Salesforce Opens Dreamforce with Huge Google Surprise and More
Describing their new partnership as a natural fit, Salesforce and Google yesterday announced plans to integrate their services for "smarter, more collaborative experiences."
As part of the deal, unveiled during the first day of Salesforce's annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, Google Cloud will become the preferred cloud services provider for Salesforce, while Salesforce will integrate Google's G Suite productivity services into its own customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
Salesforce yesterday also announced myTrailhead, a customizable learning platform for businesses; the Quip Collaboration Platform for workplace teams; and updates to other services, including myEinstein for artificial intelligence (AI), myLightning for customized CRM apps, and myIOT for business processes built on Internet of Things (IoT) data.
Integration of Google Analytics an 'Industry First'
Through its new strategic partnership with Google, Salesforce said it will use the Google Cloud Platform to support its own core services while working to expand its global infrastructure. Meanwhile, the addition of G Suite to the Salesforce CRM platform means Salesforce users will gain seamless access to Google services ranging from Gmail and Calendar to Hangouts, Drive, Docs, and Sheets.
Most of the new integrations, which will also add sales and marketing data through Google Analytics 360, are expected to roll out in 2018. Salesforce customers that haven't previously used Google's paid enterprise services will be able to use G Suite for no additional cost for up to one year.
The addition of Google Analytics 360 to Salesforce's services is an industry first, Ryan Aytay, Salesforce's executive vice president of strategic product alliances, said in a blog post. For example, marketing professionals will be able to "create customized audiences in Analytics 360 and easily push them to Marketing Cloud for activation in direct marketing channels such as email and mobile," he said. "In addition, Analytics 360 data will be available directly within Marketing Cloud, delivering marketers one holistic dashboard of consumer engagement data."
In a separate announcement from Salesforce, Google senior vice president of ads and commerce Sridar Ramaswamy said the new partnership aims to "tackle one of the biggest challenges facing our customers -- connecting the insights in their CRM with the rich data in their analytics. For the first time ever, our customers will be able to seamlessly connect what's happening across sales, marketing and advertising, and take action across our ads platforms and Salesforce."
Quip Collaboration Platform
Salesforce yesterday also launched the Quip Collaboration Platform to enable users to work together on live documents. The offering is built on technology acquired last year when Salesforce bought a San Francisco startup named Quip for an estimated $750 million.
The new platform enables businesses to create and work on documents that can include real-time data through the use of embedded applications called Live Apps. Among the data sources supported by Live Apps are Salesforce records, calendars, and kanban boards. More such apps are being developed by DocuSign, Atlassian, and other partners.
The Quip Collaboration Platform will help teams be "more nimble and productive without using email or switching between dozens of apps and looking for lost files," Quip co-founder and CEO Bret Taylor said in a Salesforce announcement. The new Quip services also include Salesforce Files Connect for Quip that lets users attach live Quip documents in Salesforce Chatter feeds, groups, and other apps.
myTrailhead for Gamified Training
Another update unveiled yesterday will see Salesforce's three-year-old Trailhead learning platform extended with new capabilities for businesses that want to customize their in-house training environments. The myTrailhead expansion will let companies create centralized, gamified resources for onboarding, skills training, and continuing education.
The new platform includes a Trail Maker guided setup tool, a Trailhead Profile to provide a complete view of each employee's skills and training record, a Trail Mixer tool for creating customized learning packages with content from multiple sources, a Trail Tracker app for motivating employees with gamified leaderboards, and Trail Checker for designing interactive challenges with quizzes, stand-and-deliver assessment tools, and more.
A pilot offering of myTrailhead is expected to launch sometime in the first half of 2018, with the platform becoming available to a wider audience later in the year. More details about pricing will be announced at that time, Salesforce said.
Targeting the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution'
In addition to the Quip Collaboration Platform and myTrailhead, Salesforce is also rolling out a variety of other services updates aimed at helping companies deliver "smarter, more personalized digital experiences that place the customer at the center of their business."
Those updates include new services to enable professionals to better connect with customers using AI, IoT data, and other advanced technologies. Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said the updates are designed to meet business needs in the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Technology changes mean customer expectations are also changing, while more data and data-driven insights are being used to enhance business products and services.
Expect more Salesforce news this week, as Dreamforce 2017 runs November 6-9, with keynotes on the Future of Work, Equality, the Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Financial Services, B2C Marketing, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and more.
Image credit: Google/Artist's concept.