Salesforce is the latest enterprise giant to enter the CDP space. Today the SaaS giant announced the release of Genie, a customer data platform connecting all of the company’s clouds.
“This is about the most significant innovation we have done for the platform in many, many years,” Rahul Auradkar, executive vice president and general manager of unified data services and Einstein at Salesforce, told Protocol ahead of the company’s Dreamforce event, which kicks off on Tuesday.
Spurred by the impending death of third-party cookies and the rise in privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, companies have been scrambling for ways to capture and utilize first-party data. That’s why companies from Adobe to Twilio and now Salesforce are investing millions in customer data platforms, or CDPs, which serve as centralized repositories for all of a customer’s first-party data and interactions.
Prior to Genie, Salesforce’s customer data was scattered, but now the SaaS giant will be able to collect, organize and unify it. “We had all of the data inside of our clouds,” said Auradkar. Now, “we are bringing it together in a big data fashion and then augmenting our existing platform,” he said.
Genie will unify users' need for unified customer data sets.Image: Salesforce
By taking the decades of customer data Salesforce already has and mapping it to individuals, the company can build out customer profiles that enable more personalized sales and marketing interactions. Although Salesforce had previously taken some steps in that direction, that method didn’t enable real-time data streams. With Genie, Salesforce can provide a real-time view of customer data right within its CRM.
From there, Salesforce hopes to unlock intelligent and analytical insights via Einstein, its flagship AI software. “We've taken CDP and we have made it broad beyond marketing, across all the other disciplines like service, sales industries, Tableau, etc.,” said Auradkar. “And we're even feeding that into Einstein for inferencing on predictions as well.”
The combination of Salesforce’s rich customer data with real-time analytics could be a potent mix that propels the company’s continued dominance in the CRM space. The demand for better customer experiences isn’t going away anytime soon, and Genie may give Salesforce another way to keep its own longtime customers on its platform.