Salesforce opened its Dreamforce event by announcing several new products and upgrades for use by email marketers and brands in general — in a heated environment.
The event in San Francisco has drawn 171,000 registrants. But it has also attracted immigrant rights activists, who are displaying an "800-pound, 14-by-10-foot cage to protest the detention of asylum seekers at the U.S. border,” according to Fast Company.
At the same time, the company announced that Salesforce.org is donating $18 million toward Bay Area education, homelessness and cleanliness.
The upgrades to the firm’s Customer Success platform include Salesforce Customer 360, a platform that will allow admins to connect Salesforce apps and manage customer data across clouds with a click-based user interface, the firm says.
Also being offered is MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, an application network graph that provides information on all systems, apps and their metadata and how they interrelate. And Einstein Voice will empower users to talk to Salesforce and navigate cloud services, the firm adds.
Another new tool, Quip Slides, provides users with a single “canvas” for collaboration without forcing them to toggle between apps, the firm continues.
In addition, Salesforce has announced a strategic partnership with Apple, marrying CRM and iOS. Salesforce says it is redesigning its app to embrace the native mobile platform and adding new features on iOS.
The firm has also expanded its alliance with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to allow customers to share and synchronize data across AWS and Salesforce services.
Founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff welcomed attendees by saying they need new tools and skills to “thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Meanwhile, Dreamforce has drawn activists from Fight for the Future, Color of Change, Demand Progress and Defending Rights. Some have signed an open letter protesting the firm’s arrangement with the U.S. Border Patrol, which was announced in March.
In July, Benioff tweeted: “Our employees asked me to review how CBP uses us & I included them…Salesforce doesn’t work with CBP regarding separation of families at the border. We dont have an agreement with ICE.” When queried, a Salesforce spokesperson referred MediaPost to that statement.
In August, Benioff joined other members of the Business Roundtable, including Apple’s Timothy D. Cook and JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, in signing a letter charging that U.S. immigration policies threaten the livelihoods of skilled foreign workers, and the nation’s economic growth, according to The New York Times.
Benioff and his wife Lynne recently announced they are acquiring Time magazine for $190 million.