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Salesforce Jumps on the Blockchain Hype Train at TrailheaDX

Salesforce is a well-established player in the customer relationship management (CRM) space, with compelling plays in adjacent markets such as marketing automation, customer service, and customer collaboration software. Salesforce is a market titan in CRM, with over 400 in-depth reviews submitted on SoftwareReviews (far surpassing any other vendor).

Source: SoftwareReviews, Accessed June 5, 2019

At its fourth annual developer conference (TrailheaDX), the firm introduced Salesforce Blockchain. While it won’t hit general availability until 2020, select design partners will be able to experiment with creating blockchain-powered workflows on the solution. Salesforce envisions that its low-code solution (based on the open-source Hyperledger Sawtooth technology) will allow developers to create trusted partner networks using distributed ledgers and bake these into their CRM processes. Arizona State University was highlighted as a trailblazer for leveraging the solution to verify and share information within the institution.

Blockchain has received a tremendous amount of hype over the last several years, but proven enterprise use cases have been elusive – most of the pragmatic adoption we’ve seen at Info-Tech has been around enabling smart contracts. Salesforce’s move into the space is savvy given the market potential as blockchain moves up the maturity curve, but its foray into the blockchain arena also puts it in competition with other enterprise software vendors and technology consulting firms that have a head-start in the space.

Our Take

  • Salesforce is an established market leader in CRM and adjacent areas such as marketing orchestration and customer service platforms.
  • Salesforce recently announced Salesforce Blockchain, a low-code solution for building trusted partner networks based on Hyperledger Sawtooth.
  • The move opens up new frontiers for the firm but puts it into a crowded marketspace. As with many other blockchain solutions, separating the hype from the proven value will take time to shake out.

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