Dreamforce 2017: Intelligence Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Calling intelligent technologies the "Fourth Industrial Revolution," Salesforce.com unveiled five services for its Customer Success Platform at its Dreamforce 2017 conference this week: myTrailhead, myEinstein, myLightning, mySalesforce, and myIoT.

During his keynote, Salesforce.com's chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, stressed that advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (and also including 3-D printing, biotechnology, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and quantum computing) should be viewed as tools for building better relationships with customers.

"Behind everything is a customer, and that's what all of us do: we're working to connect with our customers in an incredible new way," he told the audience. "This is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We're connecting to our customers in new ways with all these amazing next-generation technologies."

To that end, myTrailhead aims to help companies foster a culture of continuous learning by empowering them to create interactive learning at every stage of employees' careers. It has five key features: Trail Maker, Trailhead Profile, Trail Mixer, Trail Tracker, and Trail Checker. Trail Maker is a guided setup tool that enables companies to create private learning content, customized with their branding, for their employees in just a few clicks. Trailhead Profile provides a complete view of employees' skills and expertise. Trail Mixer empowers employees to build and share a collection of custom learning paths called Trailmixes. Trail Tracker is an app that aims to motivate employees with gamified leaderboards and allows managers to assign and track personalized learning across the company. Finally, Trail Checker rates and rewards learning via interactive challenges that assess skills.

Building on the release of Salesforce Einstein, the company's AI platform, myEinstein enables admins and developers to build custom AI apps across Salesforce with clicks, not code. For admins, it has two key features: Einstein Prediction Builder and Einstein Bots. Einstein Prediction Builder enables admins to create custom AI models on Salesforce for any field or object, custom or standard, with the goal of predicting business outcomes. Einstein Bots allows admins to build, train, and deploy customized service bots. For developers, it has Einstein Language and Einstein Vision, a pair of APIs launched in June that aim to empower developers to build AI-powered CRM apps.

Introduced two years ago, Salesforce Lightning is "a component-based framework for application development and a reimagined user experience," according to the company. myLightning aims to ensure that every application, portal, and experience that a company builds reflects its brand. It has four key features: Theming and Design System, App Builder with Dynamic Pages, Lightning Flow, and Lightning Bolts.

Theming and Design System allows companies to specify criteria including brand image, colors, page background image, and more to make Lightning align with their brand. Dynamic Pages enables companies to perform customization at scale by delivering a different experience to each user depending on the values of that record; the new Dynamic Pages enables them to control when a component appears on a record page via filter conditions and logic, creating a customized experience without the need to add anything to custom components—all of which is handled by the Lightning App Builder. Lightning Flow enables admins to create guided, visual process with Lightning Components and add them to a record, app, portal, or console. Lightning Bolts, introduced last year, are out-of-the-box solutions with industry best practices, Lightning Components, and business logic.

Salesforce.com also used the conference's first day to introduce Salesforce Essentials, a program to help small business tap into Salesforce with apps for sales and service that are easy to use, set up, and maintain.

The first of these offerings is Sales Cloud Lightning Essentials, which will enable small businesses to start and learn with Trailhead,Salesforce's interactive, online learning environment. It is free and seamlessly integrated into Sales Cloud Lightning Essentials. Trailhead will guide customers through setup.

Sales Cloud Lightning Essentials is infused with Einstein, empowering small businesses to automate basic sales activities. Einstein Activity Capture automatically keeps customer records up to date by connecting users' email and calendars.

Built on the Salesforce Lightning framework, Sales Cloud Lightning Essentials is optimized for any device.  In addition, customers can use the AppExchange to access an ecosystem of business apps that seamlessly integrate with Salesforce, extending the platform to every department and every industry. 

And as part of the strategic partnership announced with Google this week, Salesforce Essentials customers will get three months of G Suite by Google Cloud at no cost. With Salesforce Essentials and G Suite, small businesses can connect their email, calendar, and more.

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