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What to Expect at Dreamforce 2017: Forecast for Salesforce Einstein and More

posted on November 3rd, 2017by Andrew Lawlor

Aptaria is headed to Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual conference in San Francisco, to present a recent client case study.

Our team is also looking forward to Salesforce’s announcements about new features and products, a highly-anticipated part of Dreamforce each year.

After more than a decade as a Salesforce Partner, we’ve honed the ability to anticipate Salesforce’s ever-evolving strategy and direction. Here are our predictions for Dreamforce 2017 announcements and major themes, from Einstein to the internet of things.

Salesforce Einstein Expanding to New Clouds: Our Predictions

We expect that many announcements at this year’s Dreamforce will center on Salesforce Einstein, Salesforce’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning brand.

If our predictions are correct, Einstein will spread further throughout the Salesforce platform, making different Salesforce Cloud products even smarter.

Einstein and Sales Cloud: Last Year’s Major Dreamforce News

Salesforce launched Einstein with much fanfare at Dreamforce 2016. Einstein is now available (at additional cost) in the form of Account and Opportunity Insights in Sales Cloud. Insights help you identify accounts and opportunities that are most likely to close based on the history of deals you captured while using Sales Cloud.

Sales Cloud, Phase II: What we predict for Dreamforce 2017

At Dreamforce, we’ll hear about new capabilities in Sales Cloud under the Einstein brand. Will CPQ (i.e. SteelBrick) begin to use artificial intelligence? If so, Einstein would allow users and customers to find products to add to their opportunity more quickly. We think that’s a distinct possibility.

Einstein and Service Cloud: Recently Announced

Salesforce just released the news about Einstein for Service Cloud. This combination will enable service managers to gain insights from their organization’s history of case management. For example, Einstein will immediately identify cases for escalation to ensure that they get the proper attention from the right source.

Service Cloud, Phase II: What We Predict

We expect that machine learning will expand to fill more needs within Service Cloud. For instance, Einstein could add artificial intelligence to an FAQ section or self-service library by identifying a customer’s problem and recommend relevant knowledge articles.

Marketing Cloud and Einstein: What We Predict

We expect many announcements concerning Marketing Cloud Einstein at Dreamforce. With AI and machine learning, we predict that Einstein will transform Marketing Cloud in at least 3 ways:

1. Intelligent Journeys: The new technology could guide each prospect through a tailored sequence of digital interactions, tuned to reach the best outcome based on the user’s prior interactions with you. Einstein will deliver the right content to the customer at the right time through the right channel.

2. Social Media Engagement: Einstein could manage the tone of social interactions. Drawing on Salesforce’s 360° customer view, artificial intelligence could generate social messaging while considering more data than a person could.

3. Data Management Platform (DMP): Salesforce DMP will become a key part of the Salesforce platform. DMP will act as the consolidated database for all customer attributes and interactions, allowing marketers to segment their database and micro-target customers like never before. We hypothesize that Einstein will automatically sort customers and prospects, adjusting their membership in segments based on real-time actions.

Community Cloud and Einstein: What We Predict

We foresee announcements about an upcoming Einstein fusion with Community Cloud. We hypothesize that Community Cloud Einstein will:

  • Recommend documents and content to Portal users in real time.
  • Automatically launch conversations between a prospect and the right online expert based on the customer’s history of interactions with your brand.
  • Highlight relevant content to a portal user that will resonate with them, based on their online history.

More Potential for Einstein: Analytics and Ecommerce

We expect that Dreamforce will unveil new connections between Einstein and Salesforce’s analytics. In the future, Einstein should find insights in your customer data through combinations of millions of data points. In other words, Einstein and analytics could work together eliminate the error-prone nature of theory-oriented analysis.

Out team also predicts new Einstein-related functions for Commerce Cloud. For example, Einstein could make recommendations to shoppers based on their purchase and browsing history.

Beyond Einstein: More Dreamforce 2017 Predictions

We anticipate that this year’s Dreamforce will bring news and updates on all of the following topics.

New and Improved AppExchange

This week, Salesforce launched a New AppExchange that further promotes “the Salesforce Economy.” I expect to hear much about the new AppExchange at Dreamforce 2017. Since the AppExchange is crucial to almost every customer on the Salesforce platform, Salesforce continues to invest in their app store.

We look forward to more developments on the following themes and topics connected to the AppExchange.

Focus on Salesforce Lightning: You can look forward to more Lightning-related features on the AppExchange, like “Lightning Bolts”—out-of-the-box turn-key industry specific solutions. We also have some experience with “Lightning Data,” third-party data enrichment services baked into Salesforce.org, through our customer WealthEngine. You’ll most likely hear more about Lightning Data at Dreamforce.

Intelligent Search: Are you ready for personalized AppExchange recommendations based on you geography, install history, site activity, profile data, and Salesforce edition in use? In other words, Einstein (and its machine learning) will spread to the AppExchange.

Embedded Trailhead Learning: Trailhead has been a huge focus at Salesforce of the last couple of years, so it would be logical for Trailhead to integrate directly with the AppExchange.

Ohana and the Ohana Store: Ohana is Salesforce’s family approach to doing business. The AppExchange will join the family. You can now purchase Salesforce branded swag in the AppExchange.

Vertical Cloud Focus: We foresee more development around industry verticals, including Financial Services Cloud and Health Care Cloud.

Potential in the Internet of Things

This year’s Dreamforce will place a greater emphasis on the world of Internet-connected devices. The internet of things generates large amounts of data, from which Salesforce Einstein could gather information and extract insights.

Big Push Towards Salesforce Lightning

Salesforce unveiled the Lightning user interface 2 years ago at Dreamforce 2015. The first version arguably wasn’t ready for prime time. However, after 2 years of tweaks and numerous releases, Lightning is a viable option with many benefits for customers. We’d be surprised if Dreamforce 2017 doesn’t tout the progress made by Lightning and introduce some new and/or enhanced capabilities.

We’re certain that this year’s conference will strongly encourage customers to switch to Salesforce Lightning. Most critical apps are Lightning-certified, eliminating a barrier to adoption.

At Aptaria, we’re proud of the work our Product Development Organization (PDO) team has done with numerous app vendors in getting their apps Lightning-certified. There’s never been a better time to embrace Lightning, the future of Salesforce.

Enhanced Tools for Developers

At Dreamforce 2016, Salesforce introduced Salesforce Developer Experience (Salesforce DX). This suite of tools can help developers automate the deployment of Salesforce solutions through the command line interface (CLI). A year later, it’s ready for a general audience. Brace yourself for some new Salesforce DX features and improvements.

Serious Salesforce predictions aside, we don’t need to gaze into a crystal ball to know that Dreamforce 2017 will be a lot of fun. Attendees will enjoy concerts with Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys and see special surprise guests.

Are you going to Dreamforce? We hope that it’s in your future to spend some time with Aptaria. Clients past and present are welcome at our Customer Appreciation Dinner, hosted during the conference. Aptaria’s presentation will take place on the Salesforce.org Log Stage at The St. Francis Hotel on Tuesday, November 7 at 10:30 a.m. PT.

Not attending Dreamforce? Don’t worry, we’ll be back after the conference to recap the events of the week and see how we did with our product announcement predictions.

If you want to stay on the cutting edge of Salesforce with a custom implementation, contact us today.

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Andrew Lawlor is a leading authority and published author on cloud computing and CRM technology. He specializes in helping companies and government agencies fully integrate Salesforce and other cloud-based applications with enterprise software. Since founding Aptaria in 2002, Andrew has led integration and implementation projects for major clients including Citibank, Danone, Colliers International, American Red Cross, and ExxonMobil. Prior to Aptaria, he held IT management positions at Verizon and webMethods. Andrew holds an Electrical Engineering degree with honors from the University of Maryland at College Park and he studied computer science and electrical engineering at Columbia University's Graduate School. He is a Salesforce.com Certified Developer. Andrew lives in McLean, Virginia with his wife, daughter, and son. When not working he enjoys playing and watching basketball and playing poker.