December 19 by Elle Odysseos
The keynote at Salesforce’s flag ship World Tour stop in New York City always brings in some of the biggest announcements and keynote speeches of the Year. This year was no different with Marc Benioff himself taking up the stage. If you were unable to attend this year, or would simply like to rehash the key announcements of SFWT New York 2016, below are the 5 top takeaways from Marc Benioff’s keynote presentation.
1. HIV Eradicated by 2020
Marc started his keynote off on a giving back note, renewing Salesforces pledge and alliance with (RED), that was such a large theme at this years Dreamforce 2016, and also speaking to the major theme of Equality. With the help of Salesforce and sponsors everywhere, (RED) has the goal of establishing an AIDS free generation by 2020. And they are well on their way; while 10 years ago 1,500 babies were born with HIV, now that number is down to 400. To solidify Salesforce’s pledge toward equality – in the work place and in life – Marc again discussed their new Chief Equality Officer and how they are ensuring equal opportunity inside Salesforce – a theme that hopefully will be followed by others.
The second major theme/takeaway from this year’s event was the Quip product, a cloud-based word processing app, that competes with MSFT Office Online and Google Docs as a workplace productivity tool. Currently quip is limited to only Word processing and spreadsheets capabilities, lacking the capability of slides. Quip was created with a mobile first vision, and integrates seamlessly with Salesforce. One of the most important traits of Quip is the ability to update Salesforce records right from Quip.
3. Salesforce Commerce Cloud
A big push with the acquisition of Demandware, the Salesforce Commerce Cloud is focused on providing retail e-commerce companies, such as Adidas, with cloud-based e-commerce technology for their online store fronts. There was no mention in Marc’s keynote about applying the technology to B2B companies, so for now it looks like the commerce cloud is focusing on B2C retail business.
“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” Salesforce has spent $1 billion in AI investments, acquiring 10 companies to deliver the functionality needed to create Einstein – “the world’s easiest AI.” In his keynote, Marc walked through how Einstein is predictive, automated and intelligent – bringing AI to the forefront of the Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and Sales Cloud. The major takeaway from Marc’s description – and the Demo – of Einstein was the simplicity by which it was conveyed to the crowd – but that is the whole point of the technology. It is AI for everyone.
5. Salesforce Lightning Cloud
Salesforce is following what they see as the 5 transformations of enterprise software – intelligence, speed, productivity (Quip), mobility and connectivity. Salesforce sees their Lightning update as the second lever of that transformation – speed. Salesforce is continuing to push heavily on Salesforce Lightning, hoping to enable their customers to “be faster”.