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What’s the recipe for a fantastic World Tour London?

Take one state-of-the-art venue. Add hundreds of innovation-packed sessions. And, most importantly of all, mix in thousands and thousands of Trailblazers – the individuals who are busy transforming their careers, leading their organisations, and being the driving force behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

We heard their inspirational stories throughout the day – whether we were celebrating well-established Trailblazers like Bluewolf’s Gemma Emmett, founder of Ladies Be Architects, or watching the start-up megastars of tomorrow compete, ‘Dragon’s Den’-style, for a cool £100,000 in funding during Dreampitch. But more on that later.

 

 

Let’s begin this round-up how Simon Mulcahy, Salesforce Global CMO, began his rousing opening keynote – by taking a closer look at that ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution.

 

Are you ready for major global change?

First steam. Then electricity. Then computing. And now, intelligence – a revolution which, as Simon explained, is breaking all the records in terms of its speed and its impact.

While this revolution is born of technology – like AI, biotech, 3D printing and IoT – its effects are being felt in all areas of life. As Simon says:

“This is a revolution that’s impacting every corner of society. It’s changing how we engage and talk with each other. It’s changing politics and democracy. […] This is now a major trust and equality revolution. And all of that is filtering into the world of business.”

With customer expectations on the rise, Simon argued that companies must put these new technologies to work – not just to build innovative products and services, but to rebuild their businesses around the customer.

He acknowledged this is a struggle for many. Indeed, the World Economic Forum estimates 59% of companies have yet to develop Fourth Industrial Revolution capabilities.

But looking around the room at the Trailblazers present, it was easy to find a lot of reasons for optimism – and to agree with Simon that many, many organisation are already getting customer-centricity right.

On the subject of which…

 

A multitude of Trailblazers

A recap for the uninitiated – a Trailblazer is someone using Salesforce tools and technology to change their career, business or industry for the better. Trailblazers are pioneers, innovators, and lifelong learners. They inspire others with their constant innovation. Trailblazers drive change.  And it’s fair to say the ExCeL centre was brimming with them.

 

 

Ulster Bank is a Trailblazer

Maeve McMahon told us how she had helped Ulster Bank deliver on its ambitious vision: to be the #1 bank for customer service, trust and advocacy.

Appointed to head up the bank’s new Customer Experience and Products department, Maeve had spearheaded a drive to make greater use of its existing Salesforce tools – training up a small group of Relationship Managers, taking the pain out of their daily tasks, and rapidly turning them into internal ambassadors for the technology. As Maeve explained:

 “Using Agile methodology […] we were able to get 500 relationship managers trained up within a ten-week period.”

Maeve also announced that, based on Ulster Bank’s NPS scores for the most recent quarter, its vision was now a reality.

Salesforce’s Vicki Lintern, Senior Director of Solution Engineering, demoed exactly the kind of experience that’s winning Ulster Bank so many admirers – using Salesforce Einstein to improve targeting, and delight customers with conversations about products they didn’t know existed.

 

ASTRiiD is a Trailblazer

Another Trailblazer to step into the spotlight was Steve Shutts, Chairman of disruptive recruitment charity ASTRiiD.

Steve explained that 100,000 people get diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK – and that 57% of these ultimately lose their jobs. 

ASTRiiD’s mission? To help anyone diagnosed with long-term sickness to get back to work – connecting talented individuals with forward-thinking employers, for everyone’s benefit.

 

 

Steve explained how ASTRiiD has built its platform on Salesforce with the help of our 1-1-1 pledge, and how attendees could help the charity, by registering their business (sign yours up here) or simply volunteering time. Which leads us to…

 

Core values that keep on giving

Salesforce’s core values were – aptly enough – central to World Tour London. In case you need a refresher, here they are:

  • Trust. This means helping you to trust Salesforce, and your customers to trust you.
  • Customer Success. Because, as Simon Mulcahy put it, “Your success is our lifeblood”
  • Innovation. Delivered three times every year, through regular releases. (All hail cloud software.)
  • Equality. For everyone. And that – since the poorest are at the greatest risk from climate change – means ensuring the Salesforce cloud is carbon neutral.

Simon drew special attention to the work Salesforce has done to help its customers be GDPR-compliant, and help to ensure equal pay for equal work throughout the business.

The power of these values was plain to see when he shared the latest figures for the Salesforce 1-1-1 model, through which 1% of Salesforce time, equity and product is donated to nonprofits and education - leading to 2.6M+ volunteer hours, $200M+ grants, and 34k+ education/non-profits using Salesforce tools. 

 

 

Artificial Intelligence

Whether in multimedia presentations, or in informal chats over tubs of chocolate ice cream, two letters were uttered time and time again at World Tour London. AI.

It’s clear Artificial Intelligence is now very much a daily reality – and invaluable tool – for Salesforce customers of all kinds.

In an early session at the ‘Outpost Theatre’, we heard how FinancialForce has built its ERP software on Salesforce, making it the only ERP with embedded AI. And then Joe Thomas, the company’s Solution Evangelist, Analytics, walked us through how it’s using Einstein internally – to predict customer behaviour, and create brand new efficiencies.

This was just one of the many customer stories and dedicated sessions to AI and Salesforce Einstein - and rightly so, given that Einstein is now making a mind boggling 25,000 predictions every second! 

 

 

Of course, the power of even the smartest AI is limited by the variety and volume of data it’s able to crunch.

And that makes one of the day’s big announcements all the more exciting – Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft.

MuleSoft is Salesforce’s largest acquisition to date, and it’s one that was driven by requests from customers – to use data from across their organisation on the Salesforce platform. MuleSoft’s AnyPoint platform will help customers gather data into Salesforce like never before – whether it’s from legacy ERP and HR systems, IoT, or anywhere else.

Simply put? Building a truly comprehensive single customer view just got a while lot easier.

 

A Dreampitch-perfect ending

The day’s closing session saw three young companies pitch to business luminaries Jacqueline de Rojas and Dale Murray, and bona-fide TV ‘dragon’ James Caan. The prize for our Dreampitch winners? £100,000 in funding from Salesforce Ventures!

You can learn more about the hopefuls – video note pioneers Vyn, game-changing internet-mappers SalesOptimize, and InsureTech innovators Digital Fineprint – and how they fared in front on our imposing panel of judges by watching a recording of the session. No spoiler alert needed here! 

 

Catch up with the rest of the action…

Visit the Salesforce World Tour London web page where you can catch up with all the keynotes and other resources, like the World Tour London Keynote e-book. Go get inspired! 

Or head over to Trailhead and begin your own Trialblazing transformation.