The Salesforce Dream of a Slack Digital HQ was Not the Reality at Dreamforce 2021
I’ve attended Dreamforce since 2008 – primarily as an Analyst, but also as a Vendor Executive. This year was one of the first times – as many attendees wondered – Salesforce did not deliver at its annual Dreamforce Conference. This blog analyzes DF21 and the hits and misses.
Analysis of DF21 – The Hype and the Reality of Delivery Later
Salesforce missed an opportunity to continue to push its lead CRM story at DF21. It continued its pattern of promises for new visionary offerings – that often are not delivered until a year later. This year it got enamored with its newest acquisition – Slack, which it bought for the tidy sum of $27 Billion.
Slack – Wait until Summer 2022 to integrate
Slack is positioned by CEO Mark Benioff as the new Digital HQ – which aligns with Aragon’s Digital Work Hub market. The issue is that the integration of Slack doesn’t happen with Sales, Service and Marketing Cloud until Spring or Summer 2022. While there are a few integrations available now – most of the other integrations that go beyond Sales, Service and Marketing are also not available until 2022 (see link from Salesforce).
Salesforce Customer 360 – Great Vision – Hard to Purchase
The entire pitch of Customer 360 is strong – however, just like other providers, the parts you need to buy to assemble a full Customer 360 experience are long and getting longer. Salesforce has quietly built scope-creep into its offerings. With over 14 different price books that represent different product families, buying and implementing Salesforce in 2021 is non-trivial (See the Aragon SWOT Analysis of Salesforce 360).
We’d also argue that you can buy Sales Cloud and get it running fairly quickly, however most medium and large enterprises are recommended to use a System Integrator. You can also buy Salesforce Einstein of Sales Cloud – it auto-configures most of the AI. It is when you leave Sales Cloud that it gets complicated, and that happens pretty fast.
Safe Harbor Statements Serve a Purpose
Over the last ten years, we have gotten away from product promises from providers. However, enterprises need to plan carefully and look at Salesforce for Customer Experience and compare them against a myriad of other competitors that may have the same or more capabilities now. Salesforce is approaching a zone of promising capabilities and not delivering.
Bottom Line – Make the Dreams More of a Reality
This year Salesforce missed the mark on Dreamforce. While there was fanfare – it did not come close to delivering the excitement of what Salesforce used to do at Dreamforce. We can all hope that with a Dreamforce in person in 2022, they will bring a focus on things that customers can buy – and avoid promises.