The holy grail of customer experience these days involves gathering all of the data on an individual customer into a single record. Today at Dreamforce, the company’s massive customer customer conference taking place in San Francisco, Salesforce announced the latest iteration of Customer 360, its platform of tools designed to create that single record.
The goal here is to be able to have all your customer data in a single place so that you can build a deep understanding, and deliver meaningful experiences based on that knowledge. The company is not alone in this. Adobe announced general availability of a similar product last week and startups like Segment are also trying to solve this issue.
Salesforce has been working on this problem for the last year, and today it announced Customer 360 Truth. “What we’ve been working on for the last year is some new capabilities and some existing capabilities, and bringing them all together to actually go and try to create that single source of truth of your customer,” Patrick Stokes, EVP of platform and shared services at Salesforce explained.
This isn’t just about pulling Salesforce data into this record. “We are connecting to every application, not just within Salesforce, but external to Salesforce as well. We are helping you authenticate and govern the customer data that you have. And then ultimately getting it into a state where you can use it to really deliver personalized experiences,” Stokes said.
The Salesforce solution involves four main components, which generally are part of any solution like this. The first is Customer 360 Data Manager, which provides a way to connect to and gather data from a variety of data sources. Next is Salesforce Identity, which is designed to create a unified login, which could help make it easier to identify who the person is. Customer 360 Audience, which helps you identify all of the different online identities an individual has, and finally there is Salesforce Privacy and Data Governance, which lets you control how the data is used.
The solution also encompasses MuleSoft’s tools to help connect to various data sources and pull them into a single view, and the Cloud Information Model, an open source data model introduced last week with AWS and Genesys also involved. The Customer 360 Truth platform is built on top of this model.
All of the components are generally available starting today, except Audience Manager, which is expected some time in the first half of next year.
All of this is hard to do, and while Salesforce is providing all the base level tools you need for a solution like this, time will tell how well all of these components fit together to build the kind of complex customer profile this promises.