Salesforce leaders spent much of day two of Dreamforce laying out the benefits of the AI technology they’d launched on day one. Above all, the speakers who took to the stage in San Francisco were laser focused on how AI improves productivity.
In the latest daily digest from K2, we summarize the main happenings – both the serious and the social – of Wednesday at Dreamforce. We highlight a newly hot tech job, an ESG upgrade, experiments with doughnuts, a new nickname for Marc Benioff, a sober Salesforce soiree, the Foo Fighters shortest ever concert, and a super networking event from K2.
Productivity, productivity, productivity
Einstein Copilot, the generative AI assistant, was launched at Dreamforce on Tuesday – and it didn’t take long for Salesforce to start talking it up again on Wednesday. There was, however, a different intent from the speakers: home in on Copilot’s productivity benefits. Salesforce CIO Juan Perez said AI tools like Copilot can “seriously improve productivity”. AI reduces mundane tasks, allowing us to focus on “investment opportunities” and other more productive aspects of our work, according to Perez.
AI can even make us feel “really good”
Slack CEO Lidiane Jones went further than Perez, saying that improved productivity in turn makes employees feel “really good”. Could AI give people more control of their working days and make them happier at work? Jones seems to think so. “For far too long we’ve had long days of meeting after meeting, and feeling like now we have to work. We’re on a mission to empower users to be in charge of reshaping their own productivity,” she said.
Einstein gets ESG enhancements at Dreamforce
While the big Salesforce releases – Einstein 1 and Copilot – were on Tuesday, the following day did bring a handful of product announcements. Most prominently, Salesforce unveiled new Einstein features for Net Zero Cloud to make corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting easier. The upgrade will be particularly welcome by US-based companies as they prepare to comply with the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive from 2024. For more details, check out this Salesforce press release.
The hottest tech job that everyone should be working in
The best jobs in tech change every year or two. In 2023, prompt engineers are in strong demand, according to Steve Hammond, EVP and GM for Marketing Cloud at Salesforce, who was first up on the main stage for the afternoon session. “We all need to learn how to be a prompt engineer,” Hammond told Dreamforce. The job function has been on the rise this year thanks to the growth of generative AI.
When donuts need more data
Hammond also talked about how AI is helping marketing teams. He said recent improvements in generative AI are allowing marketers to create content “on the fly”, and are bolstering productivity (there’s that P word again). But here’s the rub: AI is only as good as the data you feed it. To prove his point, Hammond explained how his team asked Einstein GPT to generate a talk on doughnuts. The content wasn’t great – it got “very punny” – but that was because it lacked proper context. “If we don’t have a good means of training the models, we’re not going to get good results out of it,” added Hammond.
The sun shines and the drinks flow as clients and partners chat to K2
We mixed, we mingled, we enjoyed the drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Yes, Wednesday was the annual K2 networking event at Dreamforce! If you were there, we hope you had a wonderful time and got a chance to unwind, talk to our friendly team, and meet new people across the Salesforce ecosystem. We loved the venue, B Bar – close to the conference and with great views across the city…under blue San Francisco skies. Check out our photo from the event at the top of this blog.
McConaughey won’t be President, and Benioff is now the “Big Dolphin”
Forget the Einstein 1 launch: Matthew McConaughey’s fireside with Marc Benioff was arguably the most anticipated event of Dreamforce. People began queuing more than three hours before the start. The session gave attendees a (welcome?) break from AI overload as the actor, who’s also a Salesforce brand partner, eschewed tech for topics such as leadership. McConaughey played down his claim at last year’s Dreamforce that a presidential run may be “inevitable”, describing himself as a leader but not necessarily a politician. Meanwhile, a bromance between Benioff and McConaughey is brewing, with the Oscar winner affectionately calling the CEO “Big Dolphin” on stage. Interpret that as you will…
Hey Dreamforce attendees: “You guys have jobs!”
The Foo Fighters played what Dave Grohl described as their shortest ever gig yesterday, but the frontman didn’t seem to care. “It’s a good thing! You guys have jobs! Most of our audience doesn’t,” said Grohl as his band performed a 75-minute charity concert at Dreamfest, the biggest party at Dreamforce. Gainfully employed Dreamforce attendees rocked out to Foo Fighters hits like Learn to fly, The Pretender, and All my life at the Chase Center indoor arena.
Sobering up in the Salesforce Tower, and playing pickleball
Dreamfest wasn’t the only party in town on Wednesday. The 27th-floor social lounge of the Salesforce Tower played host to an alcohol-free gathering for those who didn’t fancy seeing the Foo Fighters. And yes, as an official event, it had “force” in its name…Soberforce. Other social gatherings included a pickleball tournament run by data company Squivr. If you thought Pickleball was an obscure racket sport only popular in America’s Pacific Northwest, you might want to think again – more than 300 people reportedly signed up to play during Dreamforce.
Join us tomorrow for a wrap-up of day three. And if you want to stream Dreamforce sessions for free, head to Salesforce+.
By Simon Mortlock