Salesforce’s 13 Equality Groups, or employee-led resource groups, provide employees of all backgrounds and experiences a chance to find community at work — where they won’t only be accepted, but celebrated. Today, more than half of our 70,000 employees are part of an Equality Group.
As part of a new series, we’re sharing an inside look at how our Equality Group leaders navigate their roles to serve our global employees. For Hispanic Heritage Month, we spoke with Latinoforce President Pierre Higueros on celebrating diverse Hispanic and Latinx backgrounds, how he balances his Latinoforce commitments with his day job, and his passion for growing representation in tech.
I was born and raised in Chicago, but my family is from Guatemala. Growing up in Chicago, I barely spoke Spanish and felt disconnected from my roots. My parents decided to move to Guatemala during my high school years, and it was a pivotal time. While there, I gained a deeper appreciation and understanding of my culture and my family’s background.
When I came back to the United States, I earned a college degree and started working in consulting. I worked with Siebel Systems, Oracle, Vendavo, and Model Metrics, which was eventually acquired by Salesforce.
Latinoforce, one of Salesforce’s Equality Groups, is a community of Hispanic and Latinx employees and their allies at the company. It provides members with a network of support to help them develop their careers, strengthen their leadership skills, and thrive personally and professionally. And Latinoforce has a strong commitment to give back to the community through volunteering and networking activities.
When I started in our Chicago office, a few members of the local Latinoforce hub invited me to their Cinco de Mayo celebration. They celebrated by hosting a session on what the holiday means and its significance in Mexican culture. It was my first introduction to how our Equality Groups help build understanding and inclusion at a large company.
I got more and more involved with Equality Groups as the years went on. I joined the Latinoforce Chicago leadership team, and after two years, became the growth chair for Latinoforce globally. Within a year, we nearly doubled the amount of local Latinoforce hubs and grew our U.S.-only presence to include Europe, Australia, and Latin America.
I ran for President of Latinoforce because I wanted to have a bigger impact and help expand the programs that are most meaningful to employees.
First is reengaging our members. We hit a roadblock during the pandemic — people were overwhelmed, many without childcare were also juggling all-day meetings, and started to disengage with our group. I’m working with global leadership to not only provide quality events and programs for our members, but to make sure they have the support they need to participate. We know it’s important to serve customers and partners, but Latinoforce also helps increase feelings of belonging, which leads to better performance.
Next is celebrating the unique heritage among diverse Hispanic and Latinx backgrounds. There’s a misconception that the Hispanic and Latinx community is a monolith, but it’s not — it’s made up of many different, vibrant cultures — and it’s important to understand and celebrate all of the cultures that exist inside Salesforce.
There’s a misconception that the Hispanic and Latinx community is a monolith, but it’s not — it’s made up of many different, vibrant cultures — and it’s important to understand and celebrate all of the cultures that exist inside Salesforce.”PIERRE HIGUEROS, President of Latinoforce
And finally, increasing professional development opportunities. We have a goal to expand representation of underrepresented groups in the leadership ranks at Salesforce. To get there, we’re building programs that serve our members, like the Equality Mentorship Program run by the Office of Equality, and adding learning opportunities through organizations like Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, We Are All Human, HITEC, and Latinas in Tech.
It’s a lot of work, but our leadership team is eager to support our employees. I have an amazing team around me and I lean on them because I can’t do it all myself. It’s a real partnership — if one of us can’t get to something, someone else steps up. We support each other.
One example is with our Trailhead product. When Trailhead first launched, learners did all of their coursework in English. Latinoforce members gave feedback that it overcomplicated the process for people who don’t use English as their first language. As a result, we partnered with the Trailhead team to make it simpler to take courses and get certifications in Portuguese and Spanish.
Latinoforce brought an important perspective to those conversations to ultimately create a product that better serves our global customer base.
Latinoforce brought an important perspective to those conversations to ultimately create a product that better serves our global customer base.”
I’m passionate about building the next generation of Hispanics and Latinx leaders in tech. Here in Chicago, Latinoforce has sponsored a high school for the past five years. We support students through mock interviews, design-led thinking sessions, and talking to them about what it’s like to work at Salesforce. We also work with our supplier diversity team to use underrepresented vendors in our events and programming.
At the end of the day, I want to make sure the Hispanic and Latinx community is represented at Salesforce, in tech, and across society. This is what I love to do.
Icebreaker Questions:Q. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Every year for Christmas, my family travels to Guatemala and at midnight on December 25, we eat tamales and burn firecrackers.
Q. What is your favorite Guatemalan meal?
Hilachas, which is similar to ropa vieja. It’s shredded beef with marinated sauce and rice.
Q. Who is your favorite Latinx author?
Gabriel García Márquez and his book One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Q. Do you have a favorite moment working with Latinoforce?
Working in Argentina and supporting El Pescar, a nonprofit that gave underprivileged high school students the opportunity to get certified on Salesforce.
Salesforce today released the 2023 Asia Pacific AI Readiness Index, and it shows a growing divide between economies based on their readiness to adopt the technology.
Why it matters: The third edition of this bi-annual composite index measures businesses’ and governments’ multi-faceted AI readiness and its impact on socio-economic opportunities through 15 statistical indicators.
The big picture: Generative AI is changing the way governments and businesses are thinking about AI. McKinsey projects that generative AI could grow the Asia-Pacific region’s economy by $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually by 2030.
Driving the news: Of the 12 countries surveyed, all saw gains in AI readiness driven by strategic government efforts. Indonesia and Thailand introduced national AI strategies, while Singapore’s public sector digital transformation, open government data policies, and more have helped the country retain the top position since 2019, when the report began.
Go deeper: The adoption and utilization of generative AI requires a level of AI readiness, which includes:
What’s next: The report predicts that business AI readiness is poised to accelerate as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) start to invest and adopt AI technology. Actions that businesses and governments can take to further expedite AI readiness include:
The Salesforce perspective: “For countries to succeed in this exciting AI environment, including the adoption of generative AI, their economies require a sufficient level of AI readiness,” said Sassoon Grigorian, VP of APAC Government Affairs, Salesforce.
Strong institutional, infrastructural, organizational, and ethical foundations around AI will be critical to success now and in our global AI futureSassoon Grigorian, VP of APAC Government Affairs, Salesforce
*The 2023 AI Readiness Report was commissioned by Salesforce and prepared by Access Partnership.
Steve Fisher has a long history with computer science, Salesforce, and Marc Benioff.
As a high school student in Silicon Valley in the late 1970s, Fisher teamed up with Benioff to develop software games for Apple and Atari computers. The two parted ways when Fisher went to Stanford to study computer science and Benioff went to the University of Southern California to study business. They reunited when Fisher joined Salesforce in 2004 after stints at Apple, AT&T, and NotifyMe Networks, a startup he co-founded.
After 10 years leading the technical design and development of Salesforce software, Fisher joined eBay as its chief technology officer. But in 2021, he returned to Salesforce and picked up where he left off. Now, Fisher is leading the development of the next generation of CRM and unified data services, including Salesforce Data Cloud, a real-time hyperscale data engine that unifies and harmonizes data from any source to create a single view of the customer.
Salesforce’s Dan Farber talked with Fisher about the evolution and future of Data Cloud.
The simple answer is, AI is only as good as the data that it has.
Data Cloud is deeply integrated with everything in Salesforce. So you don’t have to organize all your data in one place and then figure out how to use it to engage with your customers. Data Cloud makes it really easy to bring all your Salesforce data together, whether from multiple clouds or multiple Salesforce orgs. And all that data is unified and harmonized in a single space that is accessible for every application to use.
You could just use the transactional CRM data we have for AI applications, but it would only be a piece of the data puzzle. Data Cloud unifies all of your data across all different, disparate systems — not just Salesforce systems. In fact, 75% of the data in Data Cloud today comes from outside Salesforce. This means data from websites, telemetry data, and both structured or unstructured data. You can easily bring in data with connectors and federate with big data providers in a secure, compliant way from external data platforms like Snowflake, Google, AWS, and Databricks with zero-copy or zero-ETL [Extract, Transform, Load] for data sharing and AI model training.
Data Cloud makes bringing whatever data you want into Salesforce data easy. By unifying and harmonizing that data, it creates a golden record that contains all the information about your customers, your orders, cases, vehicles, or whatever entity you choose. And much of the data processing can be done in real time, which is really important for applications like logistics tracking, fraud detection, patient information, and customer engagement. For example, we can build marketing segments by looking at how customers are engaging with our products on our website and automatically adding them in and out of the segments.
Data Cloud makes bringing whatever data you want into Salesforce data easy. By unifying and harmonizing that data, it creates a golden record that contains all the information about your customers, your orders, cases, vehicles, or whatever entity you choose.Steve fisher, EVP and GM of Next Gen CRM and Unified Data Services
Data Cloud is the foundation for CRM and our customers’ AI transformations. That’s why it’s become the fastest growing product in Salesforce’s history. Data Cloud is already processing 30 trillion transactions per month, and connecting and unifying 100 billion records every day.
The key to our ability to rapidly innovate is the metadata-driven Salesforce platform. When the first release of Sales Cloud came to market nearly 25 years ago, the big idea was to expose Salesforce metadata — the schema that describes data models, record types, business rules and processes, page layouts, user permissions, and more. It abstracted away the complexity of application code, and today, enables us to upgrade customers with new capabilities automatically, three times a year, without breaking any of their integrations, customizations, or security settings.
Data Cloud is deeply integrated into the Salesforce Einstein 1 Platform, and now serves as a foundation for the platform and all Salesforce apps. In fact, all the data in Data Cloud manifests through the metadata in the platform, making it seamless to use that data across Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and our industry clouds. At Dreamforce 2023, we announced that Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud, consumer-scale technology stacks that joined Salesforce’s Customer 360 portfolio via acquisitions, are now native on the Einstein 1 Platform.
In addition, platform capabilities — including Einstein, Flow, Lightning, and Apex — have native access to Data Cloud, so customers can easily supercharge their business applications with powerful AI, as well as automation and analytics, using low-code or no-code tools. Tableau also natively connects to Data Cloud, instantly analyzing data with the click of a button and taking action with AI-powered insights in the flow of work.
Data Cloud provides the data and grounding for Einstein Copilot, our new generative AI conversational assistant, as well as Einstein Copilot Builder, a new way to build and tailor AI assistants, to deliver a new generation of AI-powered apps. With Data Cloud, we can create a data graph that provides a real-time, consolidated view of a customer or any entity. And with just one click, customers can send all the relevant data to the prompt that then feeds the LLM. You don’t need to send SQL queries or create data joins manually.
We’re going to move from building apps to building prompts and copilots that reason over the data and take actions on your behalf. And, you won’t have to learn a new tool set — you’ll be able to use all the Salesforce tools that you’ve already learned.
We’re going to move from building apps to building prompts and copilots that reason over the data and take actions on your behalf.Steve fisher, EVP and GM of Next Gen CRM and Unified Data Services
Let’s say you’re in Marketing Cloud. With Data Cloud and Einstein AI, you can generate marketing campaign segments, create website landing pages based on consumer browsing and buying preferences, and personalize emails for specific marketing campaigns. When you create a segment, for example, the Einstein Copilot conversational assistant is there and you just tell it what you want.
What you’re doing is creating a prompt. And the output of the AI model is only as good as the quality of the prompt. You could prompt the AI to generate an email inviting a prospect to an event. It will do that, but it’s going to be a pretty generic email without grounding in contextual data, such as their name, company, and title; all the products the prospect has purchased or is interested in; how long they’ve been a customer; what emails they’ve opened; and whether they have any open service cases. A salesperson could look up all that information, and type in paragraph after paragraph and feed it to an LLM. But what a nightmare — it could take hours.
This is where Data Cloud comes in. From the prompt to the output, it’s all fully integrated. Data Cloud automatically sends all that relevant data to the AI model, giving it the context to reason over the prompt and generate quality output. So, without any heavy lifting, you’re going to get a 100 times better email than any sales rep is ever going to generate by typing something into ChatGPT.
Data Cloud is very good about providing data access only to entities that should have access to that data. All of the privacy, security, and other data controls are part of how Data Cloud manages the data. This is particularly important with large language models that power generative AI.
LLMs are very good at language, but they’re not really that good at data. And what I mean by that is they’re fine for public data, such as what’s in Wikipedia, which doesn’t change very often. But if you have proprietary data or data that’s changing often, that’s not ideal for an LLM. For LLMs to learn about new data, you have to train the model, which is expensive and isn’t typically done in real time.
You also have to consider security or privacy requirements — meaning not everybody within the company or within the world should see this data, so you should not put it into the LLM because chances are it’s going to be exposed. Once you put it in an LLM, you really can’t delete it. There’s no row that you can delete from a relational database table, so you have to be super careful. I think this is what worries customers most — they don’t want their proprietary data training those public models.
We have a very robust, rich sharing and security model, and we preserve that when you’re engaging with AI models. The Einstein Trust Layer is natively built into the Einstein 1 Platform. When you enter a prompt in Einstein Copilot or use a pre-built prompt template, the relevant data is securely retrieved from Data Cloud. Before we send it to the LLM, we mask any information that’s proprietary, sensitive, or confidential and then send it to the AI model through our Secure Gateway. And, thanks to a zero-retention policy enforced across all of those models, the data is never stored outside of Salesforce and will never be used to train the models.
Once the output is generated, the Einstein Trust Layer also goes through a series of checks against bias and toxicity. Then we track and maintain an audit trail of this entire interaction, so you know what’s been used to generate that content.
At Dreamforce, we announced expanded support for unstructured data, like large text data in PDFs, call transcripts, or Slack conversations. Data Cloud will also make it easier to index these data types from across internal and external knowledge stores to simplify semantic search and retrieval without added custom work.
We’re really excited to get Data Cloud into the hands of every customer — it’s the foundation for enterprise applications going forward. As part of that goal, every Sales Cloud and Service Cloud customer with Unlimited Edition or Enterprise Edition can get a free Data Cloud Starter, which gives them the ability to unify 10,000 customer profiles and gain insights with two Tableau Creator licenses.
Global infrastructure operator Ferrovial and technology consultancy NTT DATA have doubled down on their partnership with Salesforce to develop the next generation of sustainable infrastructure technology.
Why it’s important: According to the UN, the transport sector is responsible for approximately one quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. By improving the management of large infrastructure, Ferrovial seeks to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector, develop user-focused solutions, prolong the useful life of assets, and improve daily operations.
Driving the news: Using the Salesforce platform, Ferrovial is digitizing the operation and management processes of infrastructure assets such as roads, railways, and electrical distribution networks.
What they’re saying:
The Salesforce perspective: “Together with Ferrovial and NTT DATA, we are excited to improve the productivity of the whole infrastructure ecosystem. We will be able to provide an integrated view of the infrastructure asset, the customer, third parties, and employees involved in the project and digitize operations across all the development stages.” – Arsenio Otero, Executive Vice President and Global Sales COO
We will be able to provide an integrated view of the infrastructure asset, the customer, third parties, and employees involved in the project and digitize operations across all the development stages.”Arsenio Otero, Executive Vice President and Global Sales COO, Salesforce
Salesforce has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Airkit.ai, a creator of AI powered customer service applications and experiences. Airkit.ai enables Fortune 500 and fast growing businesses to build flexible, omni-channel customer engagement applications, and AI-based customer service agents.
Upon close of the acquisition, Airkit.ai will become a part of Service Cloud and continue to be led by Adam Evans, Co-Founder and CTO of Airkit.ai. Prior to Airkit.ai, Adam was the Co-Founder and CTO of RelateIQ, acquired by Salesforce in 2014, and became a key part of Sales Cloud Einstein.
“The future of customer engagement will be powered by a new set of AI-driven customer experiences,” said Bill Patterson, EVP & General Manager of Customer 360 Applications at Salesforce. “Adam and team have a strong understanding of the Customer 360 Platform and are some of the best technologists we have worked with in helping Salesforce customers connect with their own customers in a whole new way. We are excited to bring the Airkit.ai team back to Salesforce where they have a strong track record of innovation and a focus on customer success.”
The future of customer engagement will be powered by a new set of AI-driven customer experiencesBill Patterson, EVP & General Manager of Customer 360 Applications at Salesforce
The addition of Airkit.ai to Salesforce will also help Service, Sales, Marketing and Commerce teams move faster into the future of customer engagement in the era of AI.
“In the world of Generative AI, it’s clear we need new types of experiences that provide opportunities to transform the engagement experience,” said Adam Evans, Airkit.ai Co-founder and CTO. “At Airkit.ai, we’ve been doing this since our inception, and view Salesforce, the customer company, as a perfect fit for Airkit.ai, the experience company.”
In the world of Generative AI, it’s clear we need new types of experiences that provide opportunities to transform the engagement experience.Adam Evans, Airkit.ai Co-founder and CTO
Airkit.ai is a Salesforce AppExchange partner and a Salesforce Ventures portfolio company. Salesforce looks forward to welcoming the Airkit.ai team to Salesforce upon the close of the acquisition, which is expected to occur in the second half of Salesforce’s fiscal year 2024, subject to customary closing conditions.
We are not disclosing any other details of the acquisition at this time. This transaction does not result in any change to our current financial guidance previously provided on August 30, 2023.
As a young child, Mike Hess had no idea what being “blind” meant. It was something that his mom and doctors said would soon affect him, but the true nature of being blind was far beyond his mind’s grasp.
And although Hess grew up knowing his sight would continue to fail, he put off that reality as long as possible. As he entered the workforce, Hess would even pretend to be sighted when interviewing for jobs.
“Growing up, the systemic stigma of being part of the blind community was pretty bleak. I heard about social security and disability. Career guidance was to stay on government assistance,” shared Hess. “I needed to get a job. I was married with two kids. So I was afraid to share my disability until after I had a job offer.”
I needed to get a job. I was married with two kids. So I was afraid to share my disability until after I had a job offer.Mike Hess, founder of the Blind Institute of Technology
As his degenerative retinal disease worsened in his early 20s, Hess could no longer “fake” it. He struggled with the concept. And he began to wonder, “Why am I blind?”
That question remained unanswered over the next 20 years as Hess built a successful career in the private tech sector. During that time, however, Hess shared that he always felt like the “token blind guy.”
“Even after making it into corporate America and succeeding, there’s this internal conversation in your head saying you don’t deserve to be there,” said Hess.
Even after making it into corporate America and succeeding, there’s this internal conversation in your head saying you don’t deserve to be there.”Mike Hess, founder of the Blind Institute of Technology
The feeling left him again thinking about the “why” of his disability. Was there something he could do to help others in a similar position?
Fueled in part by this question, Hess decided to take a bold new step. He left his career to pursue a greater purpose: leveraging his experience with blindness in the workforce to help others.
In 2013, Hess founded the Blind Institute of Technology (BIT), with a goal of reducing the unemployment rate for the blind and visually impaired community.
“One of the greatest untapped human resources on the planet is the blind and visually impaired community, and broader disability community,” said Hess.
Statistics support that claim. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, fewer than 20% of people with a disability were employed. This disparity extends to people who are blind; with unemployment among this group at 10%, about double the national average.
Hess saw an opportunity to close this gap by ensuring technology training was fully accessible. His experience gave Hess a unique perspective about the potential of people like him to succeed with the right tools.
“Less than 10% of websites globally are accessible digitally with screen readers,” shared Hess. “Technology has the ability to level the playing field, in turn providing more employment opportunities.”
Building upon that simple truth, Hess, at the helm of BIT, set about to do just that. Already familiar with the Salesforce platform, Hess designed a virtual training series to enable anyone, anywhere in the world, regardless of visual impairment, to become a Salesforce admin.
Around the same time, Salesforce’s Office of Accessibility was launching a new workforce development program. Workforce Navigators aimed to support job seekers with disabilities who were interested in a career in the Salesforce ecosystem.
But, the company could not do it alone. Sarah Mark, Senior Program Manager of Workforce Navigators at Salesforce, needed to partner with a nonprofit focused on employment for people with disabilities — and it wasn’t easy to find.
“We started the program right when COVID-19 hit. It was difficult to plan and launch it when everyone was focused on adjusting to a new way of life brought about by the pandemic,” she explained.
After she became aware of BIT, though, Mark knew they had found the right partner. “When I met with Mike, I learned that he had already been successful in running a training series for Salesforce Admins in a completely virtual environment. He was confident they could facilitate training regularly and sustainably,” she said.
Today, BIT is the strategic partner for Workforce Navigators, providing a diverse talent pipeline to the Salesforce ecosystem. BIT is responsible for facilitating the training offered through Workforce Navigators, while Salesforce employees may volunteer to mentor trainees. Working closely with the Workforce Navigators team, BIT also created customized Trailhead instructions for screen readers to enable a more seamless experience for blind and low vision professionals.
“BIT has been an incredible partner,” said Catherine Nichols, VP of the Office of Accessibility at Salesforce. “We’re thrilled to have found an organization so aligned with the values of the Office of Accessibility — to create an even playing field in the world for people with disabilities. We can’t accomplish this alone, so we’re thrilled to have Mike and his team at BIT by our side.”
We’re thrilled to have found an organization so aligned with the values of the Office of Accessibility — to create an even playing field in the world for people with disabilities.”Catherine Nichols, VP of the Office of Accessibility
Just three years into the launch of Salesforce’s Workforce Navigator’s program, 141 job seekers have completed training (26 Salesforce have been certified), and 33 have been placed with employment. Hess credits the technology platform and company’s alignment with his own values.
“I chose the Salesforce platform because the company has a solid understanding of the importance of accessibility. They welcome blockers encountered and prioritize resolving any issues we find related to accessibility,” said Hess.
Today, Hess and Salesforce are focused on the future: artificial intelligence (AI). Perhaps most importantly, they’re looking at how this technology can help continue their mission of closing the disability employment gap.
“From the beginning of design, Salesforce embeds accessibility into its technology. If AI is leveraged effectively, we can get clear descriptions of what a visual picture actually looks like. Salesforce and AI have the ability to allow people like me to take their career to the next level,” Hess said.
Salesforce and AI have the ability to allow people like me to take their career to the next level.”Mike Hess, Trailblazer, Golden Hoodie winner, and founder of the Blind Institute of Technology (BIT).
And at AI’s biggest event, Dreamforce 2023, Hess was awarded one of the highest honors in the Salesforce Trailblazer Community: a Golden Hoodie. The award recognizes those who exemplify inspiration and innovation — a perfect fit for someone who has dedicated his career to helping others with technology.
“Me standing on the Dreamforce stage was a historic moment in time for all people with disabilities,” said Hess. “Marc Benioff said business is the greatest platform for change. For this community, that change means commitment to digital equity. Salesforce was the first tech company to commit to digital equity. In 10 years, I’ll look back and remember this moment as the game changer that made it happen.”
Hess has long since stopped questioning why he is blind.
“I found the reason,” he said. “I was born blind to truly help create equity, true equity for professionals with disabilities.”
The climate finance playbook aims to help businesses better leverage their capital for climate action
New grants support global organizations focused on advancing inclusive climate solutions and restoring nature
Today at Climate Week NYC, Salesforce, in partnership with Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), is launching a Corporate Climate Finance Playbook to help companies unlock multiple forms of capital to accelerate climate action. As part of its own climate finance strategy, Salesforce also announced $8.3 million in new climate justice and nature-based solutions grants.
Significance: From extreme heat to fire and floods, the effects of climate change are everywhere and those least responsible are often the most impacted. To mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, it will require around $4 trillion annually in global climate mitigation, resilience, and adaptation investments.
With the Corporate Climate Finance Playbook, we’re not just providing businesses with tools; we’re unlocking a pathway to a sustainable future.Naomi Morenzoni, SVP of Climate & Innovation Philanthropy, Salesforce
Grant recipients: Salesforce has been committed to advancing climate justice and nature restoration and supporting Entrepreneurial Support Organizations (ESOs) empowering underrepresented ecopreneurs with philanthropic investments:
Salesforce today announced that trading and investing platform eToro is using Service Cloud with Einstein, Marketing Cloud, Mulesoft, and Tableau to enhance its customer service with secure and centralized data.
Why it’s important: Nearly all (96%) of customers say excellent customer service builds trust, according to Salesforce research.
Driving the news: eToro, which has over 32 million registered users globally, is one of the first organizations to combine Salesforce’s AI-powered Service Cloud and Einstein to drive customer and business success.
Leveraging the power of Einstein AI, eToro is able to boost efficiency and satisfaction among service reps and customers. Chat replay recommendations, for example, assist service agents by proposing actions live during engagement with customers.
The customer perspective: “Excellent service comes from understanding our customers’ needs and desires, and building and maintaining trust. This means putting the customer at the center of everything we do,” said Miri Avihoo, Business Operations Process Manager at eToro.
The trust factor: “The most attractive element of Salesforce’s Einstein for eToro is its trust layer, which ensures that customers’ personal information remains safe while we bring generative AI into our operations,” said Avihoo.
The most attractive element of Salesforce’s Einstein for eToro is its trust layer, which ensures that customers’ personal information remains safe while we bring generative AI into our operations.Miri Avihoo, Business Operations Process Manager, eToro
The Salesforce perspective: “As AI and automation revolutionize how businesses interact with customers today, they need a digital strategy that builds resilience and drives greater efficiency and productivity. They also need a vision for the future — to keep pace as all industries evolve to meet growing customer expectations,” said Itai Margalit, AVP Sales, Salesforce Israel.
Salesforce will support a week of impact with conversation, collaboration, and continued progress at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Climate Week NYC.
Here, Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and Chief Impact Officer, and Eric Loeb, EVP of Government Affairs, discuss Salesforce’s participation in the events and how it aligns to the company’s own sustainability efforts.
DiBianca: As a global company founded with the belief that business can be a force for good, Salesforce has had a presence at the UNGA for more than a decade. We’ve even adopted 10 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of our vision to transform the world for the benefit of all our stakeholders. We chose to support these 10 goals because they align closely with our business values and represent issues where we believe we can make the most significant positive impact.
This year marks the halfway point in the implementation of the UN SDGs, adopted by UN Member States in 2015. We’re eager to meet with our counterparts in government, civil society, and business to discuss progress we’ve made together, and make plans for accelerating our momentum through the next seven years.
Loeb: Salesforce is supporting world leaders in pursuing the SDGs by helping measure progress with data. Accountability and progress go hand in hand — we need to understand where we’re succeeding, and where we need to refocus, in order to achieve the SDGs.
Salesforce is supporting world leaders in pursuing the SDGs by helping measure progress with data.Eric Loeb, EVP of Government Affairs
To help us all collectively measure our progress toward reaching the UN SDGs, Salesforce made Net Zero Cloud available globally in February to help organizations reach their climate goals. Helping organizations prepare to report on their ESG goals, identify the fastest path to net zero, and easily view data on their emissions and supply chains to find ways to further reduce carbon output, will move us closer to this goal.
DiBianca: The world is facing a climate crisis, and no one can solve it alone. In 2021, Salesforce set forth our Climate Action Plan, laying out six priorities for ourselves and offering them as a model to other organizations committed to the fight to cap global warming at 1.5°C. Our core values — Trust, Customer Success, Innovation, Equality, and Sustainability — are inextricably linked to how we think and what we do around climate action, and that’s why we’ve integrated these priorities into the core of our business.
But we need everyone on board. We are representing Salesforce at Climate Week and the UNGA to share what we’ve learned with our peers, and deliver solutions to public- and private-sector organizations that share our nature positive, net zero ambitions. Most importantly, we’re here to learn, listen, and empower innovators and ecopreneurs who share our vision.
Loeb: Our voice and our influence are powerful tools to drive change. That’s why Salesforce works with lawmakers and regulators around the globe to support policies that positively impact our employees, customers, communities, business, and planet.
For example, in the United States, we supported the climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 because it included profound clean energy and climate investments that will promote a more sustainable future, reduce pollution, and create jobs — especially in communities that have been historically marginalized.
We’ll continue using our voices and expertise to lend support to efforts we believe will improve peoples’ lives and benefit our stakeholders.
DiBianca: Generative AI is at the top of everyone’s minds. At Salesforce, we’re focused on using AI to help our customers solve problems — and when it comes to sustainability and AI, there’s so much potential.
At Salesforce, we’re focused on using AI to help our customers solve problems — and when it comes to sustainability and AI, there’s so much potential.Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and Chief Impact Officer
Salesforce will be leading several discussions at Climate Week looking at generative AI, and how it can drive a more just and equitable future. We’ll be looking at ESG reporting efficiencies, climate adaptation and mitigation, and opportunities to advance equity by helping to mitigate bias and create new pathways of access to education. We hope discussions like these will help businesses and governments find ways to accelerate climate action using every tool at their disposal.
Loeb: We’re also looking forward to engaging with global leaders in government and industry to build support for risk-based and interoperable regulatory frameworks that protect people and provide the most trusted generative AI tools and experiences possible.
Last month, we launched our new AI Acceptable Use Policy to align with industry standards and our partners, to protect our customers, and to ensure an ethical AI experience from product development to deployment. We aim to use this policy to help inform lawmakers about the importance of accounting for risks when drafting regulations that will guide the future of AI. Many of our sessions during UNGA with partners like Leaders on Purpose, USCIB, Concordia, UNESCO, and Goals House explore ways in which generative AI can help accelerate progress towards specific SDGs.
Project Sunshine, a nonprofit that offers free, in-hospital, and remote programs to thousands of children with medical needs, is leveraging Salesforce technology to increase its impact.
Why it matters: Each year in the United States, over 1.3million children are hospitalized due to a variety of medical conditions. As a result, many face a host of additional challenges, such as academic disruption and missing key social interactions with peers during school and extracurricular activities, which can lead to kids feeling bored and isolated.
Driving the news: Every child’s medical situation is unique, and Project Sunshine tailors its programs to provide individualized experiences for each child. Working with Salesforce and Salesforce partner Silverline, Project Sunshine is undergoing a digital transformation that will enable the nonprofit to scale, reaching more patients and families both in the hospital and at home.
Commitment to service: Since 2011, Project Sunshine has been a nonprofit partner to Salesforce. Today, the partnership is a powerful example of Salesforce’s integrated philanthropic approach, the 1-1-1 model.
Customer perspective: “Through our work with Salesforce, we have been able to harness the power of data to empower our team to uncover valuable insights. As Salesforce becomes the central hub across donor, volunteer, and inventory data, Project Sunshine will gain the ability to better serve our volunteers, connect with patients and families, craft targeted marketing strategies, and personalized donor campaigns. We are excited for what is to come, as Salesforce helps us to reach even more children and families in need.” – Whitney Namm Pollack, Executive Director, Project Sunshine
We are excited for what is to come, as Salesforce helps us to reach even more children and families in need.Whitney Namm Pollack, Executive Director, Project Sunshine
Partner perspective: “At Silverline, we are honored to have partnered with Project Sunshine in multiple ways over the past five years. Working with Salesforce, we have been able to help Project Sunshine build a platform that will broaden the impact of their inspiring mission. Silverline has also made giving back a fundamental part of our Silverline Cares initiative by bringing our teams together to build thousands of interactive Kits for Play for children in hospitals all over the country to enjoy. We are excited to continue to support the Project Sunshine team as they grow.” – Gireesh Sonnad, CEO, Silverline
Salesforce perspective: “At Salesforce, our commitment to driving positive change through innovation is embodied in our partnerships, especially with customers and partners like Project Sunshine. Teaming up with Silverline, we’ve helped Project Sunshine on its digital transformation to extend the reach and impact of volunteer-led programming.” – Stephanie Glenn, Senior Vice President, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce & Board Member, Project Sunshine
This week at Dreamforce 2023, DIRECTV — a provider of best-in-class entertainment and sports content — will showcase how it is transforming customer experiences with Salesforce and Slack as a productivity solution.
What’s the impact: According to a recent Media & Entertainment Industry Insights Report, improved customer satisfaction is the top priority for media and entertainment companies. DIRECTV is on a journey to transform the company and redesign its tech stack to drive innovation and deliver the best experience possible for both internal and external customers.
Innovation in action: DIRECTV strives to deliver simple, consistent, secure, and delightful interaction experiences for customers and employees. And, DIRECTV is betting on Salesforce as a foundational software layer that they can build and scale upon, with Slack as a key component. The company uses the technology in a number of ways:
Dive deeper: DIRECTV use cases:
Looking ahead: DIRECTV plans to integrate AI into its current customer care processes to reduce the time and effort involved in managing customer interactions.
Combining data with AI produces something that is more than the sum of its parts. It really is a strategy of AI plus data plus CRM to be more valuable in helping our frontline agents and our field technicians be the most successful that they can be in managing customer interactions.Drew Fisher, Senior Director Customer Technology Transformation, DIRECTV
Accelerator will provide mentorship, technology, and $2 million in funding to help six nonprofits accelerate AI solutions to supercharge their social impact
Salesforce will also partner with the Greenlights Grant Initiative to enhance access to federal funding for schools across the United States
Today, Salesforce announced the first six participants of its Salesforce Accelerator – AI for Impact, a philanthropic initiative to help purpose-driven organizations gain equitable access to trusted generative AI technologies.
Significance: 74% of nonprofits say digital transformation is a “need-to-have” or “must-have,” but many lack the resources to fully understand, adopt, and invest in emerging technologies like generative AI. Through the Salesforce Accelerator – AI for Impact, participants will gain access to flexible funding, pro-bono expertise, and donated technology to accelerate their purpose-driven, AI-based community solutions.
Today’s participants will leverage the accelerator to:
We must ensure purpose-driven organizations are granted equitable access to AI technology. Our latest accelerator aims to empower participants to push the boundaries of innovation and drive forward AI-focused solutions that better serve their communities.Becky Ferguson, CEO of the Salesforce Foundation and SVP of Philanthropy at Salesforce
Extending the impact: Today, writing a federal grant application is incredibly time consuming and complex, and hiring a professional grant writer is cost prohibitive for many school districts. Salesforce recently partnered with the Greenlights Grant Initiative (GGI) to help school districts across the U.S. access billions of dollars in federal funding by helping them navigate the grant process. By empowering this organization with a combination of resources including a multi-cloud Salesforce solution, GGI has been able to engage with thousands of underserved school districts, facilitating equitable access to federal funding.