Salesforce is built on the foundation of the company's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform and it continues to be at the core of the company. In 2019 however, while CRM is still growing, Salesforce's ambitions reach far beyond the traditional definition of what it is to be a CRM vendor.
Salesforce reported its first quarter fiscal 2020 financial results on June 4, with revenue coming in at $3.74 billion for a 24 percent year-over-year gain. During the earnings call CEO Marc Benioff boasted that in 2018, Salesforce gained more CRM market share than the other top 15 vendors combined.
While CRM share is growing, it's the adjacent areas of Salesforce that are leading the way in terms of new innovations. Benioff noted that in the first quarter, Salesforce announced its new Einstein Platform Services that enables anyone, regardless of their technical skill, to build custom AI-powered apps with just a few clicks.
"That has been so important for our customers because just as we've infused these Einstein AI capabilities across our entire product line and made Einstein Voice and also Einstein Vision capabilities available to every Salesforce app, we're now doing this exact same thing with another critical technology for our customers, which is blockchain," Benioff said.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that first rose to notoriety through its use for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Blockchain in recent years has seen broader use cases, enabling supply chain integrity and tracking. At Saleforce's TrailheaDX developer conference in San Francisco, the company introduced Salesforce Blockchain.
"It's the world's first declarative blockchain service solution and it's built in deeply now into all of our apps," Benioff explained. "It's built natively on our platform, enabling customers to easily create blockchain applications through simple drag-and-drop as they can with every other Salesforce app."
Mulesoft Moving Forward
Bret Taylor, President and Chief Product Officer at Salesforce commented about the success of the Mulesoft product portfolio in recent months. Salesforce acquired Mulesoft in May 2018 in a $6.5 billion deal. Taylor said that post-acquisition the company launched a product called MuleSoft community manager which enables companies to create ecosystems around their APIs.
"APIs are becoming the Lego of how companies communicate with each other," Taylor said. "You can see growing the convergence of our technologies and our Community Cloud and the API prioritization of MuleSoft and I think it really transforms the way companies are thinking about the data and thinking about innovations strategically."
CRM for Employees
CRM has typically been thought of as external facing customer management. What Salesforce has realized is that it can also use its Service Cloud to help internal customers - or users too.
One example cited by Benioff is Southwest Airlines, which is using Salesforce's communities product, Service Cloud and a centralized HR help desk for 60,000 employees to check their benefits, manage rotation time and questions via chat and also in a mobile device.
"This is really something that's very much enhancing the customer experience, employee experience and the intersection between employees and customers," Benioff said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.