Salesforce Data Cloud – What’s the big deal? 

If you are a current or prospective Salesforce customer, it is virtually impossible for you to not have heard about Data Cloud. Along with AI, it is the topic at any Salesforce event these days, including the Salesforce World Tour stops. By talking to customers, we noticed that while most have heard about Data Cloud, it is still unclear to some what it is, does, or who should use it. Here’s a brief overview. 

Salesforce Data Cloud is a data platform that promises to unify all of a company’s data (Salesforce and other data) onto Salesforce’s Einstein 1 Platform. It’s designed to give every team a 360-degree view of their customer to drive automation and analytics, personalize engagement, and power “trusted AI”. At its very heart it’s a CDP and really the result of product evolution, also reflected in some of the naming iterations throughout the years. At some point it was referred to as Customer 360 Audiences, it then became Salesforce CDP. Other names followed, such as Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform, Salesforce Genie (which is so 2022…), and finally today’s Salesforce Data Cloud. 

Ok, so who is it for? 

According to Salesforce, Data Cloud is for businesses of all sizes that want to make sense of their data from any system, channel, or data stream. It works well with Tableau and Datorama on the data visualisation and analysis side, as well as SFMC journeys, advertising and real-time personalisation on the activation side, which makes Data Cloud particularly beneficial for sales, service, and marketing teams (for personalized customer experiences, trigger data-driven actions and workflows, and to drive AI across all Salesforce apps).  

It’s designed to add value to any business, no matter the industry. Retail businesses, for instance, can leverage it to understand customer behaviour and preferences, thereby personalizing the shopping experience and driving sales. Healthcare organizations can unify patient data from various sources, enabling personalized care and improved patient outcomes. Financial institutions can gain a comprehensive view of their customers, providing personalized financial advice and improving customer service. Industries like Communications, Media, Energy, and Utilities can modernize the subscriber experience. Even the Public Sector can benefit by driving ROI and digital engagement through purpose-built apps with industry-specific data models and pre-built business processes. 

What problem is Data Cloud aiming to solve? 

Many enterprises are looking at their data, wondering how to best extract it from all the application-centric silos that have been established in their tech stack over the years. Data Cloud solves the problem of such disconnected data, eliminating those silos by turning volumes of data into a single, trusted model that’s easy to access and understand by the various teams in your organisation.

How does it work? 

Data Cloud lets you integrate structured and unstructured data into Salesforce with a library of connectors, and leveraging zero copy integrations with e.g. your 3rd party data lakes. Since Data Cloud is built on Salesforce’s foundational metadata layer, it provides a common language that integrates all Salesforce applications (e.g. Lightning, Einstein, Flow, etc.) and low-code platform services such as Apex. The Gen AI capabilities of Data Cloud are grounded with your company’s data, meaning the results are as secure, relevant, and accurate as your CRM data (which also means your data quality is paramount). 

Why is it such a hot topic? 

Data Cloud is the fastest-growing organically built (not acquired) product in Salesforce’s history so far. This is likely because it addresses the long-standing challenge of disconnected data, which has plagued CRM systems since their inception. As a result, it’s considered by many as the ‘Holy Grail of CRM’ (e.g. by SF Ben) and a key component in Salesforce’s expansion into an AI-powered CRM. Any business in any industry looking to make sense of its data to improve customer experiences and drive AI across all Salesforce apps can benefit from Salesforce Data Cloud, which makes for an appealing value proposition.

 

What does your company need to look like to take full advantage of it? 

To take full advantage of Data Cloud, a company ideally has a variety of data sources that can be demographic and behavioural, structured and unstructured. This could include mobile app engagement, eCommerce purchases, customer support cases, emails, PDFs, and more. Additionally, a data-driven culture is important to maximize the benefits. And as mentioned above – your data quality plays a critical role in your Data Cloud success. Furthermore, companies should also be aware of a learning curve associated with Data Cloud’s concepts and capabilities (there are, however, quite a few learning options available to you, e.g. Trailhead trails and several instructor-led courses). Finally, while Data Cloud offers full functionality in production orgs, sandboxes can currently only be used for limited development purposes. 

How can you get started? 

We’re glad you asked! If you’re ready to harness the power of Salesforce Data Cloud and unlock a unified view of your customer, Sirocco’s here to help. As a certified Salesforce Data Cloud partner, we have the expertise to help you with the implementation (we can do it with you or for you), navigate the learning curve, and ensure you maximize the value of your existing data and investments now and in the future. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and see how we can empower your business with a data-driven future. Ask us about our AI-readiness assessments and implementation experience. 

Want to learn more? There’s an upcoming Salesforce webinar you can join: Turn Data into Meaningful Customer Moments with Salesforce Data Cloud. And for a map of Data Cloud capabilities, look no further than the official Salesforce architect documentation: https://architect.salesforce.com/diagrams/template-gallery/data-cloud-technical-capability-map 

So where do you start?

As your long-term partner for sustainable success, Sirocco is here to help you achieve your business goals. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and book a free consultation or workshop to get started!