Salesforce adds Customer 360 tools to unify, authenticate and govern data

The new Customer 360 Truth services leverage Mulesoft's Cloud Information Model to bolster Salesforce's customer data platform.

One year ago, Salesforce announced Customer 360, a customer data platform that aims to integrate customer information from all of an organization's siloed data sources. Now, Salesforce is rolling out Customer 360 Truth -- services that should help bring the CDP vision to fruition. 

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The new services leverage the Cloud Information Model, a new data model powered by Mulesoft technology, to let organizations create a single source of truth for customers. From there, organizations can authenticate customer information and ensure it meets data governance requirements.  

"Having a complete view of the customer is not a new idea, but it has been difficult to achieve," Patrick Stokes, EVP of Platform Shared Services for Salesforce, said in a statement. "Companies have siloed data; disconnected apps; a complex, patchwork ofsometimes incompatible services; and no way to connect it all."

To overcome those challenges, Salesforce is turning to technology from Mulesoft, the data integration company it purchased last year for $6.5 billion. Mulesoft's open source modeling technology has enabled the publication of the Cloud Information Model (CIM) -- an open-source data model that standardizes data interoperability across cloud applications. Salesforce formed the CIM in partnership with Amazon Web Services, Genesys and the Linux Foundation's Joint Development Foundation.

Just about every major business software vendor has acknowledged the importance of data integration, but it remains a highly dynamic issue. Last year, Microsoft announced a partnership with Adobe and SAP to form the Open Data Initiative (ODI), an effort that's still in the works

Meanwhile, Salesforce is tapping the CIM to roll out some specific new services: 

Customer 360 Data Manager uses a canonical data model and a universal Salesforce ID that represents each customer. The click-based user interface lets admins establish trusted connections between data sources to prepare, match, reconcile and update a customer profile.

Next, with Identity for Customers, a company can offer its customers a single, authenticated login across all of its websites, e-commerce stores, mobile apps and connected products. Companies can use it to offer two-factor authentication, and they can use it to analyze customer engagement.

With Customer 360 Audiences, companies can build unified customer profiles across known data such as email addresses and first party IDs, as well as unknown data such as website visits and device IDs. It then creates customer segments and marketing engagement journeys from those profiles and delivers AI-powered customer analysis. 

Lastly, Privacy and Data Governance enables companies to track and honor customer data use and privacy preferences, as well as apply data classification labels to all data in Salesforce  to ensure it meets compliance rules.