Salesforce shifts focus to personalisation of apps, from Lightning to Trailhead to Einstein

To kick off the company's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco this week, SaaS CRM giant Salesforce announced a range of changes across its Customer Success Platform with a focus on greater personalisation for customers.

During a press conference on day one of Dreamforce, chief product officer Alex Dayon said that over the past year customers have asked for more customisation options within the Salesforce platform. As a result "all the services in the platform are getting more capabilities to enable [customers] to build, personalise and be successful with these services," Dayon said.

This has led to a range of announcements across MyLightning for app development, MyTrailhead for training, MySalesforce for mobile and MyEinstein for access to AI, all focused on more personalised experiences.

The best example is MySalesforce, which now allows customers to personalise the mobile version of Salesforce for their employees and publish this personally branded mobile app through the App Store or Google Play for employees to download.

MyEinstein really focuses on giving employees the ability to create predictive apps through a declarative, point and click interface without any coding. Jumping on the no-code or low-code bandwagon, Salesforce wants to allow business users to create their own apps around simple workflows within Salesforce without writing code.

John Ball, GM of Einstein at Salesforce said that since launching Einstein last year customers "did ask us about custom apps and all those customisations they have made in Sales Cloud or Service Cloud.

"So if you look at the data, roughly 80 percent of all data on Salesforce is stored in custom objects, our customers love to customise the platform. So they have taken Salesforce and made it their Salesforce, so we have done the same with Einstein and MyEinstein. Now every [customer] can create apps with clicks and without being a data scientist."

Read next: What is Salesforce Einstein? Latest features & pricing

Einstein Prediction Builder allows customers to create custom AI models around predictions for any field that is currently held in Salesforce simply by identifying the field they want to predict and selecting the data they want to use with a drag and drop interface.

For example someone in the finance team could hypothetically create an app that leverages the data in Salesforce and a pre-packaged machine learning model to predict which customers will file their invoices late. Einstein Prediction Builder is currently in pilot and expected to arrive in summer 2018.

Then there is Einstein Bots, where customers can create chatbots powered by historical service and CRM data to respond to common customer inquiries and deploy it through Service Cloud.

For example, a bot could be set up to track order status or request a refund and trigger the relevant process automatically. Einstein Bots are currently in pilot and expected to be generally available in Summer 2018.

MyTrailheadis an extension to the Salesforce training platform which will allow companies to use a drag and drop interface, called Trail Maker, to create personalised training in a branded environment.

Salesforce has also included Trail Mixer into MyTrailhead, where admins can create a custom learning path using public Trailhead content, custom content built on the platform or external content such as videos or slide presentations.

Admins can now also use features like Trail Tracker and Trail Checker to see where employees are at with their learning and start to build up a graph of staff and their skill sets for more in-depth talent analytics and skills gap analysis.

MyTrailhead is expected to be in pilot the first half of 2018 with general availability later in the year. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.

MyLightningis focused on building more customised apps, themes, flows and components within Salesforce using the Lightning framework. This essentially allows for customisation of the core CRM experience with brand images, colours and page background images, as well as personalised workflows.

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Lastly, the newest addition to the portfolio is MyIoT, which is a declarative interface for building apps on top of IoT data to create rules-based automation, for example, directly within the Salesforce platform.

According to Salesforce, this will allow customers to: "combine connected device, sensor and application data with customer context from Salesforce to create proactive sales, service and marketing experiences."

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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