Zahra Bahrololoumi, Salesforce UKI CEO, provided the keynote address at the company’s World Tour in London’s ExCel Centre. The company also made a number of announcements including the launch of Sales Cloud Unlimited. It also announced a unified platform for sales teams to support productivity and turn sales reps into trusted advisors.
At the event, Salesforce provided a vision of how their teams will support digital transformation in the future of work. In addition to how Salesforce will invest in various community support initiatives to reskill the future workforce.
Leading British companies such as Asda and Currys in the retail sector. Revolut and GoHenry in the financial space were featured at the event. These companies showcased how Salesforce technology connected with their customers in a whole new way. Highlighting new ways of working across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more.
“The UK is a key growth market for Salesforce. We have built a diverse and thriving customer and partner ecosystem. Home to some of the world’s most innovative industries and companies. It’s inspiring to see so many business leaders recognise the power of the cloud,” says Bahrololoumi.
“At the same time, we’re acutely aware of the pressure felt by our customers. To create incredible experiences across every interaction with their customers to remain competitive. They need to realise productivity gains, efficiencies, and resilience.”
The future of work
Bahrololoumi noted the future of work continues to be raised as a top priority for businesses. Every company is navigating how to be successful in this new digital-first environment. While there has been a lot of focus on “where” we work. Bahrololoumi believes the focus needs to be on the “how.”
“We’re empowering teams to decide how, when and where they work through our Flex Team Agreements. And we’ll continue to invest in our physical spaces, which serve a different purpose to what they did two years ago. Employees are still coming to the office to get work done, but they’re using it in different ways. The office has become a destination for collaborating and connecting.”
He went on to say that at Salesforce Tower London:
- 59% of office-assigned employees came in at least once each week in May.
- Wednesdays and Thursdays have had the highest attendance in recent weeks, followed by Tuesdays.
- Salesforce Tower London was our second highest attended global office in May, behind only Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco.
- And London, like many of our larger offices, has seen spikes in attendance on days where large team events like Town Halls, Company All Hands, and team offsites take place.
Salesforce has developed a digital HQ with Slack where employees and associates can communicate and collaborate from anywhere. Salesforce says Slack has made the company more efficient and productive.
- As of April, Salesforce reduced the number of emails sent per day by Salesforce employees by 42%.
- Meetings are down 7% across the company.
- Staff have adopted Huddles and Clips for fast collaboration and asynchronous communication.
Digital skills shortage in the UK
Bahrololoumi also addressed the serious digital skills crisis in the UK. According to research by Salesforce, more than three-quarters of people do not feel ready to operate in a digital-first world. As the digital economy continues to grow, more and more jobs will be created. Salesforce, and its network of partners and customers in the UK, will alone create 271,700 new jobs by 2026 (IDC).
Many analysts have suggested that there is a lack of understanding of just how accessible digital skills can be. Businesses like Salesforce have a responsibility to provide opportunities for people to train. “One of the ways we are addressing this is through Trailhead our online learning tool. It’s free and empowers anyone to learn new technology and business skills, and to hone existing ones,” Bahrololoumi adds.
Giving back was the other major theme in keynote address. “This year, we’re bringing our apprenticeship programme population to over 90 young adults from under-represented backgrounds. And, we’ve also awarded a $500K grant to Ada, the National College for Digital Skills,” Bahrololoumi noted.
Ada will deliver a two-year project aiming to attract and support young adults from underserved backgrounds in London and Manchester. The programme is expected to access, and enable young people to thrive in high-quality entry-level digital apprenticeships.
Salesforce also awarded a $400K grant to charity, Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB). The charity will launch a three-year initiative preparing and supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into legal and marketing apprenticeships.
“We have a focus on remaining a trusted partner for British businesses, and a heart for supporting our communities there. Technologies is a vital component. We will remain committed to bringing our full support to bear in this important region,” Bahrololoumi concludes.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business.
British businesses, similar to enterprises around the globe, have faced unprecedented headwinds over the last two years. From the pandemic and war to global supply chain issues.
According to Bahrololoumi the top priority in the board room has shifted from one focused on growth to efficiency. She correctly suggests today’s digital transformation is at the heart of the CEO agenda in the UK. Furthermore, the automation and efficiencies cloud technology can deliver represent a clear solution for many business challenges.
It was refreshing to hear a CEO talking about wider societal issues, which directly and indirectly impact their sector. This was the point raised by Bahrololoumi about the skills shortage that plague the UK. Salesforce made some announcements and small steps to attempt to rectify the issue. However, this will require more active intervention by the whole tech community, as well as central and local governments.