As customer data becomes the cornerstone of business success, companies are struggling to keep pace with the changes required to gain real insight from their data.
While they have recognized the importance of this information to create smarter-selling, more personalized marketing and better customer service, using data to achieve better decision making has been difficult for many companies. Integrating data from numerous sources and being able to take action in real time based on a steady influx of data are just some of the hurdles companies wrestle with today.
Today, companies are trying to bring the power of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and internal databases to better understand their customers' preferences and to improve company operations.
Salesforce has been at work to make customer data insight more meaningful. On the eve of the Dreamforce 2016 conference, it announced Salesforce Einstein, a machine learning technology designed to enhance company's internal customer account data with external data sources. As a result, companies are better positioned to secure sales, market effectively and provide strong customer service.
Salesforce has touted Einstein as democratizing artificial intelligence, providing "AI for everyone," and taken data from a variety of sources -- from internet of things (IoT) devices to social media platform data to workers' calendar information -- to combine that data with CRM data and other sources to create a more complete picture of customer behavior in context.
Salesforce is also hard at work to integrate data and processes to make omnichannel customer experience more seamless. To that end, Salesforce announced Commerce Cloud, which exploits its $2.8 billion acquisition of Demandware. The goal is to make marketing efforts more personalized and tailored, regardless of a customer's channel. So, for example, if customers browse a store online for research purposes then go to a physical store, Commerce Cloud can help tailor that customer journey and personalize interactions.
The Demandware acquisition is one of a spate of purchases Salesforce has made since last year, from SteelBrick configure price quote software to Quip for document management to Implisit, MetaMind, and PredictionIO for data intelligence and machine learning.
Some of these acquisitions may be seamless (read: SteelBrick), but some may present hurdles in terms of integration with a company that aims to reach $10 billion in revenue. As releases like Salesforce Einstein and Commerce Cloud take shape post-Dreamforce conference, industry observers will be watching closely. For more on Salesforce's acquisitions and new releases, check out all the news, features and video from our Dreamforce 2016 conference coverage below.
The latest updates from Dreamforce 2016
Dreamforce 2016 has built up expectations on what Salesforce can deliver in the future. Below you can find an up-to-date recap of all the latest information and trends coming out of the conference in San Francisco.
Salesforce works integrate all of the new technologies it purchases and bring new capabilities into customer relationship management. Continue Reading
With the latest release, Salesforce Classic users will have to prepare to migrate to Lighting. Here are some tactics to help make it a little more painless. Continue Reading
Salesforce unveiled new features users can expect in upcoming iterations of CPQ, formerly known as Steelbrick. Continue Reading
Salesforce Analytics Cloud helps break up silos and clears the path for sales and marketing to work in sync. Continue Reading
Salesforce Einstein has been perceived as pure gold for marketers, some of its personalization efforts have yet to be honed to perfection. Continue Reading
Salesforce has evangelized AI as not only the new business differentiator, but also a tool that will eventually become pervasive. Continue Reading
Hobbled by antiquated services, Sam's Club struggled to save dwindling memberships. Salesforce helped change that. Continue Reading
T-Mobile attempts to avoid common obstacles sales reps continuously face by migrating to Lightning. Continue Reading
Salesforce has brought in Einstein as an umbrella for new and existing artificial intelligence throughout the platform. Continue Reading
The latest BlueWolf report expands on the demands and needs for intelligent systems within the enterprise. Continue Reading
Lightning helps digitize contracts and increase sales all in one go. Continue Reading
BeyondCore helps bring predictive analytics to the Salesforce platform. Continue Reading
Previous Dreamforce conference coverage
The Dreamforce 2015 conference was marked by Salesforce's commitment to tackling new industries with offerings including IoT and Salesforce Wave. Before Dreamforce 2016 starts, take a look back at how things developed in 2015.
Learn about the benefits and challenges of the Analytics Cloud as it gains momentum. Continue Reading
Salesforce Wave gets an upgrade, but will it be enough to win over users? Continue Reading
Salesforce Analytics Cloud is having a hard time gaining traction. What's holding it back? Continue Reading
Users are still hesitant to jump head-first into adopting Lightning and Wave. Continue Reading
3As seen at the show-
Dreamforce 2016 videos
Watch as companies share stories of overcoming obstacles, adapting to new challenges and streamlining business practices as they see what Dreamforce 2016 has to offer.
A glimpse at the specific criteria Salesforce Ventures uses to fuel its investment strategy to help the Salesforce platform grow.
That first step toward adopting a full CRM strategy is the hardest part for many small and medium-sized businesses.
Although companies know they need to modernize their infrastructure and applications and get out of the business of maintaining their own data centers, some are tentative to move to the cloud.
OnStar uses a number of Salesforce clouds as the backbone of its "connected vehicle" experience.
Salesforce IoT uses data to help companies make intelligent decisions about their products, services and customers
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is designed to help customers make purchases more easily and help companies learn more about their customers and prospects in order to elevate the customer service experience.
Salesforce Einstein helps manage all of the platform's business processes, from marketing to service, through artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence adds another dimension to sensor analysis data, giving a boost to the IoT Cloud.
At Dreamforce 2015, Salesforce expanded on what users should have expected from the IoT Cloud.
Experts discuss the way Salesforce Wave could change the way platforms utilize analytics at Dreamforce 2015.
Users talk about the benefits and upgrades to Lighting at Dreamforce 2015.
At Dreamforce 2015, experts talked about the new offerings coming from Salesforce and what values companies could take away from them.