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Dreamforce Dispatch: Inside the 2021 Keynote Speech

By Oliver Sava 09.22.21
Reading time: 4 minutes

2021’s Dreamforce is all about trust. 

After an all-virtual event last year, Dreamforce is back in 2021 as a hybrid in-person/digital conference, with all panels streaming on the new Salesforce+ platform. Silverline was one of the select partner companies invited to the live event in San Francisco, and our team of fully vaccinated Silverliners headed there earlier this week after undergoing a rigorous COVID-19 testing process that continues every day of the conference. 

Dreamforce 2021 kicked off today with a keynote address, Welcome to the Trusted Enterprise, from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and COO Bret Taylor. It was an enthusiastic opening event with inspirational stories, exciting musical guests, and a powerful message about what we can all do to create more inclusive workplaces, more engaging customer experiences, and ultimately, a better world. 

Celebrating Trailblazers in the Salesforce community

With over 15 million Trailblazers, Salesforce advocates all over the globe help the company extend its capabilities and evolve to meet the needs of right now. 

Leah McGowen-Hare, VP of the Trailblazer Community and Trailhead Evangelism, kicked off the event with a rousing tribute to the Trailblazers in the audience and at home who have skilled up with Salesforce. She offered a sneak peek at the upcoming Trailblazer documentary series debuting on Salesforce+ this winter, which looks at how five individuals from underrepresented communities find new career opportunities. 

McGowen-Hare then invited one of the Trailblazer subjects, Marquita Sidibe, to join her on stage and share more of her story, revealing how Salesforce’s Women in Tech community and Pathfinder Program helped her become a certified Salesforce admin and reach her current position as a Business Analyst for Liberty Mutual. 

Salesforce reiterated its commitment to Trailblazers throughout the opening ceremony, acknowledging them as the people who help Salesforce transform from a business into an “economy of trust.” Salesforce projects 9.3 million new Salesforce economy jobs by 2026, generating $1.6 trillion in new business revenue. 

The playbook for a Trusted Enterprise

Before the keynote speech, audience members were treated to a recorded performance from Metallica outside of Los Angeles’ Griffith Park Conservatory, and a live Hawaiian blessing courtesy of David and Ana Akaka. It created a celebratory atmosphere for Marc Benioff’s arrival, and he kept the energy high as he shared the ways Salesforce has transformed to adapt in a time of nonstop change. 

Benioff was passionate about the idea of the Trusted Enterprise, and the responsibility companies have to their employees, customers, and the world at large to respond to the current crisis of trust we’re seeing everywhere. The COVID-19 pandemic, environmental sustainability, a struggling workforce, and inequality around gender, race, and sexual orientation are all converging at the same time, and Salesforce wants to help organizations find solutions to these problems.

With Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Slack, Benioff highlighted the importance of the digital headquarters, calling it an essential building block to building a Trusted Enterprise. The pandemic changed how companies work, and now that they know they can fully function with a remote workforce, they don’t necessarily need to go back into the office. Silverline is proud to pioneer a hybrid office/remote work environment, and we’re currently looking for skilled Salesforce professionals to join our team

With the power of Health Cloud, Salesforce helped drive the pandemic response. Here are some of the remarkable stats:

  • 60 million PPE items delivered
  • 108 million vaccine doses managed
  • 200 million protected with contact tracing 
  • 2 billion vaccine doses managed to 190 countries by the end of 2021

Dreamforce 2021 is using the new Health Cloud 2.0 to ensure the safety of everyone involved and in the surrounding community with the Dreampass, which enables COVID-19 safety protocols for in-person attendees. It manages proof of vaccination, integrates with testing vendors, and delivers automated personalized communications. It’s a game-changer for in-person events, and one of the key features of Health Cloud 2.0. 

A short video detailed how New York City used Salesforce to facilitate COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, and Benioff brought Jessica Tisch, New York City’s Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, on stage to congratulate her on the city’s COVID-19 response. 

Enabling customer centricity, digital workplaces, and environmental sustainability

From there, Bret Taylor took over to share specific client stories that showed how companies can execute on the ideas Benioff brought to the table. 

IBM’s story spotlighted the value of Slack in helping the company migrate 350,000 employees from the office to home work environments at the start of the pandemic. Tamar Yehoshua, Chief Product Officer at Slack, came on stage to outline the new features coming to Slack, which help improve collaboration across organizational boundaries and give teams the tools to enable asynchronous working. 

Salesforce is net zero and fully renewable, and they want to help other companies do the same. For Mercedes-Benz, that meant building a customer-centric marketing experience that could help them bring more attention to their new line of electric vehicles. Customer 360 helps Mercedes-Benz deliver omni-channel communications that meet customers where they are with personalized messaging. 

The manufacturer shipped one of their all-new, all-electric EQS Sedans to whet the appetites of Dreamforce attendees, and Benioff had a virtual conversation with Ola Källenius, Head of Mercedes-Benz, to further discuss the company’s sustainability efforts and their shift to a selling model that centers the customer as much as the product. 

The energy company Engie was also applauded for their conservation efforts and effective use of Sustainability Cloud, which allows them to track energy patterns and emission trends, and evaluate environmental impact with rich data visualization and dashboards. A video outlined how Sustainability Cloud makes it easier to reduce your carbon footprint, leading to significant energy savings down the road. 

Lionel Ritchie closed out the opening event with hit songs, “Easy” and “Say You, Say Me,” bringing the audience together one more time as they sang along to the soulful tracks. In-person and virtually, the Dreamforce 2021 kick-off emphasized the unity and dedication of the Salesforce community, imagining a brighter future that we can achieve if we build trust with each other. 

Want to learn more about how the announcements at Dreamforce can benefit your organization? Reach out to the Silverline team today. 

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