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Salesforce Solidifies AI Roadmap at NYC World Tour

Salesforce Solidifies AI Roadmap at NYC World Tour

Salesforce this week unveiled a series of significant AI announcements at the NYC World Tour 2024, solidifying its position as a frontrunner in the enterprise AI landscape. The event marked the general availability of Einstein Copilot, the company’s conversational AI assistant for CRM, along with a suite of new tools and bundles designed to accelerate AI adoption across organizations.

Salesblazer and Serviceblazer Programs

Most of the hoopla at the event centered around Salesforce’s Salesblazer Community, a fast-growing community of sales professionals, by adding new capabilities that facilitate real-time collaboration using Slack. These features allow members to network based on their roles, stay updated on job postings and events, and receive timely advice on current challenges.

The enhancements build upon the successful launch of in April 2023, which reached over 8 million people across various platforms. Salesforce aims to address the lack of advancement opportunities, a common reason for sales professionals leaving their jobs, by fostering the largest community of sales professionals through the Salesblazer initiative.

Additionally, Salesforce has launched, a premier destination for service and field service professionals, offering content and a global community to help them grow their careers and stay informed about the latest trends.

Einstein Copilot Takes Center Stage

The general availability of Einstein Copilot marks a significant milestone in Salesforce’s AI journey. Integrated with Data Cloud and the Einstein Trust Layer, Copilot enables users to interact with their CRM data and workflows using natural language, opening new possibilities for productivity and efficiency.

Salesforce unveiled a series of new sales-focused actions for Copilot, including Close Plans, Forecast Guidance, Call Explorer, and Follow-Up Emails. These pre-built capabilities allow sales reps and managers to quickly generate personalized close plans, understand forecast risks, query call transcripts, and craft tailored follow-up emails, all within the flow of their CRM workspace.

The company also introduced Copilot Analytics, a set of tools that empower admins to track and audit Copilot usage, uncover adoption trends, and measure ROI. This focus on transparency and control underscores Salesforce’s commitment to responsible AI deployment.

Salesforce Solidifies AI Roadmap at NYC World Tour
Einstein Copilot Analytics, Source: Salesforce

Still Early Days for Copilot

While the general availability of Einstein Copilot is indeed a significant step forward, it is important to note that the actual number of customers actively using the tool remains unclear. Salesforce showcased a handful of success stories, including ADP and Goosehead Insurance, but the breadth of adoption across its customer base is yet to be seen.

Given the nascency of conversational AI in the enterprise, it’s possible that the general release of Copilot may be premature. Many organizations are still grappling with the challenges of data readiness, governance, and trust, which are critical foundations for successful AI implementation. Salesforce’s emphasis on the Einstein Trust Layer and Data Cloud aims to address these concerns, but the journey to widespread adoption will likely be gradual.

Empowering Safe and Secure AI Rollouts

To help customers navigate the complexities of AI implementation, Salesforce introduced two new bundled solutions: the AI Implementation Bundle and the Data Governance Bundle.

The AI Implementation Bundle combines essential development tools, including Einstein Copilot, Einstein 1 Studio, Platform licenses, Sandbox, and Data Mask. This comprehensive toolkit allows IT teams to build, test, and deploy AI experiences across their organization, while the discounted sandbox environments and reduced-cost licenses make experimentation and customization more accessible.

The Data Governance Bundle, on the other hand, brings together key security and privacy capabilities like Shield, Security Center, and Privacy Center. By empowering IT teams to protect and manage sensitive customer data, this bundle helps ensure that AI implementations are built on a foundation of trust and compliance.

Salesforce’s emphasis on bundling AI implementation and data governance tools reflects a deep understanding of the challenges organizations face when adopting AI at scale. By providing a comprehensive set of resources and guardrails, the company aims to accelerate AI rollouts while mitigating risks and building trust.

Expanding the Zero Copy Partner Network

In addition to the Einstein Copilot and AI bundle announcements, Salesforce also unveiled an expansion of its Zero Copy Partner Network. The network, which includes charter members like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Databricks, Google Cloud, and Snowflake, is committed to building secure, bidirectional zero copy integrations with Salesforce Data Cloud.

The zero copy approach allows data to be accessed and acted upon across the Salesforce ecosystem without the need for costly and time-consuming data replication. By eliminating data silos and enabling real-time insights, zero copy integration promises to unlock new levels of productivity and personalization.

Salesforce also introduced zero copy support for data warehouses and lakehouses built on open table formats like Apache Iceberg, as well as new Zero Copy Data Kits that allow ISV partners to bring valuable datasets to Data Cloud customers.

The expansion of the Zero Copy Partner Network underscores Salesforce’s commitment to building an open, interoperable AI ecosystem. By enabling seamless integration with leading data platforms and empowering partners to contribute valuable datasets, Salesforce is positioning Data Cloud as a central hub for enterprise AI innovation.

The Customer Perspective

The NYC World Tour 2024 featured several marquee customers who shared their experiences and aspirations with Salesforce’s AI offerings.

Goosehead Insurance, an independent personal lines insurance agency, highlighted how the Einstein 1 Platform is helping them build deeper client relationships and improve productivity. “At Goosehead Insurance, we lead with innovation and offer unparalleled customer experiences,” said Brim Basom, Managing Director of Technology and Innovation at Goosehead Insurance. “Goosehead’s investment in the Einstein 1 platform will further enhance the Aviator platform and help our agents provide even more comprehensive insurance solutions, for deeper engagement with our clients and improved productivity.”

IHG Hotels & Resorts, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, announced that they will become the first global hospitality company to standardize on Salesforce Loyalty Management. “As we continue to enhance the IHG One Rewards loyalty program, one of our top priorities is ensuring our guests have a booking and stay experience that is customized to their individual travel needs,” said Heather Balsley, Global Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer at IHG Hotels & Resorts. “Our collaboration with Salesforce will enable us to further enhance the technology, tools, teams, and solutions that power our loyalty program, allowing us to provide personalized content and offerings that ultimately drive a deeper connection to our most valued guests.”

These customer stories underscore the real-world impact of Salesforce’s AI innovations in driving loyalty, productivity, and personalization across industries. As more organizations embrace the power of AI, Salesforce’s focus on delivering trusted, scalable solutions aims to set the standard for enterprise AI adoption.

The Road Ahead

The AI announcements at NYC World Tour 2024 mark a significant milestone in Salesforce’s AI journey, but they also raise important questions about the future of enterprise AI adoption.

As Einstein Copilot enters general availability, the onus is now on Salesforce to demonstrate the real-world impact and ROI of conversational AI at scale. While the success stories showcased at the event provide a glimpse into the potential of Copilot, the true test will be in the breadth and depth of customer adoption in the coming months and years.

The introduction of AI implementation and data governance bundles, along with the expansion of the Zero Copy Partner Network, underscores Salesforce’s commitment to building a comprehensive, trustworthy AI ecosystem. By providing the tools, guardrails, and integrations necessary for safe and secure AI rollouts, Salesforce is positioning itself as a leader in the responsible development and deployment of enterprise AI.

However, the road ahead is not without challenges. As the AI landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, Salesforce will need to balance innovation with governance, democratization with trust, and automation with human judgment. The company’s emphasis on “human at the helm” and the Einstein Trust Layer suggests a recognition of these challenges, but the practical implications remain to be seen.

Moreover, as AI becomes increasingly central to Salesforce’s value proposition, the company will need to navigate the complexities of pricing and packaging. The introduction of discounted sandbox environments and reduced-cost licenses for AI experimentation is a step in the right direction, but ensuring broad accessibility and adoption will require ongoing efforts to balance value with affordability.

As the AI landscape continues to evolve, Salesforce’s NYC World Tour 2024 announcements serve as a reminder of the transformative potential of AI in the enterprise, as well as the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. For IT leaders and practitioners, the event provides a glimpse into the future of work, and a call to action to embrace the power of AI while navigating its complexities with care and foresight.