Dreamforce 2014 in Review: Catch the Wave, Ride the Lightning

No doubt about it, Dreamforce never fails to impress. And this year was no exception.

Miss the fun or haven’t had a chance to watch the sessions online yet? Here’s a quick recap of our favorite highlights, news and announcements from #DF14 – all features of Salesforce’s new Customer Success Platform. 

1. SALESFORCE WAVE (AKA ANALYTICS CLOUD)

It was the biggest and most anticipated announcement at Dreamforce – behold, the Salesforce Wave. This new Analytics Cloud makes it easy to bring in data from any source, explore and visualize, and share and collaborate through dashboards and the iOS mobile app – all within the trusted, secure Salesforce environment.

What’s so special about it? 

  • It’s search-based and flexible for any user. You don’t have to be an expert – anyone in your organization can view and leverage data, similar to the way we browse the web. Data can be filtered, grouped, drilled down, or searched by end-users to allow maximum flexibility.
  • It’s mobile-first. It was designed for mobile and rapid visualization across every device through a responsive analytic platform.
  • It’s collaborative. What does your data actually mean? Now users can add annotations to data visualizations and embed analytics into Chatter feeds on existing Salesforce records.

2. SALESFORCE1 PLATFORM – LIGHTNING
Building upon the release of last year’s Salesforce1 platform, Salesforce1 Lightning was one of the other biggest unveilings this year. It features tons of new capabilities like:

  • Lightning Components: Two words – drag and drop. You can leverage pre-built components from Salesforce and AppExchange Partners, or your developers can write their own components for anyone to use and build apps in record time – for both mobile and desktop devices. Best of all, you can do it all with drag-and-drop tools on an open, multi-tier framework.
  • Lightning Connect: Connect and access data from external sources with point-and-click setup. Plus, you can incorporate data from legacy systems in real time via Salesforce application objects.
  • Lightning Process Builder: Automate complex business processes with point-and-click tools. And visualize the entire process in one place, so you can design and collaborate directly with others.


3. SALES CLOUD
Here’s a closer look at the new and upcoming solutions within the Sales Cloud:

  • Sales Path: This new app is a guide for sales reps to advance a prospect through deal stages by coaching them and recommending sales engagement tools.
    • What’s so special about it?
    • When a deal reaches a certain stage, the app can proactively recommend sharing a certain presentation or bringing in a product expert.
    • Any change to a company’s sales methodology is automatically reflected in the app, so both new and experienced sales reps can stay focused on selling.

  • Sale Reach: It unites the power of Sales Cloud, Pardot and Communities into a new solution to connect with customers in entirely new ways. Our favorite features are the:
    • Micro Campaigns: Sales reps can instantly deploy micro marketing campaigns to hyper-target prospects based on their actions.
    • Real-time Activity Notifications: With new pop-up, real-time notifications on the Salesforce1 Mobile App, sales reps will have instant visibility into how prospects are engaging with their company and products anywhere, anytime.
    • Lead Tracking: This new dashboard will give sales reps access to a 36-hour activity record with prospects’ actions.
    • Mobile Nurture Campaigns: Sales reps will also be able to instantly add a prospect to a template marketing campaign with just a few taps to the mobile app.
  • Duplication Prevention: Control whether – and when – users are allowed to create duplicate records inside Salesforce. Customize the logic to identify duplicates, including fuzzy match logic. And create reports on the duplicates you do allow users to save.


4. SERVICE CLOUD

A couple of the notable new solutions are:

  • SOS for Apps: This mobile service solution will provide in-context access to customer service with a live video connection to an agent, on-screen guided assistance and screen sharing. Plus, it will enable any company to embed personalized service in any mobile app to deliver instant, anytime access to support.
  • Smart Agent Console: It pushes dynamic content to agents around known issues, highlights the resources most often used to resolve cases faster and streamline access to data. It’s all designed to reduce time and energy spent searching for information.

5. MARKETING CLOUD

At the heart of the Marketing Cloud, the new Journey Builder is designed to empower marketers to plan, personalize, and optimize 1:1 customer journeys. It includes Journey Maps, Journey Interactions and Journey Analytics.

It also features a new Journey Builder for Apps product to help marketers:

  • Send real-time emails, SMS, MMS and push notifications.
  • Trigger journeys from apps, connected products and proximity to beacons.
  • Drive app downloads, purchases, engagement, upgrades and renewals.

6. COMMUNITY CLOUD

Building on the platform released last year, the Community has evolved into a full-fledged “Cloud” of its own. Some of the new capabilities announced at Dreamforce include:

  • Community Designer: Choose one of four templates to create, brand and publish a custom community site that looks great on any mobile device.
  • Topics: Leverage topics to organize and maximize value from community discussion. Navigational topics provide a consistent map of your site, and featured topics highlight current, popular conversations. Plus, member-created topics let users organize information for each other, creating a personalized experience that boosts community engagement.
  • Management Tools: Community managers now have more resources accessible from their community management page, including dashboards, moderation and community settings.

Whew, those are all the highlights … and the lowdown from #DF14! The most exciting part? All of these features are designed to enable and strengthen customer success.

P.S. Check back soon to learn more about the new platforms and tools, like Salesforce Wave, in our upcoming blogs.

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