Salesforce Makes Einstein, Trailhead, Quip Services More Accessible

Just in time for its massive Dreamforce conference, Salesforce is set to announce several enhancements to its product line, including myEinstein, myTrailhead, myLightning and the Quip collaboration platform.

Salesforce Einstein

SAN FRANCISCO—Salesforce.com is moving to make several of its services more accessible and customizable. During a media briefing here ahead of its Dreamforce conference that kicks off Nov. 6, Salesforce detailed enhancements to many of its services, including the Trailhead learning platform.

The new myTrailhead is designed to let companies create their own interactive learning tools that are optimized for mobile and can be branded with their own content.

In a demonstration, the general manager for Trailhead, Sarah Franklin, showed a branded version of how T-Mobile has designed its own Trailhead learning environment. “You log into the T-Mobile system as an employee and you can see learning that’s been assigned to you as well as public Trailhead content on subjects like AI and understanding privacy and the new GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] regulations coming next year,” said Franklin.

Another new service, myEinstein, gives administrators and developers the ability to build custom apps that leverage the artificial intelligence capabilities of Einstein. Like the rest of the Salesforce platform, you can teach yourself how to build these myEinstein services using Trailhead.

myEinstein includes two new services: Einstein Prediction Builder and Einstein Bots. Prediction Builder is designed to let customers easily create custom AI models to predict outcomes for any field or object in the Salesforce system. John Ball, senior vice president of product and Einstein, gave a demonstration showing how an admin could point and click on a few fields to track invoices and create a prediction of which ones are likely to be paid late based on the customer’s history and other factors.

Ball said myEinstein was developed in response to demand. “About 80 percent of the apps in Salesforce are customized; there are millions of custom objects out there already,” he said. “With myEinstein, every Trailblazer [Trailhead user] can build custom, AI-powered apps.”

Einstein Bots are customized service chatbots that admins can build with just a few clicks. Bots use natural language processing to understand and automatically respond to customer requests in a chat session, freeing service agents—at least in theory—to focus on more complex customer requests.

The bots are connected to customer service workflows and trained with historical service and customer relationship management (CRM) data to accurately respond to common customer inquiries and resolve routine issues. When something comes up it can’t process, a bot will hand off to a customer service agent.

Quip, the collaboration platform Salesforce acquired a year ago, is getting a number of new features such as Live Apps, which lets users embed Quip apps into any Quip document. For example, you can now add a calendar app, Salesforce records or a poll into any Quip document. There is also now an open API that lets developers and partners build their own custom Live Apps for the Quip platform.

Bret Taylor, CEO of Salesforce Quip, said more than 10,000 customers are using the collaboration platform, including such companies as 21st Century Fox and Facebook. “Our vision is to transform away from meetings and file attachments to more modern collaboration tools,” said Taylor. In the case of 21st Century Fox, he said the media company reports that the number of meetings its employees have is down 27 percent since it started using Quip.

“Our biggest change since launching the company in 2013 is transforming from a collaboration product that stands on its own to a collaboration platform for every service in your company with an open API to extend functionality,” said Taylor.

Lightning, Salesforce’s app development and user interface framework, is also getting a “my” addition. The new myLightning lets companies customize Lightning apps with their own brand with distinct themes, backgrounds, colors and images. Also, a new App Builder with Dynamic Pages feature gives each user a different experience tied to the values of his or her record, giving companies the ability to deliver a custom experience automatically.

The Dreamforce conference in San Francisco runs Nov. 6-9 and is expected to attract 170,000 attendees. The full conference session passes are already sold out.

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...