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DOW UPDATE

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is soaring Monday morning with shares of Microsoft and Salesforce leading the way for the index. Shares of Microsoft and Salesforce have contributed around one third of the index's intraday rally, as the Dow is trading 636 points (2.1%) higher. Microsoft's shares are up $9.77 (4.3%) while those of Salesforce have risen $5.89 (4.1%), combining for a roughly 103-point boost for the Dow. Other components contributing significantly to the gain include JPMorgan Chase American Express and Visa A $1 move in any of the Dow's 30 components equates to a 6.59-point swing.

Mon, 17 Oct 2022 01:45:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/microsoft-salesforce-share-gains-contribute-to-dows-636-point-surge/ar-AA133rlU
Killexams : Salesforce aims for 25% operating margin in 2026 with more efficient spending

Bret Taylor, co-chief executive officer of Salesforce.com Inc., right, and Marc Benioff, co-chief executive officer of Salesforce.com Inc., wear rabbit ears during a keynote at the 2022 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Marlena Sloss | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Salesforce stock rose almost 3% in extended trading on Wednesday after the enterprise software maker announced a new long-range profitability goal that showed the company's determination to operate more efficiently.

Several cloud software companies, including Salesforce, have become less compelling to investors as interest rates have risen to respond to higher prices this year, after becoming more glamorous during the Covid pandemic, when organizations boosted their use of programs employees could use without being in offices.

Management teams at cloud companies have sought to recapture interest by emphasizing cost-savings plans and pull forward their timelines for profitability. Salesforce itself said it would be more careful in adding talent.

The company went further on Thursday, as Amy Weaver, Salesforce's finance chief, revealed new targets for the 2026 fiscal year at the company's investor day, taking place in San Francisco during its Dreamforce conference. The company is aiming for a 25% adjusted operating margin, including future acquisitions, she said. That compares with the 20% target Salesforce announced one year ago for its 2023 fiscal year. The adjusted operating margin was 19.9% in the quarter that ended July 31.

Salesforce indicated that it intends to push adjusted sales and marketing spending as a percentage of revenue below 35% by 2026 through increasing self-serve efforts, alliances with partners, and productivity improvements for salespeople. In marketing, the idea is to draw on proprietary marketing channels. Sales and marketing on a GAAP basis took up over 44% as a percentage of revenue in the July quarter.

Additionally, Salesforce is hurry to manage general and administrative spending, in part by evaluating real estate assets for a hybrid workplace.

Weaver reiterated the $50 billion revenue target for fiscal 2026 that it announced one year ago, but she said that the figure now takes into account a $2 billion headwind from exchange rates since last year's investor day.

Shares of Salesforce reached a 52-week low on Wednesday. The company has begun buying back its own shares as part of its first share-repurchase program, Weaver said.

WATCH: Salesforce's Taylor on the company's commitment to profitability and returning cash to shareholders

Salesforce's Taylor on the company's commitment to profitability and returning cash to shareholders

watch now

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 18:34:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/21/salesforce-aims-for-25percent-operating-margin-in-2026.html
Killexams : Salesforce: Why Microsoft Shareholders Should Watch Out
TIME Women Of The Year

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Entertainment

Introduction

In the world of SaaS (software as a service), there are a few different types of companies. You have your vertical market software companies, think Unity (U) and Constellation Software (OTCPK:CNSWF), both of which I’ve written about at length. And you have horizontal market software companies that serve a variety of verticals - SAP SE (SAP) and Oracle (ORCL) are good examples of those.

And then there’s the third type of software: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT).

Why is Microsoft in a category of its own? Because Microsoft is virtually an HMS bundle monopoly.

Let me explain.

Remember Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (ZM)? How about DocuSign, Inc. (DOCU)? These two pandemic darlings were all the rage in 2020, but sales growth has nearly fizzled out and investors have begun to flee. Microsoft did not escape the 2022 tech crash, either, but it fared much better than Zoom and DocuSign, to say the least…

Chart
Data by YCharts

So what happened to Zoom and DocuSign? What does this all have to do with Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM)? Because I believe Salesforce is replicating just what made Microsoft so successful. Furthermore, I believe they’ve reached “escape velocity” and can’t be crushed the same way Microsoft has so often crushed its horizontal market competitors. (Looking at you, Zoom)...

Competitive Advantage

Let’s back up a bit. Remember those vertical market companies I mentioned just a bit earlier? Let’s talk about what makes those special, and differentiates them from HMS companies, Salesforce and Microsoft included.

You see, vertical markets companies usually target a small niche, like software to manage your local bowling alley, or funeral home scheduling software, markets so small they don’t interest the likes of Microsoft. Sure Microsoft could make better software than what’s on the market, but why waste the time when the total addressable market ("TAM") may only be $1-10mm? Unity started as software to build FPS video games on the Mac, markets like that simply lack the economic sense for a company like Microsoft to enter.

But horizontal markets like spreadsheets, presentations, or document storage solutions? You better bet Microsoft will be all over that. And it’s no surprise, when the prize is in the multi-billions it makes sense to devote the best, and majority of your resources, to that goal.

It’s because of that “prize” (large TAM) that P/E firms and tech investors are fine foregoing profitability today, because they believe the longer they wait to pursue profitability, the more of that future pie they will take. Delayed gratification.

But what’s better than private equity funds?

Internal Capital aka Cash Flow, that’s what.

That’s where Microsoft shines. The cash flow from Azure and Office gives them the capital they need to build new services like Teams which are crushing software products like Zoom. Think about it from the perspective of a manager, you love Zoom, but Teams is half the price because you are already on the office bundle, so why bother with another solution?

It’s no wonder why Peter Theil has been quoted as saying:

[To build a successful startup] You have to be 10 times better than second best.

Is Zoom 10x better than Teams, probably not, is it 20% better?… probably. But that doesn’t move the needle on sales.

Other companies employ a similar strategy to Microsoft, epic games, for example, uses the funds from its smash-hit Fortnite to build its game development tool Unreal. Internal capital is a powerful tool.

The Salesforce Spin

That’s great, but what does any of this have to do with Salesforce?

I’m happy you asked!

It’s because Salesforce too has replicated that strategy but has given it its own unique Salesforce flavor. What’s that flavor? Acquisitions. Epic and Microsoft funnel cash flow from profitable business segments to less profitable segments internally. Salesforce focuses on acquisitions (and internal growth).

Now many companies do acquisitions, including Microsoft. Just look at that massive Activision deal. But for Salesforce, acquisitions are an integral part of their strategy.

Some investors hate acquisitions, they see them as value-destroyers, as the acquiring firm is usually forced to pay a hefty premium on the target it acquires. Others love acquisitions. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) is a case study of acquisitions gone right.

My view? I’m acquisition-agnostic. If a company can employ valuations in a manner that drives value for shareholders, I’m all for it. Salesforce has cracked that code in a manner that many other companies have not.

I won’t rehash the stats here, but Salesforce has acquired a great deal of software companies, often for billions of dollars. If you’d like to read more about the individual deals, I’d shift your attention here.

What I would like to talk address is how these deals have driven shareholder value. Salesforce has been critiqued in the past for overpaying on takeovers, and Slack is a good example of that, at 26x sales investors scratched their heads. But what investors miss is the benefit of being in the Salesforce ecosystem. Just as Microsoft can leverage its office suite to push their Teams software, so too can Salesforce use its other software, like its namesake CRM software, to push Slack. This concept of bundling is what makes Microsoft, and now Salesforce, such a powerful force in the HMS world.

Bundled software creates a strong flywheel effect.

Salesforce has reached the point where its own bundle of products, cannot be threatened in the same way Zoom can by Microsoft, Salesforce has its own bundles. Just like how Microsoft can offer Teams at a discount to office customers, so too can Salesforce offer slack to its CRM customers.

As Salesforce continues to acquire businesses, this “sales force” continues to strengthen as the flywheel effect is further strengthened.

For now, let’s shift our attention to the financials of both companies.

Financials

Revenue

Chart
Data by YCharts

Both Microsoft and Salesforce have had strong revenue growth over the last 5 years. Salesforce’s growth has been exceptionally strong as they’ve grown through issuing equity to target companies alongside using internal capital.

Operating Cash Flow Per Share

Chart
Data by YCharts

On a per share basis, CFO growth has been relatively comparable between the two companies. Both have roughly doubled over the past 5 years and have continued to grow even in the face of a very challenging macro environment. Given the similarity of their business models, seeing such similar financial results does not surprise me much.

Valuation

Now that we’ve gone through the financials, I will present you with my valuation for Salesforce. Let me first preface this with some more context, in my articles I usually employ two methods, a P/E comparison, and FCF (free cash flow) Discount Model. For the sake of Salesforce, I’m performing just the DCF (discounted cash flow) component. If I were to employ a P/E comparison I believe it would skew the results because Salesforce keeps its earnings low as part of its strategy to reinvest into the business. Also, pertaining to the DCF, I am factoring in an expectation for acquisitions to continue, albeit at a slower pace than they previously had occurred.

Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

Base Case Assumptions:

Growth rate for next 7 Years (excl. 2022 & 2023)

17.0%

Terminal Growth Rate

2.0%

Discount Rate

10.0%

2023

2024

2025

2026

2027

Revenue

$31,000

$35,560

$41,605

$48,678

$56,953

Net Income

$4,740

$5,680

$7,310

$8,981

$11,033

Cash Flow

$5,546

$6,418

$8,041

$9,879

$12,026

Intrinsic Value per Share ($USD)

$154

Current Share Price ($USD)

$148

Upside Potential

4.1%

Source: Yahoo Finance Authors Estimates & Calculations

In my base case, I’m assuming revenue growth of 17% over the next 7 years excluding 2022, and 2023. This is somewhat slower than what they have historically been able to achieve (20%+) but I wanted to err on the side of conservatism due to the unknown nature of future acquisitions and any potential impact to share count.

As you can see above, Salesforce’s shares are roughly at fair value, perhaps slightly undervalued. But that doesn’t paint the whole picture. For my final take on valuation, please refer to the conclusion.

Risks

Before I deliver my final assessment on Salesforce let me highlight the biggest risk I am concerned with: tightening financial conditions (perhaps that is a bit of a euphemism).

As rates have risen, valuations continue to compress across the tech sector. On one hand, as an acquirer, this benefits Salesforce vis-à-vis lower prices. But on the other hand, it may slow the pace of acquisitions, as target companies become more hesitant to sell in a period of lower valuations. Historically, salesforce has acquired companies using a mixture of stock and cash, obviously, with shares much lower than they were last year, the stock portion is much more expensive to issue than it once was. Given the FCF generative nature of Salesforce’s business, they should be able to at least, partially mitigate these concerns.

Since Salesforce is so reliant on acquisitions to fuel growth, investors should pay attention to how the tightening financial conditions wind up affecting the M&A market. P/E firms are still active in the market, but would-be sellers are nervous. The jury is still out on this one.

Conclusion

Microsoft shareholders best watch out, there’s a “new” kid on the block. He’s scrappy, he’s smart, and he moves fast. And his name is Salesforce. Salesforce doesn’t play by your traditional growth by acquisition playbook, it follows its own rules.

Step 1. Acquire. Step 2. Bundle. 3. Forego profit now, in exchange for more profit later.

The macro-economic environment is a legitimate concern but Salesforce, at least to this investor, looks like a company with a secular growth story that is still very much intact, it looks like a company that will continue to grow despite the headwinds.

On the valuation front, the discounted cash flow analysis points to Salesforce being a company that is approximately fairly valued. But a large part of that is due to the conservatism that I have baked into my DCF, should Salesforce execute on their flywheel, 17% growth may be much too slow, and margins may grow much faster than anticipated.

In short, the “bundle” factor is immune to rising rates.

I rate Salesforce as a “Buy” with a 1-year price target of $165.

Thank You

As always, thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my article, all feedback and comments are welcome. I try to engage with all of my readers so if something sparked your interest feel free to let me know in the comment section and I will do my best to get back to each of you with a response. Have a fantastic rest of your day/evening!

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 11:16:00 -0500 en text/html https://seekingalpha.com/article/4544677-salesforce-why-microsoft-shareholders-should-watch-out
Killexams : If You Invested $1,000 in Salesforce During the Great Recession, Here's How Much You'd Have Today

Buying stocks during a bear market can yield spectacular returns. For instance, the bear market brought on by the Great Recession cratered the S&P 500 by 56.8%, from peak to trough. But smart investors knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy.

The index closed on March 9, 2009, at its bottom of 676.53. The ensuing bull market rally lifted the S&P 500 to its peak of 3,386 11 years later, on Feb. 19, 2020. Steadfast buy-and-hold investors would've achieved a remarkable 400.5% gain just by buying the index.

Buying an index is not a bad idea. Still, bear markets allow investors to buy beaten-down shares of great companies, outperform the market, and accumulate phenomenal wealth.

What if you bought Salesforce during the Great Recession instead?

On the day the S&P 500 bottomed, Salesforce (CRM 3.45%) closed at $7.72 per share. If you plunked down $1,000 at that price, you'd have 129 shares. If you had the fortitude to never sell a single share for the entire 11-year rally, your shares would've been vaulted to $192.87 per share, earning you a hefty 2,398% gain -- dramatically outperforming the market during that 11-year span.

A group of people holding a cloud icon.

Image source: Getty Images.

To put the Salesforce investment in an even longer-term perspective, your guts to buy in a bear market, loyalty to the buy-and-hold strategy, and your $1,000 would equate to $19,371.93 today.

Here's how Salesforce did it

Salesforce has long been a cloud-based software growth story. The company's incredibly popular customer relationship management (CRM) software has given its corporate users' sales teams the collaboration and marketing tools to strengthen customer relationships and expand their sales opportunities. In short, Salesforce helps its users increase revenue and become more efficient sales machines.

Over Salesforce's history, it has accumulated an impressive catalog of clients. As an ingrained part of each customer's business, Salesforce is in a perfect spot to sell them additional software and services. As such, the company has been busy acquiring companies with adjacent services and upselling them to its existing customers.

For example, it acquired ExactTarget in 2013, with just $286 million in revenue. Since then, Salesforce has grown its revenue by 949% to $3 billion. Salesforce later took over MuleSoft in 2018, when it had $284 million in revenue. The company grew its revenue by 499% to $1.7 billion.

Salesforce's latest (and largest) acquisitions offer what are perhaps its most significant opportunities. The company bought Tableau in 2019 and Slack Technologies in 2021. Revenue at those two companies has already grown, which may be the next chapter of Salesforce's growth story.

Is it too late to buy Salesforce?

When examining Salesforce's revenue history, it's easy to see that its products work. It finished its fiscal year as a publicly traded company in 2005 with $176 million in recurring software revenue. Seventeen years later, in fiscal 2021, the company had vaulted its revenue by 14,952% to $26.5 billion. The company's astonishing revenue growth has done wonders for the stock, but nowadays, investors want to see profits.

Salesforce's full fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2022, included an adjusted operating margin of 18.7%. But during the company's annual investor conference this month, Salesforce's management shared some exciting news that seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Management forecasts that by 2026, the company will nearly double its revenue to over $50 billion, and its adjusted operating margin will soar to 25%.

Yet Salesforce stock is down since the announcement and has shed 41% this year. Wall Street analysts expect Salesforce to generate $4.74 in earnings per share for its current fiscal year. That number implies a forward price-to-earnings ratio (based on forecasts) of 31 times, which is considerably more attractive than its five-year average of 57 times. Given Salesforce's growth trajectory, the bear market is giving smart long-term investors a gift.

CRM PE Ratio (Forward) Chart

CRM PE Ratio (Forward) data by YCharts

Buy now or wait?

There is no telling when today's bear market will deliver way to the bulls. But the stock market is always forward looking. So, the risk of waiting for good macroeconomic news is missing out on the recovery. Buying the stocks of great companies at depressed prices is a recipe for market-beating returns. Even if it means the bear market persists for a while, it's better than suffering from the regret of missing out on opportunities like this.

BJ Cook has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Salesforce, Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 21:00:00 -0500 BJ Cook en text/html https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/09/29/if-you-invested-1000-in-salesforce-during-the-grea/
Killexams : Salesforce's next big thing is a major push to keep its data at the center of a market increasingly dominated by firms like Snowflake
  • Salesforce's widespread adoption makes its data critically important to operations.
  • But many tools, like Snowflake, have emerged to make Salesforce data points one of many in analytics.
  • Salesforce is launching a new tool to power real-time updates and bring usage back to its platform.

As tens of thousands of Salesforce partners, developers, and customers descend on its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco this year, the software giant is finding itself increasingly intertwined with another unexpected data giant: Snowflake.

Increasingly, analysis of the data generated via Salesforce is not happening on Salesforce. It's instead getting piped into Snowflake or other providers, where the work — such as building machine learning models or analyzing customer demographics and behaviors — actually happens alongside other data sources like those from Twilio's Segment. And Salesforce is addressing that uncomfortable reality with several big strategic moves.

"Set simply, the pattern we see customers doing, they need to bring in data from a lot of different sources — Salesforce included — and they need to do work," Salesforce EVP and GM of platform products Patrick Stokes told Insider in a recent interview. "They need to build an AI model or rationalize the data in some meaningful way so they can derive some insight. Historically, Salesforce has not always been the place to do that."

First, it launched a new tool called Genie in Tuesday at its first conference since the pandemic brought in-person mega-events to a screeching halt. Genie enables customers to orchestrate a variety of tasks and update their products instantly. That can come in the form of recommendations, fraud detection, or others. Genie, too, integrates directly with Tableau, providing a way to create real-time visualizations without having to build them on top of data in Snowflake.

It also said in early September it was partnering with Snowflake, making it natively compatible and integrating it without users needing to copy data. And Salesforce on Tuesday said it is launching a direct integration with Amazon's machine learning tool SageMaker to support custom machine learning models.

At its Tableau keynote, Salesforce emphasized the company's Einstein integrations with Snowflake, with the presentation working with Snowflake data. And at a separate meeting with reporters and analysts Tuesday, co-CEO Marc Benioff took a moment to lean over and remind his co-CEO Bret Taylor to talk about its data lakehouse architecture—and how it plays nice with Snowflake.

"Snowflake has been a close partner for a while, we're going to try to be compatible for all," Taylor told Insider. "The principle of Genie is, these data lakes are huge, and customers don't want to copy data back and forth. We're trying to do zero copy architecture with partners so you can have better governance and lineage, and the chief compliance officer can wrangle that data lineage."

In short, Snowflake was everywhere. And with these moves, Salesforce is ensuring the analysis and usage of Salesforce data and its results can remain inside Salesforce's sphere of influence. 

Salesforce has for the majority of its twenty-plus years of operating enjoyed both carving out and owning a large share of online enterprise tooling. Now, as dozens of startups remake the analytics ecosystem and companies collect more and more data, Salesforce has to adjust.

Salesforce now also joins several companies, including Databricks and Snowflake, as it looks to inch the world closer to a future where products and AI models update instantaneously. Investing in those instant updates can lead to outsized returns, such as a smarter product recommendation that can help close a sale. 

"It really starts to show Salesforce isn't looking at products, they're not looking at individual clouds, they're saying 'how do we be that business operations platform that has to deal with engagement or personalization,'" said Liz Miller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation. "Snowflake isn't going away—it's not that you suddenly have this sigh of relief and  you're like, 'we dont need Snowflake.' This is more about accessibility and being able to allow your teams to have that real-time access you need."

Snowflake declined to comment on this story.

How Salesforce risked losing control of the usage of its own data

Salesforce operates what it calls a customer data platform, based on a "data lakehouse" architecture built on the Apache Iceberg software. It enables organizations to connect other data lake tools and operate Salesforce data. Snowflake recently backed Apache Iceberg as its file format for its data lake tools, which themselves compete with Databricks' Delta Lake.

But in multiple conversations, industry insiders have been increasingly concerned about whether Salesforce users will simply do all their data analysis through platforms like Snowflake, with Salesforce's tools insufficient for the scale of data operations today. Instead, Salesforce data is part of a conglomerate of sources that land in a data warehouse like Snowflake through popular data analytics tools like Fivetran and Dbt. That data can then go into other sources like Google Cloud's Looker, or various machine learning tools.

From there, analysts and data scientists use other tools to do their work, and pipe the results back into Salesforce. The emergence of tools in the "reverse ETL (extract-transform-load)" space like Hightouch and Census have further trivialized this process and built substantial businesses.

While it isn't necessarily bad for Salesforce that customers are using data from the platform in other places, it also opens up entry points for other companies to disrupt Salesforce's other products — such as Tableau, the visualization tool it bought for $15.7 billion in 2019. Tableau is up against stiff competition, including from Looker.

Salesforce, however, has no intention of building its own data warehouse, Stokes said.

"We're not skipping the data warehouse, we're embracing it," Stokes said. "We're using that capability and integrating it with the Salesforce platform."

Salesforce is now one of many chasing a real-time future

The explosion in machine learning tools that power products ranging from ecommerce to financial services has increased the demand for tools that power real-time data pipelines. But streaming for a long time felt like it was "coming next year" until 2022 turned out to be that "next year."

"I think a big part of what we were seeing is some really scrappy cloud-native businesses start to achieve some degree of real-time within their customer experience," Stokes said. "As some of those companies started to achieve certain parts of the experience in real-time, that changes consumer expectations everywhere."

As a result, Snowflake, Databricks, Confluent, and many other companies are chasing a world where all data is processed and updated in real time. That's in lieu of existing processes where companies update their tools with large batches of data, sometimes once or twice a day. Increasingly, the AI industry is moving to a "micro-batch" approach, with real-time updates as the natural next step.

"Streaming introduces a different velocity of data, and the way to make decisions that take advantage of that unique new frontier of data velocity is one that is not conducive to humans making these decisions," said Mike Del Balso, co-founder of $900 million real-time machine learning startup Tecton. "You can't have a human there making these decisions every time."

While Salesforce said it is largely targeting broad adoption with low-code tools that require a minimum of programming expertise, it will increasingly build connectors that will enable companies to deploy their own machine learning models may be built with outside tools like Hugging Face

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 06:07:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.businessinsider.com/salesforce-dreamforce-genie-launch-snowflake-databricks-real-time-2022-9
Killexams : Salesforce built a data lake to transform how customer data moves on the platform

The ultimate goal of pulling customer data together into a customer data platform (CDP) is building more meaningful customer experiences in real time. Up until now, that’s been more aspirational than real, but Salesforce is announcing Genie, a real-time data integration platform, today at the Dreamforce customer conference, which aims to make that dream a reality.

At its core, Genie is a new data integration model that underlies the entire Salesforce platform with the aim of moving data wherever it’s needed most — and doing it fast.

Patrick Stokes, EVP and GM of platform at Salesforce, says this is probably the biggest news coming out of Dreamforce this week. “Genie effectively enables the world’s first real-time CRM,” he said.

“So we’re announcing that our Customer 360 applications — sales, service, commerce, marketing, everything in our Customer 360 portfolio — now have access to an entirely new way of bringing data into Salesforce in real time at scale that we’ve never been able to achieve before. And with that, our users can orchestrate real-time customer experiences against those datasets,” Stokes explained.

Prior to this, the company had built data integrations based on the transactional data in the Salesforce CRM database. This goes back to 2007 when Salesforce announced plans for Force.com at that year’s Dreamforce. Stokes said Genie is the modern equivalent of that early attempt, using a data lake that the company built to store the data instead of a transactional database.

“We connected this lakehouse architecture to the Salesforce platform, which at the technical layer means literally, we taught it Salesforce metadata, which is the way that all of our services talk to each other.” This approach also allows the platform to work with external services and data repositories, as well. In fact, the Snowflake integration the company announced last week is built with this technology.

But Genie is more than just a data integration layer. By allowing data to flow faster and more freely, it opens up all kinds of automation possibilities, especially when you combine it with Einstein for AI and machine learning and Salesforce Flow, the company’s workflow tool.

“If your platform can suddenly talk to all of this new data, and that data is coming in in real time, then you can use our automation layer like Salesforce Flow to orchestrate workflows or automations in real time, but only if the platform can keep up with the speed of change and volume of data that’s coming in,” he said.

Part of the ability to go faster beyond the architectural changes at the software level is that Genie is running on Salesforce’s own cloud infrastructure, Hyperforce, which was announced in 2020 as a way to move data from Salesforce to the public cloud. In this case, they are using it to move data between Salesforce and other services, both on the platform and to other data sources like Snowflake or Amazon SageMaker.

He adds that this ability to move data around in real time (or near real time), creates what is essentially a customer data graph.

“When you connect all of these different data sources into Genie, be those directly or other data lakes like Snowflake, what you’re doing is you’re modeling the data. You’re basically hooking it up to a data model. And when you do that, you’re creating a graph of how all that data is related to each other, independent of where it lives in a particular system of record, which is incredibly powerful,” Stokes said.

Liz Miller, an analyst at Constellation Research, says the shift to a new data model is a much-needed move for the company by pushing the CDP beyond marketing

“Honestly the thing I find most important about this is that Salesforce is moving in the right direction with their vision of a customer data platform. They are not treating a CDP as if it is a marketing toy for marketing things. Instead, they are turning the CDP into a foundational layer of unified, normalized and persistent personalization and smart segmentation that benefits the entire customer experience front line across sales, service and marketing,” Miller told TechCrunch.

Sheryl Kingstone, an analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, who has been covering the CRM space for years, agrees, saying the key to this change is building the data mechanism in a way that you can share this valuable data more widely.

“They are really focused on building this as part of what I would say is a true platform with all of the assets that this needs to work, and hopefully, it will create what I call a ‘customer intelligence platform,’ which makes sure that you don’t have multiple different CDP silos. And we finally can have that single source of the truth and execute on it.”

The combination of tooling has the potential to be able to make things happen based on the data and the situation without requiring human intervention, and that can be powerful. But Kingstone says the human side still matters and companies have to learn to put data in the hands of the people on the ground working with customers.

That’s going to be a huge challenge, regardless of how sophisticated the technology is, but Salesforce is attempting something big here that’s never been done before by changing the way data moves around the platform. Whether that truly leads to better customer experiences, online and in person, however, remains an open question.

Unlike many Dreamforce announcements, customers don’t have to wait until next year for Genie. These new capabilities are available now.

Tue, 20 Sep 2022 00:15:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://techcrunch.com/2022/09/20/salesforce-genie-completely-transforms-the-way-data-moves-on-the-platform/
Killexams : Dreamforce 2022: Salesforce aims to make sustainability accessible with Net Zero Marketplace

Did you miss a session from MetaBeat 2022? Head over to the on-demand library for all of our featured sessions here.


At Dreamforce 2022, CRM platform provider Salesforce unveiled two new products focusing on carbon credit market transparency and productive services for teams to get more value from their digital HQ. 

Dreamforce, which runs at the Moscone Center in San Francisco through Wednesday, is Salesforce’s annual event, which began in 2003.

Salesforce announced the Net Zero Marketplace, a platform that’s designed to enable simple and transparent carbon credit purchases, allowing organizations to accelerate climate-positive impact at scale, and three Slack tools designed to enhance productivity. enhancing productivity.

Net Zero Marketplace: A carbon credit platform

Salesforce’s Net Zero Marketplace aims to connect buyers with ecopreneurs — environmentally focused entrepreneurs — in a trustworthy and transparent carbon credit platform to scale climate-positive impact.

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According to a report by McKinsey, the global voluntary carbon market is estimated to grow to $50B by 2030 as many organizations race to achieve their net-zero commitments. However, organizations may not always know where to begin or how to develop a carbon credit portfolio. 

Furthermore, the process of obtaining carbon credits can be complicated, and buyers want to be confident that the carbon credit projects will have a positive impact. Salesforce intends to address such concerns through its Net Zero marketplace.

Built on Salesforce’s commerce cloud and powered by the company’s new real-time CRM Genie, the platform offers a catalog of third-party rated carbon credits. The Net Zero Marketplace also features a climate action hub where businesses or individuals can learn about the latest climate issues and connect with other ecopreneurs. 

Net Zero Marketplace
Net Zero Marketplace. Image Source: Salesforce

According to new Salesforce research on the sustainability talent gap, 8 in 10 global workers want to help their company operate sustainably, with 3 in 5 eager to incorporate sustainability into their current role. 

Patrick Flynn, SVP, global head of sustainability at Salesforce, told VentureBeat that Salesforce recently added sustainability as its fifth core value and has been actively using carbon credits as a part of their own climate strategy for five-plus years. 

“One must start with emission reduction plans that consider not only your own operations but also the entire value chain consequences, including initiatives to catalyze systemic emission reduction effects beyond your value chain,” said Flynn. “Empowering such efforts was one of our main reasons for creating the Net Zero Marketplace, which also greatly complements our Net Zero cloud.” 

Flynn said that the Net Zero Marketplace will enable individuals and organizations to collaborate on building better carbon credit portfolios and using carbon credits as a part of their overall climate action strategy. 

The Net Zero Marketplace also eliminates the time-consuming process of finding and verifying a carbon credit’s quality by aggregating and publishing third-party ratings for projects not locked behind paywalls or account registrations. This level of transparency helps organizations determine which carbon credits are best for them.

“The unique part in this experience is that when anyone comes and learns about a project and learns about an ecopreneur, they will also be able to see a transparent pricing and third-party ratings, a key differentiator in our offering,” Nina Schoen, director of product management, Net Zero Cloud Salesforce told VentureBeat.

For organizations currently using Net Zero Cloud, Salesforce’s carbon accounting solution, the credits can be integrated into the platform and tracked against their current emissions. Buyers will also get updates on project progress, which encourages reinvestment.

New Slack innovations to enhance team productivity

Salesforce also announced new Slack features at Dreamforce to make it more productive for teams to work together in their digital HQ, allowing them to pull in actionable data directly from Salesforce Customer 360. 

Slack Canvas, which will be available next year, is a new tool that will enable teams to select, organize, and share critical resources. When combined with the new Slack platform and Customer 360, teams can integrate data from record systems into the canvas and automate business-critical workflows.

Building on its audio-first experience, Slack huddles will now offer teams lightweight video conferencing, multi-person screen sharing, message threads, and more to power live coworking sessions. 

“The nature of work is changing, and most organizations today use Slack as a digital HQ for synchronous communication with their team,” said Tamar Yehoshua, chief product officer at Slack. 

At Dreamforce, Yehoshua said that the new Slack tools will help organizations increase team productivity and get the most value from their tech stacks by connecting conversations, automation, and apps in one space. 

Slack Canvas. Image Source: Salesforce

With the Marketing Cloud for Slack integrations, teams can set up, execute and measure their campaigns directly in Slack. Powered by Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, marketing and sales teams can leverage real-time alerts and align within Slack channels to prioritize lead follow-up, analyze pipeline impact and iterate on campaigns instantly. 

Once a campaign is live, teams can include in-flight campaign performance data using Marketing Cloud’s Intelligence Insights for Slack integration in the channel and canvas. This feature aims to provide marketers a custom view of the campaign’s performance data in one place for teams to monitor trends, align on strategy and shift investments. 

The new Slack platform and huddle features will start rolling out today and will be generally available to all users in the coming weeks.

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Tue, 20 Sep 2022 07:30:00 -0500 Victor Dey en-US text/html https://venturebeat.com/data-infrastructure/dreamforce-2022-salesforce-aims-to-make-sustainability-accessible-with-net-zero-marketplace/
Killexams : Salesforce, San Francisco’s largest employer, conducts layoffs

Salesforce, the titanic San Francisco corporate software company, is conducting layoffs — a first this year for the tech behemoth.

Details remain sparse, but according to Protocol and a laid-off employee who posted on LinkedIn, about 90 employees were affected. (A majority of the affected staffers were contractors in the company's recruiting department, a Salesforce spokesperson told SFGATE; as we’ve previously noted, Salesforce has been vague about whether contracted workers count as “employees,” or “Ohana.”)

“While limited hiring continues, most departments have reached their hiring goals for the fiscal year,” a Salesforce spokesperson told SFGATE. 

During an especially tumultuous time for the tech industry, Salesforce appeared to be a rare anomaly: a tech giant continuing to thrive amid headwinds. Salesforce’s total revenue for fiscal year 2022 was $26.5 billion, a 25% year-over-year increase.

The company recently took over San Francisco with its latest iteration of Dreamforce, the company’s first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 40,000 people were in attendance. Still, during the conference, co-CEO Marc Benioff alluded to the idea of “some level of normalization” after the pandemic period of mass growth for Salesforce and other tech companies. 

“Everything is still bigger, but there is definitely some overage that has to be dealt with,” he said in a press conference during the event. “I don’t think anyone will disagree with that.”

In addition to the layoffs, Protocol reports, Salesforce is enacting a hiring freeze through January 2023. The move is small but significant; large tech companies, on the whole, have been reluctant to conduct layoffs even as startups and other fledgling companies are shedding employees. 

The Salesforce representative did not provide details about what severance benefits affected workers will receive.

Hear of anything going on at a Bay Area tech company? Contact Joshua Bote securely on Signal at 707-742-3756.

Thu, 13 Oct 2022 13:59:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/salesforce-lays-off-90-employees-17507333.php
Killexams : Salesforce Delivers Big CRM And Slack Updates At Dreamforce 2022

It’s been a big week for Salesforce. Its annual Dreamforce 2022 conference — which saw an estimated 40,00 in-person attendees — delivered some big innovations and announcements. According to the keynote presentation from CEO Marc Benioff, Salesforce is one the biggest enterprise software companies in the world, including the leader in cloud-based CRM. Its impressive growth in the last few years shows no signs of slowing as the company pushed its long-term revenue target to more than $50 billion by 2026 in its investor day event that took place during Dreamforce.

The company made a bevy of announcements at the event, but two major announcements caught my attention, warranting further analysis: Salesforce Genie and Slack Canvas. The first will completely shift Salesforce’s existing CRM to enable real-time capabilities, applications, and uses that weren’t possible before. The latter will help the company finally realize the potential of its Slack acquisition and increase its ability to compete with the likes of Microsoft and an ever-growing collaboration marketplace for an even larger piece of the business tech pie–Something that has been part of the Salesforce talk track for some time, but is now much more within reach. Let’s break these down.

Salesforce Genie: Magic in a Software Program

Salesforce called its new Salesforce Genie offering its “biggest innovation in 20 years.” The goal, like every other CRM on the market today, is to create a real-time single source of truth for businesses so that they can create hyper-personalized content and, in turn, create tighter relationships with customers. From one day to the next, businesses use hundreds of different apps to move their companies forward. In the past, uniting the disparate information from all of these different sources has been nearly impossible. But Salesforce Genie aims to conquer the issue for good, pooling and harmonizing data, as the announcement put it, into a clearly reconciled, comprehensive customer portrait.

Salesforce Genie in effect is a data integration model that works with Salesforce’s existing CRM platform. It aims to move data where it is needed at the right time. This will turn the CRM into a real-time data, insight, and action machine which, until now, has only been an aspiration and not a reality.

In an era when third-party data tracking is on the outs, Salesforce Genie could be a huge asset. It could help businesses match the right audiences with the right products on the right channels at precisely the right time. A silver bullet for marketing and customer experience, which is perhaps why Salesforce likes to refer to it as “Magic” in a way. Genie has the potential to be the force that finally allows all of Salesforce’s disparate tools to work together in the way customers have always hoped they would. Also, for those wondering: Eventually, Genie powers will also be added to other Salesforce tools like MuleSoft and Tableau.

Initial thoughts on the Genie announcement are that Salesforce knows it’s facing growing competition in the CDP and CRM world. Combined with Einstein AI, as well as recent flexible public cloud data deployments and integrations with Hyperforce, Salesforce is making it clear that it has zero plans of letting any part of its market share go. However, any first mover advantage here will be short-lived as I fully expect its competition in Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and others to continue pushing for greater real time and AI capabilities. Furthermore, pricing will be in focus as well as enterprise pricing for Genie versus value will surely be in focus as the offering hits the market.

Unleashed Collaboration with Slack Canvas

While Genie was the main headline, I was personally more intrigued by the advancements that were made by Slack and Salesforce. I’ve long felt that Salesforce had a compelling suite of offerings that could truly realize what it is calling the “Digital HQ,” however, it has lacked the complete vision and tools within Slack to meet the evolving landscape of work patterns and collaboration in its previous iterations.

Despite that, Since the acquisition last year, Salesforce has been touting integrations that will maximize productivity and enable flexible work in one environment. And while that wasn’t really the case before–especially in comparison to the comprehensiveness of Microsoft Teams, I do think it is becoming a reality with the advent of Huddles and now Salesforce Canvas, a new surface where work teams can organize and share information from multiple sources. The workspace is envisioned to be a digital headquarters where teams can connect conversations, apps, and automations in one place. According to the Dreamforce presentation, there are more than 2,500 apps in Slack, and the goal is for all of them to work in Canvases in the future.

The move is a smart one for Slack — and the first big announcement since the acquisition. In the past, its bookmarks and pins left a lot to be desired. They were hard to use if they were used at all. Canvas will connect systems of productivity with systems of record, allowing teams to get information quickly, generate time-saving automations, build low and no code apps, and better serve customers — all without leaving Slack. The impressive solution, which has been in beta testing for some time, will allow users to compile files, messages, and multimedia into a template that can be stored and accessed later.

In case you’re having trouble understanding how a Canvas would work in real life, imagine the employee onboarding process. With Canvas, HR can easily create a Canvas with every link, training video, document, etc. that a new hire needs to know with limited tech knowledge needed. You can even embed workflows on every Canvas page that could order new employee requirements like mobile devices, laptops, business cards, and other requirements in a seamless manner without ever leaving Slack.

Looking Forward

In focusing on forward-facing developments like Genie and Canvas, it seems clear that Salesforce is aware of the growing competition in the CRM/CDP space and likewise intends to feverishly defend its CRM market position.

These announcements, along with the others that came out this week, showcase Salesforce’s continued and strong focus on growth. At the end of August, the company announced Q2 revenue of $7.2 billion, up 22 percent year over year. And while both of these new announcements won’t be in GA until sometime in 2023, it’s looking probable based upon the company’s recent forecast revision that the numbers will continue to climb over the next several quarters. Salesforce has a track record of delivering outsized results, and while there were many valuable updates and announcements at this year’s Dreamforce, my belief is that its Salesforce Genie and Slack Canvas have the potential to be momentum builders for Salesforce and will be critical to the company continuing to realize strong growth as we head into an even more complex macro and business environment.

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Daniel Newman en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2022/09/26/salesforce-delivers-big-crm-and-slack-updates-at-dreamforce-2022/
Killexams : V2 STRATEGIC ADVISORS LAUNCHES DATA CLEAN ROOM ACCELERATOR, BUILT ON SALESFORCE MEDIA CLOUD and SNOWFLAKE

Enabling the secure, compliant exchange of first-party data between publishers and advertisers to create new audience segments and activate converged advertising campaigns.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Announced this week at Dreamforce, V2 Strategic Advisors, a leading Salesforce implementation partner with deep expertise in media and entertainment, has created the Data Clean Room Accelerator for Salesforce Media Cloud, a Salesforce industry product. This new Accelerator extends and enhances Salesforce Media Cloud's Advertising Sales Management application so that publishers can more easily create and manage data clean rooms on Snowflake's platform to facilitate privacy-preserving, converged advertising campaign execution. 

V2 launches Data Clean Room Accelerator, built on Salesforce Media Cloud and Snowflake At Dreamforce

As a launch partner for Salesforce Media Cloud Advertising Sales Management, Salesforce's ad-supported monetization application for the media and entertainment industries, V2 saw a new opportunity to combine the powerful capabilities of Salesforce and Snowflake — and at a pivotal time when retailers and media companies are requesting new ways to leverage their data to drive revenue.

With common identifiers being deprecated across the ecosystem, brands are looking to safely and securely match up their data sets with each other to create more targeted audience segments without the use of third-party cookies, but this process requires specialized skills and multiple systems, which can be hard to manage. Snowflake through its Media Data Cloud, offers data clean room functionality that permits multiple companies or departments to analyze and join data without moving, copying or exposing personally identifiable information (PII), such as emails and device IDs.

"As we look ahead to 2024, those who prepare now to meet the privacy needs of their customers while using first-party data to better serve them will be far ahead of the competition," says Lenka Lechmanova, V2 CEO. "We developed the Data Clean Room Accelerator to amplify the efforts of publishers and advertisers while protecting their customers' privacy."

V2's Data Clean Room Accelerator enables secure collaboration between publishers and advertisers. With each party's data in Snowflake, publishers can create a Global Data Clean Room to securely analyze the overlap between their audiences within the Salesforce Media Cloud environment, develop more first party targeted audience segments, and execute more effective campaigns. With Salesforce Media Cloud's industry-specific data model and Omnistudio features (low-code tools to create guided customer and user flows), complexities typically involved with accessing audience segments and activating them in media campaigns are simplified. The underlying data does not need to be exposed to the other party within the data clean room, and PII does not need to be moved, copied, or exposed. Each data owner retains full control of their data.

"We understand the need for privacy-preserving audience data collaboration across the advertising ecosystem," said Christopher Dean, SVP and GM, Media and Entertainment at Salesforce. "With the new Data Clean Room accelerator in partnership with V2 and Snowflake, we're bringing an integrated solution that better ensures transparency and trust between parties while elevating the precision of audience reach with advertisements—driving personalized advertising experiences and converged campaign performance powered by Salesforce Media Cloud's Advertising Sales Management application."

The Data Clean Room Accelerator, available today, is the first of a series of new Accelerators & Solutions from V2 Strategic Advisors.

Salesforce, Media Cloud, Advertising Sales Management, and others are among the trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

About V2:

V2 Strategic Advisors is a leading Salesforce implementation partner focused on delivering tailored multi-cloud based solutions that empower teams to work more effectively and efficiently. V2 has been building expertise within the Salesforce ecosystem for more than 17 years, with 500+ delivered projects. V2's Salesforce and product expertise in key industries such as media, communications, entertainment, hospitality, and retail, has earned recognition from Salesforce and other partners. Most recently, V2 was named an official launch partner for Salesforce's Media Cloud ASM solution, in addition to partnerships with Marketing Intelligence, Snowflake, and Tableau. For more information please visit www.v2sa.com or on the Salesforce AppExchange.

About Salesforce:

Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers. For more information about Salesforce, visit: www.salesforce.com.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM."

View original content to obtain multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/v2-strategic-advisors-launches-data-clean-room-accelerator-built-on-salesforce-media-cloud-and-snowflake-301631652.html

SOURCE V2 Strategic Advisors

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Thu, 22 Sep 2022 09:58:00 -0500 text/html https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/22/09/n28977422/v2-strategic-advisors-launches-data-clean-room-accelerator-built-on-salesforce-media-cloud-and-sno
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