| 5 min read

How Salesforce Remained on the Cutting-Edge in 2018

Francesca Greane
Written by Francesca Greane

Technology never stops evolving, and any company worth its weight in gold knows you have to keep up with these advancements if you want to see any success in today’s digital and technology driven world.

And no business knows that better than Salesforce – who are notorious for constantly and consistently bringing bigger and better technology to their clients. As a result, the capabilities of the Salesforce platform now extend far beyond the CRM platform that was launched in 1999.

Indeed, it is this ability to adapt, and their push to always implement the latest tech, that has resulted in Salesforce becoming worth about $50 billion. In 2018 alone, they focused their attention on four the most cutting-edge technologies out there and expanded their capabilities yet again to encompass …that’s a pretty mean feat even for the leading cloud enterprise software company.

Here, we’ve taken a look at exactly how Salesforce has gone about harnessing the top technologies this year. 

 

Blockchain

Possibly one of the biggest buzzwords of 2018, ‘blockchain’ has been thrown around so many times that no one is actually sure why or how it should be used. No one, that is, aside from Salesforce, who have already steamed ahead in harnessing the technology. Indeed, on November 4th this year, Salesforce obtained a patent to harness the power of blockchain in order to prevent spam, or other unwanted emails from plaguing people’s inboxes. It sounds like a pretty high brow technology for a software company to be harnessing but, in fact, Salesforce have been pretty clever in how they utilised blockchain.

The long and short of it is that, when a user sends an email, a portion is recorded onto a blockchain platform. When a second email server receives the message, it will compare a component to determine whether it matches the section recorded onto the blockchain. If the components match, the email will continue to the inbox, whereas if there is a discrepancy, the email will be marked as spam. 

The technical bits aside, Salesforce are managing to solve an issue that hundreds and thousands of people deal with every day – receiving spam and fraudulent emails. They’ve taken what is fundamentally a complex technology and applied it in a pretty simple way – but in a way that will bring incredible amounts of value to both existing and potential customers.

We already know that it’s not uncommon for Salesforce to use innovative technologies to enhance their offering, and that they often like to be the first to do so. Their step into the world of blockchain is setting yet another precedent that they want to be leading the charge on innovation, and that they are going to do so in a way that will truly impact their client base – rather than just to make a point that they can…

 

Artificial Intelligence

It’s absolutely no surprise that Salesforce have doubled down on their artificial intelligence focus this year. Indeed, since they first announced Einstein in 2016, the company has gone all-in on AI, with Benioff himself saying then “AI is the next platform – all future applications, all future capabilities for all companies will be built on AI”, and with artificial intelligence hogging the limelight when it comes to new features in Salesforce’s three-yearly update releases.

Continuing on their mission to utilise cutting-edge technologies whilst putting the customer experience first, Salesforce Einstein was conceived to harness the power of artificial intelligence to build predictive features right into apps to personalise recommendations, anticipate next steps, and automate tasks to give customers the best experience. And these capabilities are constantly evolving and becoming more, well, intelligent.

Again, during Dreamforce 2018 Salesforce indicated that they may be making significant progress in this challenging and often overhyped field, and with their integration of Datorama– a cloud-based AI outfit – earlier this year, there’s clearly only going to be more advanced capabilities coming our way, as Salesforce continues to throw their resources behind building out their AI offering.

 

Voice Technology

If there was one thing that dominated 2018 it was voice technology. With the global industry predicted to grow 19.8%, and reach $8.3 billion in the next five years, there is no denying that user adoption of this tech has gone through the roof in recent years; it’s in our kitchens, in our TV’s, and in our cars – and now, it’s in Salesforce. Consumer voice assistants like Alexa and Siri have completely rewired the way people interact with technology, and soon the same will be possible for workers using Salesforce, with their announcement of the arrival of their new voice capabilities for its artificial intelligence system Einstein.

Capitalising on the boom in voice assistant tools, the extension will enable users to update their customer relationship management software databases simply by dictating memos to Salesforce Einstein. The Voice Assistant will then interpret the voice memo, translate it into text, and log that information into Salesforce.

We’re in the midst of an incredible technological shift, where the power of voice is fundamentally changing the way we work,” said Parker Harris, Co-Founder and CTO, Salesforce. “Einstein Voice will usher in a new era of conversational CRM, delivering new levels of productivity and redefining customer experiences with voice technology.”

Clearly, Salesforce aren’t happy with just making their technology good – they want it to be great. And whilst voice technology might not seem like something that should be prioritised when it comes to augmenting customers’ experiences and capabilities, but Salesforce are adept at identifying where they can provide huge value add by harnessing the latest ‘must have’ thing – and this year, it was voice tech.

 

Internet of Things

The growth of IoT technology is far past the point of return, with Gartner predicting that there may be as many as 20 billion connected devices across the globe by 2020. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Salesforce are throwing their weight behind the technology – recently implementing it in their Field Service Lightning platform in order to enable companies to use connected devices to troubleshoot problems with machinery before they get on site.

This is a clever move by Salesforce, who have once again proved their ability to enhance the customer experience and enable businesses to provide exceptional customer service. They’ve also chosen to invest in harnessing this technology for something that is relatively industry agnostic; the ability to quickly isolate a problem and deploy the right individual to fix any issue is hardly targeting a niche demographic of potential customers, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the uptake of the Field Service CRM Platform increase as a result of these new capabilities. 

As Paolo Bergamo – SVP and GM, Salesforce Field Service Lightning, put it: “IoT-enabled products give organizations an opportunity to take a proactive approach to customer service, and the potential is limitless”. This is the perfect example of Salesforce evolving with the times and harnessing a technology that is only going to continue to grow in power and potential in order to advance their own offering.

 

Are you a Salesforce professional wanting to get stuck in using the most cutting-edge tech? Are you looking for your next opportunity in an innovative and forward-thinking business? Or, are you one of those businesses who needs to skills to help make these technologies a success?

Get in touch with one of our specialist Salesforce consultants to learn how we can help.