Dreamforce 2018 highlights: announcements and keynotes from Salesforce’s party in San Francisco



Dreamforce 2018 highlights keynotes partnerships announcements

Read our breakdown of Dreamforce 2018 highlights for an exploration of new products, strategic partnerships, and key innovations revealed at Salesforce’s flagship technology event in San Francisco, California.

Dreamforce 2018 was predicted to be one of the largest and most impressive tech events in history, and with around 3,000 sessions decorating the four-day Salesforce convention, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

With guest speakers ranging from former American Vice President Al Gore to Andre Iguodala of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Salesforce treated the Ohana to a range of inspirational public figures, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders at its flagship event.

Dreamforce also provides a prime opportunity to announce new products and developments on the Salesforce platform, and this year’s exciting reveals could be set to revolutionize the way we use Salesforce technology.

Here are the key highlights from Dreamforce 2018. Click an item below to read more.

Dreamforce 2018 Keynotes

Salesforce strategic partnerships

Product announcements

Other highlights

But first, a quick Q & A…

When was Dreamforce 2018?

The dates for Dreamforce 2018 were September 25th–28th 2018.

Where was Dreamforce 2018?

The location for Dreamforce 2018 was split between several venues in San Francisco, Ca, including the Moscone Center, InterContinental, Palace Hotel, Marriott Marquis, Park Central, Hilton Union Square, and Westin St. Francis.

What was the attendance for Dreamforce 2018?

Around 171,000 Salesforce professionals attended Dreamforce 2018, effectively taking over San Francisco—like a Mardi Gras for the Ohana.

What was the concert at Dreamforce 2018?

Salesforce is no stranger to booking A-list talent for its flagship event, and this year was no different. Metallica headlined this year’s Dreamfest, a benefit to raise funds for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

Interestingly, this coincided with Metallica publicizing that they use Salesforce Marketing Cloud to connect with their loyal fans. The after party was also hosted by MC Hammer, because apparently Vanilla Ice wasn’t available.

What was the schedule/agenda for Dreamforce 2018?

Day one of Dreamforce was based around trust, while days two and three centered around innovation and AI, and equality and sustainability respectively. Day four focused on mindfulness, with 22 monks flown in from France to lead meditation sessions.

If you’re looking for a collection of takeaways from the more-notable sessions, you’re in the right place! Read on to discover our highlights from the biggest Salesforce event of the year, or click below to reveal a selection of key sessions that we curated before the event.

Dreamforce 2018 agenda (click to expand)

Dreamforce 2018 schedule by role

Dreamforce 2018 sessions by role

Dreamforce sessions for Salesforce Administrators

Salesforce for Admins Keynote

Tuesday 25 September, 11am, Moscone West Level 3

Salesforce co-founder, Parker Harris, will guide you through a session that includes live product demos, practical tips, and insight into how Administrators can get more out of the Salesforce platform.

An Introduction to Architecture for Admins

Wednesday 26 September, 1.30pm, Breakout Room 2002

If you’re looking to learn how to drive Salesforce implementation, this session will detail how to plan the process from mapping to delivery, highlighting common stumbling blocks along the way.

Seven Principles of Testing Every Admin Should Know

Thursday 27 September, 2.30pm, Moscone West, Admin Theater

Being an Administrator is one thing, but testing is another. This session will outline seven principles of software testing to improve both functionality and the user experience.

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Dreamforce sessions for Salesforce Developers

Developer Demo Jam

Tuesday 25 September, 5.15pm, Moscone West, Developer Theater

Six AppExchange partners will have only three minutes to run us through their developer apps with a live-action demonstration. The winner will then be chosen by the audience—it’s a cross between a software workshop and America’s Got Talent!

Super Session: Salesforce DX

Wednesday 26 September, 10.30am, Moscone West Room 2022

This session details how Salesforce Developers of all experience levels can get the most out of the Lightning Platform. With tools and integrations being introduced all the time, you’ll be surprised how much you can streamline your processes by using just a few new features.

Salesforce for Developers Keynote

Thursday 27 September, 11.00am, Moscone West Level 3

The standard for modern applications is constantly increasing; consumers want speed, functionality, and a user interface that makes it easy for them to dip in and out. In this keynote session, you’ll learn how to develop cutting-edge apps on the Salesforce platform.

Dreamforce sessions for Salesforce Marketers

Enhance Your Content Marketing with Social Studio

Tuesday 25 September, 10am, The Palace Hotel, Marina Room

Creating great content is challenging enough, but without knowing how to share and promote that content through social channels, it won’t get the audience it deserves. Consider this your Salesforce Social Studio 101.

Unleash the Power of Salesforce DMP + Email Studio with Multichannel Audiences

Wednesday 26 September, 11.30am, The Palace Hotel, West Theater

Salesforce DMP has recently been enhanced with the Multichannel Audiences edition—this integrates DMP and Email Studio. Find out how to oversee the customer journey across several digital marketing platforms with this helpful session.

Integration Keynote: MuleSoft Connects Every App, Data and Device

Wednesday 26 September, 2pm, Moscone North Hall D

Integration is everything, and Salesforce’s acquisition of Mulesoft makes linking key digital marketing platforms simpler than ever. Learn how to embrace Mulesoft with these interesting use cases from some of the world’s biggest brands.

Dreamforce sessions for Salesforce Consultants

Five Steps to Optimize Your Salesforce Org

Tuesday 25 September, 8.30am, City View at Metreon, Level 4

As a Salesforce Consultant, you need a list of go-to principles to help advise on businesses on how to optimize their data, processes, and platform adoption. This 20-minute session is rich with information and will be a great start to your day.

Einstein Analytics and Einstein Discovery Roadmap: A Peek at New Features

Tuesday 25 September, 12.45pm, Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 9

Einstein is a revolutionary AI platform, but many Salesforce professionals are still unsure of how it could benefit them. This session details how you can start harnessing data to gain unique insights, and ultimately how to turn that into conversions.

Consulting Partner Adventures: Connecting Commerce, Marketing, and Service

Wednesday 26 September, 10am, Park Central, Olympic

One of the joys of Salesforce technology is how it connects so seamlessly. This session will explore several solutions to increase leads using intelligent business data.

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Dreamforce agenda by technology

Dreamforce 2018 sessions by technologu

Dreamforce sessions for Sales Cloud users

Sales Cloud Keynote: Now Every Sales Team Gets AI

Wednesday 26 September, 4pm, Moscone North Hall D

Sales Cloud is the most popular product from the Salesforce business suite, and the recent introduction of Einstein Analytics has taken the intelligence element of Sales Cloud to the next level. Attend this keynote for fresh insight into the future of the platform and how you can stay ahead of the curve.

The New Reality of Channel Sales: Why Partners MUST Love You

Thursday 27 September, 1pm, Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 1–3

Connecting with customers is one thing, but Sales Cloud also enables you to interact with channel partners in ways that offer them a personalized experience, which is far better for retention. Attend this session for a fresh perspective on PRM.

Sales Summit: Driving Growth Through Smarter Account Management (Gartner)

Thursday 27 September, 2pm, Hotel Nikko, Floor 3

Gartner is the world’s leading market research and business advisory company, and in this session they will detail how some of the world’s largest companies rely on an alternative style of account management to drive and sustain growth.

Dreamforce sessions for Service Cloud users

Your Next Generation Service Platform, Powered by Lightning

Tuesday 25 September, 9am, Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 1–3

Transitioning to Salesforce Lightning is something that many businesses feel intimidated by, but these concerns are unwarranted. Attend this session for a snapshot of how a global medical distributor achieved success through transitioning to Lightning.

Hiring and Training Customer Service Super-Agents

Tuesday 25 September, 2pm, Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate — Pinnacle Theater

This exploration of the Trailhead Customer Service Master Superbadge contains insights into how the culture of customer service is changing, and how you can take advantage of Service Cloud’s functionality in light of this.

Automate Simple Tasks and Empower your Agents with Service Cloud Einstein Today

Wednesday 26 September, 4pm, Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 7

Einstein Bots are on hand to automate simple tasks and make customer service easier than ever with chatbots. Attend this session to learn how you can start taking advantage today.

Dreamforce sessions for Commerce Cloud users

Build Unified Commerce Experiences with Commerce Cloud in the Winter ’19 Release

Tuesday 25 September, 10.30am, Campground Theater 2

Commerce Cloud is a powerful standalone product, but with Einstein deployment in the Winter ’19 release, it’s about to become even more exciting.

Unify the B2C Shopping Experience Across Commerce, Marketing and Service

Tuesday 25 September, 2.30pm, Palace Hotel, West Theater

Modern consumers need to be engaged if you expect a sale, and that means connecting their entire retail experience, from advert, to on-page, to purchase, to remarketing. This session will feature tools that help to unify the customer journey.

Commerce Cloud Keynote: Be a Trailblazer for B2C & B2B Commerce

Thursday 27 September, 3pm, Moscone North Hall D

The Commerce Cloud keynote will feature recent innovations on the platform, exploring how AI will help sculpt customer journeys of the future, and how you can train to prepare for new products.

Dreamforce sessions for Marketing Cloud users

The Age of Intelligent Marketing with Pardot, Marketing Cloud, and Sales Cloud

Tuesday 25 September, 9am, The Palace Hotel, Ralston Room

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketing specialist, the triple-pronged approach explored in this keynote will make you an unstoppable force—perfect for large companies looking to take their marketing efforts to the next level.

Six Steps to Impactful and Inclusive Marketing

Wednesday 26 September, 4pm, The Palace Hotel, Ralston Room

Equality should be at the forefront of your thoughts when devising market strategies. In this session, Salesforce’s office of equality will give advice on how you can implement practices to make your marketing efforts more inclusive.

Salesforce Pardot: B2B Marketing on the World’s #1 CRM

Thursday 27 September, 10.30am, Marriott Marquis, Yerba Buena Salon 9

This B2B marketing keynote will explore how some of the world’s largest organizations have transformed the way they do business by utilizing the revolutionary AI and account-based marketing of Pardot. With this service now being easily integrated within Salesforce, there’s no reason why you can’t follow suit.

Dreamforce 2018 Keynotes

Marc Benioff keynote: Trailblazers of the world unite

Salesforce Chairman and Co-CEO, Marc Benioff, kicked off Dreamforce 2018 with an inspiring keynote that celebrated the Trailblazer community. Benioff opened the keynote by proclaiming that Dreamforce was more like a ‘family reunion’ than a tech convention, such is the nature of the vibrant and inclusive Salesforce community.

The message from Salesforce is clear: we are in the fourth industrial revolution, and this is the era of change. The keynote was packed full of use-cases for Salesforce in some of the world’s largest companies, including Unilever and Marriot, and highlighted how they are utilizing new products and technologies to reach even further into their respective markets and connect directly with customers.

The keynote also offered the opportunity to announce brand new Salesforce products, as well as new and expanded strategic partnerships with some of the world’s leading technology companies. We will explore these key announcements in detail, but you can check out Benioff’s here keynote on Salesforce Live for live demos of these new innovations.

Salesforce for admins keynote 2018: #AwesomeAdmins, diversity, and live demos

Salesforce has always been a champion of equality and diversity, but did you know that 48% of the Salesforce Admin community are women? Compare this to the research conducted in our annual independent Salesforce Salary Survey, where we found that the Salesforce ecosystem is around 32% female, and it appears that women gravitate towards becoming #AwesomeAdmins.

Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris lead the admin keynote, where he addressed ‘the original Trailblazers’ and heralded the opportunities they’ve created across the tech spectrum: 3.3million new jobs and 10million Trailblazers by 2022, with one in four Trailhead users finding a new job.

“We need more women in tech,” Harris said to the keynote audience. “And you guys are helping to pave the way to creating gender diversity in tech, so thank you very much for that.”

The keynote also included several product demos that Salesforce Administrators would benefit from seeing, so be sure to check out the keynote in full above.

Sales Cloud keynote 2018

Sales Cloud is the most popular standalone Salesforce product—in our independent 2018/19 Salesforce salary survey, 82% of respondents reported proficiency in Sales Cloud.

In this year’s Sales Cloud keynote, we were afforded the first glimpse of High Velocity Sales, Salesforce’s new way to reach the best leads, before intelligently converting them into new sales opportunities, all in one seamless workspace. Einstein Lead Scoring will prioritize the best leads, while manual data entry is reduced with AI activity capture.

Take a closer look at High Velocity Sales on the Salesforce website, or watch the full Sales Cloud Keynote above.

Marketing Cloud keynote 2018

The 2018 Salesforce Marketing Cloud keynote centered around intelligent marketing for the empowered consumer, with an emphasis on knowing your customer, personalizing with intelligence, and engaging across the entire journey. It included insights from huge brands such as Warner Bros and Ticketmaster, exploring how they utilize Salesforce technology to connect with customers.

Salesforce acquired marketing intelligence company Datorama earlier this year, and its co-founder, Katrin Ribant, was on hand during the keynote to explain how AI-driven insights can be utilized by businesses using the world’s #1 marketing platform.

While Sales Cloud is currently the most widely used individual Salesforce product, Marketing Cloud is predicted to be the most in-demand solution over the next 12 months, according to research conducted in our independent Salesforce salary survey.

Mulesoft integration keynote 2018

Salesforce acquired Mulesoft earlier this year for $6.5billion, but the platform has retained its identity throughout the early stages of this new relationship. In the Mulesoft integration keynote, CMO stressed the importance of integration between cloud products, revealing the startling statistic that the average enterprise has 1,100 cloud applications.

Read this insightful blog post on Mulesoft’s Anypoint Platform, which allows customers to build an application network that uses Salesforce APIs to connect apps, data, and devices in the cloud. You should take the time to watch the full keynote, particularly if you’re a user of cloud technology but fear being overwhelmed by the range of data you’re collecting.

Dreamforce 2018 Partnerships

New global partnership with Apple

Apple is the technology giant behind the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, and with a growing emphasis on mobile CRM, it’s no surprise that Salesforce is joining forces with Apple to deliver groundbreaking solutions on iOS.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, celebrated the new partnership for the way it will revolutionize the customer experience. “We’re excited to work with Salesforce,” he said. “Their industry-leading CRM will embrace native iOS and deliver exclusive new features on iPhone and iPad.

“With the powerful combination of iPhone, iPad and iOS — the best hardware and software for business — together with native Salesforce apps and the new Salesforce SDK, we can deliver great customer experiences for businesses around the world.”

This newly announced strategic partnership only serves to strengthen Salesforce’s position as the number one CRM platform, but what does this new partnership mean for users of Salesforce?

A reimagined Salesforce mobile app

The new Salesforce mobile app will benefit from Apple capabilities such as Face ID and Business Chat, as well as Siri voice technology, which opens up a world of possibilities.

Trailhead is coming to mobile

Trailhead is Salesforce’s revolutionary web-based education portal, and the good news for Trailblazers is that it’s finally coming to mobile. Upskilling in Salesforce is now more accessible than ever.

Salesforce Mobile SDK

There will be no issue with cross-compatibility between languages, as Apple and Salesforce are working together on their first ever Salesforce Mobile SDK, which will be optimized for Swift. You will now be able to develop apps directly on the Salesforce Lightning Platform, before deploying them on iOS.

New developer Trails

Developers aren’t expected to dive into the world of iOS without an introduction, and so Salesforce will be adding a new Get Started with iOS App Development Trail. This partnership has clearly been well planned. You can access the Apple trail here.

An expanded strategic partnership with AWS

Salesforce keeps its friends close and its competitors closer, now holding strategic partnerships with Apple, Google, IBM, and AWS. While Salesforce and AWS have been working together for a while now, their expanded partnership will integrate even more services between these cloud software specialists, and see them collaborate on a solution that enables mutual customers to easily publish and subscribe to Salesforce Platform Events in AWS. Salesforce events, such as the creation of a new sales opportunity, can now trigger actions in AWS products, with real-time updates to data across all platforms.

AWS PrivateLink allows application developers to offer private endpoints for core Salesforce APIs within Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. Salesforce Service Cloud users will also be pleased to learn that they can now build dynamic, AI-driven self-service voice experiences thanks to an integration with Amazon Connect. Amazon Connect CTI Adapter is now available on the AppExchange.

Salesforce already runs the vast majority of its public cloud workloads on AWS, while additional services such as Heroku, Quip and Marketing Cloud Social Studio also run on AWS infrastructure.

“Salesforce’s growing strategic relationship with AWS is fueled by a shared commitment to customer success,” said Bret Taylor, President and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce. “Our newest integrations will empower CIOs to securely share and synchronize data across two of the world’s most trusted cloud platforms to accelerate their digital transformation.”

Dreamforce 2018 New Products

Salesforce Customer 360

Salesforce’s acquisition of Mulesoft was predicted to open up a world of potential for integrations, and this is only now being realized with the release of Customer 360. Salesforce has always been a customer-centric platform, and Customer 360 offers businesses a click-based admin interface that makes it easier than ever to connect and manage customer data across multiple Salesforce application.

Customer 360 is all about identifying a customer across multiple channels, using everything from their name and phone number to social media handle to instantly pull up the customer profile, allowing you to learn more about the opportunity.

Salesforce Customer 360

The feature will also be ready to go on a native level; there are pre-built packages for Marketing, Service, and Commerce Cloud, to create a truly complete customer view across the full Salesforce product suite.

Einstein Voice Assistant

Salesforce Einstein has been heralded for the data-driven insights it provides to businesses around the world, but CRM’s most sophisticated AI module just became more intelligent. With the newly announced Einstein Voice Assistant, Salesforce users are now able to take advantage of a voice-activated user interface, which excels in processing natural language to perform a wide range of tasks and activities. No more repetitive admin tasks, no more time-consuming word and data processing; Einstein will translate voice data to update Salesforce records in real time.

Voice technology is predicted to revolutionize the customer experience over the next decade—business consultant Capgemini predicts that by 2021, 40 percent of consumers will use voice technology, which makes it more important than ever for businesses to seriously consider embracing voice search and optimization. Einstein Voice Assistant presents an excellent opportunity to become voice-ready.

Salesforce users can now build branded voice bots for their company and create custom commands to create immediate voice-activated solutions for their customers, whether utilized through Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa. Trailblazers can take the Get Smart with Salesforce Einstein Trail to begin tinkering with voice UI today.

Dreamforce 2018 Other Highlights

Dreampitch at Dreamforce 2018

The winner of Dreampitch at this year’s Dreamforce has quite a remarkable story. Mars Mundy is CEO of CarServ, an operating system for the auto repair industry, and won the opportunity to enter the competition after pitching his product to Salesforce President Bret Taylor during a 40-second elevator ride in Salesforce Tower. Three weeks later, he walked away from Dreampitch a winner, with $250,000 in his back pocket and enough steam to take his company to the moon and back.

Mars pitched in front of a panel that included musician Will.i.am and NBA star Andre Iguodala, and was praised for CarServ’s utilization of Heroku to drive data-informed customer engagement. The level of competition was particularly high this year, and the other two Dreampitch finalists were highly praised for both their ideas and presentation skills.

Shopping at hyperspeed with Commerce Cloud

As Salesforce professionals, you are at the forefront of technology and have all the tools to innovate. But sometimes, given what you know about sales and marketing technology, it can be difficult to put yourself in the mind of the modern consumer, particularly as they’re probably more than half of your age!

In this hilarious-but-insightful session, Commerce Cloud CEO Mike Miccuci invited his two young daughters onto the stage, handed them an iPhone each, and challenged them to fill their shopping carts with as many beauty products as possible within a 20-minute window. In the demonstration, we saw how efficiently Einstein suggested relevant and related products, and how this informed and steered the customer experience. Watch the Commerce Cloud session here.

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