Salesforce goes real-time in CRM upgrade

L'Oreal, Nine Network among the new takers of the software giant's customer data platform integration with CRM

Genie customer graph example
Genie customer graph example

Salesforce has taken a leap into the world of real-time data management with the integration of customer data platform (CDP) capabilities into its flagship Customer 360 CRM platform.

Speaking at the Dreamforce 2022 conference in San Francisco, Salesforce co-CEO, Bret Taylor, claimed the new capability, dubbed Genie, had made Salesforce the world’s first real-time CRM, and would enable marketers to build a complete picture of all aspects of their customers.

“Salesforce Genie is the real-time platform for customer data,” Taylor said. “We have completely reimagined our CRM from the ground up to enable the real-time capabilities that will enable all of you to build applications that simply weren’t possible before.

“Because it is hyperscale, it is near infinite scale for all of your data, and because it is real-time, you can stream events in real-time.”

The new capability is built using Salesforce’s lakehouse data architecture and runs on its secure Hyperforce cloud architecture. It has been made available at launch in Australia.

During the presentation, Salesforce demonstrated an implementation of Genie at global personal care company, L’Oréal, highlighting Genie’s ability to enable real-time service in response to a customer interaction. Speaking at the launch, L’Oréal chief executive officer, Nicholas Hieronimus, described his organisation as a mix between a 113-year-old company and a technology unicorn, thanks to the capabilities Salesforce was delivering.

“Beauty is about expressing one’s individuality, and the work we are doing with Salesforce, powering our 200-plus D2C sites, and having a very made-to-measure CRM, allows us to bring personalised experiences, services, and products to consumers,” Hieronimus said. “This unique consumer vision allows us to be extremely effective.”

At a media pre-briefing, Salesforce president and chief product officer, David Schmaier, described Genie as bringing CDP capabilities to the broader Salesforce platform.

“Genie is a highspeed hypescaler data lake infrastructure that powers all of Salesforce’s applications, and Genie makes all of the Salesforce applications and the Salesforce platform better,” Schmaier said. “We are… going beyond what I would call the traditional definition of CDP and uniting this with all of the clouds in Customer 360.  You can use it in combination with any of our products or with all of our products.”

Schmaier said Genie would work seamlessly with other Salesforce tools, including its automation platform, Flow, and artificial intelligence (AI)-based decisioning engine, Einstein.

“Flow saves our customers today a hundred billion hours of work every single month, and Einstein provides the intelligence that powers customer experience,” Schmaier said. “Einstein today does 175 billion predictions today, and now with Genie you have a real time data lake and data-powering infrastructure that allows you to automate, that allows every customer experience to be intelligent, and allows them to be real time.”

Schmaier said 16 of Salesforce’s app partners had already taken advantage of Genie’s capabilities, including Australian media company, Nine. He said Genie would also integrate easily with third-party data and AI tools, including AWS’ SageMaker machine learning platform, and integrated natively with both Tableau and Snowflake.

“That technology of bringing in the data in real-time, matching it, cleansing it, then uniting it and harmonising it – that is the magic behind Genie,” Schmaier said.

Salesforce also made a number of other announcements at Dreamforce, including enhancements to its collaboration platform Slack, and the creation of an online marketplace for carbon credits, called the Net Zero Marketplace.

Net Zero Marketplace is built on Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud and offers a catalogue of third-party rated carbon credits that can be purchased online. Net Zero Marketplace also features a climate action hub. Carbon credit providers, Climate Impact Partners, Cloverly, Lune, Pachama, Native, A Public Benefit Corporation, Respira International, and South Pole, third-party rating companies Calyx Global and Sylvera, and curated climate portfolio provider have joined the marketplace as inaugural partners.

  • Brad Howarth travelled to Dreamforce as a guest of Salesforce.   

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