Dreamforce 2016 coverage

Last updated:September 2016

Editor's note

As customer data becomes the cornerstone of business success, companies are struggling to keep pace with the changes required to gain real insight from their data.

While they have recognized the importance of this information to create smarter-selling, more personalized marketing and better customer service, using data to achieve better decision making has been difficult for many companies. Integrating data from numerous sources and being able to take action in real time based on a steady influx of data are just some of the hurdles companies wrestle with today.

Today, companies are trying to bring the power of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and internal databases to better understand their customers' preferences and to improve company operations.

Salesforce has been at work to make customer data insight more meaningful. On the eve of the Dreamforce 2016 conference, it announced Salesforce Einstein, a machine learning technology designed to enhance company's internal customer account data with external data sources. As a result, companies are better positioned to secure sales, market effectively and provide strong customer service.

Salesforce has touted Einstein as democratizing artificial intelligence, providing "AI for everyone," and taken data from a variety of sources -- from internet of things (IoT) devices to social media platform data to workers' calendar information -- to combine that data with CRM data and other sources to create a more complete picture of customer behavior in context.

Salesforce is also hard at work to integrate data and processes to make omnichannel customer experience more seamless. To that end, Salesforce announced Commerce Cloud, which exploits its $2.8 billion acquisition of Demandware. The goal is to make marketing efforts more personalized and tailored, regardless of a customer's channel. So, for example, if customers browse a store online for research purposes then go to a physical store, Commerce Cloud can help tailor that customer journey and personalize interactions.

The Demandware acquisition is one of a spate of purchases Salesforce has made since last year, from SteelBrick configure price quote software to Quip for document management to Implisit, MetaMind, and PredictionIO for data intelligence and machine learning.

Some of these acquisitions may be seamless (read: SteelBrick), but some may present hurdles in terms of integration with a company that aims to reach $10 billion in revenue. As releases like Salesforce Einstein and Commerce Cloud take shape post-Dreamforce conference, industry observers will be watching closely. For more on Salesforce's acquisitions and new releases, check out all the news, features and video from our Dreamforce 2016 conference coverage below.

1Previous Dreamforce conference coverage

The Dreamforce 2015 conference was marked by Salesforce's commitment to tackling new industries with offerings including IoT and Salesforce Wave. Before Dreamforce 2016 starts, take a look back at how things developed in 2015.