‘Dreamtalk: The Age of the Customer Experience and More Intelligent AI’, Dreamforce 2016


The annual Dreamforce conference opened yesterday in San Francisco in the presence of leading industry analysts, Salesforce partners and ecosystem members.

George Colony (founder and CEO of Forrester Research) and Tom Davenport (Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College), discussed customer experience and automation as factors for business growth. The session can be seen here.

According to Colony, companies that are the most successful today are those ‘obsessed’ with customer experience. The new consumer dynamics stems from more responsiveness to and faster adoption of new products. Customer-led companies act on customer data and insights, substitute more open, collaborative approaches to established management roles and responsibilities in relation to the customer, and perceive technology as a business tool.

For Davenport, technology is the main driver of organizational change. The shift from descriptive and predictive analytics to prescriptive is a symptom for future job automation, particularly in marketing, sales, or customer service. Davenport suggests companies need not fully replace humans with technology, but build a reciprocal relationship between the two.

As Davenport stresses, the excess of (problematic) data is a huge challenge for businesses. Quality is central to creating exceptional customer experience. Clean, accurate data reduces work time and frustration, allows employees to focus on new, value-generating opportunities, and fosters a positive employee culture. And as Forrester shows, good employee culture is correlated to good customer culture.

In parallel, technologies in AI (machine learning, deep learning, etc) allow salespeople and marketers to create more responsive interactions based on experienced and predicted customer Behavior.

“A key ingredient in the future of automation is machine learning (AI). Salesforce is uniquely positioned to continue impacting the global economy with innovations in cloud computing, IoT enablement, and artificial intelligence.” Clint Bidlack, President and CTO ActivePrime

ActivePrime solutions deliver enhanced customer intelligence features that reduce inefficiencies and maximize the value of customer data. With ActivePrime and Salesforce, companies unlock their customer interactions through sophisticated search functionalities, information management across systems, secure data handling, and consolidated cloud and on-premise data management.