With this year’s much anticipated Salesforce Dreamforce annual event being held online due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there were a number of important announcements in this ‘reimagined’ Dreamforce to you, one key phrase stood out: ‘digital imperative’. But what does it mean? And how has it shaped Salesforce and their range of solutions and products?

For those unfamiliar with the phrase, the digital imperative refers to the need for companies to move their services away from physical restrictions. In the past, language such as digital transformation or digital evolution was used, suggesting a slower shift. However, with the impacts of COVID-19 this year, businesses have had to adapt quickly to fully remote workforces and relying on cloud-based services over traditional infrastructure. 

The format of Dreamforce itself this year, illustrates the idea of the digital imperative perfectly. Previously Dreamforce hinged on the fact that it required a physical presence to be enjoyed, while you could join many of the conferences remotely the virtual side of things was a complement to the main physical show. However, with Dreamforce to You 2020 the tables have turned. It was imperative that either Dreamforce itself adapted to being virtual or it simply would not happen at all. 

“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.” – Bret Taylor, Salesforce President and Chief Operating Officer

So how has Salesforce adapted its own products and services to this concept? 

One of the biggest announcements of the event was the Salesforce $27.7billion acquisition of Slack, one of the largest workplace chat and team coordination platforms. In terms of the digital imperative, this acquisition is monumental and not just for the price tag! As most office-based work has moved to remote desktops the need for teams to remain rapidly reactive and in constant communication has been more important than ever. 

As the aforementioned Bret Taylor explains: “When we say we really want Slack to be this next-generation interface for Customer 360, what we mean is we’re pulling together all these systems. How do you rally your teams around these systems in this digital work-anywhere world that we’re in right now where these teams are distributed and collaboration is more important than ever,”

Further capabilities were also announced to be coming to the Customer 360 platform in the more short term future, Hyperforce. In a complete retooling of the platform, Customer 360 becomes Hyperforce, a way for the solution to be securely and reliably delivered to major public clouds. 

Due to the digital imperative, companies are increasingly reliant on having a singular source of data, hosted on public clouds. This is extremely useful for CIOs, allowing them more choice in where they run the Salesforce CRM so that they can more easily comply with local data protection laws. 

Automation also fits into the concept of the digital imperative, with employees now occupying an ever more complex working environment the need for tasks to be automated is vital for increasing productivity. Expanding on the powers of Salesforce Einstein, Einstein Automate is a powerful tool for organizations to rapidly implement their own intelligent automated solutions to scale with their needs, through essential packaged libraries. 

As Sarah Franklin, EVP & GM, Platform, Trailhead & AppExchange, Salesforce explains: “With Einstein Automate, every organisation in every industry around the world can go with the flow of change.”

Finally, we shift our gaze over to the announcement of Salesforce Service Cloud Workforce Engagement, a solution that helps contact centres and support services tackle the additional demand from customers across service channels such as email, phone, chats and social media.

The new solution will roll out in Summer 2021 in the northern hemisphere, allowing support managers to forecast upsurges in customer service demand and adjust their working methods appropriately, while also allowing them to remotely coach their teams. 

Over the past few years having great customer service is vital to businesses, with the increasingly fast pace of customer expectations being able to accurately and efficiently react to customer queries is a key part of the new digital imperative. Salesforce Service Cloud Workforce Engagement will help organizations of all sizes to generate exceptional customer support during the time of the digital imperative. 

Overall, the digital imperative has shaped how Salesforce has positioned itself for the following years, as its products and services are designed to help organizations to cope with the stresses of the digital imperative. 

If you are looking for help in adjusting to the new digital imperative, by preparing your own Salesforce solutions and need the staff to help drive it, get in touch now: 

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