Announced at Dreamforce in September 2022, Salesforce Genie is a fundamental shift in the Salesforce ecosystem.
For a long time, data has been at the heart of Salesforce’s proposition. It’s been excellent at executing a single customer view and driving better customer experiences as a result. Up until now, that data moved quite slowly, in computing terms. External data sources would need to be imported to be used, resulting in long processing times, integration, monitoring of those integrations, and more.
With Genie, Salesforce has changed the underlying data landscape. It gives the ability to process data very fast; therefore triggered actions can be performed in real time, rather than based on the delay introduced by regular imports and processing time. External data sources, for example, can be connected, but not imported. The data in the source system is used in place, not copied into the Salesforce ecosystem. This is called a zero-data copy.
This opens a huge number of possibilities for creating and refining customer journeys based on the real-time picture of the customer. All the possibilities come down to one theme, which is personalization. Many brands are striving towards a personalized experience. Often, they want to execute a 1-1 personalized experience. The number one challenge that slows down these initiatives? Availability of data and the speed at which it’s updated.
Once you have all the data available and connected, decision making can become, in essence, real-time. How does this help us?
We now understand what’s happening to the underlying data infrastructure. What does it mean for the good stuff? For making customer experiences better and more personalized?
Salesforce has a built-in automation engine called Flow. Flow enables buildingflows that can execute tasks across the platform. Some examples:
All of this is standard and not related to Genie. People can automate many processes using Flow right now.
When we add Genie on top, we get a new set of possibilities to use Flow, within a real-time context. We can be confident that our data is completely up to date, allowing braver messaging—more personalized messaging.
Let’s look at at two examples:
The truth is that not all businesses need real-time personalization. For many businesses, data updated within hours as opposed to milliseconds is sufficient enough. On top of this, rapid updates rely on downstream system abilities, and legacy systems continue to be a problem here.
There’s a more important shift to spot here. There’s a bias to talking about real-time data and personalization because that’s the main headline. What is even more useful in the long term is what this shift in the approach to data brings to businesses.
It moves the idea of a CDP away from being a marketing tool that solely drives some smart personalized messaging for customers, and starts to make it a key and dependable resource for the whole business. They can rely on it to give them the truth they need to operate their needs. Whether that’s customer service, finance, or operations,—all can benefit from a single source of truth that combines all their data sources with less effort than before. They can add huge data lakes from Snowflake or AWS with zero copy and still access those rich customer records.
Salesforce Genie can be a difficult one to understand. The key points to take away:
Genie is not for everyone. As always, businesses should understand their needs. The need for real-time interactions, and their need to ingest large data lakes from places like Snowflake. Not all businesses have these needs, and so while Genie is cool, it might not be for them.
Rob has over 20 years of deep ecommerce and digital transformation experience. He joined OSF in 2019 through an acquisition and is responsible for taking OSF's services and products to market, ensuring they are impactful, well-positioned, and serving our customers' needs.