5 Overlooked Things from Dreamforce ’23

» 6 min read

Scott Kirkpatrick

By Scott Kirkpatrick

Director, Salesforce

It’s been over a week since the drumbeat of AI + Data + CRM and the promise of “Everyone’s an Einstein” filled the air at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference. Now that the waterfalls have stopped, the rock carvings have been removed, and the giant floating Einstein head taken down from the Moscone Center, it’s a great time to reflect on what was announced this year.

A number of “Top X” Dreamforce announcements articles are floating around, but I’m going to highlight five observations that flew a bit under the radar.

Data Cloud appears to be the hub for innovation across SF clouds.

While AI on Einstein 1 was the headline — and deservedly so — there seems to be more to the Data Cloud story. With the introduction of Flow, Related Lists (Winter ’24), and other platform configuration capabilities into Data Cloud, it may be well-positioned to be the hub for more accelerated cross-cloud innovation.

This is in addition to the rapidly evolving capabilities of the more traditional CDP functions involving segmentation and activation. We’ll have much more to share on this front in future articles.

Slack is a legitimate user interface for Salesforce Sales and Service.

A number of questions arose out of Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack. While some remain, the question of where Slack fits into the overall platform is starting to get answered. Much more than just a messaging solution, the latest additions of Workflow, Canvas, and, of course, GPT are making Slack a viable option as a user interface for Sales and Service team members — and a mobile-friendly one at that. Integration with Tableau makes Slack all that much more viable with the reporting and analytics capabilities required by decision-makers.

Like Data Cloud, we see Slack as a platform for continuing investment and innovation by Salesforce.

Tableau keeps a low profile at Dreamforce ’23.

Imagine being one of the analytics jewels of the platform but having to take a backseat at the “AI Event of the Year.” Tableau was not a major presence on the main stage at this year’s Dreamforce, as the GPT wave was just too all-consuming.

But there have been advances that would have been headliners any other year, and Tableau Pulse is one of those. It’s a new product that provides a summary of key metrics, with each card displaying a key metric, a visualization, AI-generated insights, and the ability to interact using a conversational AI assistant. Look for bigger and better next year.

Industry Clouds are alive and well.

When Salesforce acquired Vlocity in 2020, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Industries would become the next juggernaut in the Salesforce ecosystem. Then Covid hit and some of that market momentum was lost during the pandemic.

The announcements at Dreamforce suggest that Industry clouds are positioned to thrive once again, with entirely new clouds, major new capabilities, and, of course, freshly created Copilot GPT offerings. These vertical solutions should create much more buzz (and value) in 2024.

Dreampitch is worth a look.

One event I had not attended in the past is Dreampitch, which allows early-stage startups an opportunity to pitch their organizations for prize money. This year, three amazing AI entrepreneurs presented their cases to a panel of judges and the audience. When the votes were tallied, Ellie Mackay and Ellipsis Earth took home the top prize, followed by Elizabeth Hunter from Treeswift and Jo Aggarwal from Wysa.

I highly encourage you to do some investigation on these organizations and plan to attend this session next year.

Bonus Observation: Dreamforce location for 2024

Despite some talk of relocation in the future, all signs point to Dreamforce returning to San Francisco in 2024. Obviously, there’s no way to predict events and their impact between now and then, so consider this info more trending than set in stone.

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