After recovering from what could be compared to an “out-of-body experience” at #DF17 in San Francisco, I’d like to take a minute to reflect on the conference’s biggest takeaways from a product innovations standpoint. Here are the three themes and announcements from Dreamforce 2017 I am most excited about.
Einstein AI – The gates come down
Salesforce’s myEinstein announcement was bar none the most exciting takeaway this year. Salesforce is essentially opening its Einstein AI platform for others to play with and build their own custom, predictive apps.
The requirement of needing an army of data scientists and millions of dollars of R&D spend to make AI-powered decisions for your business will soon be a thing of the past. Incredible innovations can now be unlocked at scale through Salesforce’s impressive ISV partner ecosystem. Those who harness the power of this new insight-driven platform will become true Salesforce Trailblazers for the rest to follow.
As they put it, it’s “point, click, predict.”
And this is not a hypothetical. It’s real, with strategic partners like FinancialForce already using new predictive insights and AI-powered analytics to run smarter, more agile businesses. We call our internal implementation of Einstein “Pulse,” which leverages Einstein Discovery across the collected data, to unearth critical insights and deliver specific, specialized service to customers. For example, using Einstein to analyze common data such as product usage, implementation rate, and payment timing, Pulse can trigger alerts and recommended actions related to customer satisfaction.
For customers interested in adopting Einstein AI innovations themselves as part of their FinancialForce application experience, we have good news.
“Customers can expect advanced financial reporting with Einstein Analytics as well as advanced Einstein-driven insights embedded within FinancialForce ERP,” said Dan Brown, Chief Product Officer for FinancialForce.
Revenue Recognition (ASC 606 & IFRS 15) – You’re covered with Salesforce CPQ & FinancialForce
Not since Sarbanes Oxley has it been so exciting to talk about compliance. One could even argue that the new revenue recognition (rev rec) standards could be compared to the great Y2K problem—at least for companies that write customer service contracts. But that encompasses a great and growing number of companies: the new services economy has touched every organization, from pure services companies to traditional manufacturers.
With the clock ticking for public companies to be compliant by year end (and the end of 2018 for private firms), FinancialForce announced the First Complete ASC 606 Solution for Unlimited Revenue Models. This solution combines the power of FinancialForce’s Financial and Revenue Management products with Salesforce CPQ, helping companies address the complete opportunity-to-revenue process and align with the new reporting standards.
Beyond just compliance, customers will gain new levels of visibility and predictability across the entire revenue lifecycle, from configure, price, and quote (CPQ) to revenue recognition reporting, streamlining compliance with the new ASC 606 and IFRS 15 standards. (To learn more and get some guidance on the new rev rec standards, download this free guide.)
myEverything – Making business personal
One more thing that stood out at Dreamforce this year was the “my” motif used by Salesforce. myLighting, mySalesforce, myEinstein, myIot, myTrailhead—Salesforce is further unlocking the power of its platform to enable customers and partners to better tailor and personalize Salesforce products and services to their own needs.
From branding to building bespoke mobile apps, it’s very exciting to see this level of new empowerment. This theme continues as we get closer to the platform, with the ability for us laymen to build point-and-click AI models using our Salesforce data or to even create our own chatbots on the fly!
It’s not just about making our Salesforce apps even more personal with branding and more powerful with AI and Einstein, it’s also about becoming a more customer-centric business. Moving your business in this direction can be a critical success factor to achieving sustainable growth in the new services economy, and is something the team at FinancialForce is dedicated to helping our customers achieve.