by Cindy Huynh
During a joint interview at the TrailheaDX Salesforce Developer Conference on March 28, 2018, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and co-founder Parker Harris revealed that they are currently working on a new blockchain-based product.
Strategic Importance for Salesforce’s Product Lines
Benioff mentioned that by having a simple conversation at a cryptocurrency conference, he began to think more deeply about Salesforce’s role in developing blockchain technology.
“I had been thinking a lot about what is Salesforce’s strategy around blockchain and what [Salesforce’s] strategies around cryptocurrencies and how [we’ll] relate to all of these things.”
The CEO believes that by implementing blockchain applications within Salesforce’s existing service, it could potentially improve the customer experience and diversify the company’s portfolio of existing products.
Benioff has been paying close attention to the development of the cryptocurrency industry for a while. As such, he believes that its underlying blockchain technology can become the future of technology.
Vikal Kapoor, the CEO of Dapps Inc., the enterprise blockchain company for Salesforce customers, also believes that blockchain technology has great potential in becoming “the ultimate connectivity layer.”
When blockchain can integrate seamlessly with Salesforce’s current technological infrastructure, it can significantly improve the user experience. “Companies can have a constant conversation with all the partners involved in the value chain of customer experience — before during and after a sale,” said Kapoor.
“Imagine marketing, finance, production, and procurement all working in concert to exceed customer expectations.”
Kapoor went on to state that it’s not just the user experience but the overall intelligence of the system: “The sales cycles will no longer treat customer and company as counterparties, but like joint-venture partners in constant conversation. That means less data and more intelligence.”
The Conversation that Sparked the Initiative
According to TechCrunch, blockchain technology was on Benioff’s mind for quite a while. It soon became a serious idea when he had a conversation with an attendee while attending the World Economic Forum conference in Switzerland which helped him see how the technology could integrate with Salesforce’s family of products.
While Benioff did not provide further details concerning the upcoming product, he hopes that “by Dreamforce we will have a blockchain and cryptocurrency solution.” Dreamforce is Salesforce’s annual customer conference that will be hosted in San Francisco this year from September 25 to 28.
It is the first time the cloud computing giant has announced such a blockchain product. The company has, however, previously praised blockchain as a ”revolutionary” technology for its ability to “verify and maintain contracts, send transactions, and automate trust,” during its Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) software briefing.
According to Ray Grady, president and chief customer officer at CloudCraze, the B2B commerce market will hit $1.2 trillion by 2021. While Salesforce generated almost $8.4 billion in revenue in 2017, Grady sees the importance for businesses to seize the opportunity.
If Salesforce moves ahead with the blockchain-based product, the company will join other computing giants like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Accenture that are currently embracing digital ledger technology.