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User Experience and Artificial Intelligence Take Center Stage at Dreamforce 2018

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Last week, more than 170,000 sales, marketing and business leaders descended on San Francisco to hear about the latest and greatest innovations from software giant Salesforce at their annual user conference: Dreamforce. This year’s agenda was packed, with Salesforce unveiling a number of new projects, as well as strategic initiatives to help empower today’s sales teams.

While Salesforce made several announcements over the course of last week, some of the biggest news was focused on technology partnerships, natural language processing (NLP) enhancements and platform upgrades, with two key themes emerging: AI and customer experience.

1. Salesforce is Partnering with Apple to Enhance Mobile

On Day 1 of Dreamforce, Salesforce announced it is entering into a partnership with Apple to integrate several features, including Apple’s Siri voice assistant services, deeper into Salesforce’s existing mobile applications. As part of this strategic alignment, Salesforce will also build tools, so companies can tap into back-end systems and better build better native applications for iPhone and iPad devices.

This partnership shows that Salesforce is doubling down on mobile – an approach critical for today’s on-the-go business world. Salesforce has always been focused on customer experience, and this gives companies of all sizes the opportunity to optimize the user experience for mobile, as well as deepen the interface optimization options for users on iOS devices. Salesforce is also bringing voice assistant technology to the enterprise, with Siri able to provide a “daily briefing,” giving users an overview of what is happening on accounts, with deals and other Salesforce related information.

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2. EinsteinAI is Making the Enterprise “Voice-First”

Voice-enabled devices – now ubiquitous in the consumer setting through popular applications like Apple’s Siri – are increasingly being implemented in the enterprise. Just ahead of Dreamforce this year, Salesforce announced its plans to jump into this arena with the introduction of Einstein Voice. With this update in capabilities, Salesforce’s AI platform will allow users to verbally ask questions of their Salesforce application and perform a range of administrative and workflow tasks – such as updating leads.

Artificial intelligence is a focus for companies across industries in the digital age, and voice-enabled applications are becoming a critical component to the next-generation user experience. By adding voice-enablement to Einstein, Salesforce is embracing this trend, and further looking for avenues to enhance the platform experience.

3. With Customer 360, Salesforce Looks to Unify and Enhance the Customer Experience

Beyond AI applications, user experience continued to be a common thread at the core of Dreamforce this year, as further demonstrated by the news of Salesforce Customer 360. This provides a click-based interface that allows companies to easily connect and manage customer data across Salesforce applications.

For today’s marketers and sales teams, personalized touchpoints are critical to driving engagement with customers and prospects. Salesforce’s launch of Customer 360 shows another nod to the importance for organizations to create a cohesive and individualized customer experience in order to drive sales.

For more key takeaways from Dreamforce 2018, stay tuned for our Q&A with Cogito.

An image of PAN's Brand Experience Report on the Potentials and pitfalls of AI for marketers

In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.