On Monday, at the 2017 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, Salesforce unveiled a host of updates across its platform that our analysis believes to be focused on three key things: Customization, low-code orchestration, and using data as intelligence. Here's a breakdown.
Salesforce products Einstein, Trailhead, Salesforce IoT, Lightning, and the core Salesforce platform all received feature upgrades at Dreamforce, with "my" added as a prefix to denote the focus on customization. With the updates, many of these apps and platforms now can be branded with corporate logos and company color schemes, along with some other new choices.
Low-code orchestration, which allows business users to build or customize applications without coding, will help open up the Salesforce platform to even more users. Turning data into intelligence will, in turn, help users get more out of the Salesforce products they're using.
SEE: Hiring kit: Salesforce developer (Tech Pro Research)
Here are the six core updates introduced at Dreamforce 2017, and how they follow and inform those three themes.
Essentially, mySalesforce is a platform service that will allow companies to extend their brand's color pallette, look, and feel to mobile apps built on the Salesforce Lightning App Builder, and publish them on Apple's App Store or the Google Play Store, according to a Salesforce press release.
The service offers a low-code app development tool that lets business users create an app with simple point-and-click tools. Once completed, a setup wizard walks the user through publishing the app, even testing and configuring it beforehand, the release said.
Continuing the customization theme is myLightning, the next phase of Salesforce's Lightning app development framework, in which companies can build deeper experiences in their apps and weave their brand throughout Lightning. For example, partner company T-Mobile's dashboard will have their logos and signature pink colorway throughout.
For the App Builder portion, a new feature called Dynamic Pages will provide a custom experience for each user, depending on their data, according to a press release. Additional automation tools called Lightning Flow will also help streamline the user experience while performing the needed actions on an app.
Einstein is artificial intelligence (AI) for Salesforce. The new myEinstein machine learning platform services introduced at Dreamforce will allow users of all skill levels to "build custom AI apps across Salesforce," a press release said. myEinstein is built on the foundation of two core services: Einstein Prediction Builder and Einstein Bots.
Einstein Prediction Builder lets admins and business users build custom, AI-based prediction models. Einstein Bots enable the creation of custom service bots with a point-and-click interface, the release said. These are both examples of intelligence in the Salesforce platform and the use of low-code development to provide a more tailored experience.
The next evolution of Salesforce IoT is myIoT, which aims to help users build more intelligent customer experiences and be more proactive in using data to inform the customer relationship. The first major product in myIoT is Salesforce IoT Explorer, introduced in October 2017.
This is another Salesforce product relying on low-code orchestration to democratize its services, a press release said. Users simply point and click to create rules-based automation for the connected devices in their organization. The goal is for, by improving intelligence and customer context, sales professionals can more proactively engage customers at the proper point in the sales cycle.
Business education and skill-building for Salesforce users takes place on their Trailhead learning platform. Its latest iteration, myTrailhead, allows firms to add their own content and branding to further customize the platform.
In addition to adding brand-specific imagery, companies can customize existing Trailhead content, or simply add their own training materials to help their employees build more company- or industry-specific skills, a press release said. Private content is added with the help of a setup guide called Trail Maker, while users have customizable profiles and can be motivated by gamified leaderboards as well.
6. Quip Collaboration Platform
Document sharing and collaboration company Quip was acquired by Salesforce more than a year ago. At Dreamforce, Salesforce announced that it was extending the app's functionality with the introduction of the Quip Collaboration Platform with Live Apps integration and Workflow Templates.
Live Apps are embedded into Quip and provide real-time data and relevant content from Salesforce apps and those from third parties, a press release said. With Live Apps, a user won't have to switch back and forth between windows or applications to gather the information they need for a given project they're working on in Quip. A Live Apps API will allow customers, developers, and partners to build their own Live Apps for Quip.
Workflow Templates offer pre-built Quip documents and spreadsheets that are customized for use in specific projects or industries. They feature a custom layout and the right Live Apps to allow users to get more work done, the release said. For example, one Workflow Template might be used to help a company map out a product launch.
Additionally, Salesforce announced that it would be using Google Cloud Platform to expand its infrastructure. As such, eligible Salesforce customers will receive one year of G Suite licenses for free. This partnership marks the integration of Salesforce with Google Analytics as well, which could provide some more in-depth insights from customer data analysis.
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Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.