Genie - Image by geri cleveland from PixabayDavid Schmaier, Salesforce president and Chief Product Officer described the launch of Salesforce Genie as “The most significant change to the Salesforce platform in the company’s history”.  Is this hyperbole typical of convention announcements, or is there some substance behind it? What is Genie? Salesforce says that it is a hyperscale real-time data platform that powers the entire Salesforce 360 platform.

David Schmaier, Salesforce president and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce (Credit image/LinkedIn/David Schmaier)
David Schmaier, Salesforce president and Chief Product Officer, Salesforce

Previously the Salesforce CDP platform was focused on Marketing Cloud. That has now changed with this announcement. Genie delivers a CDP that underpins pretty much the entire Salesforce estate of applications such as Sales, Service, Marketing and Commerce, as well as the industry clouds.

What it offers is the ability to provide highly personalised (using Einstein) experiences for organisations in real-time. There are also editions such as MuleSoft Genie, Tableau Genie and Slack Genie. Schmaier added: “Genie is a high speed, hyperscale data lake infrastructure that powers all of  Salesforce applications. Genie makes all of the applications better.”

On average, enterprises use  976 separate applications to run their business. It means that customer data is disjointed, and the customer experience interactions are often repetitive. Genie will bring a bit of magic to combine data sources from across applications. It will ensure that customer-facing staff have access to every relevant piece of information about a customer at the point of need.

Schmaier envisions a world where customers calling service departments no longer have to repeat personal information. This is because the service agents already have all the information they have disclosed across every channel.

Schmaier commented: “Every business leader wants to take advantage of real-time data to create compelling, personalized customer experiences — milliseconds matter in this new digital-first world. That’s why we built Genie, our most significant innovation ever on the Salesforce Platform. Genie makes every part of Customer 360 more automated, intelligent, and real time.”

The magic of Genie

Under the hood, Genie runs on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s public cloud infrastructure. Schmaier explained that there are already 500 customers using the platform. Now it has gone to general availability, others can easily switch across as well.

He explained that the migration is like one of the Salesforce upgrade processes, seamless (though some might argue that point). Hyperforce is a mature solution that provides data residency, security, privacy, and regulatory compliance controls, with built-in data ethics features that govern data and increase consumer trust.

Hyperforce integrates with Einstein AI to provide insights on the data updated in real-time. For marketing teams, it enables them to adjust campaigns faster than ever before and react at an individual level to interactions differently. The integration with Flow automation services also enables organisations to automatically trigger workflows based on events and data changes instantly, ensuring that communication with customers is timely and in a channel of their choice.

Those 500 customers are already seeing the benefits of the new platform. Suzy Deering, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Ford commented: “Being a customer-first company means creating experiences that are more simple, convenient, and rewarding so that we are consistently earning our customers’ loyalty.

“Our customer relationships are intricate, so we needed a partner that could transform how we provide seamless and personalized experiences across every touchpoint — sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT. Salesforce Marketing Cloud and CDP provides the single source of truth we need to connect the customer experience across every step in the journey shopping — through purchase, accessories, onboarding, and maintenance.”

Genie brings magic from everywhere

Salesforce has also ensured that Genie is not stand-alone. It is connected with partners to assist enterprises in bringing magic to their customers. Last week Salesforce announced a real-time data-sharing partnership with Snowflake. The partnership delivers organisations’ bidirectional data access between data stored within Snowflake and that stored within the Salesforce ecosystem. It allows organisations to leverage the power of Customer 360 across both data lakes

Einstein is no longer alone. The new platform enables firms to bring AI as a service. This is initially with Amazon SageMaker where they can build Ai models within that platform for use on Customer 360.

Marketing Cloud customers will benefit from integrations to advertising platforms such as Amazon Ads, Meta and Google with new privacy-safe integrations for advertising activation and aggregated insights.

Finally, the AppExchange already has 18 Genie Partners with applications that organisations can leverage. The Genie Collection is likely to expand in the coming months as more vendors build integrations. They include data activation apps, data enrichment apps and data strategy experts to provide consulting skills for organisations to leverage.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

With this announcement, Salesforce has once more brought what were once disparate systems closer together. That it can seamlessly upgrade customers to the new platform is of huge benefit. As enterprises look to leverage their data with analytics tools and data lakes, Salesforce has gone and stepped beyond many to provide access to data and intelligence in real-time at the point of need.

The potential is huge. The question is how quickly will the app vendors and customers take advantage of the new functionality? Can it make a real difference to the experience of their customers? Dreamforce has started with a bang. While there are many other announcements this week from the event, this one is likely to have the biggest impact in the long term.


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