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What lies ahead? As mass vaccinations begin to pick up speed, questions about what our post-pandemic future might look like are increasingly top of mind. On Wednesday in Singapore, Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff and President and COO Bret Taylor spoke at the Salesforce FutureWorks World Tour Kickoff, unveiling their vision of the future, and sharing how our products, people, and perspectives will help guide our customers to build trust with their customers, work from anywhere and drive growth.
A new world
The pandemic and its effects will be with us for a long time. We’re entering a new normal, and Singapore, with its effective response to the virus, provides an example of where the future works. Offices, restaurants and shops are opening but we aren’t going back to the way it was. Companies around the world had to fundamentally rethink their operating model to respond to the spread of COVID-19. Salesforce was no different.
We have had to aggressively deliver a new philanthropy model…we had a new event model…and we had to create a whole new operating model for ourselves. This is a new world. We’re reimagining how the future works, together.
Marc Benioff, CEO and Chair, Salesforce
Salesforce quickly pivoted, leading with empathy and reorienting our philanthropy, sourcing 60 million pieces of PPE and offering financial grants to schools to help with remote learning and for local small businesses to stay afloat. Our events went totally digital, attracting nearly 500 million views. And we developed relevant products like Work.com and Vaccine Cloud to support customer needs during the pandemic.
The future will be based on trust
The changes that Salesforce made are predicated on how the company sees our future taking shape. And key to that future is recovering trust with all stakeholders, which has been eroding over the last several years.
According to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer report, businesses are now more trusted than governments. As Benioff put it in Singapore, that brings added responsibilities to corporations.
“[Business being more trusted than governments] is a huge responsibility for all of us in business to step up, and say there is a crisis and we are going to do whatever we can to help the world.”
Marc Benioff, CEO and Chair, Salesforce
The role of business is changing, and ultimately, the future will belong to companies that embrace stakeholder capitalism, and serve all stakeholders – employees, communities, and the planet.
“When we lead with our values, we know that we can do well, and we can do good…This year, we reduced our emissions by 40% and we have doubled down on our commitments to the oceans and focusing on our core ESGs and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations”
Marc Benioff, CEO and Chair, Salesforce
At Salesforce, trust has always been the number one value. Trust is the foundation for growth, for customer success, innovation, for achieving greater equality and sustainability. It’s also a foundation for what Salesforce is calling Cloud 3.0.
Cloud 3.0: Where the future works
It is clear that even when the pandemic is in the rear view mirror, we are not going back to the way it was. From now on, remote work will just be work. E-commerce will just be commerce. Video meetings will just be meetings.
The future is all-digital, and work from anywhere, and this digital-first world is powering a major evolution of the cloud.
There have been two previous evolutions of the Cloud in the last twenty-plus years. ‘Cloud 1.0’ proved that enterprise software could be delivered through an internet browser. Ten years later, in ‘Cloud 2.0’, mobile phones and social networks redefined the software world.
And now we’re witnessing the next major evolution take shape, Cloud 3.0. We’re working and collaborating from anywhere with Slack and Zoom, and of course Salesforce. As Benioff shared during his Singapore keynote,
“We’re in a new world. This is a huge opportunity to create, and extend, and complement our platform. We realized for each and every one of our clouds, it was time to transform to become a work from anywhere environment…we ultimately are focused on delivering the operating system for Cloud 3.0”
Marc Benioff, CEO and Chair, Salesforce
Salesforce has spent the last year transforming Customer 360 into the operating system for Cloud 3.0.
As businesses begin to make plans to get back to growth and move beyond the pandemic, they need an end-to-end operating system that enables sales teams to sell from anywhere, whether from a Zoom call or a conference room. They need to be able to service their customers from anywhere, whether their contact center is in a building or only exists in a cloud. They need an operating system to allow them to market from anywhere, do ecommerce from anywhere, and be agile enough to continue the rapid pace of digital transformation we’ve seen in the last twelve months.
Hyperforce is a new foundation of the Customer 360 platform
Bret Taylor, President and Chief Operating Officer, described how Salesforce has evolved the Customer 360 platform for Cloud 3.0 with Hyperforce.
“Hyperforce is one of the most exciting new developments at Salesforce in the past 20 years. We’ve completely re architected Salesforce to run on the public cloud. This is a big change for us. But what’s more important is what it does for all of you – we can meet your customers where they are. And on top of Hyperforce, we built the single source of truth.”
Bret Taylor, President and COO, Salesforce
Whether you’re a B2B company with thousands of customers, or a B2C company with hundreds of millions of customers, Customer 360 connects all of your data, apps and devices to create a single source of truth across sales, service, marketing and commerce.
And with Einstein, the first comprehensive AI for CRM, every customer experience can be personalized with clicks. Einstein is doing over 80 billion predictions every single day, whether it’s personalizing an email or the products on an ecommerce website or powering a chatbot session.
On top of all this is the most robust ecosystem in the industry, with 9 million developers, 12 million trailblazers and our community of partners all working together to extend the power of the Customer 360 platform and innovate across our market leading applications.
And in a world where your employees are working from anywhere, Slack, which we announced our intention to acquire late last year, can be your HQ in the all digital, work from anywhere world.
Whether employees are working in a flexible work environment, a distributed work environment, or coming into the office, Slack is a platform to accelerate productivity and growth. And, once the acquisition closes, it will become the system of engagement across Customer 360.
“Customer 360 is not just about addressing the problems that we can see ahead of us. It’s really thinking about how you set up your company to respond rapidly to this all-digital, work from anywhere world, where your employee expectations, your partner expectations, your customer expectations will all change more rapidly than ever before”
Bret Taylor, President and COO, Salesforce
The Singapore Salesforce FutureWorks World Tour is the first in an all-new original series broadcast live from around the world. The series will give our community an insider’s look at our vision, give a sneak peek at new innovations, and highlight stories of successful customers who have navigated change. You can find out more about the series here.
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’s or Slack’s 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, are included in the registration statement on Form S-4 (as amended, the “Registration Statement”) that was filed by Salesforce with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and declared effective by the SEC on January 29, 2021, the prospectus that was filed by Salesforce with the SEC on January 29, 2021 (the “Prospectus”) and the definitive proxy statement that was filed by Slack with the SEC on January 29, 2021 (the “Proxy Statement”). While the list of factors presented here is, and the list of factors presented in the Registration Statement, Prospectus or Proxy Statement 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 filed with the SEC the Registration Statement and the Prospectus, and Slack filed with the SEC the Proxy Statement. The Registration was declared effective on January 29, 2021 and the Prospectus and the Proxy Statement were first mailed to shareholders of Slack on or about January 29, 2021. Each of Salesforce and Slack may also file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. The information in the Prospectus and Proxy Statement may be changed. This document is not a substitute for the Registration Statement, the Prospectus and the Proxy Statement or any other document that Salesforce or Slack may file with the SEC. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, THE PROSPECTUS AND THE PROXY STATEMENT 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 BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and security holders are able to obtain free copies of the Registration Statement, the Prospectus and the Proxy Statement and all 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 may be obtained free of charge on Salesforce’s website at http://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 may be obtained free of charge on Slack’s website at investor.slackhq.com or by contacting Slack’s Investor Relations department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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