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Top 4 Salesforce Predictions for 2018

Looking ahead, what can we expect from Salesforce in 2018

It is the holiday season, and it is a time for being with family and friends. It is also a time to celebrate the year that was, along with planning for the year that is to come. Can you believe it, it is now 2018…. And with a new year, comes new expectations. In the Salesforce world, this means new features and new use cases. In this post we are going to look ahead to a number of Salesforce predictions for 2018.

Salesforce Prediction #1: Salesforce revenue tops $12.5bn

Salesforce Prediction: Revenue Forecast for FY18/19
Salesforce Revenue Forecast (from Dreamforce 2017)

This one shouldn’t be a a massive surprise, as it has been forecast in every quarterly update. But unless things go horribly wrong over the first three months, Salesforce will confirm it has sailed past the target of $10B revenue for its FY17/18 and pass $12.5bn for FY18/19!!!

Marc Benioff has been quoted in the media saying: โ€œWe did this faster than any other enterprise software company in history. Our continued momentum as the leader in CRM, the fastest-growing segment of our industry, combined with more than $15 billion in billed and unbilled deferred revenue, puts us well on the path to $20 billion and beyond.โ€

Why is this interesting? Firstly we could see Salesforce start acquiring more companies over the coming 12mths. Last year was all about bedding in the huge number of acquisitions from 2016. We are likely to continue to see new products and features from the purchases, but are there new ones on Benioff’s radar?

This will make the battle between the Enterprise SAAS titans all the more interesting over the coming year, as Salesforce’s competitors gear up to take on the CRM behemoth. 2018 will see this competition among CRM platforms heat up… Which can only be a good thing for us as they all push each other to further innovate.

Salesforce Prediction #2: Artificial Intelligence

Buzzword and passing fad? Or a trend to look out for? However you feel about it, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will still be all around us in 2018. Einstein has celebrated its first birthday in 2017. After a slow start, new AI-enabled features being rolled out more frequently now.

Helping hand: AI & Human

But it isn’t just about Einstein. Recently I attended the “Week of Innovation” here in the lovely Salesforce Tower (aka Heron Tower) in London. One of the sessions that caught my eye was a Salesforce Ventures presentation. In it they highlighted the venture capitalist strategy, but also their portfolio of recent investments. And a number of these are also looking to leverage AI to solve specific business problems.

For example, Digital Genius for AI in a Customer Service environment, TalkIQ for AI powered insight on call coaching your reps and Squirro for event-driven insights. All of these companies have been invested in by Salesforce Ventures, which shows that Salesforce is taking AI very seriously and looking to grow the AI & CRM ecosystem.

Salesforce Prediction #3: Dreamforce customisation features (my, my, my)

Another solid prediction… New features! My, oh my! But just bear with me…

If you have been to a Salesforce presentation… Everything starts off with the ‘Forward Looking Statement’ (used to be called the Safe Harbor Statement). And this section will be no different! ๐Ÿ™‚

2018 will continue to see the standard 3x releases bring in a number of new features. So we will continue to be kept busy keeping up to date with all the planned features.

Lightning Experience - Custom theme setup

To start with, the big ‘my’ announcements at Dreamforce should all become available throughout 2018:

  • myLightning and all the custom theme goodness, is due for release in Spring ’18 (it is in the preview notes)
  • myTrailhead is expected to be generally available after a beta period. This is likely to be GA in H2 2018 (which is most likely to be the Winter ’19 release).
  • mySalesforce, myIoT, myEinstein will also likely become available too either in Summer ’18 or Winter ’19.

Salesforce Prediction #4: New features keep on coming, to Lightning though…

Another prediction for 2018: Salesforce will continue the trend of “Lightning Experience only” with new features. But what features can we expect to see in 2018? I have dug through a number of online videos, presentations and roadmaps to find out what is coming our way and here are some of the best features I found:

Reports and Dashboards

Reports and Dashboards in Lightning will get a lot of attention over the coming releases:

  • Dashboard tables will get reworked. Instead of being tied to the source report, the upcoming feature will allow you to have access to all the fields on your report type. (Likely Spring ’18 & Summer ’18)

  • Dashboard & Chart colour configuration allowing you to essentially create a custom look for your dashboard. (This should be available in Spring ’18)
  • Winter ’18 brought us Dashboard & Report folders within Lightning. But next year we will likely see the ability to create subfolders. (Likely in Summer ’18)
  • The ability to create field to field filters. This will allow you to compare two fields directly within the report builder, without needing to build report formulas or custom fields. For example you could run a filter where Created Date equals any custom date field on your object. (Likely Summer ’18)
  • Joined Reports in Lightning (Likely Summer ’18 via beta/pilot)
  • Ability to sort columns based on aggregate (Likely Summer ’18)
  • General usability updates, including ability to resize columns on reports and rename field labels in the report (Likely Winter ’19).

Dynamic Lightning Components

We saw the first iteration of this in Winter ’18 release, but there will be more ways to control dynamic components in upcoming releases. Potentially including the ability to filter the component by who the user is or by device being used.

The presentation I saw on this actually went as far to say that Salesforce are working towards being able to release dependent page layouts… Which would be fascinating in the possibilities it would unlock for Admins and Developers on the platform!

Lightning & Lists

Inline edits when in list view have been in Lightning now for a number of releases. But the ability to mass action/update records has been limited.

Moving forward, we will see a number of improvements to how you can work with lists when in Lightning. Things like the ability to mass change owner of records. Or updating multiple records from a list view with a Lightning Action…

When will we see these? Well it is on the future roadmap for post-Spring ’18 releases.

Wrap up

So that is it for now. That was a glimpse at the crystal ball for 2018.

As we all know, Salesforce is an ever-evolving beast of a platform. It will no doubt continue to drive industry-specific focus via packaged CRM features for industries (like Health Cloud or Financial Services Cloud). Are we likely to see a Retail Cloud some time soon?

The year ahead also introduces a number of challenges for Admins, Developers and Specialists in the form of new privacy regulations. The largest change coming our way is GDPR, for companies dealing with individuals within the European Union.

But as with every year, there is always a lot to look forward to. So happy new year and let the good times roll!

Share your predictions

Do you have any Salesforce predictions of your own? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Appendix

If you want to know more, one of the most helpful videos outlining some of the new features on the roadmap, is this one: True to the Core, which was originally included in my last post Dreamforce 2017 roundup.

Also the Lightning Roadmap is available here, but a little out of date now spring ’18 is in preview, it is available here.

Hope that helps with exploring in more detail.

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