Archive for Salesforce

Slalom & IG Wealth Management Rollout Wealth Management Salesforce Solution In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 14, 2020 by itnerd

Slalom, a modern strategy, technology, and business transformation consulting firm, has partnered with IG Wealth Management (IG), part of IGM Financial Inc. and one of Canada’s leading diversified wealth and asset management companies, to develop a Wealth Management Advisor Portal that will deliver a modern digital experience for IG’s advisors and enhance the client experience across mobile and web channels.

Built on Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, the IG Advisor Portal provides advisors and their teams “360-degree views” of their clients and prospects.  It can also streamline advisor/client interactions through guided digitized business flows and electronic signatures, allowing advisors to work with their clients anytime and anywhere on mobile devices. Slalom helped IG Wealth Management – as part of their digital transformation journey – to vision, architect and deploy the innovative Advisor Portal solution.

Using an agile delivery approach at scale was critical to deliver new features and functionality to the field in monthly releases.  Roll-out was completed through COVID-19, in a fully remote support model, to 67 regional offices and approximately 5,000 users nationwide.  The IG Advisor Portal was well received and quickly became a critical application for advisors during the pandemic when in-person interactions were severely limited.

Slalom is also providing ongoing application management development services to help IG run and develop Salesforce platform capabilities.

Salesforce Serves Up Consumer Predictions For The 2020 Holiday Shopping Season

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 8, 2020 by itnerd

For the past several months, the pandemic has forced many companies to operate at Black Friday levels of efficiency everyday as people move to digital commerce. Throughout Q2 2020, Canadian digital commerce grew by 120% and in Q3 by a further 68%. As we approach the holidays, it is predicted that this year’s COVID-19 shaped holiday shopping season will see a 30 percent spike in global online holiday sales, and 65% of Canadian shoppers who plan to shop will shop online more this year than they did in previous years.

As we enter an unprecedented retail season, Salesforce wanted to share new consumer insights and predictions. The aggregated data used to produce these holiday insights is from the activity of over one billion global shoppers across more than 40 countries, powered by Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud platform and publicly available third party data sources.

Key info includes:

  • Global online holiday sales are predicted to grow 30 percent year-over-year (up from 8 percent growth in 2019)
  • Total digital sales are expected to reach a record high of $940 billion globally 
  • The surge is expected to accelerate digital commerce to 18 percent of total retail sales globally 
  • Overall holiday sales are expected to be flat despite this digital growth, with an expected $5.1 trillion in global holiday sales


Prediction #1: Fulfillment Concerns Will Overshadow Brandy Loyalty

  • Two converging pressures from traditional carriers are expected to arise from the spike in online orders:

1.       The overall volume of packages that need to make it from a retailer to a customer’s doorstep will likely exceed shipping capacity by five percent globally, potentially delaying up to 700 million holiday packages

2.       Approximately $40-billion of COVID-19 delivery surcharges are expected between November 15 and January 15 globally, as shippers prepare for a massive shift to digital commerce

  • To avoid a fulfillment crunch, retailers are offering alternative pickup options such as buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS)

Prediction #2: Holiday Demand Will Start Sooner

  • The combination of Amazon’s Prime Day event in mid-October and consumers eager to ensure their packages arrive on time will lead to an earlier start in the holiday shopping season.
  • This earlier demand is expected to shift up to $26 billion globally to the month of October 
  • Cyber Week digital traffic is still expected to grow by 28 percent year-over-year—a trend accelerated by nearly ubiquitous access from mobile phones and the fact that fewer people will be rushing to stores on Black Friday

Prediction #3: Growth in Online Shopping Means a Spike in Holiday Returns

  • More digital purchases will mean an increase in returned merchandise. In total, $280 billion in online purchases are expected to be returned globally—30 percent of all purchases made
  • Consumers are predicted to engage 30 percent more with service agents this holiday season

Prediction #4: New Consumer Behaviours will Drive Hot Product Categories

  • The rapid change in consumer behavior brought on by the pandemic will drive a different set of top products this year
  • Beauty, electronics and gaming will once again be top holiday spending categories in 2020 but home furnishings and decor, home fitness and toys are among the new leading categories this year

→ Link to the holiday predictions HERE

Salesforce Releases The Small and Medium Business Trends Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 28, 2020 by itnerd

Fun fact: 97.9 per cent of all businesses in Canada are SMBs, and these companies in particular have had to demonstrate exceptional resilience as they adapt to a spectrum of unforeseen challenges during the pandemic.

Today, Salesforce has released the fourth edition of their “Small and Medium Business Trends Report,” analyzing the responses of more than 2,300 SMB owners and leaders (including 251 Canadians) before and after the pandemic took hold around the world.

The report determines:

  • How multiple global crises (pandemic, economic, and racial injustices) affect their changing motivations, challenges, and goals
  • The role of digital transformation in driving small business resiliency
  • How SMB leaders are planning for recovery and growth in a post-COVID-19 era

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian SMBs:

  • Expectations for Canadian Businesses After COVID-19: 
  • Only one-third of Canadian SMBs expect to return to business as usual 
  • Half of Canadian SMBs say their business will be slightly modified 
  • 1 in 10 Canadian SMBs say their business will have an entirely new structure

Top 3 Factors Constraining Future SMB Growth Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Reduced revenue (46%)
  • Reduced customer demand (43%)
  • Public health mandates (40%)

SMB resilience and optimism persist, even amidst new challenges:

  • A quarter (26%) of Canadian SMBs say they are very optimistic about the future (compared to 22% globally) and almost half (47%) of Canadian SMBs say they are somewhat optimistic about the future of their businesses.
  • Half (48%) of Canadian SMBs are putting more effort into their customer communications and expanding the ways customers can reach them

Digital-forward SMBs are more equipped to handle market volatility:

  • Over a quarter (28%) of Canadian SMBs have adopted technology to help digitize customer interactions and offer contactless services.
  • A third (31%) of Canadian SMBs have adopted technology to help digitize internal communications, so employees can collaborate or access info from anywhere
  • Almost half (46%) of Canadian SMBs say technology drives their customer interactions, and 4 in 10 (42%) of Canadian SMBs say it drives the growth of their customer base

CIBC Selects Salesforce’s CRM Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 5, 2020 by itnerd

CIBC today announced it has selected Salesforce as its enterprise platform for customer relationship management (CRM) as it continues to transform the banking experience for millions of CIBC clients. The announcement is one more example of CIBC’s commitment to continuous transformation that includes investments to further simplify the bank, with a focus on end-to-end digitization, advanced analytics, and speed to market. 

Under the multi-year agreement, CIBC will deploy Salesforce Customer 360 to further bring the full capabilities of the bank to more clients through tailored financial advice, service and solutions at every touchpoint. CIBC will also leverage other key technologies in Salesforce’s portfolio, including Sales Cloud and Service Cloud for a holistic view of client interactions, and Einstein Analytics for intelligent and customized data insights.

CIBC will be leveraging the Salesforce platform across all of its channels to support diverse client needs. CIBC Capital Markets has been using Salesforce since 2008 to support client servicing and advice to corporate and institutional clients. The new agreement will further help strengthen CIBC’s CRM capabilities for its clients and teams across North America.

Salesforce and Tanium Partner To Build An Employee Service Solution For IT

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 25, 2020 by itnerd

The simple days of heading over to the IT helpdesk to resolve tech issues in person are becoming a thing of the past. Automation and self-service options like chatbots and knowledge articles have been on the rise for some time, and now a full ​51% of employees​ have shifted to work-from-home since the pandemic began. This puts IT departments under incredible strain, with more complex workloads and an increasing volume of service requests – BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) issues, critical software patches – flooding in as employees adjust to working remotely. And with this remote workforce, IT now has the opportunity to not only further automate routine tasks, but also deliver an employee experience that keeps employees engaged, connected and productive. To do this, IT needs visibility into employee assets and incidents to ensure all devices on the network on it are stable and secure.

Today Salesforce is announcing a partnership with ​Tanium​, the leader in endpoint management and security, to develop an employee service solution for the new all-digital, work from anywhere world, giving IT teams complete visibility and control of all their employees’ devices and services on their network. This Salesforce solution will include: a help desk that gives employees a one-stop shop to self-serve, submit, track and resolve service requests or incidents; a service dashboard for IT managers to view all their assets, configurations and employee incidents in one central location; the ability for IT to build workflows using the Salesforce platform to further automate common tasks; AI recommendations, powered by Einstein, that will prioritize incidents and recommend actions for IT managers to take; and secure endpoint management capabilities for IT to monitor, collect data, and take action on endpoints in near real-time, from directly within their dashboard.

Giving IT the right tools to empower everyone across the organization

The employee service solution will:

  • Help employees access support from anywhere​ across devices and channels, including AI-powered bots and mobile self-service sites.
  • Maximize IT productivity ​with integrated help desk, asset management and customworkflows that help IT automate and securely resolve incidents fast.
  • Accelerate incident resolution​ by empowering IT with a complete view of every employee coupled with AI-powered productivity tools to drive proactive resolution.

You can find out more via this blog post.

Introducing Collaboration & Chat Embedded Into Salesforce With The Salesforce Anywhere App

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 25, 2020 by itnerd

Think back to six months ago, when work was drastically different: sales reps were on the road, service agents in contact centers, marketers at big events. Fast forward to today, we are not as mobile as we once were. Our ideas of remote work have shifted from “on the go” or “in the car,” to working from anywhere and a calendar full of virtual meetings. And in this sudden shift to working from home, 67% of remote workers in the U.S. are interested in ​making this a more permanent situation​. Collaboration in this new distributed, all-digital, work-from-anywhere world creates new challenges for maintaining a high level of engagement and productivity. We asked ourselves how we could make teams more productive in this new normal.

Salesforce has taken their learnings from their collaboration tool for documents, ​Quip​ — contextual, mobile, consumer-friendly, and real-time — to reimagine collaboration within Salesforce. They have all sorts of collaboration tools available, but they pull you away to other windows, and your conversations, ideas and insights can easily get lost. They don’t enable you to collaborate in context, such as inside a record, or even on a field. Today Salesforce is introducing Salesforce Anywhere, embedding powerful collaboration capabilities directly within Salesforce. Like Salesforce Einstein, Anywhere is deeply integrated and infused across Customer 360, enabling a level of collaboration never before available.

A new App for embedded collaboration where you work

The Salesforce Anywhere App helps every Salesforce user collaborate with teams, stay productive in their workflow, and keep up to date on their customers from anywhere – with chat, alerts, comments and video embedded directly into the Salesforce experience. With Salesforce Anywhere, a sales rep can change a deal status in Salesforce, immediately notifying the rest of her account team, who can then respond in a click to offer her support on next steps. It is simple, fast, and seamlessly a part of the team’s workflow within their CRM, whether they’re on desktop or mobile. Everyone easily stays up to date and keeps those collaboration processes inside the CRM — not spread across text messages and lost in email threads like before.

Salesforce Anywhere helps you:

  • Stay up to speed from anywhere:​ Subscribe to real-time alerts based on the accounts, records and opportunities that matter to you, and see them across mobile and desktop. A sales rep no longer has to ping the entire account team with an update; they are notified the moment she updates the status of a deal.
  • Collaborate in context:​ Message and share records, accounts, opportunities or open cases across your team with chat and video. Salesforce will offer a new native real-time chat and video experience powered by Amazon Chime. Zoom will also be offered as an out of the box integration so that organizations can leverage their video conference of choice. A sales rep can start a chat while looking at an opportunity page, and in a click can pivot to video to continue the conversation in the same space — no screen sharing needed, because you can see who is on the page with you. Or, a service manager can share an open case page with the entire team in a few clicks, so everyone can see the issue and sync on next steps.
  • Take action in the moment:​ Easily view all record history, including changes in records or updates down to the field level, and get personalized suggested actions powered by Einstein. After receiving an alert that a deal amount has changed, a manager can click into the opportunity, understand that the deal amount has increased a few times over the past few weeks. He’ll then see a suggestion to add manager notes to support the team as they work to close this deal — all in context of his workflow and on the same screen.

With the Salesforce Anywhere App, all of your data is in one place — workflows are seamless and data stays in your CRM. And because it’s built on the Salesforce Platform, these features are customizable and governed by Salesforce permissions, so customer data is secure.

Salesforce Anywhere Beta is available in July

You can sign up today for the Salesforce Anywhere Beta program, free for all current Salesforce customers and available on desktop and mobile in July. As part of their strategic partnership with Apple, they will be releasing a beta native iOS app, leveraging Apple’s best practices with features including Notifications and Accessibility as Salesforce Anywhere continues to evolve. The beta version will include Chat, Alerts, and Actions, and will be generally available later this year with a host of other features they have worked hard to bring you — including video, presence notifications that show who else is active on a record page, and the ability to connect with customers.

Salesforce will be showcasing the Salesforce Anywhere App later today at ​TrailheaDX​ – which is their annual developer conference — reimagined this year as a virtual experience that connects makers, builders, doers, and dreamers looking to improve their Salesforce skill set. You can join live for the keynote at 9am PT to see the app in action.

The Canadian Chamber Of Commerce Partners With Salesforce To Offer $10K Lifeline

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 25, 2020 by itnerd

Small businesses are the heart of Canadian communities and the backbone of Canada’s economy. Canadians everywhere have been supporting their local businesses throughout COVID-19, from ordering take-out to buying gift cards. Civic- minded organizations with the resources and means are also pitching in.

Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada’s leading and most representative business association, announced a new program, the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund, to provide small Canadian businesses from coast to coast to coast with $10,000 grants to help their recovery efforts during these unprecedented times.

The applications that best demonstrate how the funds will help the businesses, their employees and their communities will receive the funding.

The initiative, through the generosity of Salesforce will help 62 small Canadian businesses recover and support their resilience, for a total of $620,000 in funds. Businesses can use the $10,000 grants to support their recovery efforts, including paying salaries, acquiring safety and personal protective equipment for staff, replenishing materials or paying for the measures required to adapt business models to the economic impacts of COVID-19, among other key priorities.

The grant will be targeted at small, for-profit businesses that have been operating for several years and are now experiencing challenges because of COVID-19. The application period will open on June 1, 2020 on the CBRN website and will close on June 12, 2020. The successful applicants will be announced in late June to early July 2020, with the funds being transferred to the successful applicants shortly thereafter.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of a global announcement by Salesforce to distribute a total of $5 million USD dollars to small business owners internationally.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce established the Canadian Business Resilience Network (CBRN) in partnership with the Government of Canada to help the business community prepare, persevere and, ultimately, prosper in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CBRN is a coordinated, business-led, inclusive campaign that will focus on providing businesses the tools they need to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on them, our economy and communities across the country. Its goal is also to help businesses emerge from this crisis and drive Canada’s economic recovery.

Recovery Plan & New Tools Announced By Salesforce

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2020 by itnerd

With the Ontario government’s announcement that certain businesses can begin reopening today, and all provinces starting to take steps towards adjusting restrictions on daily life, we’ve reached a pivotal moment in the COVID-19 crisis. Business leaders must consider how they can recover from the crisis and return to work with society’s health and wellbeing top of mind. 

As local and federal guidelines continue to evolve, businesses will need new ways of planning, managing workforce readiness, facilities preparedness and emergency management response. Further, as customers have become increasingly reliant on digital services to access information, purchase items and as companies have transitioned to remote work, businesses have had to re-imagine how they operate. While the road ahead is ever-changing, the one certainty is that future business preparedness and recovery lies in the power of technology. 

To support the initial response to COVID-19, Salesforce launched Salesforce Care, a suite of free solutions designed to help businesses stabilize during the initial phase of the crisis. Canadian companies like Women’s College Hospital used this technology to quickly pivot to new business demands, as did the Provincial Government of British Columbia. Now, as COVID-19 containment improves and the economy begins to restart, a more complicated recovery phase lies ahead. 

Today Salesforce is announcing the launch of – a first-of-its-kind hub of technology solutions and insights to help businesses and communities return to work safely, and manage the complex decisions and logistics essential to navigate this recovery phase. Salesforce Back-to-Work solutions features a family of apps and modules. Here’ the highlights:

What is

  • is a digital resource hub of new technology solutions and resources to help business and community leaders to reopen safely, reskill employees and respond efficiently on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is important now?

  • Salesforce is delivering an innovative new tool to help steer companies out of this crisis.
  • The “Back-to-work” initiative will help business decision makers and community leaders to safely reopen their offices, stores and communities.

What’s on

  • brings together the full power of health experts, business leaders and the Salesforce ecosystemto help leaders safely and responsibly manage the return to the workplace, reopen communities and prepare for a new normal.
  • This includes product solutions designed for return-to-work and emergency response operations, such as:
    • Monitoring employee and visitor health and wellness
    • Helping with facilities preparedness and employee shift scheduling
    • Automating and scaling emergency response management and manual contact tracing.
  • New “Get Back to Work, Safely” resources informed by the Business Roundtable which provide access to expert insights from business, policy and health leaders to inform recovery strategies.
  • leverages guidance from and solutions built by Salesforce’s trusted ecosystem of partners includingAccenture, Deloitte, PwC and more to help businesses and communities reopen.

Pricing & Availability

  • is expected to be generally available June 2020.
  • Canadian pricing is to be confirmed at a later date (US pricing outlined in attached Press Release)

Salesforce Announces The Latest Nonprofit Trends Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 20, 2020 by itnerd

As non-profits operate in an increasing volatile world and evolving digital landscape, they face both challenges to their missions and opportunities for their vision.

The world needs non-profits, as it is continuously threatened by climate change, natural and human-made disasters, humanitarian crises, political chaos and food insecurity. In order to meet this need, technology has become the great equalizer. In fact, 85% of nonprofits surveyed agreed that technology is key to the success of their operations, as it allows them to reach new audiences, serve more communities, respond to new challenges, or optimize opportunities.

Salesforce prepared a summary of key findings for the report below, and, the company’s social impact centre focused on tackling the world’s biggest problems, has created a great blog post that summarizes the report really nicely here.

Key Canadian report findings include:

People want to be involved in non-profits’ work

  • 72% of non-profits report an increase in desire from constituents’ to participate in their organizations

Transparency and trust are still the keys to success

  • 71% report an increase in demand for transperancy
  • 23% state there is a lack of trust and transparency within non-profits

Funding continues to be an issue

  • 34% stated that changes in government funding have affected their ability to deliver on their mission

 Capturing and leveraging data are continuous challenges for non-profits

  • 37% say that capturing and managing accurate data on constituents is at least a substantial challenge
  • 71% state it is hard to understand if their programs are effective and/or reaching the population they set out to serve

 CRM is the most used technology

  • 79% of non-profits currently use CRM, followed by marketing automation at 35% and social engagement at 34%


“Hey Einstein”— Salesforce Brings Voice to Every Customer Experience

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 19, 2019 by itnerd

Salesforce is bringing the power of voice to every customer experience spanning the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform and enabling millions of CRM users to talk to Salesforce. With Einstein Voice Assistant guiding every action, insight and prediction, Salesforce users will be more productive—from anywhere. And new Einstein Voice Skills will enable developers and admins to build custom voice-powered apps for employees across every role and industry, in just a matter of clicks. In addition, new solutions for service and sales teams will apply natural language processing to voice conversations, and deliver insights that drive smarter, more personalized customer engagement.

Voice Enters the Workplace

Voice is rapidly emerging as the user interface for our lives. Nearly half of U.S. households are already using a voice-activated device for everyday activities like getting driving directions, dictating text messages, playing their favorite songs and even turning on home appliances – all without lifting a finger or tapping a keyboard. And, just like every other computing revolution that came before itcloud, social, mobile and AISalesforce is helping companies bring voice’s immense potential to CRM to transform the way we work.

Talk to Salesforce Anytime, Anywhere with Einstein Voice

Last year at Dreamforce 2018, Salesforce introduced Einstein Voice Assistant, allowing sales reps to talk to Salesforce. With Einstein Voice Assistant, routine CRM transactions – creating or updating customer records, getting personalized daily briefings and exploring dashboards – can be done conversationally, so sales reps can keep their business moving forward and focus on what matters most, customer success.

But every employee can use a guide to help them be more productive and provide a smarter, more frictionless way to ask questions, get insights and predictions or initiate a task. Today, Salesforce announced it will expand the capabilities of Einstein Voice Assistant for any role or industry, giving every app built on Salesforce a voice. This is powered by new Einstein Voice Skills, which will empower admins and developers to create custom voice apps across the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform in just a few clicks.

Build Custom Voice Apps for Any Business Process

Using Einstein Voice Skills, companies will be able to create custom voice-powered apps to reimagine workflows and processesreplacing any manual data entry or manual Salesforce navigation that may impede productivity. From a simple set-up page, developers and admins will be able to build custom skills for any CRM actionsuch as updating a field, creating a task or reading out a predictionand select the Salesforce fields or objects that inform each action.

For example, an admin or developer can build a custom voice-powered assistant for a field technician that enables her to verbally and instantly check on a service history while en route to her next customer, Acme, just by saying “Hey Einstein, what is Acme’s recent service history?” Meanwhile, admins can also build and deploy a separate, custom voice app for service managers that has a seat at the table for weekly leadership meetings, offering insight on open service cases in top regions, guidance on the team’s overall CSAT performance and more. Each app is purpose-built for the specific needs and processes of each role. Plus, admins can also control how information will be read back to the user, including the ability to offer next steps or follow-up tasks within the response, and which channels and devices that the skill is accessible on, such smart speakers or phones.

Voice Intelligence: Smarter and More Productive Service and Sales Experiences

Powered by Einstein, new voice intelligence applies natural language processing to call transcriptions – providing sales and service teams with insights and trends that will drive smarter, more personalized customer engagement:

  • New Service Cloud Voice: Service Cloud Voice integrates telephony inside Service Cloud, unifying phone, digital channels and CRM data in real-time in one centralized console. Service Cloud Voice can also integrate with transcription services  that convert voice to text in real time, enabling Einstein to serve up relevant AI-powered recommended responses, knowledge articles and next best actions as service agents are on voice calls.
  • New Einstein Call Coaching: Now with Einstein Call Coaching, our newest Sales Cloud capability, managers are able to see insights and trends within conversational data. Natural language processing identifies keywords in sales call transcripts, alerting managers to trends like a spike in competitor mentions, or best practices on topics like objection handling or pricing discussions. Those insights can then be used to provide sales reps with personalized coaching on how to improve the customer buying experience.

Voice Interoperability: Einstein Voice for Any Device 

In September, Salesforce joined Amazon and leading technology companies to announce the Voice Interoperability Initiative, a new program to ensure voice-enabled products provide customers with choice and flexibility through multiple, interoperable voice services. As part of this, Einstein Voice Assistant and Einstein Voice Skills will be compatible with a variety of devices, from smart speakers to smartphones–whether it’s the Einstein Smart Speaker that will be unveiled at Dreamforce 2019 (not for sale), the new Salesforce Mobile App, or customers’ preferred devices.

Einstein at Dreamforce 

Check out the latest innovations from Einstein at Dreamforce, November 19-22, 2019. Chief Scientist Richard Socher will host a visionary keyote (Tuesday, November 19, 4:30 PM PT in Moscone West) on the future of AI and a first look at the new era of customer experiences that Voice will enable. Join us for the Einstein keynote (Wednesday, November 20, 9:00 AM PT in Moscone North) to learn more about Einstein Voice, and visit us at the Einstein Summit on the third floor of Moscone West.