Thu, 2 March 2023
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Muralidhar Krishnaprasad, EVP of Engineering, Next Gen Customer 360 Data Services at Salesforce.
Join us as we talk about Data Cloud and all of the exciting innovations coming to help admins own all the data in their org.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Muralidhar Krishnaprasad.
What is Data Cloud?
Muralidhar is in charge of Data, AI, and analytics platforms at Salesforce, and we wanted to bring him on the pod to share the awesomeness that is Data Cloud.
Right now, we tend to keep our data in many different pools. Between Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and outside sources, we don’t necessarily have one single source of truth for what’s going on between a customer and your organization. Currently, getting something even close to that requires a bunch of legwork to migrate data back and forth. It’s expensive, complicated, and presents extra layers of security challenges for your business.
Data Cloud looks to make all of this a lot easier. You can bring all your data to the same place, with Salesforce at the center of it all. It’s simply a game-changer for everything from analytics to building applications to decisions and everything in between.
How Data Cloud empowers admins
While all of this sounds amazing, what does this mean for admins? With everything in one place in Salesforce, you’re finally able to manage all your org’s data and not just what’s already on the platform.
However, that means you get up to speed on the Data Cloud concepts:
“As an admin, knowing that lifecycle of the data and how you can control and administer it will be the big work to be done,” Muralidhar says. But getting a handle on that will make it easier to protect your data and help your org use it in new ways.
How to get ready for Data Cloud
If this conversation has gotten you excited about Data Cloud, there are a few things you can do to get your org ready. Muralidhar outlines three steps you can take:
Muralidhar recommends starting small and limiting the scope at first, and then expanding as you make things that work for you. He goes over some use cases, including how one bank saw a 35x (!) ROI on their marketing and the insights Mike’s favorite pizza chain, Casey’s, were able to uncover by looking at their data in new ways.
If you’re as psyched about Data Cloud as we are, there’s already a Trailmix to help you get started and even more resources on the way.
Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today, Gillian Bruce, and we have a very special guest, I'm sure all of you have been hearing about Data Cloud and all of the exciting innovations coming in that space from Salesforce. Guess what? We have the leader at Salesforce, our EVP of Engineering, NextGen Customer 360 data services at Salesforce.
MK: Thank you, Gillian. How are you?
Gillian Bruce: Oh, I'm wonderful. I am very, very happy to have you on the podcast today, and Mike is with us today as well.
Mike: Yes, hello. It's going to be an awesome podcast. Can't wait.
Gillian Bruce: We're going to have a data party on the podcast today.
Mike: It's always a data party.
Gillian Bruce: Okay, so MK, let's, before we get into it, can you just introduce yourself to our listeners and a little bit about what you do at Salesforce?
MK: Absolutely. Hi, my full name is Muralidhar Krishnaprasad. I also go by Murali or MK for short. I'm the executive vice President for engineering. My team, we deliver the data cloud that we are going to be talking about. Einstein that you guys might already know, the whole AI platform and then the analytics efforts with regard to Datorama and many others in Tableau and many others as well. So overall, think of it as data AI and analytics platforms being delivered here, and I've been here in Salesforce about four plus years. Prior to that, I worked at Microsoft building most of the Azure infrastructure dynamics and many others. And then I started my career before that at Oracle, building databases.
Gillian Bruce: Okay, so you're a busy person these days because all those products you just mentioned that you're working on at Salesforce, there's a lot going on there.
MK: Absolutely. Really, yes. There's a lot of news you would've heard as well as we are also doing a lot of integrations across Salesforce and across the industry as well.
Gillian Bruce: That's great. Okay, so let's dig into it. MK, can you explain to us what is Data Cloud?
MK: Yeah, in simple terms. So think of it as an admin. You're going to have various clouds today, sales cloud, marketing, commerce and so on. Problem that we often run into is businesses want to be able to really know what their customer is doing because a customer is not dealing with sales, cloud service, cloud marketing, they're dealing with your business. And so that means you really need to know what they have done. Have they ever opened an email you have sent them? Do they have service cases? Did salesperson make a call and try to sell them something or have they been on your website trying to browse something and purchase something? And this is common across all industries. It's not related to just finance or health. It's literally like every industry that you can think of goes through this motion.
Mike: Wow. Coming back from vacation, I find it funny that we can sit and have a data conversation and talk about lakes and lake houses, and you could totally do a podcast that people would think we're talking about vacation homes, don't you?Help my vacation brain boil this down for admins, what should admins know about cloud besides the Lakehouse?
MK: Great point. So I think as an admin, you need to be thrilled that data is not leaving your ambit because before, if you think about it as a Salesforce admin, you are only administering your cloud, but most of the businesses ended up taking all the data outside. And so your security layer was gone right there, and all the business semantics you created is also gone because they're going to get recreated somewhere else on some other platform.
Gillian Bruce: Okay. So get a little bit of work to do to get our arms around what data Cloud means for admins, but I like how you set it up there about how understanding, hey, it does give you... you're in control. I mean, all admins are control freaks, so that's a really good way of putting it. But in some ways, the idea of Data Cloud, MK kind of shifts the idea of what Salesforce can do.
MK: Yeah, great point. I think what you're looking at is certainly today your sales and service is in the same place. If you install in the same org, that is your sales and service can see all that data and you can put the right security, et cetera. But more often than not in any enterprise setting, there's a lot more data out there. We cannot bring that into Salesforce today because either it's a scale problem or it could be other issues related to their backend systems.
Mike: I was kind of excited when you said that because one of my vehicles, I get a monthly email on it's health, it's not electric, but I think it's from Salesforce. So I'm going to go with that because that would be really cool. So it sounds like, it's not like lightning flip a switch and here we are, but I think there's some stuff that admins need to do to help their organizations and just organizations in general, prepare. Could you MK could kind of touch on some of that?
MK: Yeah, I think it's a great point. I think what as an admin you need to do first, like I said, understand what Data Cloud is, but second is really understand what sources you want to bring data from into this data cloud, which org you want to obviously install the data cloud in first and then you may have business unit considerations, geo considerations and so on. And so we are introducing new concepts that you should be aware of. There's a new concept called Data Space, which allows you to have a data cloud and then still split the data within that via business units. It's a security concept and also you need to understand what are the layers that Data Cloud needs to go interface with. For example, it could be I have a marketing cloud here, I have a commerce here, I have these two sales cloud or two service Cloud.
Gillian Bruce: So I mean what I'm hearing here in terms of preparing is thinking about the flows of data, which data, I mean, would you go into setting up Data Cloud already with knowing the questions you want to answer, like say, Hey, I want to be able to get more people to buy this product by implementing Data Cloud, I'm going to be able to know when to target them. Or I mean, can you give us a little bit more of an example of what use cases might spur someone to want to implement and set up data
MK: Cloud? Yeah, great question. I think what we have seen success come is what you mentioned, Gillian, which is steel threads. If you have a clear steel thread the business wants to make happen and starting there, starting small and then building on it is better than a gigantic project where I'm going to bring in 50 different sources and not know how to use them. So I think what we have seen, great success. Obviously last year, data Cloud started off building our sort of go to business market in the marketing area, and now we are expanding beyond marketing. And so a lot of success we have seen is threads where people say, I have all this data. I want to bring in my marketing data, my sales service or external data. By the way, data Cloud today we have hundreds and hundreds of customers live on it.
Gillian Bruce: Wow.
MK: Instead of their scattershot, like send email to everybody thing, they sent much less emails to targeted people, and they saw huge returns on investment. And so they allow this now. And so that's a great example of one steel thread end-to-end that people have done. And we have seen similar things in various other customers as well.
Mike: I just have to pause for a second because everybody probably knows I live in the Midwest and the fact that Casey's uses this is now just above and beyond for me. Also, Casey's pizza is phenomenal. So MK, I don't know where you're based, but you need to come visit me in Iowa and we need to have some Casey's pizza because it's probably the best pizza you're ever going to have, and it's from a gas station. And it's a topic of conversation in the Midwest when people pass through. But yeah, I've also used the Casey's app and gotten very specific coupon things that I was like interesting. I have no idea how they would guess this, but if they're looking at my purchase history and every time I buy their breakfast pizza or so, holy cow, you just changed my life knowing that Casey's uses this.
MK: Yeah, and that's coming from Data Cloud, all the processing, all the things you buy, everything is going through Data Cloud.
Mike: That's so cool. That's so cool. I mean, I'm a huge Casey's fan anyway.
MK: That's awesome. Yes. See if I'm coming to the Midwest-
Mike: Gillian also knows that just about every podcast food gets mentioned on it. I wasn't even the first one to mention it, Gillian.
Gillian Bruce: I know. Well, I could hear your wheels turning as soon as MK talked about Casey's Pizza. I feel like you've even talked about it on the podcast before.
Mike: You have no idea how good their pizza is.
MK: And there is a press release also that we did late last year that you can reference to your customers to go look at it.
Gillian Bruce: We'll put it in the show notes.
Mike: Speaking of things to put in the show notes, MK, could you provide some admins with tips or resources on where they can get started learning about Data Cloud perhaps maybe while they eat Casey's Pizza?
MK: Yes. I think if you go to salesforce.com data cloud, we have a lot of materials there. We are also preparing New Trailheads as well. There's already a Trailhead that you can take and there are more coming along the way. And of course we have the standard documentation that can help them as well for them to use Data Cloud. The main thing to realize in Data Cloud is it is a Salesforce cloud that can really change your business. And so learn how to bring data, how to harmonize, and then how to create the insights of it and then push it back into all your systems.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, that's great. MK, I so appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today and demystify Data Cloud for admins, and I have a feeling there's going to be a lot more in this space.
Mike: Seriously, and I'm going to use Data Cloud today when I order pizza or maybe tomorrow.
MK: Right. Whenever you eat Casey's Pizza, think of-
Mike: Oh my God, I am going to start racking up some data in Data Cloud for guys.
Gillian Bruce: You got to show us what insights you're getting or is that like too going to expose your habits too much? I don't know.
Mike: I will willingly give anybody that wants to visit me a demo of the Casey's app in my backyard if we can order pizza.
Gillian Bruce: I love it. MK, thank you so much for joining us and I really appreciate all the work that you're doing in this really important space. And we didn't even talk about anything AI or Einstein related, so we'll have to do that on another podcast. But thank you to you and your team for all the great work that you do, and we look forward to hearing from you again very soon.
MK: Sounds great. Thank you both. This was a great conversation. Again, we you'll see more of Data Cloud and more of Einstein Automation, Tableau and all of that coming through the next few months and years.
Gillian Bruce: Huge thanks to MK for taking time out of his very, very busy schedule to chat with Mike and I. It was also fun to do a podcast with Mike. It's been a while since we've done one of those. I hope that you got some good ideas and thoughts and questions from some of the things that MK shared with us about Data Cloud. I mean, it is one of the most exciting areas right now in Salesforce ecosystem of innovation, and it really opens up some exciting possibilities of what we can do as admins with our declarative capabilities to really bring in the power of data and have those truly connected customer experiences.
Direct download: Data_Cloud_for_Admins_with_Muralidhar_Krishnaprasad.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST