October 10, 2018
Gregory Bistany - Director, Salesforce Community Cloud Practice
Dreamforce 2018 was only my 4th Dreamforce experience, but in true Dreamforce and Bluewolf fashion it was above and beyond the experience of past years. Consistent with the past two years, the theme was “Blaze Your Trail” and was focused on the individuals within the Salesforce ecosystem who are doing the most amazing things with the platform.
From my experience, I can never be fully prepared for a week at Dreamforce, because inevitably I meet someone I was not expecting to, or come across a cutting-edge tool I’ve never heard about, or catch a jaw-dropping presentation. There is no way an individual can consume all of the information Dreamforce has to offer, but one of the best things Salesforce does is curate the conference experience by cloud and function. The Community Cloud Lodge, as its name suggests, was the hub for all things communities. And as soon as you step in, the first thing you realize is how the Community Cloud product has evolved tremendously since it was announced approximately four years ago–progressing from a pure play portal to an enterprise digital engagement platform for companies to leverage as they create a great customer experience using Salesforce.
At the Community Cloud keynote this year it was clear that there are three major product enhancements being worked on and two subtle yet very important cross-cloud features for customers using either Marketing Cloud and Community Cloud or B2B Commerce and Community Cloud.
The evolution of AI continues within the Community Cloud platform. Next Best Action will play a critical role across Customer, Partner, and Employee Communities as a way to deepen the level of engagement Community Members will have with your business and each other. With the capabilities of Next Best Action, the communication between different business units will have to increase to effectively leverage a cross-sell/up-sell use case or any use case benefitting the customer.
I have seen the Community Cloud evolve into a competitor with semi-CMS tool features, but this new functionality is a major jump towards a CMS tool that could render your existing CMS duplicative. Having CMS functionality within the Community Cloud platform introduces additional complexity for organizations who are strategizing on how they manage the content they produce.
Even though this was not discussed very heavily during the Community Cloud keynote, this product was one of the most requested capabilities. This functionality comes on the tails of the announcement of the Apple & Salesforce partnership and opens the door for digital engagement on native iOS applications.
The announcement of a deeper integration between Community Cloud and Marketing Cloud is sure to expand how customers use multiple Salesforce products. Simultaneously, Salesforce’s announcement of Customer 360 enables Customers to focus on the customer experience, while the Distributed Marketing solution between Community Cloud and Marketing Cloud has direct impact on the partner channel and revenue growth.
The acquisition of CloudCraze by Salesforce, which was announced this past February, is starting to form into something special. This is a huge deal for B2B Companies because it is built on the Community Cloud platform and can easily integrate into any existing use case which is already supported by communities. By integrating B2B Commerce with Community Cloud, companies can accelerate the time to revenue for the B2B channel.
New features bring on new ideas, and new ideas spark innovative way to leverage the Salesforce product suite. The challenge is knowing where and how to get started. Bluewolf has a dedicated practice to help organizations of all sizes and industries understand the maturity of their digital engagement and guide them to a successful digital transformation.
Interested to learn more? Talk to one of our certified experts about what your goals are for Community Cloud.