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      Salesforce Predictions

      Exploring the AI-Powered Data Revolution With Salesforce


      Dec 12, 2023

      7 minute read

      “In a way, this AI revolution is a data revolution,” Parker Harris, Salesforce Cofounder and CTO said during his part of the Dreamforce 2023 keynote, “because the AI revolution wouldn’t exist without the power of all that data.”

      This quote establishes the synergy between AI and data. AI’s capabilities to learn, predict, and automate are deeply rooted in the data it processes. The more abundant, diverse, and high-quality the data, the more potent AI becomes.

      The ability to harness, analyze, and leverage data effectively is a determinant of a company’s growth and competitiveness.

      McKinsey states that AI-powered data analytics is expected to be a massive $13 trillion market by 2030[i]. Despite this immense potential, only 85 out of 500 companies have harnessed its capabilities for purposeful growth[ii].

      As organizations seek to navigate this AI-driven world, they often grapple with challenges, such as fragmented customer data and the integration of multiple business systems.

      These challenges, if addressed, can ensure progress and 250% more business value from data[iii].

      Salesforce is on a mission to democratize AI for all types of businesses and is reshaping the way organizations manage their data, and make data-informed decisions.

      In this chapter, we will be predicting the future endeavors of Salesforce on using data for strategic growth and capitalizing on the highly anticipated “Data Revolution”.

      Salesforce’s Data-Driven Legacy: Paving the Way for AI Innovation

      “A company’s AI strategy is only as good as its data strategy,” said Parker Harris, Co-Founder and CTO, Salesforce

      Salesforce’s early vision recognized the immense potential of data to transform customer relationships and drive business growth. This vision has guided Salesforce’s development of groundbreaking data solutions and its unwavering commitment to empowering businesses with data-driven insights.

      Following the official slogan of “AI+Data+CRM,” the sessions at Dreamforce 2023 affirm that Salesforce comprehends the critical link between data and AI. In its consistent efforts to enhance data-driven decision-making and AI capabilities, Salesforce has made significant strides.

      From the introduction of advanced AI tools like Einstein to the acquisition of platforms such as Tableau, the unveiling of products like Customer 360, and the latest addition of Einstein 1 Data Cloud, Salesforce’s legacy is a testament to the data revolution.

      These initiatives not only demonstrate their commitment to offering cutting-edge solutions but also underline their vision for the future—a future where data remains at the forefront of innovation and transformation.

      Salesforce’s Data-Focused Journey: Revolutionizing CRM and Beyond

      Since its inception, Salesforce has been propelled by a mission to revolutionize how businesses leverage customer data to gain strategic advantages. This data-centric legacy remains at the heart of Salesforce’s identity as a pioneer in customer relationship and data management solutions.

      Salesforce's Data-Focused Journey

      1. Cloud-Based CRM: Initially, Salesforce was a trailblazer as a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. This was a groundbreaking innovation in the late ’90s, as it allowed businesses to manage customer data and interactions in a more efficient and accessible way. By moving CRM to the cloud, Salesforce enabled companies to access their data from anywhere with an internet connection, making data management and utilization more seamless.

      2. Innovation in Data Analytics: Salesforce recognized the value of data analytics early on. They introduced tools like Salesforce Analytics Cloud (now known as Tableau CRM) to help businesses harness the power of their data for better decision-making. This platform enables organizations to analyze & visualize their data, uncover relevant insights, and make data-empowered decisions.

      3. Integration and Data Ecosystem: Salesforce has continually expanded its ecosystem by acquiring companies and integrating their technologies into its platform. Notable acquisitions including MuleSoft and Tableau, have strengthened Salesforce’s capabilities in data integration and analytics. These integrations empower organizations to build a solid data foundation by providing the tools for seamless data integration, insightful analytics, and improved data accessibility and reliability.

      4. AI and Machine Learning: Salesforce has heavily invested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to improve data utilization. Capabilities such as Einstein AI provide predictive analytics and individualized suggestions derived from customer data, empowering businesses to offer more customized experiences and enhance their overall operational efficiency.

      5. Customer 360: Salesforce introduced Customer 360, a platform designed to create a unified view of customer data across various touchpoints and departments. This initiative aims to break down data silos within organizations, providing a comprehensive and real-time view of customer interactions, preferences, and behaviors.

      Data Revolution and Salesforce’s Role

      Salesforce has long advocated for the transformative power of data-driven decision-making. Their flagship CRM not only streamlines customer data collection and centralization but also empowers businesses with a comprehensive understanding of their customers. This understanding acts as a catalyst, enabling more tailored and finely-tuned marketing, sales, and customer service initiatives.

      The recent announcements at Dreamforce ’23 (DF’23), including free Data Cloud access for enterprise and unlimited edition customers, underscore Salesforce’s unwavering commitment to a data-centric approach.

      Understanding Data Cloud

      Data Cloud is Salesforce’s fastest-growing product, developed entirely in-house without acquisitions. It represents the much-anticipated resolution to an enduring data challenge faced by the entire CRM industry. It is already processing a vast amount of data, handling 30 trillion transactions per month, and connecting and unifying 100 billion records every day[iv].

      Data Cloud helps in the cross-connectivity of data between platforms in the Salesforce ecosystem. Data Cloud can be subscribed as an individual product as a personalization and unification platform but unlicensed users also get its advantage to an extent in the form of Einstein 1 Platform.

      Providing free access to powerful tools like Data Cloud could be a game-changer. With this initiative, Salesforce’s possible motive is likely a combination of expanding its market reach, promoting data-driven decision-making, creating upselling opportunities, gaining a competitive advantage, and fostering a strong ecosystem around data excellence.

      Salesforce’s Commitment to Data Security & Compliance

      Salesforce’s commitment to data security has been embedded in its DNA. Their proactive and holistic approach to data security demonstrates that they view data security as a non-negotiable to safeguard sensitive customer information, ensure legal compliance, and uphold trust. It also underpins business continuity and the reliability of data analytics.

      The company already has a comprehensive set of security and compliance measures in place, including:

      Data encryption: Salesforce encrypts all customer data at rest and in transit.

      Access controls: Salesforce implements role-based access control (RBAC) to limit access to customer data exclusively to authorized personnel. Additionally, it provides an array of supplementary security measures like multi-factor authentication and event monitoring.

      Security certifications: Salesforce has achieved several security certifications, including PCI DSS, SOC 2 Type II, and ISO 27001.

      Compliance resources: Salesforce offers a variety of compliance resources to help customers comply with data privacy and security regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

      Additionally, underscoring the integration of enhanced security standards within Einstein 1, Peter Fisher, the leader of the platform’s development articulates the robust approach to secure data processing:

      • Einstein 1 has a secure sharing and security model, incorporating the Einstein Trust Layer directly within the platform.
      • When engaging the AI model, pertinent data is securely retrieved from the Data Cloud, ensuring its secure transmission.
      • Prior to forwarding the data to the Language Model (LLM), any sensitive, confidential, or proprietary information undergoes masking or anonymization to prevent exposure.
      • Post the AI model’s output generation, the Einstein Trust Layer performs meticulous checks to detect and counteract bias and toxicity in the content, thereby promoting responsible AI usage.
      • A stringent policy prohibits retaining data beyond the Salesforce ecosystem, ensuring it is never utilized for training AI models.

      Salesforce’s Vision for Data-Powered Growth

      While data may not be a hot topic as AI is now, both rely on each other. Salesforce understands this assignment quite well and has executed it with multiple tools to support AI-powered data analytics.

      Salesforce’s recent developments, including the Einstein 1 Platform, Data Cloud, and free Tableau licenses for Enterprise Edition customers, underscore Salesforce’s dedication to making AI-powered high-quality data accessible to all.

      Salesforce’s Customer 360, combined with MuleSoft’s integration platform, facilitates businesses in overseeing data unification, permissions management, audience segmentation, and more. However, there was much need for a complete data platform entirely built into Salesforce.

      Data Cloud, tightly integrated within the Salesforce Einstein 1 Platform, now serves as the platform’s foundational cornerstone, extending its influence across Salesforce applications.

      Tableau, in concert with Data Cloud, delivers effortless data analysis and AI-powered insights.

      Notably, the Data Cloud plays a pivotal role in the realm of Einstein Copilot, a generative AI conversational assistant, and its counterpart, Einstein Copilot Builder, a tool designed for the tailored creation of AI assistants.

      Salesforce is investing heavily in the platform, and it is quickly becoming the go-to solution for businesses of all sizes that need to unify and manage their data.

      Salesforce's Vision for Data-Powered Growth

      The future of Data Cloud will offer:

      Expanded Support for Unstructured Data: Data Cloud is already able to handle a wide variety of data types, including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data, such as text data in PDFs, call transcripts, or Slack conversations. However, Salesforce is expanding its support for unstructured data even further, which will make it even easier for businesses to unify all of their data in a single place.

      AI-powered Data Management: Data Cloud is also becoming increasingly AI-powered. This means that it can automatically classify and organize data, identify relationships between different data sets, and generate insights from data. This will make it easier for businesses to Extract the right ROI from their data.

      Real-time Data Integration and Processing: Data Cloud is also becoming more real-time capable. This means that businesses can integrate and process data from a variety of sources in real-time, which will enable them to make faster and more informed decisions.

      Open Ecosystem: Data Cloud is also part of an open ecosystem of partners and developers. This means that businesses can extend the capabilities of the Data Cloud with a variety of third-party solutions. This will make it more versatile.

      Over the past two years, Data Cloud has undergone significant advancements, with its inclusion in all of Salesforce’s major releases reflecting innovations. Salesforce is already working on offering industry-specific solutions, such as Data Cloud for Health Cloud. We can expect to see more of these solutions in the future, as Salesforce tailors its products and services to the specific needs of different industries.

      We believe we’d see deeper integration with other cloud platforms. Salesforce is already working with other cloud platforms, such as Snowflake. Salesforce’s recent introduction of Bring Your Own Lake (BYOL) Data Sharing with the Snowflake Data Cloud exemplifies the importance of data in an increasingly AI-driven world.

      Salesforce will make AI and data analysis more accessible to non-technical users through self-service tools and low-code/no-code platforms. This will empower business users to extract insights from their data without requiring extensive coding expertise.

      These predictions reflect Salesforce’s commitment to innovation and its role in shaping the future of data management and analytics. By continuously enhancing its Data Cloud platform and expanding its data-driven capabilities, Salesforce will empower businesses to drive growth, innovation, and success and get ahead in this data revolution.

      Chapter 3 The Data Revolution 2 CTA Image 1

      Our team of Salesforce and Business Intelligence experts can help you organize data across your systems for streamlined processes and seamless customer experiences. Write to us at [email protected] and we will take it up from there.

      Statistics References:

      [i] McKinsey
      [ii] Accenture
      [iii] Informatica
      [iv] Salesforce

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