June 2020
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Hi I’m Blue, DemandBlue’s mascot! With many options for newsletters/e-magazines, I strive to be different by offering both informative and entertaining content at the same time. I will be bringing you a snapshot of significant Salesforce news from this quarter along with some interesting viewpoints from technology leaders around the globe. There is also a fun zone section, through which I hope to showcase the funny side of Salesforce. I hope you like our format and content. Please share your feedback here, as I would like to know what YOU want to read next.

COVID-19 Resources

Can’t start off without addressing the elephant in the room - the ongoing global pandemic COVID-19. The whole world has been crippled and we are suddenly finding ourselves locked in at home. The one way to tackle this is to follow strict hygiene guidelines, stay healthy, and stay positive by channelling our energy towards learning new things and accessing accurate data. To help us through this difficult time, Salesforce has offered a ton of resources that includes Quip collaboration tool for free, Salesforce certification training for free, discounts on Salesforce certifications, etc. Please click here to get complete details.

Salesforce acquires Vlocity!

Salesforce’s acquisitions hardly surprise us anymore. But Vlocity, a Salesforce nativeISV, was gobbled up by its parent platform!

Salesforce is to acquire Vlocity, a provider of industry-specific cloud and CRM apps, for $1.33 billion (£1.04bn) in an all-cash deal – amid an action-packed end to the company’s fiscal year.

  • The Vlocity solution is built natively on the Salesforce platform, with Salesforce Ventures co-leading its most recent funding, a $60 million series C round in March.
  • The six primary industries targeted by Vlocity are communications, energy and utilities, government, health, insurance, and media and entertainment, with key customers including T-Mobile, Telus, and Sky.
  • The company placed in the top 25 of the most recent Forbes Cloud 100 ranking, as well as just outside the top 50 on the Inc. 5000 Series earlier this month, representing the fastest growing private companies in California.

Salesforce Co-CEO Keith Block steps down;
Marc Benioff will be sole CEO

  • Keith Block became co-CEO alongside Marc Benioff less than two years ago.
  • The company also announced fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat expectations.
  • Salesforce stock initially sank 3% in extended trading on Tuesday after the company said co-CEO Keith Block is stepping down.
  • Marc Benioff, the other co-CEO, becomes sole CEO. The company also announced fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat expectations, along with an acquisition.
  • Block joined Salesforce from Oracle as president and vice chairman in 2013, he was promoted to operating chief in 2016, and he became Salesforce’s co-CEO alongside Benioff in August 2018. He will stay on as an adviser for a year, Salesforce announced in a statement.

Salesforce Einstein and Artificial Intelligence Trends 2020

From new feature launches, to discussions about how to create more ethical models, Salesforce leaders made it clear that AI is at the heart of its innovation plans for the next decade.

Einstein Sharpens Its Voice-

For customers, the debut of Call Coaching promises insights that can boost close rates and deliver the information that matters most to them. A similar feature called Service Cloud Voice can also transcribe calls in real-time to offer recommendations for sales reps to help serve their customers faster and better.

AI Drives Smarter Predictions-

For the vast majority of Salesforce users, predictive models are brand new. Business executives, though, are familiar with descriptive analytics or what data tells us about what’s happening now. Venturing into the world of predictive analytics, there will no doubt be lots of questions about a prediction’s confidence via AI tools.

Toward More Ethical AI-

There was a large and deserved – focus around “ethical AI” at Dreamforce. Salesforce’s Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer, Paula Goldman, gave an excellent presentation on the ethics of the use of AI and shared her insights on how Salesforce developers can make machine learning models that reduce bias.

Salesforce’s Benioff pledges no ‘significant’
layoffs for 90 days

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff outlined an eight-step plan to keep people safe and find treatments and a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus, all while working to find a way to get people back to work safely. He also asked that all CEOs take a 90-day “no lay off” pledge to help everyone get through the crisis.

The same day, he posted another tweet pledging to not make any “significant” layoffs for 90 days. When TechCrunch asked Salesforce to comment on the difference between the two tweets, the company chose not to comment any further on the matter and let the tweets stand on their own.

It sounds like Benioff’s second tweet, which also asked employees to consider paying their own hourly workers like housekeepers and dog walkers throughout the layoff period, whether they were working or not, was designed to give the CEO some wiggle room for at least some layoffs.

Dreamforce 2020 goes virtual as the Coronavirus Pandemic Continues to be on the Rise

Salesforce said it will not hold its annual Dreamforce conference in person in San Francisco this year as uncertainty continues over when the coronavirus pandemic will be controlled. The event for customers and partners was scheduled for November 9-12. The company said its events for the year have been cancelled and will instead go on in “new and virtual ways.”

Salesforce releases Work.com, a set of new tools to help businesses and public agencies reopen safely (CRM)

  • Salesforce has created a set of new tools, called Work.com, to help both businesses and public agencies reopen workplaces while maintaining employee safety.
  • The new apps, available in June, include tools for tracking employee health, managing shifts so office spaces don't get too dense, and keep tabs on local regulations.
  • Taylor says that building these tools goes back to Salesforce's philosophy of "stakeholder capitalism," serving employees, customers, shareholders and the community all equally.
  • Salesforce COO Bret Taylor said leaders he has spoken with say they are struggling to reopen businesses and organizations safely, and lack the tools that can help them do so.

Re-engage Patients Awaiting Treatment with the Accelerate Elective Procedures Solution

Powered by Salesforce Health Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Tableau, the Accelerate Elective Procedures solution addresses several critical areas to help health systems efficiently reprioritize elective procedures and services, coordinate care, and engage patients for better outcomes.

  1. Patient Prioritization
  2. Patient Outreach
  3. Patient Intake
  4. Capacity Planning and Analytics

New York City partners with Salesforce on coronavirus contact tracing program, mayor says

  • New York City is partnering with Salesforce to build the city’s coronavirus contact tracing program, designed to track and test contacts of anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday.
  • Salesforce will deploy a call center as well as a customer relationship and case management system that will help the city track potential cases and isolate people before they become sick, he said.
  • De Blasio announced that the city is implementing a “test and trace corps” that will be tasked with testing New Yorkers for the infection.

DemandBlue’s Delivery List:

While Salesforce was busy with its acquisitions and CEO transition, here is what DemandBlue was up to last quarter.

We acquired 19 new customers in the last quarter in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID scenario. Interestingly, while trying to segment our customers, I found out that our customers come from different verticals and in all sizes, which is a lasting testament to how versatile our engagement model is for Salesforce customers.

Talking to our Salesforce solution delivery team, it is obvious that the majority of the work revolves around lightning transition projects and workflow automations. According to them, here are the 2 most standout and unique projects for the quarter. One is a Salesforce Apttus integration where our team had to come up with a custom solution to solve a snafu that happened when Apttus went for an upgrade. The second project involved setting up a fundraiser campaign in Marketing Cloud for a non-profit.

This is a video that my team worked on and it's one of my favourites. Hope you enjoy it too! A funny take on how we think customers embrace different Salesforce products…

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Thanks for reading this newsletter. DemandBlue is a Salesforce Partner and the folks here have designated me to bring you all the latest news and trends that may be of interest to you. Please send your feedback to newsletter@demandblue.com