DreamForce 2022

The Six Five team discusses Salesforce’s DreamForce 2022 Event.

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Daniel Newman: Okay. Hold on. All right. So the next one is, last week I headed to San Francisco. I protected my life consistently, but they cleaned it up somewhat decently. You heard the word somewhat, allow me to qualify. I was still scared after I got about two blocks from the hotel. But within about two blocks of the event, they did a good job of getting the area contained. But in San Francisco, for what has to have been the largest event to come back to San Francisco since the pandemic. And that was Dreamforce 2022. It was a splash event like it always is. Red Hot Chili Peppers was the band, which is cool. But even the warmup after the Ohana, the Hawaiian dance, Lenny Kravitz kicked it off. I’m a Lenny fan, I’m not going to lie. He’s a talented guy, good singer, great voice.

And he’s apparently a buddy of Mark, which doesn’t surprise me either. Marc Benioff, co-CEO of Salesforce. Listen, lot of announcements. Another event that’s jam packed. But this one I think kind of gave me two things that really caught my attention that are worth knowing. So I’m going to talk a little bit about Genie, which was the biggest announcement that dominated the event, but then the updates to Slack were actually what I thought were potentially the most exciting. So Genie is basically the next iteration of data integration model to work within the Salesforce platform. Remember Einstein? Einstein was about insights. Well, Genie was really about real time. So what they’re doing now is they’re basically working to be able to take all the data in the cloud and be able to provide real time insights. And in a world of less third party tracking, the ability to use first party data effectively is going to be paramount.

The company seems to be really focused on utilizing these catchy market textures to enable customers to do more with their systems. Salesforce is the center of ecosystem for many companies and their sales service marketing operations. So being able to layer in Genie is going to be really, really important to the company in a growing competition space with everything from SAP to Oracle, and we’ll talk about that later, and Microsoft. We’ve seen Salesforce growth get more steady in its Core Cloud sales service marketing over the last several quarters. And while Benioff did announce, Marc Benioff did announce that, I think it’s a 50 billion by 2026 goal, which is huge for a SaaS company. The ability to basically enable this real time capability is going to be huge for the company. So Genie is the, they call it the “magic,” which essentially enables you to use all your data in real time to get insights that you can basically take to customers to deliver that right experience, right sale, right offer, right time.

From a cost standpoint, it’s going to layer right on top of your current offerings. It’s going to be based upon how many records you’re applying it to. And then basically Genie does its magic, “automagically.” So it’s pretty cool. It’s early days. My criticism would be this, Einstein landed with a thud. I see it coming together now. Genie has a lot of potential, but I think there’s a little skepticism in the market. We’ll need to see it work. Based on what they’re saying it’s going to do, super powerful. Does it do it? That’s going to be what the market’s going to wait to see.

Pat, I’m a bit of a sucker for good marketing. So the marketing is good. We’ll see how it goes. I think Jeanie was the main headline, but if you listened to me at all over the last three years, four years, five years, but really since the Slack acquisition, I’ve said Microsoft Teams is going to be a Juggernaut for Salesforce because the way the world is going is that the asynchronous, and real time, and power platform, and citizen developer is going to be the future of how companies communicate.

We want to take meetings from email to chat, chat to video, video to collaboration in groups, and we need to be able to make that happen. But for a long time we saw Salesforce bought Slack, we’re like, eh, what are they doing with it? 27 billion dollars, what’s happening there? So you heard Marc Benioff for a long time talk about a digital HQ. Well the digital HQ started to come to life with the company launching its canvas and of course building on its huddle offering. Basically the canvas gives the ability for ad hoc meetings. The huddle allows multiple faces on video at the same time to be in chat. So you’ve got chat, you’ve got video, you’ve got collaboration, you’ve got a canvas for creating, sharing, you’ve got integration with Quip, which again, maybe this will be the thing that gets someone to use it because no one’s using Quip right now, at least not at any scale.

But of course I think you’re going to see integrations to work with other productivity tools as well. Overall though, as I see it, you’re going to be able to automate processes, you’re going to be able to use Slack the way I’ve envisioned Teams being used to create workflows and automation. And finally I think getting to a point where Slack really does operate as the front end. I think we’re getting closer. Now again, that productivity is going to be a key, Pat. It’s not going to happen on its own. But I do think huddles was impressive to me. The company says they’re not going after Zoom or WebEx or Teams per se, but at the same time I think that it does definitely fulfill some of those needs to do real time collab, but they’re really more focused on that asynchronous and ad hoc. I like the announcements, I like those two specifically. I wrote a long Forbes piece on it. You can read more about what I had to say there on Forbes. I’ll leave a little bit for you.

Patrick Moorhead: Yes, so we’ve talked on a few additions here of this move to full stacks. You have Salesforce, you have Microsoft, you have Google. You even have little micro Stacks being created by companies like Box. So Stacks are what it is, and now where that ends up in 10 years, I’m thinking it’s a walled garden. I would hope not. But as long as we keep APIs and having best of breed, I don’t think we’ll ultimately get there. I was super skeptical in the beginning on what Salesforce was trying to do with this expansion strategy, particularly with Slack. It felt a little bit like me too, the spending that much money to get access to a super popular chat app and integrate it. There were definitely other ways you could do this. And quite frankly, when a customer comes to, let’s say, the customer support line and they’re using chat, they don’t care if it’s Slack, they don’t care if it’s some open source product, they really don’t care.

But what I am impressed with is how quickly they turned around some of these capabilities. And whether that’s Canvas. And I do think Canvas is really interesting in a lot of different ways, particularly in that Salesforce has given employees a place to collaborate. And the big test for me is, can Salesforce get this out of, let’s say, an add-on to its current areas of strength like sales and marketing? Can they move it into other groups like finance or HR? You had a good example in your article about how HR would use this with the onboarding process, be able to quickly automate some of these processes. And it’s interesting, when I looked at Canvas, I couldn’t help to think, Wow, this really goes head to head with Microsoft. In most enterprises, what are the places that we all go to where files are capital?

Daniel Newman: SharePoint-esque.

Patrick Moorhead: Exactly. And SharePoint is moving to Teams, and the ability to create a Team’s page, which by the way, the backhand at SharePoint. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The technology behind it. But no, listen, I’m impressed with where they’ve come. I’ll be even more impressed when I see some numbers on who’s using it, how they’re using it. I think document management, secure document management would be an interesting place for them to go, which again would go right in the face of Box, who’s number one in secure document management.

I’ll tell you what, when-

Daniel Newman: Been saying that for a while. I think I’ve done 38 quotes in Business Insider where I keep saying Box is the-

Patrick Moorhead: I gave Business Insider Box as well, so you and I are on the same page.

Daniel Newman: Absolutely.

Patrick Moorhead: So I’d love to come to Dreamforce next year. Hopefully that the company can make it happen.

Daniel Newman: Hint, hint. Yeah, it really was a well run event. They’d take care of the analysts, Pat. So credit due where credit’s due..

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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