Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff acknowledged the dark side of artificial intelligence (AI) in his keynote address to the annual Dreamforce conference, but expressed confidence in the “trailblazers” among attendees and such reference customers as T-Mobile, Adidas and 21st Century Fox.
Benioff also drew attention to the raft of strategic partnerships the software-as-a-service (SaaS) customer relationship management (CRM) supplier has with Amazon Web Services, IBM, Dell and now, he said, Google, for public cloud.
But he acknowledged: “There is a worry about these [AI] technologies. Are they uniting us or dividing us? Are we more connected or less connected? Are they increasing or decreasing inequality? Is there more equality in the world or less? That’s the worry that is out there – that there is this stress caused by the fourth industrial revolution. But this why I am inspired by Dreamforce – because of all our trailblazers.”
“Technology is neither good nor bad,” Benioff added as he concluded the keynote address.
Salesforce and Google announced at the event what they call a “strategic partnership”. Salesforce has named Google Cloud as its preferred public cloud provider, and plans to use Google Cloud Platform for its core services as part of the company’s international infrastructure expansion.
The two companies said they will provide new integrations that connect Salesforce with the G Suite, Google’s team collaboration services. This will, they said, enable customers to connect Salesforce’s Lightning [an app development framework] and Quip [a collaboration tool] and Gmail, Hangouts Meet, Google Calendar, Drive, Docs and Sheets.
The companies said they will integrate Salesforce with Google Analytics, and that Google will “continue to use Salesforce as its preferred CRM provider”.
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In a statement, Benioff said: “Our partnership with Google represents the best of both worlds for our customers. There has never been an easier way for companies to run their entire business in the cloud – from productivity apps, email and analytics to sales, service and marketing apps.”
In the same statement, Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene said: “This partnership is natural. Salesforce CRM and G Suite together will let teams work more productively. Our up-to-a-year-at-no-cost offer makes it possible for eligible Salesforce customers to experience G Suite’s transformative impact. We are also thrilled to have Salesforce announce that its core services will run on our cloud, and that Salesforce’s sales and marketing clouds will be powering better insights with Google Analytics 360, which is also built on Google Cloud.”
The companies added: “Several integrations between G Suite and Salesforce are already in market, including Salesforce Lightning for Gmail, and integrations with Calendar and Google Drive. Deeper integrations are expected to start rolling out in 2018.”