Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff delivered his keynote address last Monday to kick off Dreamforce 2017. There were more than a few announcements in the presentation, and overall it had a general feeling of “change.” With the conceptualization of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Benioff set the stage for the conference.
This goes far beyond myEinstein, myTrailhead, myLightning, mySalesforce, myIoT, Quip apps, and some of the other innovative features that were introduced during the keynote. Benioff spoke to a much greater shift in the world of tech, one that will have a significant impact on the world at large.
This shift represents the dawn of an era of visibility and connectivity. Build-up for this has been ongoing over several years as the smartphone has wormed its way deeper into our lives and we have gained greater access and insight into larger amounts of data. Relationships are formed rapidly and we can find information about a person and initiate communication with a few taps on a touch screen. But never delivered on the same scale that a stronger AI promises to deliver. And that’s exciting!
But not without risk.
In the keynote we got a sneak peek at some of the customer service bots that adidas is using to revolutionize their service offerings. The demo featured customers who were able to interact with customer service bots and instantaneously alter their orders. This offers incredible value to customers and will offer adidas a huge boost in the marketplace.
How does this level of automation impact the value of customer service reps to the company? The answer to this question is a positive one, say adidas and Benioff. Not only can you improve the customer experience, but you can improve the experience of customer service representatives. These bots will be able to deflect a huge caseload away from adidas customer service representatives. With fewer simple, repetitive cases to manage, they will have the capacity to focus their energies on more complex tasks, allowing the group to do more overall.
With bots alone fueling heated discussion in recent months, it isn’t difficult to see how some of these advancements in technology could pose serious ethical dilemmas. Benioff appears all too aware of this dual nature of technological innovation.
“You can see these technologies are amazing – way beyond our wildest imaginations,” said Benioff during the keynote. “But you can also see that these technologies can be used in many different ways. They can be used to unite us, to divide us, to connect us, to disconnect us. And they can be used to create more equality in the world, but there also could be more inequality.”
By placing the values of his business and the concept of “Ohana” alongside these exciting announcements, Benioff appears to be showing us the way. Technology in and of itself is unimportant. What we do with that technology is vital.
Full of excitement and big ideas after Dreamforce, we’re already getting started in leveraging these new innovations for the benefit of our community. If you want to talk about some of the cool things you learned at Dreamforce, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!