DEX-403 information search - Declarative Development for Platform App Builders in Lightning Experience Updated: 2024
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Exam Code: DEX-403 Declarative Development for Platform App Builders in Lightning Experience information search January 2024 by Killexams.com team
DEX-403 Declarative Development for Platform App Builders in Lightning Experience
Exam Details for DEX-403 Declarative Development for Platform App Builders in Lightning Experience:
Number of Questions: The test consists of approximately 60 multiple-choice and multiple-select questions.
Time Limit: The total time allocated for the test is 105 minutes (1 hour and 45 minutes).
Passing Score: To pass the exam, you must achieve a minimum score of 65%.
Exam Format: The test is conducted online and is proctored. You will be required to answer the questions within the allocated time frame.
1. Salesforce Fundamentals:
- Introduction to the Salesforce platform
- Understanding the role of a Platform App Builder
- Key features and capabilities of Salesforce Lightning Experience
2. Data Modeling and Management:
- Designing custom objects and fields
- Defining relationships and data types
- Managing data security and access controls
3. Business Logic and Process Automation:
- Building and customizing business processes
- Implementing validation rules and workflows
- Creating approval processes and process builder flows
4. User Interface and App Customization:
- Customizing page layouts and record types
- Building and configuring Lightning pages and components
- Implementing custom themes and branding
5. Reporting and Dashboards:
- Designing and creating reports and dashboards
- Customizing report formats and chart types
- Sharing and scheduling reports and dashboards
6. Integration and App Deployment:
- Configuring external data sources and integrations
- Implementing custom app deployment strategies
- Managing sandbox environments and change sets
1. Understand the fundamentals of the Salesforce platform and Lightning Experience.
2. Design and manage data models and relationships.
3. Customize and automate business processes.
4. Create and customize user interfaces using Lightning components and pages.
5. Design and create reports and dashboards.
6. Configure integrations and deploy applications.
The test syllabus covers the following topics:
1. Salesforce Fundamentals
- Introduction to Salesforce platform and Lightning Experience
- Role of a Platform App Builder
- Key features and capabilities of Lightning Experience
2. Data Modeling and Management
- Custom object and field design
- Relationships and data types
- Data security and access controls
3. Business Logic and Process Automation
- Business process customization
- Validation rules and workflows
- Approval processes and process builder flows
4. User Interface and App Customization
- Page layout and record type customization
- Lightning page and component configuration
- Custom themes and branding
5. Reporting and Dashboards
- Report and dashboard creation and customization
- Report formats and chart types
- Report and dashboard sharing and scheduling
6. Integration and App Deployment
- External data sources and integrations configuration
- Custom app deployment strategies
- Sandbox environments and change sets management
|Declarative Development for Platform App Builders in Lightning Experience
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Declarative Development for Platform App Builders
in Lightning Experience
Sales manager at universal containers would like to standardize what information sales rep are gathering. Sales rep
want recommendations, sales strategies and to know what key fields need to be completed at each step of the sales
process on the opportunity record.
What feature should an app builder use to provide this functionally?
C. Chatter feed
D. Global Action
Universal Containers conduct evaluations of their sales reps using a custom object consisting of numerical scores and
executive comments. The company wants to ensure that only the sales reps, and their manager’s executive can view
the rep’s evaluation record but the reps should not be able to view the executive comment field on their review.
How can these requirement be met?
A. Use a private sharing model granting record access using hierarchy; manage field access with record types and
B. Use a private sharing model granting record access using custom setting; manage field access with page layouts and
field level security
C. Use a private sharing model granting record access using hierarchy; manage field access with field-level security
D. Use a private sharing model granting record access using custom setting; manage field access with record types and
Universal Containers has deployed custom tabs to Production via changes sets, without including the profile settings or
What is the settings for the visibility of custom tabs?
A. Custom tabs are default off for all users.
B. Custom tabs are default on for all uses.
C. Custom tabs are hidden for all users.
D. Custom tabs are NOT deployed.
An app builder wants to show groups as the last navigation menu item in the salesforce1 mobile app. however, the app
builder is not able to select groups as one of the items on the drop-down menu.
What could cause this?
A. Groups is showing up in the latest section and not in the navigation menu
B. Groups is not included in the selecteCreate a criteria based sharing rule using the projects department that grd list
for the navigation menu
C. Groups is included in the smart search items but not on the navigation menu
D. Groups cannot be the last item in the navigation menu.
Groups Appears for organizations that have Chatter enabled. If you don’t add this item to the navigation menu, groups
are automatically included in the set of Smart Search Items instead and the Groups item is available from the Recent
Universal Containers wants to test code against a subnet of production data that is under 5 GB, Additionally, Universal
Containers wants to refresh this sandbox every weekend.
Which type of sandbox should be used to accomplish this?
C. Developer Pro
D. partial Copy
An App Builder at UVC would like to prevent users from creating new records on an Account related list by overriding
Which two should the App Builder consider before overriding standard buttons?
A. Standard buttons can be changed on lookup dialogs, list views, and search result layouts
B. Standard buttons can be overridden with a Visualforce page
C. Standard buttons that are not available for overrides can still be hidden on page layouts
D. Standard buttons can be overridden, relocated on the detail page, and relabeled
Sales managers want to be automatically notified any time there is a change to an opportunity close date and want
these changes to be tracked on the opportunity.
Which two configurations should an app builder recommend? Choose 2 answers
A. Create an opportunity outbound message
B. Activate historical trending for opportunities
C. Enable feed tracking on opportunities
D. Use process builder on opportunities and a chatter post action
Universal Containers uses a private sharing model for opportunities. This model CANNOT be changed due to a
regional structure A new sales operations team has been created. This team needs to perform analysis on Opportunity
data, all should have read arid write access to all Opportunities.
What are two recommended solutions for the app builder to give the users appropriate access? Choose 2 answers
A. Create a criteria based sharing rule to all opportunities with the sales operations public group.
B. Add a manual share for all opportunities with each user on the sales operations team.
C. Add a permission set with ‘View All" and ‘Modify All” opportunity permissions enabled.
D. Create a criteria-based sharing rule to share all opportunities with the sales operations private group
Universal Containers has a junction object called Invoices with a primary Master-Detail relationship with Accounts
and a secondary Master-Detail relationship with Contacts. The app builder has a requirement to change the primary
Master-Detail relationship to Lookup.
What happens to the Master-Detail relationship with Contacts?
A. The Contacts Master-Detail values are cleared from invoices.
B. The Contacts Master-Detail also converts to Lookup.
C. The Contacts Master-Detail field is deleted from the object.
D. The Contacts Master-Detail becomes the primary.
Explanation – The second master-detail relationship you create on your junction object becomes the secondary
relationship. If you delete the primary master-detail relationship or convert it to a lookup relationship, the secondary
master object becomes primary. https://help.salesforce.com/HTViewHelpDoc?
An app builder wants to streamline the user experience by reflecting summarized calculation of specific fields on
Which three fields types should be used in roll-up summary fields to accomplish this?
Choose 3 answer
The VP of Sales wants a Chatter post to the All Sales private group when an Opportunity goes to the closed won stage.
What two tools should the app builder use to automate this process? Choose 2 answers
C. Big Deal Alert
D. Process Builder
Which use case can be accomplished using a custom link? Choose 3 answers
A. Navigate to an external system using data in salesforce
B. Navigate to a custom visual flow to update the current record
C. Navigate to a process to update the current record
D. Navigate to a create a record page with field pre-populated
E. Navigate to an Apex Trigger to update the current record
The director of marketing has asked the app builder to create a formula field that tracks how many days have elapsed
since a contact was sent a marketing communication. The director is only interested in whole units.
Which function should be used to calculate the difference?
Universal Containers created a custom object called Component to capture details about products sold.
What approach should an app builder take to show Component as a related list on Product?
A. Create a master-detail relationship on Product to Component. Add the Component related list to the Product page
B. Create a junction object to relate Component and Product. Add the Component related list to the Product page
C. Create a roll-up on Product. Add the Component related list to the Product page layout.
D. Create a lookup relationship on Component to Product. Add the Component related list to the Product page layout.
The VP of Sales at Cloud Kicks wants to have a set of screens to guide the inside sales team through collecting and
updating data for leads. Once the leads are updated, the leads should be entered into a marketing journey activated by
the sales rep checking the marketing checkbox.
How should the app builder accomplish this?
A. Process Builder
B. Lighting Flow
The app builder needs to change the data types of new custom fields. The app builder is not able to delete and recreate
any of the fields, nor modify any apex code.
Which data type change will require the app builder to perform the additional steps in order to retain existing
A. Changing the data type of a field used in an apex class from number to text.
B. Changing the data type of a field used in a report from a text to an encrypted field
C. Changing the data type of a field used as an external id from number to text.
D. Changing the data type of a field used in lead conversion from number to text
If you change the data type of any custom field that is used for lead conversion, that lead field mapping will be
deleted. If you change the data type of a custom field that is set as an external ID, choosing a data type other than text,
number, or email will cause the field to no longer act as an external ID.
The option to change the data type of a custom field is not available for all data types. For example, existing custom
fields cannot be converted into encrypted fields nor can encrypted fields be converted into another data type.
https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=notes_on_changing_custom_field_ty pes. htm&language=en
Where can a custom button be placed? Choose 3 answers
A. On the User Object
B. On the Custom List View
C. On a Person Account
D. On a related list
E. On a Web-to-Case form
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Salesforce CRM + Education Cloud
Salesforce is a cloud based CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system used by UAB to more effectively communicate and engage with prospective students, enrolled students, faculty, staff, alumni and other key constituents.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is UABâ€™s enterprise Marketing Automation Software and is used for basic newsletters all the way to prospective student campaigns. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an email distribution service that includes analytics, complex reporting, and design templates with strong mobile support.
With the term "copilot" gaining popularity in theÂ generative AI space, it may soon achieve the same ubiquity as terms likeÂ ChatGPTÂ andÂ AI chatbot. And now Salesforce is giving its own copilot a leg up in this competitive arena.
At the Salesforce World Tour New York 2023 event last week,Â Salesforce unveiled an upgrade for its Einstein Copilot, a conversational AI assistant to be integrated into all Salesforce applications. Einstein Copilot was first announced in September and is launching in February 2024.Â
With this upgrade, Einstein Copilot will be able to retrieve information from unstructured data, which refers to data not formatted as an organized data entry, including materials such as PDFs and emails. This feature should prove popular with Salesforce customers -- including sales, customer service, marketing, commerce, and IT professionals -- who can benefit from optimizing everyday business operations -- email, for example -- that are often not neatly organized into datasets.
Salesforce also unveiled Einstein Copilot Search, which will be found in Einstein Copilot and have "enhanced AI search capabilities" to answer complex prompts and provide smart suggestions by tapping into real-time unstructured and structured business data.
Einstein Copilot and Copilot Search will be capable of accessing unstructured data by leveraging Salesforce's Data Cloud Vector Database that unifies all business data, including unstructured data, such as transcripts and documents, and structured data, such as product inventory or purchase history.Â
Another benefit of the Data Cloud Vector is that it will circumvent the need to fine-tune large language models (LLMs), thereby saving businesses time and money and giving LLMs access to information that used to be unattainable due to training data limitations, according to Salesforce.Â
"The Data Cloud Vector Database relieves the challenge of costly and complex processes to harness the value of unstructured data," said Rahul Auradkar, Salesforce EVP and GM of Data Cloud and Einstein. "Now, our customers can reason over the full spectrum of their enterprise data to power their business applications more effectively. "
Salesforce's Data Cloud Vector Database and Einstein Copilot Search will be in pilot in February 2024, while Einstein Copilot will be generally available at that date.Â
Although Salesforce's Copilot has not been released yet, Microsoft has many different Copilots for different enterprise needs that give users a good idea of how Salesforce's will function.
HubSpot (HUBS -0.57%) has grown rapidly since its public debut nine years ago. From 2014 to 2022, the cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing software provider grew its revenues at a compound annual rate of 40% as its total number of customers grew from 13,607 to 167,386. Its adjusted operating margin also improved from negative 27.7% in 2014 to positive 9.8% in 2022.
HubSpot's stock has risen by a whopping 1,868% from its IPO price of $25 -- which would have turned a $2,000 investment into over $39,000. But with an enterprise value of $24 billion, it's still only a tenth as valuable as cloud-based CRM leader Salesforce, which has an enterprise value of $241 billion. Can HubSpot keep growing over the next few decades and become as big as Salesforce one day?
The key differences between HubSpot and Salesforce
Cloud-based CRM platforms like those offered by HubSpot and Salesforce make it easier for companies to store, organize, and analyze information about their individual customers. Putting all of that information in a centralized cloud-based location also enables companies to analyze sales trends and make faster, data-driven decisions.
HubSpot and Salesforce also provide marketing tools for crafting lower-cost "inbound" marketing campaigns -- such as social media campaigns, viral videos, or blogs -- which drive consumers to seek out brands on their own. They also provide lead generation and search engine optimization (SEO) tools to boost a company's online exposure.
Their two business models sound similar, but HubSpot primarily targets smaller businesses while Salesforce focuses on larger enterprises. HubSpot's CRM platform is a lot simpler than Salesforce's platform, but HubSpot offers it as a free service to tether more customers to the marketing and analytics services it charges for. Salesforce's CRM platform is a paid service that serves as a launchpad for its other cloud-based marketing, analytics, data visualization, app development, and collaboration services.
Simply put, HubSpot is a smaller CRM and marketing play, while Salesforce is a cloud software giant that competes more intensively against other enterprise software heavyweights like Microsoft and Adobe.
According to IDC, Salesforce controls 23% of the global CRM market, while its closest competitors -- Microsoft, Adobe, SAP, and OracleÂ -- each hold mid-single digit shares. HubSpot doesn't even make the top-five list.
The CRM market is gradually maturing
HubSpot expects its revenue to rise by 24% to $2.1 billion this year as macroeconomic headwinds curb its near-term growth. From 2022 to 2025, analysts expect its revenue to continue rising at a compound annual rate of 21% and reach $3.04 billion by the final year.
That would be comparable to the $3.05 billion in revenue that Salesforce booked in its fiscal 2013 (which ended in January 2013). From its fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2023, Salesforce grew its revenues at a compound annual rate of 26% to reach $31.4 billion. But from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2026, analysts expect its revenues will only rise at a compound annual rate of 11% as its business matures.
That growth slowdown highlights another key difference between the two companies. Salesforce leveraged its first-mover advantage to become the top CRM company, but that market's growth is cooling off. HubSpot carved out a niche for itself that allowed it to avoid going toe-to-toe against Salesforce, but it probably can't grow as rapidly as Salesforce did over the past decade given the state of the CRM market.
Could HubSpot become as big as today's Salesforce?
However, HubSpot believes it can continue to grow as smaller businesses continue to scale up their cloud-based CRM systems and marketing campaigns. It also expects its development of new artificial intelligence (AI) tools for generating digital content, summarizing calls and emails, creating chatbots, analyzing data, and optimizing marketing campaigns to boost its revenue per customer and widen its competitive moat. It could also acquire smaller companies to expand its ecosystem.
According to a forecast from Grand View Research, the global CRM market could still grow at a compound annual rate of 14% from 2023 to 2030. If HubSpot's sales simply keep pace with that market, it could generate $5.2 billion in revenue in 2030. If it continues to grow at a slower compound annual rate of 13% over the following 15 years, it could generate $31 billion in revenue by 2045 -- which would make it comparable to today's Salesforce.
But a lot of things could prevent HubSpot from ever reaching that lofty target. Salesforce, Microsoft, and the other enterprise CRM leaders could launch more free CRM services for small businesses, challenging HubSpot in its niche. Recessions, geopolitical conflicts, and other macro headwinds could stunt HubSpot's growth. The rise of new AI-driven services could disrupt older CRM and inbound marketing services.
How those longer-term challenges might play out is impossible to predict, so investors should instead focus on HubSpot's core strengths: It is still growing rapidly, its margins are expanding, and analysts expect it to turn profitable on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis by 2025. In other words, HubSpot still has plenty of room to grow -- even if it never becomes a megacap cloud software giant like Salesforce.
Leo Sun has positions in Adobe. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Adobe, HubSpot, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2024 $420 calls on Adobe and short January 2024 $430 calls on Adobe. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Shares of customer relationship management (CRM) software company Salesforce (CRM -0.24%) are up 100% year to date in 2023, as of this writing. These returns have crushed the otherwise impressive 24% gain for the S&P 500. And the explanation for Salesforce's outperformance can be simplistic.
In the earnings call for the fiscal third quarter of 2024, co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff started his commentary liberally, using words like "unbelievable," "incredible," and "exciting." And he was largely referring to Salesforce's cash flow.
In Q3, Salesforce had an operating cash flow of $1.5 billion, up a stunning 389% year over year. And to be clear, the company's cash-flow growth isn't entirely recent. The trend has been ongoing for years and is a big reason Salesforce stock has been a winner, as the chart below shows.
Could Salesforce's long-term cash-flow story continue in 2024 and beyond? Or will it come back down to earth? Well, the future is uncertain. But there are reasons to believe the company could keep gaining ground in the coming year. Here's why.
What's going right for Salesforce in fiscal 2024
In general, 2023 has been a difficult year for enterprise software companies. And Salesforce's revenue growth has admittedly slowed to an all-time low. But through the first three quarters of its 2024 fiscal year, the company's revenue is still up 11.3% from the comparable period of fiscal 2023, which isn't too shabby.
In latest years, Salesforce has acquired other software companies, including Slack and Tableau. The company's broader range of products is leading to more services being bundled and larger contract values with customers.
Accordingly, Salesforce's million-dollar deals were up 80% year over year in Q3. And with these bigger deals, the company's remaining performance obligations (future revenue from existing contracts) are also growing nicely. It ended Q3 with remaining performance obligations of $48.3 billion, up 21% year over year.
Give Salesforce's management a lot of credit. Some of its impressive cash-flow growth has been driven by exercising discipline on spending. Through the first three quarters of fiscal 2024, operating expenses were down 1.5% from the comparable period of fiscal 2023.
However, Salesforce's Q3 cash-flow performance was largely driven by higher-than-normal collections than what's customary during the third quarter. This is more of a timing issue than a material improvement to the business, which is something to be mindful of.
What's next for Salesforce?
Collections will vary from quarter to quarter, so this isn't a material part of the investment thesis for Salesforce. To grow cash flow, therefore, the company can grow revenue, cut expenses, or facilitate a combination of the two.
Looking at expenses, Salesforce is already putting up impressive numbers, so it feels greedy to expect it to do much more than it already is. Just look at the chart of the company's operating margin over the last decade.
Therefore, if it's going to grow cash flow, I believe it's more important for investors to think about Salesforce's revenue growth potential. And, as mentioned, there's reason for optimism.
Salesforce has been piloting new products built on its artificial intelligenceÂ (AI) software. But as of Dec. 14, it's making its AI generally available through a package called Unlimited Edition+ (UE+).Â UE+ plays on the current customer trend of bundling more Salesforce services into one contract.
According to management, Salesforce customers who switch to UE+ increase their spending by 70%. That is a huge revenue growth opportunity just within its current customer base.
In short, the trends regarding revenue growth in the coming year are in Salesforce's favor. The company's customers want to bundle more services, so it now offers UE+ to its entire base. And so far, customers switching to UE+ have spent significantly more money. If Salesforce's management can maintain financial discipline, it's very possible the company's cash flow will continue growing as it's done over the long term.
Currently trading at roughly 30 times its free cash flow, Salesforce stock isn't necessarily cheap in absolute terms. But the chart below does show that this is about the cheapest it's ever been.
In conclusion, it's unrealistic to expect Salesforce stock to double in value two years in a row. But on its current path, I believe it very well could deliver positive returns in the coming year and beyond, meaning its shareholders would do well to keep holding, even after the impressive gains in 2023.
COO Brian Millham took on additional responsibilities. He now oversees about 70% of Salesforce's employees.
President and COO Brian Millham has been with Salesforce since 1999, but his influence at the company has ballooned in the last 18 months, which has caused some speculation that he could be first in line to succeed CEO Marc Benioff. In 2023, Millham's purview expanded to include marketing, employee success, and business technology, in addition to his other responsibilities â€” global sales, customer success, global alliances and channels, and professional services. Millham was promoted to COO, two years after a promotion to chief customer success officer and COO of global distribution.
Chief business officer Ebony Beckwith left Salesforce after 14 years.
By the time company veteran Ebony Beckwith left Salesforce in May, she held three different titles: chief business officer, chief of staff to Marc Benioff, and CEO of Salesforce Foundation. Neither Salesforce nor Beckwith gave a reason for her departure. Her LinkedIn profile has not been updated with a new job. Beckwith joined Salesforce in 2008 and began leading philanthropic efforts in 2014.
Former CMO Sarah Franklin is leaving the company at the end of the year to join Lattice as CEO.
After 15 years at Salesforce, Sarah Franklin has been named CEO of HR software startup Lattice, run by Jack Altman, brother of Sam Altman. She starts on January 2. In June, Franklin moved from her role as Salesforce's chief marketing officer to chair of the advisory board alongside Alex Dayon, who is retiring at the end of the year. Franklin was named president and CMO in 2021. She joined the company's marketing department in 2008.
Ariel Kelman returned to Salesforce as chief marketing officer.
Former Oracle CMO Ariel Kelman took the top marketing job at Salesforce in June. Kelman is one of Benioff's "boomerangs" â€” he first worked for Salesforce from 2005 to 2011, when he left to run worldwide marketing at Amazon Web Services. After eight years at AWS, Kelman spent a year and a half as CMO of Oracle. Kelman left Oracle in August of 2022 after the restructuring of the marketing organization he'd spent nearly two years building. At the time, sources told Business Insider that Kelman had clashed with Oracle CEO Safra Catz over the changes, which included mass layoffs.
Former Okta CMO Kendall Collins joined Salesforce as Marc Benioff's chief of staff.
Another of Benioff's "boomerangs," Collins joined Salesforce in April as chief business officer and chief of staff, roles previously held by Ebony Beckwith. Collins first worked for Salesforce from 2004 to 2016 after spending the first few years of his career at Oracle. Most recently, Collins was CMO of cloud software company Okta. He left that role in February of 2022, staying on as an advisor.
Former chief people officer Brent Hyder left Salesforce in August for VF Corp.
Hyder's relatively short â€” but busy â€” run at Salesforce ended in August when he left to join apparel group VF Corp. as chief people officer. In the four years he was at Salesforce, Hyder's human resources organization oversaw a pandemic-fueled hiring spree, followed by a major restructuring initiative that included laying off 10% of the company. In June, Insider reported that Hyder offended some employees with comments he made during a Pride Month event. Hyder joined Salesforce in 2019 from Gap Inc., where he had been chief people officer.
Miguel Milano joined Salesforce as chief revenue officer.
Milano joined Salesforce as president and CRO in August. Another "boomerang," Milano first worked at Salesforce from 2011 to 2020, eventually overseeing the international sales organizations for Europe and the Middle East, Latin and Central Americas, Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions. Milano left Salesforce in 2020 for the German data processing company Celonis, where he was CRO until his return to Salesforce. Former Salesforce CRO Gavin Patterson left the company in January.
Lidiane Jones is leaving Slack to take the top job at Bumble.
Jones, a Salesforce product executive who was named CEO of Slack in January, was recently appointed to succeed Whitney Wolfe Herd as CEO of Bumble Inc. Jones starts at Bumble in January. She joined Salesforce in 2019 from Sonos Inc. and quickly worked her way up from vice president of product for Commerce Cloud to overseeing the entire division. Denise Dresser, a Salesforce executive, will replace Jones as Slack CEO.
Advisory board chair Alex Dayon is retiring at the end of the year.
Dayon, a 15-year Salesforce veteran, is set to retire at the end of the year, Salesforce said in June. He is currently president and special advisor to the CEO, working remotely from Paris, according to his LinkedIn. He was previously president and chairman of the advisory board, reporting directly to Benioff, and before that, held chief strategy at product roles. Dayon joined Salesforce in 2008 and at one point, was gifted an electric BMW by Benioff.
A new chief legal officer joined. The chief trust officer left.
After 18 months as Salesforce's chief trust officer, Vikram Rao left the company in October to take the top cybersecurity role at Atlassian.
In June, Sabastian V. Niles joined Salesforce as president and chief legal officer. Niles, formerly a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz, had been counseling Salesforce as it responded to a group of activist investors earlier in the year.
As cloud companies race to cash in on the generative-AI boom, Salesforce has been busy spinning itself as the safest, most trustworthy avenue through which to test the nebulous new technology. There's just one problem: Its customers aren't buying it yet.
At its World Tour conference in New York last week, Salesforce introduced several product enhancements, including vector database support â€” a way to store unstructured data such as images and text â€” and AI search for its Einstein Copilot product, meant to make integrating generative AI into workflows easier for customers. Company executives underscored the product announcements with a recurring theme: trust and safety.
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Still, Salesforce likely won't see sales from those announcements anytime soon. Salesforce has moved slowly on AI, RBC Capital Markets managing director Rishi Jaluria told Insider â€” at least that's what the company's partners and customers told him.
"Most customers are still in more of an exploration phase and genuine implementations are a long ways away," Jaluria wrote in a research note this week.
Jaluria spoke with Salesforce partners at World Tour who noted that customers are still focused on optimization, or getting the most value out of what they've purchased. One said they were encouraging customers to start first with Einstein, the original AI product Salesforce launched in 2016, before adding new generative-AI services to their bills.
The 'trust gap'
At World Tour, Salesforce's new generative-AI offerings almost felt like an afterthought to its marketing campaign, which touts the company as a safe harbor in uncharted waters.
In a promotional video, actor Matthew McConaughey, dressed as a 19th-century cowboy, stared pensively at the camera and asked, "If AI is the Wild West â€¦ well, who's the sheriff around here?"
The question was the first of many moments during the conference when a Salesforce executive brought up trust and safety when talking about generative AI.
Patrick Stokes, Salesforce's head of product marketing, took to the stage to introduce the company's approach to AI. First, he said, before writing a single line of code, Salesforce developed a list of principles to guide its generative-AI work, based on the company's No. 1 value: trust.
"How do we make sure that all the large language models we need to generate things from aren't stealing all your data, aren't sucking it all up and answering questions about your business with one of your competitor's businesses?" Stokes asked the audience. "And how do we make sure they're not full of bias and toxicity? If you think about where a large language model is trained, it's basically the open internet, and the open internet is a weird place. There's definitely going to be bias and toxicity."
Executives spoke about the "trust gap" â€” the concerns Stokes listed above â€” and the "trust layer," or what Salesforce calls its guardrails for creating prompts on Einstein.
All the trust talk, however, could just be that: talk.
"Salesforce is lagging when it comes to AI," said Jaluria. "They market it really well. But that's typical Salesforce, right? Salesforce is a marketing machine."
Salesforce can't just buy innovation
Salesforce has long had a reputation as a company that "bought" innovation via acquisitions of other companies, rather than developing meaningful new products in-house. Salesforce likely isn't in the market to buy another company right now â€” at least that's what it signaled to Wall Street. Last year, under pressure from activist investors pushing Salesforce to Strengthen its profit margins after its $27.7 billion Slack acquisition, the company disbanded its M&A committee.
Despite that, Salesforce continues to invest in other companies via its venture arm, which includes a $500 million Generative AI fund. Through Salesforce Ventures, the company has invested in AI startups like Anthropic, Hugging Face, and Runway.
AI adoption isn't just a Salesforce problem. Analysts have said for months that customers are being cautious about generative-AI spending. Jaluria said that with the exception of Microsoft, he doesn't expect software companies to see meaningful revenue gains from generative AI until at least 2025.
That might come down to the trust gap, said John Somorjai, who runs Salesforce Ventures.
"McKinsey's put out these studies that show that generative AI will add $4 trillion to the GDP every year for the next 10 years," Somorjai said to a room of analysts and press at World Tour. "And for that to really happen, people need to feel comfortable with the technology. They need to trust it. And that's why we're so focused on this responsible development of AI. We know that if we do it right, that fear will be taken away."
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In the age of "Dr. Google," it can be tempting to click your way to self-diagnosis â€” but an overload of health information can cause its own set of symptoms.
"Cyberchondria," a subset of health anxiety, is described as a condition in which an individual excessively searches for health information online.Â
While cyberchrondria may not start as a physical disease, it can cause intense levels of anxiety and fear that can negatively impact a person's health, according to Dr. Maggie Williams, a family physician in Scottsdale, Arizona, and medical director for MDLIVE Virtual Primary Care.
Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, said he and his colleagues used to call the condition "medical students' disease."
"When you know a little, but not enough, you imagine you have everything and constantly worry," he told Fox News Digital.
Although cyberchondria is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a formal diagnosis, itâ€™s thought to be closely related to hypochrondria, a more general heightened anxiety about oneâ€™s health.
In 2014, two U.K. researchers, Eoin McElroy and Mark Shevlin, created a "cyberchrondria severity scale" that measures a person's score across eight areas: compulsion, distress, excessiveness, reassurance seeking and mistrust of medical professionals.
Growing prevalence of cyberchrondria
As Siegel pointed out, the condition is becoming more common over time.Â
"The invention of the internet and then the perfection of search engines created a global hypochondria, where patients searched to find possible explanations for their symptoms," he said.
"It especially increased during the pandemic, when dogma abounded and everyone was suddenly an expert," Siegel added.
A study published in JIMR Formative Research last year found that COVID-19 caused a spike in the condition in spring 2020, as people experienced higher levels of "cyberchondria-related distress and compulsion during the pandemic."
One user shared experiences with cyberchrondria on Reddit: "I thought that I might see something that will ease my mind, but â€¦ it makes it all worse and worse. Out of the 100 times I checked a symptom online, only 10 of them kinda made me feel safe."
Another user wrote, "I'm pretty sure I have this. The pandemic definitely made my health anxiety worse. Unfortunately, the pandemic also made it harder to get in to see a doctor in a timely manner and so the internet is the next logical place to look for answers."
In a small study by MDLIVE Virtual Primary Care, more than half of respondents said they searched online instead of going to the doctor, and more than two in five (42%) turned to social media to ask about their symptoms.
Another 22% said they rely on artificial intelligence for medical answers.
Nearly half of the 518 respondents, who provided data in August 2023, said they have misdiagnosed or mistreated an issue based on information they found online.
As Siegel warned, online medical information "isn't often accurate, and it isn't filtered, and it lacks clinical judgment."
Telltale signs of cyberchondria
Several signs may indicate that people are experiencing cyberchondria, Williams said.
"Most people may not recognize the symptoms before itâ€™s too late, after theyâ€™ve invested hours, delayed access to the doctor and worsened their overall anxiety," she told Fox News Digital.
One warning sign is spending one to three hours or more at a time searching for symptoms online.
A quarter of the survey respondents said that when experiencing a health issue, they spend more than one hour searching for their symptoms online.
Obsessive medical searches may also get in the way of day-to-day activities, Williams noted.
In the MDLIVE study, 41% of respondents said that compulsively searching for symptoms has gotten in the way of their daily tasks.
"You may feel a compulsion to search online constantly, often rechecking symptoms multiple times, despite having completed an exhaustive search," Williams said.
Another symptom of cyberchrondria is high levels of distress and anxiety when searching for symptoms online â€” an rather than easing of concerns.
Fifty-eight percent of the participants in MDLIVEâ€™s study said that searching online for their symptoms made them more anxious.Â
"You may also have a heightened fixation on a particularly serious disease or condition, despite any evidence that you are suffering from it," Williams added.
Addressing or preventing cyberchondria
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of cyberchondria, Williams said itâ€™s important to set boundaries on the time spent searching for health information online.Â
"Resist the urge to check and recheck symptoms," she advised.
She also recommends avoiding "deep diving" into online forums or threads where people share "worst-case scenarios."Â
"These tend to be exceptions rather than the rule, which can unnecessarily increase your anxiety," she said.
Itâ€™s best to consult with a health care professional at the onset of any symptoms, Williams advised.Â
"They can provide accurate information about your health concerns, potentially helping you to sidestep the slippery slope of cyberchondria," she said.
Siegel noted that as a physician, one of his jobs is to help patients sort through their fears and worries and put them in perspective of real risk and disease.Â
"This is even more the case with social media, where you end up searching through videos â€” especially TikTok â€” and become convinced you have a disease," he said. "This all increases anxiety and is bad for health."
For those who might have trouble physically getting to a doctorâ€™s office, Williams suggested setting up a telehealth visit to address concerns in a timely manner, which will reduce the temptation to dive into online searching.
It's important to address cyberchrondria seriously, just as you would with any other health issue, she said.
"If you're experiencing anxiety related to your health, you may find it helpful to speak with a mental health professional."
While there are some reputable sources of health information on the internet, not all online information is factual or trustworthy.
"I still rely on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes for Health, Mayo Clinic, NYU Langone and CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy)," said Siegel.
That said, he warned that even vetted medical websites can still sometimes be wrong.
For those suffering from cyberchondria, Siegel advised them to find a doctor they can trust who can help guide them, while at the same time pulling back from online sources.
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