Normally this time of year, we’d be with many of you in the APAC on Tour lounge in San Francisco, chatting about the amazing Dreamforce keynote we’d just seen. This year, Salesforce brought the magic of Dreamforce to our offices, living rooms and kitchens around the world.
Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff stood before a holiday-themed Salesforce Park with a message of the power of community amid uncertainty. He celebrated those who have stepped up for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nothing is possible without you, our Trailblazers,” said Benioff. “A lot of the help – in the distribution, the acquisition [of PPE] and in the support, things we’ve really needed to provide – came in partnership with you.”
Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff delivers the Dreamforce To You 2020 Keynote from Salesforce Park in San Francisco | WATCH THE DREAMFORCE TO YOU 2020 KEYNOTE
While Benioff highlighted Salesforce’s exceptional quarterly results, he emphasised that in a year of unprecedented disruption, the company has been guided by its core values.
“Doing right and doing good is what is driving our culture forward. Whether it’s innovation or philanthropy, or culture,” said Benioff. “We are trailblazers, together.”
Benioff also welcomed Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield to the Dreamforce keynote, following the announcement of the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Slack*, saying that combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 will be transformative for customers and the industry. The combination will create the operating system for the new way to work, uniquely enabling companies to grow and succeed in the all-digital world.
“This is a pivotal moment and opportunity to transform the way we work.” – Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield (left) joins Benioff on-stage. | WATCH THE DREAMFORCE TO YOU 2020 KEYNOTE
“This moment is one that we will remember in a couple of decades from now,” Butterfield said. “I think this is a pivotal moment and opportunity to transform the way we work so that we’re not as reliant on the physical office, that we can have a digital HQ.”
Benioff also introduced Bret Taylor, Salesforce President and Chief Operating Officer, who reflected on the shift to digital that many companies have made over the past year.
“We’re in an all-digital, work-anywhere world,” Taylor said. “Doctor’s offices have moved to telemedicine, [we’re] doing business over Zoom, consumer goods companies are going direct-to-consumer via custom apps. We’re not going back
“When I look at what it means to grow in this new normal, it’s Slack plus the Customer 360.”
Every business, Taylor continued, across every industry, needs to deliver seamless, connected digital experiences.
“This year is all about change. We have gone digital overnight. And we’ve been using this phrase with our customers, ‘the digital imperative’, because, let’s be honest, it’s 2020. If you don’t have a digital business, you don’t have a business.”
“It’s 2020. If you don’t have a digital business, you don’t have a business.” – President & COO Bret Taylor discusses the digital imperative. | WATCH THE DREAMFORCE TO YOU 2020 KEYNOTE
In this time of enormous disruption, customer expectations are changing rapidly. This year’s State of the Connected Customer report surveyed 12,000 consumers and 3,600 business buyers worldwide, and found that 88% expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19. A huge 80% of business buyers expect to conduct more business online, while 58% of consumers expect to do more online shopping after the pandemic than before.
It’s a challenging environment, in which leaders will separate from the pack.
“Trailblazers are using this year as an opportunity to overcome that adversity and accelerate that move into digital. To really transform customer experiences and recognise that next year is going to continue to accelerate this move towards the digital consumer, and the digital customer,” Taylor said. “I talk to a lot of CIOs and I know this is really hard in practice. Data silos and legacy systems feel like an anchor that are preventing you from moving forward and getting to where you want to go. This is why we created the Salesforce Customer 360.”
“I talk to a lot of CIOs and I know this is really hard in practice [...] This is why we created the Salesforce Customer 360.” – Bret Taylor | WATCH THE DREAMFORCE TO YOU 2020 KEYNOTE
Taylor also announced a significant upgrade to that Customer 360 Platform. With Hyperforce, the world's #1 CRM platform has been reimagined to securely and reliably deliver Salesforce Customer 360 on major public clouds.
“Probably the most significant technological shift in this platform since Marc and Parker created it” – Bret Taylor announces Hyperforce. | FIND OUT MORE IN THE DREAMFORCE TO YOU 2020 KEYNOTE
“We have been working for the past two years on probably the most significant technological shift in this platform since Marc and Parker created it over 21 years ago. We call this new capability Hyperforce. We’ve had to completely re-architect Salesforce to work in this way,” Taylor said.
“As a consequence it is horizontally scalable. That means that if you happen to be a B2B company with 10,000 customers, or you’re a B2C customer with 100 million or more consumers, you can now use Salesforce as your single source of truth for all of that data.”
“Creating connected, intelligent experiences for customers, employees and communities is of the utmost importance,” Sarah Franklin, EVP & GM, Platform, Trailhead & AppExchange, Salesforce, told us as she introduced the new Einstein Automate.
“Laser-focused on intelligence, integration and automation.” – Sarah Franklin introduces Einstein Automate. | FIND OUT MORE IN THE DREAMFORCE TO YOU 2020 KEYNOTE
Franklin explained how these intelligent innovations are helping governments go digital, fast – and helping local businesses get back to growth by making every customer experience intelligent.
AI-infused flows and bots help organisations automate tasks and workflows. Packaged libraries empower organisations to be able to quickly use solutions specific for their industry.
"With Einstein Automate, every organisation in every industry around the world can go with the flow of change,” said Franklin.
With stores either closed or offering limited hours, contact centres today are dealing with a huge surge in the volume of questions from customers across service channels like phone, chat, text and social media.
Service leaders need to be able to organise their entire workforce from anywhere and distribute the right work to the right agents based on skills and service channel. Enter Service Cloud Workforce Engagement.
To be made available in northern-hemisphere Summer 2021, Service Cloud Workforce Engagement will help service leaders in contact centres predict demand for customer service, staff appropriately, and remotely coach agents in real-time to deliver trusted service experiences.
To navigate uncertain times, Benioff delivered a playbook for customers to drive success in the digital imperative. The playbook has three chapters, focused on leveraging intelligence, unifying data and creating great experiences.
To explain, Benioff shared three stories of customers taking a Trailblazer's mindset to succeed in an unexpected year.
When the pandemic hit, the government of Rhode Island – an east-coast US state with a population just over 1 million – had to look at new ways of moving into action fast. In the keynote, Marc Benioff spoke with Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and we learnt how her team leveraged intelligence and automation to combat COVID-19 cases and protect the health of Rhode Island’s population.
Live from Crewe, England, the Bentley Motors team shared how the organisation has transformed this year with a connected data strategy.
“With a 360-degree view of the customer, we can create a single source of truth that allows us to create extraordinary experiences for our customers and that’s what we need moving forward,” said Dr Astrid Fontaine, Member of the Board for People, Digitalisation & IT, Bentley Motors.
Bentley had been a B2B company until the pandemic hit, and it had to market and sell directly to consumers. Today – less than a year into this transformation – Bentley brings the showroom experience to every prospect, digitally.
Customer Audience 360 is driving personalised and relevant experiences across every channel. Customer 360 Privacy Centre ensures Bentley Motors can collect and respect its customers’ privacy preferences and remain compliant. And with Tableau, Bentley builds a full picture of the business and turns insights and predictions into action.
Marc Benioff sat down with AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh to talk about AT&T’s seamless, connected experiences.
“They [AT&T] were able to train more than 30k remote retail sellers on this new experience in under five months. That’s going digital, fast!” said Benioff.
“We’ve heard some amazing stories today,” Benioff told us as he brought the keynote to a close. “But this is just the beginning of Dreamforce.”
Dreamforce to You runs for the entire month; and all Trailblazers can sign up at Dreamforce.com for the entire Dreamforce to You experience — including DreamTX starting 14 December.
DreamTX is four days, five channels, with hundreds of sessions deep-diving on innovation and new products.
This communication relates to a proposed business combination transaction between Salesforce.com, Inc. (“Salesforce”) and Slack Technologies, Inc. (“Slack”). This communication includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements relate to future events and anticipated results of operations, business strategies, the anticipated benefits of the proposed transaction, the anticipated impact of the proposed transaction on the combined company’s business and future financial and operating results, the expected amount and timing of synergies from the proposed transaction, the anticipated closing date for the proposed transaction and other aspects of our operations or operating results. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “foresees,” “forecasts,” “estimates” or other words or phrases of similar import. It is uncertain whether any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what impact they will have on the results of operations and financial condition of the combined companies or the price of Salesforce or Slack stock. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the parties’ control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the impact of public health crises, such as pandemics (including coronavirus (COVID-19)) and epidemics and any related company or government policies and actions to protect the health and safety of individuals or government policies or actions to maintain the functioning of national or global economies and markets; the effect of the announcement of the merger on the ability of Salesforce or Slack to retain and hire key personnel and maintain relationships with customers, suppliers and others with whom Salesforce or Slack do business, or on Salesforce’s or Slack’s operating results and business generally; risks that the merger disrupts current plans and operations and the potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the merger; the outcome of any legal proceedings related to the merger; the ability of the parties to consummate the proposed transaction on a timely basis or at all; the satisfaction of the conditions precedent to consummation of the proposed transaction, including the ability to secure regulatory approvals on the terms expected, at all or in a timely manner; the ability of Salesforce to successfully integrate Slack’s operations; the ability of Salesforce to implement its plans, forecasts and other expectations with respect to Salesforce’s business after the completion of the transaction and realise expected synergies; and business disruption following the merger. These risks, as well as other risks related to the proposed transaction, will be included in the registration statement on Form S-4 and proxy statement/prospectus that will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in connection with the proposed transaction. While the list of factors presented here is, and the list of factors to be presented in the registration statement on Form S-4 are, considered representative, no such list should be considered to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. For additional information about other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, please refer to Salesforce’s and Slack’s respective periodic reports and other filings with the SEC, including the risk factors identified in Salesforce’s and Slack’s most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Reports on Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements included in this communication are made only as of the date hereof. Neither Salesforce nor Slack undertakes any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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Additional Information about the Merger and Where to Find It
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Salesforce, Slack and certain of their respective directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of Salesforce, including a description of their direct or indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, is set forth in Salesforce’s proxy statement for its 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on May 1, 2020, and Salesforce’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2020, which was filed with the SEC on March 5, 2020, as well as in a Form 8-K filed by Salesforce with the SEC on June 1, 2020. Information about the directors and executive officers of Slack, including a description of their direct or indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, is set forth in Slack’s proxy statement for its 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on May 5, 2020, and Slack’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2020, which was filed with the SEC on March 12, 2020. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitations and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction when such materials become available. Investors should read the proxy statement/prospectus carefully when it becomes available before making any voting or investment decisions. You may obtain free copies of these documents from Salesforce or Slack using the sources indicated above.
This post originally appeared on the AU-version of the Salesforce blog.