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  • October 7, 2016
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

At DreamForce, Salesforce Shows Its Acquisitions Are Paying Off

But, for all the hype around Einstein, it wasn’t a completely new release at the show. Salesforce unveiled Einstein in mid-September, while Oracle was hosting its annual Openworld user conference in San Francisco.

Salesforce also used the conference to showcase how it is benefiting from several acquisitions, the most recent of which was Krux, a marketing data specialist, for $700 million. Salesforce made that announcement Oct. 4. Krux will extend the Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s audience segmentation and targeting capabilities.

An earlier acquisition, which Salesforce carried out in August, involved Quip, a cloud-based word processing provider, for $582 million. Quip extends the power of Salesforce with a next-generation productivity solution designed for teams, empowering everyone to collaborate without email. Quip combines documents, spreadsheets, task lists, and team chat in one seamless experience known as a "living document." Built with a mobile-first strategy, Quip allows teams to collaborate from anywhere using capabilities such as live editing, notifications, comments, and chat. Users sign up and log in to Quip with their existing Salesforce credentials.

Quip Lightning Component will enable teams to link, access, and create Quip documents, spreadsheets, and task lists directly from within Salesforce. Salesforce Rich Mentions will enable users to display Salesforce data and account records as rich mentions in Quip documents.

Jakovljevic says the Quip acquisition better enables Salesforce to compete with Microsoft Office365 and Google for Work in the productivity and collaboration space.

Feeding off its acquisition of Demandware in July for $2.8 billion, Salesforce also introduced its Commerce Cloud. Jakovljevic says Commerce Cloud positions Salesforce as a “serious retail player too,” noting that Demandware had more than 350 well-known retailers using its cloud e-commerce software to run their websites.

A main point of interest is the accompanying Salesforce Commerce Cloud Store, connecting in-store and digital with a real-time shared view of the customer to optimize in-store experiences, merchandising, and promotions.

Other product launches at the Dreamforce conference included the following:

  • The addition of My Salesforce1 to the Salesforce1 mobile app, helping companies brand their Salesforce1 apps and list them independently in mobile app stores. My Salesforce1 is currently in pilot with select customers and expected to be generally available in the second half of 2017 at an additional charge.
  • Salesforce1 Forecasting, to give sales leaders a top-down view of their businesses, enabling them to view and sort by forecast category to see how their teams are performing against quotas in real time, from any device. For all Professional Edition and above customers, Salesforce1 Forecasting will be available for the iOS with the October 2016 release. Support for Android will be added in mid-2017.
  • Salesforce Lightning Bolt, a new framework within the Salesforce Platform that helps companies create new social communities, next-generation portals, or customer-facing websites that seamlessly integrate with Salesforce CRM. The Lightning Bolt framework will be generally available in October 2016 as part of the Community Cloud license.
  • In addition, the IoT Cloud has been upgraded with the addition of IoT Profiles, which can bring together critical data sources in real time, including streaming event data from connected devices and contextual data from Salesforce, such as service history or open opportunities; and the IoT Traffic Monitor, which provides a real-time dashboard that enables businesses to monitor the state of connected devices. IoT Profiles and IoT Traffic Monitor are expected to be generally available in 2017.
  • Salesforce Live Message, a conversations platform that provides a Salesforce interface for the leading text messaging and chat apps.

Many of these apps and product additions involve technology that Salesforce gained in the past year. Analysts were quick to point out that in 2016 alone, Salesforce has bought about a dozen companies, spending more than $4 billion. This includes the $2.8 billion Demandware acquisition and the $700 million deal for Quip; within the past two months the software giant closed three more deals, buying not only Krux but also advanced analytics start-up BeyondCore and mobile-messaging app HeyWire.

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