Cloud

Dreamforce: 5 top takeaways from Salesforce's annual conference

At the 2016 Dreamforce event on Tuesday, Salesforce unveiled a host of new tools and features for its core platform. Here's what you need to know.

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Image: iStockphoto/adisa

Salesforce continues its recent focus on collaboration, mobile, AI, and IoT, with a host of new products and features announced at its annual Dreamforce conference on Tuesday. The company is moving toward a more unified approach, integrating many of its core components onto a single platform.

SEE: The state of SaaS in 2016: What a recent report means for your business and your staff

The announcements made on day one of Dreamforce were primarily updates to existing products, or to technologies that the company had acquired. Salesforce's new AI platform, Einstein, took center stage, but the company also showcased a few other initiatives that could make it easier for professionals to get work done.

Here are the top announcements from the first day of Dreamforce.

1. Einstein

Einstein was dubbed by Salesforce as "artificial intelligence for everyone." According to a Dreamforce press release, and a previous earnings call, Einstein is poised to touch nearly every aspect of the Salesforce business. In addition to integrating with the Sales Cloud, Einstein will be a part of other Salesforce clouds such as its Marketing Cloud, IoT Cloud, and others.

According to a press release: "Einstein will empower every Salesforce user to get closer to their customers, automatically discovering relevant insights, predicting future behavior, proactively recommending best next actions and even automating tasks. With advanced AI capabilities for sales, service, marketing, commerce and more, Einstein will act as everyone's very own data scientist."

Einstein isn't new; it's been talked about and hyped up for a while now. But, Dreamforce is where the company gave a deeper explanation of the technology and laid out their plan for it. Data is collected and then fed into customizable AI models. Users will be able to leverage Einstein Services or use it to build AI-powered apps as well, the release stated.

2. Quip

Quip is a productivity application that Salesforce acquired in August. It is predicated on the concept of a "living document" that combines tasks, spreadsheets, and documents for collaborative work.

At Dreamforce, Salesforce announced that users would be able to use SSO to access Quip with their Salesforce username and password. Additionally, a new Lightning Component for Quip will enable teams of employees to access their Quip Living Documents from the Salesforce platform, the release said, or extend its capabilities into other apps. Users will also be able to use Salesforce Rich Mentions in Quip documents.

3. Salesforce1 Mobile App

Salesforce originally debuted its mobile app back in 2013, but the company has been continually adding new features and functionality from its core products over time. On Tuesday, Salesforce announced a new branding initiative for the app called My Salesforce1, which allows a business to brand their Salesforce1 app and "list it independently in mobile app stores," the press release said. The hope is that this will help boost adoption and use.

Another new features called Salesforce1 Forecasting gives a broader look into the business through the Salesforce1 app. Business leaders, the release said, can use this feature to better manage their forecasting from their phone, or when they are out of the office.

4. Salesforce Platform

Of course, the foundational Salesforce Platform also got some updates at Dreamforce this year, too. The Salesforce Lightning framework has a new iteration called Lightning Bolt that, according to the release, "accelerates any company's ability to turbocharge the creation of a new community, next-generation portal or customer-facing website."

Industry-specific Lightning Bolt solutions have already been built by 10 partners. The Platform is also getting some new features for productivity, including a redesigned navigation bar and App Launcher, as well as improved search function.

5. Thunder IoT Cloud

For those unfamiliar, Thunder is the data processing engine that Salesforce's IoT Cloud is built on. On Tuesday, the company announced new IoT profiles to bring together more disparate data sources in hopes that it will improve the customer experience.

Traffic from IoT-connected devices will now be easier to manage for Salesforce users with a new IoT Traffic Monitor, the release said. This dashboard shows how these devices are operating and if it is affecting the customer in any way.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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