Five Takeaways from the Keynote at a Very Unique 2021 Dreamforce

Phil Weinmeister

I can say without hesitation that this year’s Dreamforce was unlike any other I’ve attended. The number of registered attendees is usually north of 150,000; this year, approximately 500 “Trailblazers” were personally invited to attend the event. Overall, it was an excellent experience. While there was far less content than we’ve seen in the past, the physical scope of the event was much smaller as well, creating a warmer, more manageable environment.

One aspect of Dreamforce 2021 that did not change, however, was the importance of the main keynote, which I was able to see during the first morning of the two-day event. All the expected players were there: Bret Taylor, Sarah Franklin and, of course, Marc Benioff. Although I know Salesforce+ was able to provide a crisp, up-close view of the Dreamforce keynote, I appreciated being able to watch this one in person.

So what were the big announcements? Let me share my five key takeaways with those of you who weren’t able to attend (or just want to relive the experience).

1) Marc & Co. Want to Bring Dreamforce to You

Marc was very clear about his desire to host many, many Dreamforces over the next year. Before you ask how that is possible, I’ll add the important detail that he’s referring to “Dreamforce to You” events. These are essentially small, personalized gatherings for organizations that bring Salesforce executives and content directly to them. I doubt Marc, Bret and Sarah will personally attend many of these, but it is an intriguing idea. To make this happen, an organization can reach out to their AE and inquire about a curated Dreamforce to You event. The AE will work out the logistics and content with the organization and hopefully bring a piece of Dreamforce from San Francisco to them.

2) Salesforce Continues to Think Big

Salesforce has never been one to think about growth conservatively. That’s not changing as they look ahead to 2026. Guidance was provided for $50B in revenue for the fiscal year 2026. Additionally, Salesforce expects to drive 9.3 million jobs in the ecosystem by the same year.

3) The Concept of a Digital HQ Has Arrived

Salesforce paid a hefty $27.7 billion for Slack earlier this year and they are not waiting to leverage the power of this new platform to drive additional customer value and revenue. While there wasn’t a ton of meaty content around new features related to Slack and Salesforce, Slack itself has some nice features that were introduced relatively recently and will benefit Salesforce users. Huddles and Clips are game-changers and there are capabilities on the horizon that will benefit Salesforce customers. Definitely watch this space. And if your business heavily depends on Salesforce and you are not using Slack for collaboration, I’d suggest you take a long, hard look at moving to Slack now as opposed to doing so too late.

4) Salesforce CDP is Worthy of Your Attention

It probably goes without saying that your organization has a numerous integrations with Salesforce. It would probably also be right to surmise that data integrity and unity are challenging. Salesforce CDP is looking to tackle those problems and provide a solution that will help organizations manage and unify their data to make the user experience smoother, faster and more seamless.

5) The “Clouds” Are Still Seeing Innovation

Many areas of the Salesforce platform were mentioned and will benefit from new, innovative functionality later in 2021 or in 2022. Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Tableau, and MuleSoft were all part of the 2021 Dreamforce keynote, with each being used to demonstrate additional value on the platform. Some of my favorite updates include:

  • Sales Cloud: Revenue Intelligence & Subscription Management
  • Service Cloud: Einstein-powered Service Workflows
  • Commerce Cloud: Salesforce Payments by Stripe & Fulfillment Network by FedEx

Guess what? I provided a similar recap right from the event. Feel free to listen in here.

I hope you enjoy and that we can see each other in person at Dreamforce next year!

Phil Weinmeister, blog contributor

Phil Weinmeister is the VP of Product Management at 7Summits. He is a Salesforce MVP with 20 certifications and has authored three books that guide readers through leveraging Salesforce in their digital solutions.

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