With the departure of Dreamforce crowds, hotels around San Francisco's Moscone Center have vacancies yet again. The more than 150,000 Trailblazers — the name that Salesforce has given its users — who came to Dreamforce, Salesforce's user conference, have returned to their homes. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman, will.i.am, the Bush twins and former first lady Michelle Obama, all made appearances.
The big takeaway that corporate managers who funded Trailblazers’ trips are looking for is — what does Salesforce have to offer that will help us sell more, engage customers more deeply, be more productive and deliver better experiences?
Salesforce, Google Cloud Partnership May Be Even Bigger Than It Looks
A run through Dreamforce's biggest announcements helps answer the question. Salesforce and Google Cloud announced a huge, multi-pronged partnership which consists of the following agreements:
1) Google Cloud is now Salesforce's a preferred public cloud infrastructure provider.
What this means: Google Cloud will support Salesforce's growing customer base and be a part of its international infrastructure expansion. It is a vote of confidence and revenue-maker for Google Cloud Platform.
Why it matters: Google needs CIOs to take it seriously as an enterprise-grade provider. The hope is that Salesforce’s vote of confidence will influence buyers to consider it alongside Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. In other words, “If Google is good enough for Salesforce, it is good enough for us.” There are also synergies between Salesforce and Google to consider. Keep reading for those.
What the analysts say: Constellation Research principal analyst Holger Mueller told CMSWire: "It is clear Google had to happen. It should have happened in 2016, right after Salesforce’s fall out with Microsoft. What took so long?” Mueller also noted that the news wasn’t particularly good for AWS. Salesforce had set up a preferred partnership with AWS as a “preferred cloud provider” last year.
2) Google is offering eligible Salesforce customers company-wide G Suite licenses at no additional cost for up to one year, provided that they are not already paying for it.
What this means: Companies who use Salesforce and aren't committed to Office 365 have a tempting offer with G Suite. As Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google's cloud business put it in an interview with the Wall Street Journal “If people already have something else (Microsoft Office 365) that they are using, this gives them a chance to experience Google's apps with Salesforce services," she said.
Why this matters: Salesforce and Google will be building integrations and synergies between their platforms, so G Suite might become a cheaper and more convenient option for Salesforce users, but it might also help with productivity. Moreover, it may be a a pre-emptive play against Microsoft's growing Dynamics 365 service which integrates with, and draws insights from, both Office 365 and LinkedIn.
What the analysts say: If Salesforce truly favors G Suite over Microsoft applications "it would be bad for customers," Constellation's Mueller told CMSWire, noting that more information was needed before that assumption can be made.
3) Salesforce and Google will work together to integrate Salesforce with Google Analytics.
What this means: Once the integration is completed data from sales, marketing and advertising will be connected, giving marketers a complete view of online and offline customer journeys.
What the analysts say: Constellation Research principal analyst Cindy Zhou told CMSWire that, "The Google Analytics 360 partnership will give marketers a unified view into adword/web traffic trends." Constellation Research founder and principal Ray Wang added that with this integration Salesforce will be in a better position to compete against Adobe Analytics and the Adobe Experience Cloud.
Notable Non-Google Related Announcements
4.) Quip, the document-based, mobile-first, live collaboration tool that Salesforce acquired a little more than a year ago, announced the Quip Collaboration Platform and Live Apps.
What this means: The developers at Quip have added capabilities for Salesforce records, calendars, Kanban boards and more. They have also unveiled an API so that Quip partners can build live apps. Current app building partners include: DocuSign, Lucidchart, New Relic and more. Quip also introduced industry specific workflow templates.
Why this matters: Teams will now be able to collaborate live on a single canvas using real time data across supported applications and processes.
What the analysts say: Constellation Research principal analyst Alan Lepofsky told CMSWire that this is the most significant announcement in his coverage area. "Sometimes acquisitions go nowhere, (but not) in this case. Quip is becoming the underlying canvas that is going to unite all of the different systems of record across Salesforce," he said.
5) Sitecore announced that it is teaming with Salesforce to integrate Sitecore Experience Manager and Sitecore Experience Platform into Salesforce's Marketing Cloud.
What this means: Brands will be able to easily integrate content from their Sitecore CMS into Salesforce's Marketing Cloud.
Why this matters: Brands that take advantage of these capabilities should be able to gain a competitive advantage in building personalized digital experiences for consumers.
What the analysts say: Constellation's Wang told CMSWire: “The Sitecore partnership for content management gives Salesforce and ability to be less dependent on Adobe. Also, Thunderhead has good CX Journey mapping that will help inside of Salesforce.”