Definition

Salesforce Blockchain

Contributor(s): Salesforce

Salesforce Blockchain is a distributed ledger platform designed for customer relationship management (CRM). Salesforce Blockchain was developed to be a low-code platform that can build trusted partner networks that share distributed and verified data. The goal of Salesforce Blockchain is to allow organizations to more feasibly manage blockchain networks, workflows, applications and contracts through clicks instead of complicated code.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that can maintain a permanent and tamper-proof record of transactional data. Blockchain functions like a decentralized database managed in a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Each endpoint in the network maintains a copy of the ledger.

Data in a blockchain is distributed, verifiable and secure. Distributed, meaning that data is saved in identical copies across a network of computers, instead of one central copy. Verified in that every change that is made to data in blockchain is authenticated and updated through the network before being saved. Secure, denoting that every verified change is saved to the ledger as a new block, then hashed to the previous block.

Instead of being used as digital currencies, blockchain applications can be employed as a way to create and manage a distributed database that can maintain records for any digital transaction. Salesforce Blockchain delivers a low-code blockchain platform for CRM that eliminates the challenges involved in deploying a blockchain application using code.

How Salesforce Blockchain works

Salesforce Blockchain brings together authenticated, distributed data and CRM processes, enabling companies to:

  • Build networks with clicks—Build and maintain blockchain networks, apps and smart contracts using Salesforce’s low-code capabilities. Customers can create and share a blockchain object in the same process as any CRM data object with clicks, not code.
  • Automate data with Lightning Platform—Layer blockchain data on top of existing sales, service or marketing workflows like search queries and process automation. Organizations can also run Einstein-powered artificial intelligence algorithms that integrate blockchain data into sales forecasts and predictions.
  • Engage partners—An engagement layer enables an organization to pull in APIs, pre-built apps and integrate any existing blockchains to create trusted networks, in which partners, distributors and intermediaries can join with a simple authentication.

Salesforce Blockchain is built on the open source technology of Hyperledger Sawtooth and is customized for Salesforce Lightning. Using this core technology stack, Salesforce Blockchain data is saved and signed cryptographically, stored in identical copies across multiple parties and updated only if the network verifies the changes.

Use cases

Some example customers of Salesforce Blockchain include:

  • Arizona State University—This public research institution uses Salesforce Blockchain to design and create an educational network that enables universities to verify and securely share information. This network will expand the ability of universities and colleges to serve learners. For example, the university could feasibly save student transcripts and accomplishments into a Learner Trust Record on a unified ledger. Arizona State University seeks to give ownership and control of student records to the students themselves, while significantly reducing friction between institutions and allowing them to provide faster and more intelligent services to students.
  • IQVIA—This global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and contract research services is collaborating with Salesforce to explore a variety of possible blockchain technology initiatives within the life sciences industry. One of those initiatives is specific to regulatory information management and drug label processing. Potential benefits from this initiative include cost savings via label automation and improved audit traceability, quality improvements based on agreed collaborative rules, enhanced security from immutable content sharing and real-time insights.
  • S&P Global Ratings—This provider of analytics and data for the global capital and commodity markets is leveraging Salesforce Blockchain to reduce the time it takes to review and approve new business bank accounts. By operating on a shared ledger of customer data, S&P Global Ratings is able to bring multiple reviews together in one trusted location, providing a more transparent and auditable review process for employees, partners and customers.
This was last updated in July 2019

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