For Salesforce professionals, it will now be easier than ever to build and deploy bespoke applications on iOS using the Lightning Platform.

New developer Trails: To help developers get started on building iOS apps, Apple will be adding a new Get Started with iOS App Development Trail, which will teach users how to build apps in Xcode with Swift (Apple’s programming language).

Salesforce Customer 360

With Salesforce, the focus has always been on visualizing individual customers and harnessing data to build an accurate profile of them. Customer 360 offers businesses a click-based admin interface that makes it simple to connect and manage customer data across multiple Salesforce apps.

There will be pre-built packages for Marketing, Service, and Commerce Cloud, enabling quick deployment in businesses utilizing these products. Customer 360 can identify a customer across multiple channels, using everything from their name and phone number to social media handle to instantly access and bring up the customer profile.

Innovation at the Customer Success Expo

More than 400 Salesforce Partners exhibited at the Customer Success Expo, with each contributing something different to the Salesforce ecosystem. Arguably the richest element of Salesforce is the number of unique ISVs on the AppExchange, and if you were lucky enough to visit the huge Customer Success Expo this year, you may have found a solution that streamlines your processes and workflows better than you could have ever imagined.

The Expo is also a fantastic launching point for any independent research into Salesforce technology and its user base. Cloud security specialist FairWarning showcased its new Cloud Visibility Report, which reveals the priorities of organizations when it comes to increasing Salesforce visibility and monitoring cloud-based applications. We also saw Salesforce recruitment specialist Mason Frank release its latest salary survey report, an exploration of benefits and market trends throughout the Salesforce ecosystem.

An expanded strategic partnership with AWS

While Salesforce already held a strategic partnership with AWS, it was announced at Dreamforce that this would be expanded to integrate more services between these cloud software specialists. AWS and Salesforce will now collaborate on a solution that enables mutual customers to easily publish and subscribe to Salesforce Platform Events in AWS. This means events such as the creation of a sales opportunity can easily trigger actions in AWS products such as Lambda.

The expanded partnership is also good news for users of Salesforce Service Cloud—customers are now able to build dynamic, AI-driven self-service voice experiences with a Lightning-integrated agent. Amazon Connect is a cloud-based contact center service that works between three of the most prominent customer service technologies (Interactive Voice Response, Automatic Call Distribution, and CRM). Amazon Connect CTI Adapter is now available on the AppExchange.

Einstein Voice Assistant

The new age of artificial intelligence is here—Salesforce Einstein now has a voice. Einstein Voice Assistant is set to transform the way we work, with Salesforce users now able to take advantage of a voice-activated user interface. Repetitive administration tasks are now a thing of the past, as users can simply dictate account updates directly to the Salesforce Mobile App. Einstein will then translate this voice data to update Salesforce records, as efficiently as if the data was inputted manually.

One in five adults in the USA has a smart speaker in their home, with voice technology predicted to revolutionize the retail experience over the next decade. Salesforce users are now able to build branded voice bots for their company, which can be customized to their specifications. There is now no reason why a business powered by Salesforce shouldn’t be optimized for voice search, whether that comes from Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri. Trailblazers are now able to take the Get Smart with Salesforce Einstein Trail to get started with voice UI.

Given the overwhelming amount of information shared at Dreamforce, many key announcements and developments can often get lost in the crowd. I hope this summary of Dreamforce 2018 leaves you excited for the future of the technology, where new opportunities are being explored every day!

What was your highlight of Dreamforce 2018? Let us know in the comments below!

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