Salesforce: enabling all to join the digital revolution
by Sophie Chapman
Salesforce is one step ahead of the digital world. The company’s Field Chief Technology Officer for EMEA tells Business Chief how Salesforce is encouraging all to join it on its digital transformation journey.
Established in 1999, Salesforce was founded with the goal to change, challenge and transform the technology industry. The company was built around four key principles: trust, customer success, innovation and equality. “Trust is the common currency we hold with all customers. Whether that’s because we hold all of their data or we’re helping them change their business,” says Adam Spearing, Field Chief Technology Officer and Head of Ecosystems for the EMEA region at Salesforce. “In terms of customer success, every decision or investment we make is looked at through a lens of asking ourselves the question: ‘does this drive or enhance customer success?’ We’re clearly a very innovative company and innovation shows itself in lots of different forms. As a technology provider we like to be very innovative in what we bring to market and what we acquire. Something that runs deep through the heart of the company is our dedication and commitment to equality in all its in size, colours, shapes and forms.”
As the company continues to grow with a ferocious trajectory, Salesforce remains an iconic pioneer in the technology industry. “We were the first company to come out with the concept of Cloud Computing and everyone thought we were crazy. We were the first to come out the idea of a subscription-based licensing model. Many of our innovations have become a norm, so we believe we changed the industry we’re in for the better,” remarks Spearing. The firm has since introduced a range of technologies designed for the sales and services organisations. Salesforce’s established technologies, which it refers to as Clouds, can be connected with data and Internet of Things (IoT) for proactive predictive purposes, allowing for seamless integration. The firm also offers marketing technologies and commerce capabilities to help engage with customers and create consistent shopping experiences.
Salesforce has a vested interest in new emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI). “There’s a lot of hype going around at the moment about AI. There is also a lot of panic and fear about what AI does and what it could be. When you use Salesforce, we guarantee whatever you do will work in perpetuity. We upgrade all of these solutions three times a year giving customers all the new capabilities without having the pain of the classic IT upgrade. We built our AI deep in the heart of Salesforce, but we’ve done it in a way that allows ordinary business users, not just highly qualified technology graduates to be able to capitalise on it,” Spearing notes. The business is also aware of its responsibility to ensure technologies such as AI are being used appropriately: “As a technology leader, we have a responsibility – especially with AI – to drive a better thought leadership around ethical and humane use. We recently set up an office for ethical and humane use to ensure the way we’re driving our technologies and the way our customers are using our technologies fits with the ethics of the company.”
The company is focused on ensuring that advanced innovations are not only for the exclusive few. “We provide these technologies in a way that is accessible not just for the privileged individuals working for IT organisations, but actually for business users that can get hold of a mouse and look at scenarios and create a drag and drop around AI. It really enhances everyone’s role in how they work and operate,” says Spearing. The company has developed software designed to support learning and skills development within the technology field. Salesforce wants to enable people from all walks of life to join the digital world, and aims for Trailhead to work as a catalyst to empower this. “Trailhead is fantastic because it’s a free gamified way of learning all about Salesforce and other things like GDPR,” he adds. “The software allows us to nurture people and employ more than just digital natives. Now isn’t that a fantastic opportunity for everybody in society?”
As Salesforce continues to inspire people to work in the technology industry, digital transformation remains a core driver for growth. However, for Salesforce, it is more than just technology adoption. “Most things are digital nowadays and I believe transformation is really about how you shift the company as a whole to move towards a new ideology. We live in a world now where you can read the fourth industrial revolution, however, it is clear the world is changing faster than ever before. We have more data out there and people are willing to share an ever-increasing amount of information but equally, people’s expectations have skyrocketed from what they want from technology and what they want in terms of the services.” Spearing assures that Salesforce will continue to evolve as its surrounding environment does, ensuring its team welcomes all those wanting to join the journey.