Our Take on Dreamforce: Using Data to Drive Trusted Connections
This year, Dreamforce is all about the future of business: how data science and the idea of data intelligence is empowering businesses to make smarter, better decisions. In fact, Marc Benioff foreshadowed this a few months ago when he spoke to Fortune, claiming, “we’re going to have computers aiding us in how we’re interacting with our customers.”
Salesforce is meeting the rising wave of data that’s cresting across businesses in every industry. Data everywhere has become the new normal, as we collaborate and share content, as we connect to more devices, and as we dive further into the network of connected “things.” What Salesforce is telling us is that making sense of all this information quickly, in an automated way, is critical to remain competitive.
But, if data is everywhere, we not only have to find new ways to make it useful, we also need to aggressively secure these very insights that give us that competitive edge. Salesforce is leading the first part of this story, but how we protect the data is equally important.
In my opinion, here are the three most important ways Dreamforce showcased the future of data intelligence:
Data makes a “virtual sales assistant” possible. Last year, Salesforce acquired RelateIQ, and the acquisition is the definition of computer-aided customer interactions. This week’s new SalesforceIQ launch not only solves the pain of manual data entry, it analyzes activity data to equip sales reps with intelligent insights to close more deals. By leveraging a layer of data science, SalesforceIQ automatically flags which leads are going cold, which opportunities have a greater likelihood of closing, and ultimately, ensures you never drop the ball in the sales process.
Data builds stronger connections with customers. Not only is software helping us sell smarter, Salesforce’s Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud is poised to anticipate a customer’s next request. By aggregating customer data from multiple sources, including IoT sensors, it lets you design real-time engagement rules to predict customer requests before they ever happen. For example, an intelligent airline agent could pick up a signal from an airplane sensor, automatically rebook customers once the flight is delayed, and proactively send a message to passengers with their new flight information — all before they land.
Data is a lever to move the world. Data science is not only empowering businesses to make better decisions, it’s allowing us to effect change in the world at large. In my favorite announcement, Will Marshall, CEO of Planet Labs, showcased radical technology – tiny satellites called “doves” – that map the planet to proactively detect change globally – pollution, deforestation, earthquake trauma, as well as areas in need of disaster relief and humanitarian efforts.
As these new tools deliver more intelligence, we can’t forget a fundamental ingredient in the conversation: security. These insights – customer preferences, prior sales behavior, and anticipated future requests – are the source of a business’ competitive advantage, which is why it’s so critical to protect them. And, these insights are no longer stored in a static CRM. They’re flowing across devices, through cloud services, and into business applications, which means we need to secure the data itself, wherever it travels.
The next step is to ensure businesses protect those trusted customer relationships by protecting the data they collect. Interested in talking more? Send us a note at [email protected] We’d love to speak with you.