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Normally this time of year, San Francisco would be home to the world’s largest software conference. In a year that has been anything but normal, this year Salesforce is bringing the magic of Dreamforce to living rooms and kitchens around the world.
Opening a different kind of Dreamforce keynote today, Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff stood before a holiday-themed Salesforce Park with a message of the power of community amidst 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.”
While Benioff highlighted Salesforce’s exceptional quarterly results, he emphasized 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.”
Doing right and doing good is what is driving our culture forward.”Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce
Benioff also welcomed Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, to the Dreamforce keynote. Salesforce yesterday announced 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. Salesforce and Slack will remain independent companies until the closing of the proposed acquisition.
On stage, Butterfield said: “This moment is one that we will remember in a couple of decades from now … 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.”
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.”Stewart Butterfield, CEO, Slack
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 … Doctors’ 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.”
Digital experience is no longer a “nice-to-have.” It’s an imperative.
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.”
Let’s be honest, it’s 2020. If you don’t have a digital business, you don’t have a business.”Bret Taylor, President and Chief Operating Officer, Salesforce
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 no less than 88% of them 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, but as Taylor sees it, “… Trailblazers are using this year as an opportunity to overcome that adversity and accelerate that move into digital. To really transform customer experiences and recognize that next year is going to continue to accelerate this move towards the digital consumer, and the digital customer.”
“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.”
Hyperforce — The world’s #1 CRM, available on major public clouds
Today, Taylor announced a significant upgrade to that Customer 360 Platform. With Hyperforce, the World’s #1 CRM platform has been reimagined — built to securely and reliably deliver Salesforce Customer 360 on major public clouds.
“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,” Taylor said. “We call this new capability Hyperforce. We’ve had to completely re-architect Salesforce to work in this way.”
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”Bret Taylor, President and COO, Salesforce
“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.”
A playbook to respond to the new digital imperative
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.
Leveraging intelligence — The State of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 story
When the pandemic hit, the government of Rhode Island had to look at new ways of moving into action fast. Marc Benioff sat down with Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to discuss how her team leveraged intelligence and automation to combat COVID-19 cases and protect the health of Rhode Island.
Hear the Rhode Island story here.
Einstein Automate — Making every experience intelligent
Joining the keynote virtually, Sarah Franklin, EVP & GM, Platform, Trailhead, & AppExchange, Salesforce, introduced the new Einstein Automate.
“Creating connected, intelligent experiences for customers, employees and communities is of the utmost importance … laser-focused on intelligence, integration, and automation.”
She 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.
With Einstein Automate, every organization in every industry around the world can go with the flow of change.”Sarah Franklin, EVP and GM, Platform, Trailhead and AppExchange, Salesforce
AI-infused flows and bots help organizations automate tasks and workflows. Packaged libraries empower organizations to be able to quickly use solutions specific for their industry.
“With Einstein Automate, every organization in every industry around the world can go with the flow of change,” said Franklin.
Unifying Data — Bentley Motors’ Beyond100 vision
Every industry is feeling pressure to be digital-first — and automotive is no exception.
Representing Crewe, England, Bentley Motors, a 100-year-old company, shared how their organization has transformed their business 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, Board Member; People, Digitalization & IT, Bentley Motors.
Traditionally a B2B company, when the pandemic hit Bentley Motors had to evolve overnight to serve a wider digital audience — marketing and selling directly to consumers, so today, they’re bringing the showroom experience to every prospect, digitally.
Customer Audience 360 is driving personalized and relevant experiences across every channel. Customer 360 Privacy Center ensures Bentley Motors can collect and respect their customers privacy preferences and remain compliant. And with Tableau, they’re not only able to build a full picture of their business, and to put predictions into action. They are also building dashboards that help them prioritize health and sustainability for their global community.
Providing seamless, connected digital experiences — The AT&T story
As school and work are happening from home, AT&T’s 5G wireless network and Fiber broadband services have become the backbone to powering this all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.
Marc Benioff sat down with CEO of AT&T Communications, Jeff McElfresh, to see how AT&T is providing seamless, connected experiences for this all-digital world.
“They [AT&T] were able to train more than 30K remote retail sellers on this new experience in under 5 months. That’s going digital, fast!” said Benioff.
Salesforce Service Cloud Workforce Engagement — available summer 2021
With stores either closed or offering limited hours, contact centers 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 organize their entire workforce from anywhere and distribute the right work to the right agents based on skills and service channel. In response, Denise Dresser, Salesforce Executive Vice-President of Sales joined the Dreamforce keynote to introduce Service Cloud Workforce Engagement.
To be made available in Summer 2021, Service Cloud Workforce Engagement will help service leaders in the contact centers predict demand for customer service, staff agents appropriately, and remotely coach agents in real-time to deliver trusted service experiences.
Salesforce will be the only provider who offers a complete customer service suite — all on one CRM platform.
You can find out more about Service Cloud Workforce Engagement here.
Dreamforce to You, all month!
Bringing the keynote to a close, Marc Benioff concluded that “we’ve heard some amazing stories today … but this is just the beginning of Dreamforce [this year]”.
For 2020, Dreamforce isn’t just one week, but an entire month; and all Trailblazers can sign up at Dreamforce.com to get the entire Dreamforce to You experience — including DreamTX starting December 14. It’s 4 days, 5 channels, and hundreds of sessions to deep-dive on innovation and on the products announced today.
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 realize 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
In connection with the proposed transaction, Salesforce intends to file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a proxy statement of Slack and that also constitutes a prospectus of Salesforce. Each of Salesforce and Slack may also file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. This document is not a substitute for the proxy statement/prospectus or registration statement or any other document that Salesforce or Slack may file with the SEC. The definitive proxy statement/prospectus (if and when available) will be mailed to stockholders of Salesforce and Slack. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT MAY BE FILED WITH THE SEC, AS WELL AS ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS TO THESE DOCUMENTS, CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY IF AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the registration statement and proxy statement/prospectus (if and when available) and other documents containing important information about Salesforce, Slack and the proposed transaction, once such documents are filed with the SEC through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Salesforce will be available free of charge on Salesforce’s website at www.salesforce.com/investor or by contacting Salesforce’s Investor Relations department at email@example.com. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Slack will be available free of charge on Slack’s website at investor.slackhq.com or by contacting Slack’s Investor Relations department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants in the Solicitation
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.