Salesforce South Africa Accelerates Growth Plans In The Region

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Salesforce, the global leader in AI CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has showcased the transformative power of its latest AI and cloud-based solutions to customers, partners and associates at Salesforce World Tour Essentials Johannesburg, held at the Kyalami Convention Centre in Midrand.

Over 2200 global and local leaders attended the event; demonstrating the massive interest in AI and digital transformation in South Africa, with organisations from across a range of sectors eager to learn more about new technologies that will enable them to fully leverage their data and grow their businesses.

According to the latest IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Salesforce, The Salesforce Economy: South Africa, Salesforce and its partner ecosystem, fueled by AI- powered cloud solutions, will generate $5.8 billion in net new business between 2022 and 2028. The paper report estimates a net gain of 33,000 jobs are being generated through AI-powered cloud solutions in South Africa by 2028*

The Salesforce ecosystem of partners in the South African region has grown 34% YoY  in FY24 but the most significant improvement is in the area of certifications, with an increase of 43% in total. These partners are helping organisations across all sectors to raise employee productivity and transform with real-time insights and new levels of customer experience.

“At Salesforce, we’re excited by the strides our customers and partners in South Africa are taking to succeed in the developing AI era. World Tour Essentials Johannesburg offers the perfect showcase of the region’s potential as a centre of innovation in Africa,” said Zuko Mdwaba, Area Vice President at Salesforce South Africa.

“Salesforce World Tour Essentials Johannesburg demonstrates how our customers can raise productivity, improve visibility, and transform their entire operations by deploying AI and digital tools in a smart way,” said Robin Fisher, senior area VP, Salesforce emerging markets.

“By embracing the power of AI, organisations in the public and private sector can seize opportunities for growth and contribute to the wider project of economic diversification,” says Fisher.

Getting the right AI with the right data at World Tour Essentials Johannesburg

The keynotes, talks and presentations at Salesforce World Tour Essentials Johannesburg focused on how organisations can navigate challenges by embracing the latest AI, data and CRM solutions to build trust, drive efficiency, transform customer oversight, and grow their businesses.

Keynote speakers from Salesforce included Zuko Mdwaba, Area Vice President at Salesforce Africa,  Linda Saunders, Salesforce Director, Solutions Engineering Africa, and Robin Fisher, Senior Area VP, Salesforce emerging markets.

The keynote unpacked not only Sales Forces’ vision but the evolution of the platform and how clouds come together to open the path to trusted  Enterprise AI with the Einstein 1 Platform.

Showcasing Data Cloud, a data platform that allows companies to unify disparate data points into a harmonised data model on Salesforce’s Einstein 1 Platform. As this data model lives on the Salesforce Einstein 1 Platform, it gives every team member the same 360-degree view of every customer. This allows employees to drive automation, analytics, and personalised engagements through the power of trusted AI.

“Conversational AI interactions are delivered through a single Einstein Copilot across all applications on the platform, with creation and tailoring capabilities supported within Einstein 1 Studio”, says Saunders. According to Saunders, the Salesforce’s Einstein 1 Platform integrates the company’s suite of applications spanning sales, service, marketing, ecommerce, analytics, and industry solutions.

Salesforce customers operating in various sectors, shared valuable insights into how they overcame their  challenges, revealing how Salesforce solutions such as Data Cloud and the Einstein 1 Platform have helped them transform operations.

The keynotes, talks and presentations at Salesforce World Tour Essentials Johannesburg focused on how organisations can navigate challenges by embracing the latest AI, data and CRM solutions to build trust, drive efficiency, transform customer oversight, and grow their businesses.

Keynote speakers from Salesforce included Zuko Mdwaba, Area Vice President at Salesforce Africa, and Linda Saunders, Salesforce Director, Solutions Engineering Africa.

Salesforce customers operating in sectors including government, retail, real estate, energy, and banking offered valuable insights into how they overcame their challenges, revealing how Salesforce solutions such as Data Cloud and the Einstein 1 Platform have helped them transform operations.

Data Cloud is a data platform that unifies all of a company’s data on Salesforce’s Einstein 1 Platform, giving every team a 360-degree view of every customer to drive automation and analytics, personalize engagement, and power trusted AI. Salesforce’s Einstein 1 Platform integrates the company’s suite of applications spanning sales, service, marketing, ecommerce, analytics, and industry solutions.

85% of SA marketers have adopted AI, but mistrust persists

85% of marketers in South Africa are already experimenting with or have fully implemented AI into their workflows, according to the Salesforce State of Marketing Report announced at the World Tour Essentials conference.

According to the report, the three most popular AI use cases among marketers in South Africa are: content generation, automation of customer interactions, programmatic advertising and media buying. Loyalty programmes are the most common AI tactic to collect data.

Businesses have long struggled to connect disparate data points to create consistent, personalised experiences across customer journeys. Yet as third-party cookies are depreciated and AI proliferates, that quest is only becoming more critical—and challenging.

The report found that while 64% of marketers in South Africa have access to real-time data to execute a campaign, 50% need the IT department’s help to do so.

Skills development partnerships for real economic impact

Salesforce remains steadfastly committed to helping solve one of South Africa’s key challenges –  the digital skills gap and job creation. Ursula Fear, Senior Talent Programme Manager at Salesforce South Africa, announced the launch of its second cohort with ALX, after just having completed its first cohort of 1000 students across Africa over a six-month period, creating job-ready professionals. It starts with ALX Foundations, which provides career development skills to help students thrive in the digital workforce. It then teaches students security, customising CRM dashboards, data management, and data analysis.

Collective X, an ambitious private sector-led initiative spearheaded by Salesforce has, since launching a year ago, been successful in building future-fit skills for the local economy. “Business is a platform for change and only by partnering together and building not only the digital skills needed but also equipping people with the necessary experience, can we address the unemployment crisis in the country,” adds Fear.