I have some exciting news to share today about our product strategy for small business.

When we started out nineteen years ago most of our customers were small businesses—and even though we have evolved our business and products to serve some of the largest companies in the world, small businesses remain a key part of our corporate DNA today. Over the years, we’ve acquired small business solutions—most notably Assistly, which became Desk.com and RelateIQ, which became SalesforceIQ CRM—to ensure we were providing our small business customers with world-class solutions tailored to their unique needs. Through those acquisitions, we brought incredible people and technology to Salesforce and learned even more about what modern small businesses want from a CRM system. And over and over again, our small business customers told us the same thing: they love the ease of use and simplicity of apps like Desk.com and SalesforceIQ CRM, but wanted the full power of the Salesforce Platform and the ability to extend, grow and leverage all the power of Salesforce, but tailored specifically to what a small business needs.

After a lot of careful consideration and research we decided that the fastest way for us to do this was to take the Salesforce Platform and optimize it for small businesses. Today, we are incredibly excited to release Salesforce Essentials—the world’s #1 CRM platform, now available for every small business. Our platform is used by some of the largest enterprises in the world and is now tailored specifically for what a small business needs. So they can get started quickly and grow and extend and innovate without constraint. As part of this announcement, we have made the tough decision to retire Desk.com and SalesforceIQ CRM. These products will be replaced by Salesforce Essentials because that's the best product strategy to ensure small business customer success.

Salesforce Essentials is a new edition for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud built specifically for small businesses. It's easy to set-up, easy to use and grows with your business. It's future-proof. And it's generally available today—in fact, we started rolling out Sales Cloud Essentials at Dreamforce 2017 and already have more than 2,000 customers using it, giving us positive feedback everyday.

For the first time, small businesses now get access to the very best of Salesforce, including Trailhead, Einstein, Lightning and AppExchange. Trailhead, our online, gamified learning platform, makes learning Salesforce—including Essentials—fun and easy. Salesforce Lightning, our modern user experience and app dev framework, empowers users to be more productive and spend more time selling and providing great customer service. Our thriving AppExchange lets users easily add apps like Dropbox for Business, MailChimp, Slack and GetFeedback to their Essentials deployment with just a few clicks. Einstein will help your employees work smarter and faster by automatically adding emails and calendar invites to the appropriate records.

And, regardless of how big your company ends up being, you can be confident that Salesforce can grow with you—it’s the same CRM platform that powers 83% of Fortune 500 companies, now optimized for small businesses.

Designing and building products for small businesses is very deliberate. Every feature matters. Small businesses expect an elegant, intuitive product that just works. There’s no place to hide. And that’s why building Salesforce Essentials has been such a rewarding experience for us. It’s made us better at designing and creating products, and we’re taking the lessons we’ve learned and applying them to our entire product portfolio. Our new set-up flow in Service Cloud was inspired by what we learned from building Essentials.

As I mentioned, we have decided to retire SalesforceIQ CRM and Desk.com in March 2020. We did not reach this decision lightly. Customer success is at the heart of everything we do and sometimes that means making hard decisions that we believe are in everyone's best interest. After talking to our customers and realizing that they were reaching the limits of what they wanted to do with Desk.com and SalesforceIQ CRM, we knew we needed to sunset these products and build new small business solutions on the core Salesforce Platform.

Starting today, all current Desk.com customers can move to a Service Cloud edition comparable to their current plan for the same monthly rate, and all current SalesforceIQ CRM customers can move to a Sales Cloud edition comparable to their current plan for the same monthly rate. We’ve invested in tools to make the migration seamless and are giving customers two years' notice to minimize the impact on their businesses. Existing customers can learn more by checking out the full FAQs for Desk and SalesforceIQ CRM.

Our platform—with Trailhead, Lightning, AppExchange and Einstein—is the future of customer success at Salesforce. With Essentials, now every Salesforce customer can harness the full power of the Salesforce Platform to grow and succeed.

Essentials is available today at https://www.salesforce.com/essentials. You can try it out for free with a 30-day trial. Please check it out and let me know what you think @mike945778.