Marc Benioff, chairman and co-chief executive officer for Salesforce, says the company is focused on partnering with as many software vendors as possible. File photo.

Published: November 20th, 2019

Partnership was a key theme at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual user conference.

“We would love to do everything, but we can’t,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and co-chief executive officer during his keynote. “We realize you have more than Salesforce, and we promise we will work with everybody.”

A number of announcements at the conference highlighted this commitment.

The company’s Apple partnership yielded three announcements:

First, Salesforce has redesigned its mobile CRM app for iOS. Salesforce’s artificial intelligence (AI), Einstein, enables a new user experience with advanced analytics and features exclusive to iOS, including Siri shortcuts and Face ID. Users can leverage Siri and Einstein Voice Assistant to add tasks, take notes, and update the CRM.

A second app, Trailhead GO, is the first mobile learning app for Salesforce’s free online learning platform. The app is exclusive to iOS and iPadOS, and gives access to more than 700 training modules, each of which can be completed in 10 or 15 minutes. The app takes advantage of Apple’s sharing capabilities to let users share badges, achievements, and content via iMessage. It also uses Handoff and iPadOS picture-in-picture view for multi-tasking with video courses and live broadcasts from Trailhead Live.

Thirdly, Salesforce has released a new version of its mobile software development kit (SDK) that’s optimized for Swift and iOS 13, Apple’s newest operating system. The company says it will empower more than six million Salesforce developers to build and deploy native Salesforce apps for iPhone and iPad.

The Salesforce Mobile App is available now on the App Store. Trailhead GO, also free, is on the App Store as well; additional features including iOS Dark Mode and Sign in with Apple should be available later this year. The SDK is due to arrive later this year, with a version with additional features for iPadOS to be available in 2020.

Apple wasn’t the only featured partnership. The Amazon Web Services global partnership also saw expansion. Salesforce announced Service Cloud Voice, which seamlessly integrates with Amazon Connect to provide additional tools to contact centre agents. It brings together phone, digital channels, and CRM data into a unified console, where Amazon Connect will provide AI-powered speech analytics using Amazon Transcribe, Amazon Translate, and Amazon Comprehend to provide sentiment analysis, speech to text transcription, and translation to agents through Service Cloud Voice.

Salesforce Einstein then uses this information to give agents recommendations, find contextually relevant knowledge base articles, and supply next best actions for the customer within the Service Cloud console.

It builds on the initiative announced in September 2019, when Salesforce joined Amazon and leading technology companies to announce the Voice Interoperability Initiative, a program to ensure voice-enabled products provide customers with choice and flexibility through multiple, interoperable voice services.

As part of this commitment, Salesforce is exploring ways to integrate Einstein Voice Skills with Amazon Alexa, among other voice assistants and devices, in the future.

Building on yet another partnership, last week, in advance of the conference, Salesforce announced that Microsoft Azure would be the public cloud provider for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. As well, Salesforce will build integrations to connect Sales Cloud and Service Cloud with Microsoft Teams.

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