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When we were at the start of the year, there were some predictions that talked about AI as the new tech trend. A lot of games and apps in the past year included the AI technology and enhanced customer experience. When you have a smart application by your side, which assists you in understanding your needs, it truly is the best experience you can ever have.

In the first four parts of this series, we talked about how Salesforce and its acquisitions will help further the customer experience and omnichannel sales capabilities of the businesses. In this final part of the series, we will discuss how a recent acquisition will enhance automation and make AI integral to Salesforce. This is one of the most sought after technologies, and including it will give businesses a run for their money. Gaining a competitive edge, having a relevant user base and even targeting relevant people is bound to become easy.

Building on Deep Learning

Salesforce is all ready to automate marketing automation, customer support and several other processes that impact the business. To bring to the fore immense capabilities, Salesforce is planning to incorporate deep learning, natural language processing and machine learning. The recent acquisition of Metamind, a deep learning startup, to further its AI capabilities, is a well-strategized move by Salesforce.

As discussed in earlier blogs, it is research and insights that will drive businesses towards automation & growth. Predictive analysis is an important aspect of marketing automation, which can be incorporated into your Salesforce system and the apps you develop through deep learning models. These predictive models will help gauge the customer insights and build apps accordingly.

When you talk about AI, deep learning, machine learning, etc. you know you will falter if you don’t have the right data to analyse and gain insights. It is thus important for any company to be backed by the right data. The buying spree to further AI capabilities also included Implicit Insights, which is a data automation startup. The startup was built on the idea of making businesses capable of faster and easier decisions using the data that is stored in the customer database. They have the capability to identify opportunities and deals that will convert as well as the risks that you will meet in your way.

Going Ahead with Machine Learning

Machine learning is another aspect of artificial intelligence that cannot be pushed aside. To build its base in machine learning as well as improve its Big Data analytics’ capabilities, Salesforce has acquired Prediction IO, which had built an open-source machine learning server to enhance business AI capabilities. This technology and the capabilities therein will be used to build Salesforce’s very own machine learning capabilities, backed by data and analytics. This acquisition is very important for Salesforce, as it will help them dig deeper, and create more intelligent clouds that will help them boost sales and scale businesses towards growth.

Along with machine learning, it is important to further the analytics’ capabilities at an enterprise level to make businesses smarter. Beyond Core helps enterprise analytics with computational and statistical analytics, thus leading to automation and enhancement. This in turn is assumed to affect the various processes of Salesforce, and strengthen customer relations owing to automated marketing, and predictive analytics. The idea is to make decisions easy and fast. Machine learning combined with deep-rooted analytics and deep learning will help businesses understand their customers better, personalise offerings accordingly, and bring the best of their capabilities.

Going Further

We understand Salesforce wants to combine conventional strategies with unconventional technologies, and unique capabilities to enhance business growth. The Salesforce cloud will become smarter and intelligent with time. It is now time to see how Salesforce utilises these acquisitions and builds businesses.

Read the rest of the article in this series on our blog

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After accelerating quote to cash processes, and ensuring a quicker & smarter customer journey, Salesforce is attempting to redefine marketing. Sometime back the company had launched Einstein, an AI program that could simulate smarter environment, and give companies a greater understanding of the new methods of marketing. It could help companies grow by getting a deeper customer understanding.

 

In this blog we will take you through Krux, TwinPrime and Heywire, the three major Salesforce acquisitions in 2016, and how they were needed for the industry giant’s illustrious customer first philosophy.

 

Acquiring Krux Data Management Platform

 

Data mining is fast becoming the rage in our current data-driven times. Most marketers use data-management platforms as a way to make the customer more relatable, and to get a quick glimpse of the customer’s journey and their behaviour. In fact, it also helps understand their sales data from the past. With such information, a salesperson can tailor personalized pitches, which has a higher higher chance of conversion.

 

Salesforce marketing cloud platform required a data insight which can help them offer personalized solutions to meet unique user needs. The new data management platform will return smart insights, and also communicate them to the AI Einstein Engine to help improve marketing, and deliver newer and better information to the customers. Smarter technologies by your side can help you improve your marketing capabilities. Segmentation, personalization & targeting is the need of the hour and it looks like salesforce has a plan with Krux.

 

TwinPrime & Mobile Apps

 

The question arises, what could have intrigued a giant like Salesforce in buying a startup such as Twinprime. Twinprime works towards boosting capabilities of mobile apps. Twinprime brings together the incredible capabilities of mobile, networking and data science to analyse data in real-time, to identify the performance gaps in mobile apps, and finally optimize the mobile performance.

 

For a while, mobile apps have been reprimanded for the slowness in content delivery and the cumbersome wait for the content to be delivered to your screens. This will change with Twinprime’s arrival. With the network and connectivity taken care of, it will become easy for companies to optimize their mobile content accordingly, and ensure quicker and faster mobile movement.

 

This acquisition will help Salesforce grow by leaps and bounds. The idea is to offer seamless experience on a global platform, which will become true with this acquisition, considering Salesforce will make the connectivity and performance uniform.

 

Business Messenger with Heywire

 

Salesforce has strengthened its collaborative environment with the acquisition of Heywire. This digital business messenger helps connect brands with customers in real-time, and ensures quicker communication and hassle-free business.

For most brands, understanding the customer, and knowing what they want is a major fix in their jigsaw puzzle. I often see them wondering whether the customer be satisfied with the brand’s offering or, would they want something else. Companies are always confused on what the customer might want, and how they would prefer having it.

 

This is precisely why they need a business messenger that can put them through to the customer, and help them understand the needs immediately. This is the best way a customer can connect with the brand in an online store scenario. This way Heywire can manage to create an in-store experience in an online store.

 

Moving Ahead


What we see with these three acquisitions is Salesforce’s attempt at giving us a beautiful customer journey and a seamless experience across the various channels. Would this unique strategy impact Salesforce positively is an answer for which we will need to wait. I for one have my hopes up.

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 Last week we explored how Salesforce acquired Coolan, Gravity Tank, Sequence and Demandware to move towards a fulfilling,  seamless customer journey. It is a Salesforce strategy to boost its capabilities by adding new feathers to an already magnificent headdress. Salesforce, a customer centric product, that helps organizations cater to specific needs of the customers, has made a radical move in customer-centric acquisitions. Salesforce known for its unique and collaborative nature is integrating different platforms that complement their own.




Currently, the organization is not planning to re-architect any of the companies they have acquired. Acquisitions will however change the salesforce ecosystem, tremendously improving the value they deliver to their customers, us.

In this space, we will discuss the acquisition of Quip and Steelbrick in detail, and how they have impacted Salesforce & the relative customer journey in a profound way.

 

Salesforce & Steelbrick

 

CPQ- Configure, Price & Quote- a process very important for quicker quote to cash and easy invoice generation. For a long time, word documents and spreadsheets were used to produce the quotes and manage the pricing. Only large businesses have ever used the CPQ tools, while smaller businesses were still blissfully unaware of the need for such tools.

 

Salesforce recently acquired Steelbrick to strengthen the CPQ unit and make quote-to-cash quick and seamless, thus improving order fulfilment. If your organization is already using Salesforce, here are a few reasons why considering Salesforce-Steelbrick CPQ might do you good.

 

It helps accelerate the whole process of configure, price and quote, as all products & pricing  components are handled through a very intelligent and UX intensive platform. Generally, when you spend a certain time quoting the figures, going back for approvals etc, you are wasting time that could be used  selling.Not anymore! With Steelbrick CPQ in your Salesforce tool, you are equipped with faster processing giving you more time to sell. Accuracy, and productivity is increased while reducing risk of errors.

 

You can access reports and key performance metrics with this collaboration. You have more visibility in available opportunities and can automate the approvals on your dashboard. The end objective here is to reduce risks posed by error riddled quotes and to reduce sales cycle time.

Good rule of thumb is to customize your offerings using available sales and customer data.With Steelbrick, you can avoid steep discounting, increasing revenue.

 

Salesforce & Quip

 

For a while, there was no content management angle to Salesforce, which forced organizations to use Google docs or Word docs to create content, and share it with the team. But, this has changed with the last acquisition spree Salesforce went on. This new acquisition that involves Quip has increased the document creation, collaboration and productivity capabilities of Salesforce. Documents can now be prepared in a collaborative environment which improves working capability of every individual involved in the process.

 

Along with documents & spreadsheets, Quip offers messaging, comments and emoji features as well, making it a truly co-operative platform. This helps in creating a knowledgebase for the company, wherein all documents and spreadsheets are available in one single place. Content availability, viewing capabilities and the collaboration thereafter is enhanced to a hitherto unprecedented level one seldom observes in the CRM space.

 

Furthering Collaboration

 

Salesforce is known for its collaborative environment, and with this acquisition, it is further solidifying this ideology amongst its customers. Not only is  saleforce furthering collaboration in CPQ it is also making waves in the enterprise content management system.. Both the platforms acquired are strong, relatable and more importantly, required. Time will tell how these changes will impact the environment. For now I’m just in awe of the vision; the direction Salesforce is taking.

 

Read the rest of the blogs in this series on http://www.dquotient.com/dquotientblog.html

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Salesforce has always maintained the top position amongst business solutions, when it comes to CRM products or, cloud-based products. They are uniquely designed, and offer seamless ease-of-use. If you have used Salesforce products, you would know they exceed your expectations by offering products that are aesthetically designed, and neatly developed, and keep up with the needs of the customers, and connect with them through their sales journey.

Salesforce's success lies with identifying trends that will define the future and adopting them. with Demandware they did just that; now commerce cloud is redefining the way we do business.

Things are changing, and rapidly! It is imperative to keep up with the changing environment, which is why it is necessary for companies like Salesforce to collaborate with other companies that are innovating the niche.

Recently, Salesforce acquired Sequence, Coolan and Gravity Tank. we wondered what brought on the acquisition of three totally different companies. While reading up on it, we realized, these three companies work on different customer touch points, and each has derived extensive experience and expertise on these niches, and can help Salesforce evolve and innovate.

Customer experience is a combination of excellent design, research and strategy. For years organizations have built insights to understand the customer, and offer them solutions that meet their unique needs. The uniqueness of customer experience lies in the way you channelize their needs and the insights devised to help achieve their goals, and stay with them through their buying and usage journey

The three companies, Coolan, Sequence and Gravity are known to offer incredible definition to customer experience. Together, they can help drive Salesforce products towards distinctive and even more satisfactory experiences.

Let’s have a look at the individual companies and how they are tasked to improve the customer experience through their design methodologies and core competencies.

Sequence is a user experience design agency, which offers well-defined usability and architecture for the product, which in turn enhances the customer experience. From data to user experience and then to the customer behaviour; customer experience encompasses them all. As a product or service based company it is important to take all the aspects into account. Sequence’s work focuses on building interactive experiences across both digital and physical environments, rethinking mobility to facilitate on field engagement.

Coolan, is a company that offers data analytics services on data centers; the nitty-gritty of running massive pools of hardware efficiently by analyzing tons of performance data. Coolan is going to make Salesforce robust and nimble as is expected of a business cloud solution.

Gravity Tank builds unique solutions based on the insights acquired using a well-defined strategy and unique roadmap. Salesforce intends to use their expertise in design, research and strategy to help Salesforce’s customers shape their customer company vision and connect with their customers, employees and partners in new ways.

Customers are truly in for an unparalleled journey going forward. More importantly we realise that Salesforce has a clear understanding of our needs, and will define their path accordingly. This is a particularly endearing thought, and is perhaps why Salesforce is a hot favourite among businesses.

User experience fulfilment will be an achievement for Salesforce, and this will truly impact creation of newer products and redefine customer touch points in an hitherto unseen way. Salesforce’s acquisition of companies show how neatly they have strategized the acquisition and branding of their company.

One thing is for sure, over the next few months we’ll see Salesforce evolve in user experience, mobility, nimbleness and understanding of their customers. I cannot wait to see where they’ll go from here.

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Are we living in a customer-centric era?

In this digitally inclined world, it has become only too natural to think of the customer first before devising offering or strategies. Every step that the brand takes is to move one step forward, towards the customer, and understand them better.

 

One of the hardest things for retail brands has been how to connect with the customers in this omni-channel retail arena. It is not the same anymore; your customer connects over various channels and mediums with you, and you are expected to treat them in the same way. They expect the same customer service that you would offer offline, online and that is certainly difficult. Not only is the customer expectation increasing, but also their needs are growing at a rapid pace.

 

The need for a tool that can help retail brands understand their customer and following their journey to boost their digital experience has increased.

 

 

Demandware- The New Commerce Cloud

 

When two giants meet, they definitely create something extraordinary, and can enhance the experience of the customer. So is the case of Demandware and Salesforce. Salesforce, though a customer relationship management product, with wide areas of expertise, had a complete understanding of the customer, while Demandware offered cloud-based eCommerce solutions. These two met and redefined the experience in retail industry.

 

Demandware is the new Salesforce commerce cloud, they say, and it is indeed true. With this new acquisition, the ecommerce and retail capabilities of Salesforce have taken a leap, and customers can gain access to newfound and highly personalized solutions.

 

Growing e-Commerce Expectations

 

When brands connect with customers through various platforms such as mobile, web, in-store and even the social media, the idea is to make a smarter connect and enhance the experience of the customer being engaged. The modern retail customer is smart, and essentially knows what they want. Trying to give them exactly what they are looking for can become difficult, and sometimes, you are not even sure if you can cater to those needs.

 

With Salesforce joining hands with cloud-based e-commerce, the retail customers can enjoy shopping, as it is more fun, personalized, and even hassle-free. Customer concerns with shopping include -

 

1: Will it be safe and easy?

2: Will it be short and simple?

3: Will I get what I am looking for?

4: Will I get the retail experience I have been yearning for?

 

When these questions are posed in front of the retailer, they have to strive hard to match the needs of the customer, and offer them solutions that primarily meet their needs, and increase their expectations.

 

 

 

 

Demandware’s Omni-channel Solutions

 

Demandware is all set to improve omni-channel retail solutions with capable inputs and brilliant ideas. Incidentally, it is not just the customers who face issues but also the retailers. It is important to ensure your customers are able to shop across the multiple channels, and you as the retailer are able to fulfil the orders through these. The second major area that needed attention for the retailers was inventory management. There was a need to track the inventory in real-time, and ensure the stock is replenished as needed. Demandware’s commerce cloud ensures real-time inventory tracking and offers intelligent fulfilment solutions for easy retail movement.

 

The virtual point of sale technology inherent in Demandware gives the retail brand a visibility into their stores, and other customer & retail touch points in real-time, thus allowing them to understand just how things work.

 

In the omni-channel environment, you can easily lower shipping costs and increase the inventory turnaround time. Expanding your commerce store in a global environment is easy with this new commerce cloud, as it makes it easy to include multiple currencies, languages and cultures. Managing multiple brands is made easy with this new platform.



Salesforce is one of the best platforms of the time, and this collaboration with Demandware will improve the retail and customer journey opportunities for any company using this solution. It is indeed time for Salesforce to take charge of the digital future that lies ahead of them.

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Today, the automotive sector is confronting numerous business developments which are causing strain to the current operating models. As OEMs in the automotive industry continue to face such congregating forces, cloud computing’s swiftness, scalability and pay-per- use cost along with social, mobile and analytics technology, can have a vital role in assisting companies to adapt with the