Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Salesforce uses its Health Cloud to revive in-person Dreamforce event

The CRM giant used its annual conference as an opportunity to highlight new health and safety protocols enabled by its Health Cloud platform.

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Salesforce

Salesforce on Tuesday kicked off its annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, reviving the in-person event that was limited to the virtual sphere last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The conference is significantly scaled back -- just around 1,000 people will meet in person, rather than the 100,000-plus usually milling around the Moscone Center. But the event allows Salesforce to showcase the health and safety protocols enabled by the latest version of its Health Cloud. 

Salesforce used the Dreampass, a new part of the Health Cloud 2.0 portfolio, to verify in-person attendees' health and vaccination status and manage testing before and during the event. Attendees will get personalized communications through the platform and a personalized QR code that gives them access to the event. 

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The Health Cloud 2.0 portfolio of products will be available to any business in any sector. Along with Dreampass, that includes a contract tracing feature that securely collects limited, necessary data from individuals and maps out potential outbreaks. It also includes a vaccine management feature for governments and other organizations. 

"I didn't know what contact tracing was two years ago, and now it's a key part of what we do as a company," Salesforce President and COO Bret Taylor told reporters this week. "When we think about what it means to become a trusted enterprise in this new normal, health and safety are front and center, and Health Cloud will be an amazing capability for a lot of organizations around the world."

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Salesforce

The notion of building a "trusted enterprise" is at the heart of this year's Dreamforce, Taylor said. The CRM giant is rolling out a series of tools that it says are ultimately aimed at improving an organization's reputation. An updated Health Cloud includes updates to the Sustainability Cloud and stronger communications tools delivered by Slack. And as with the Health Cloud, Salesforce highlights how it's using its own tools to demonstrate that it can be trusted.

The company announced on Tuesday; Salesforce employed its Sustainability Cloud to become a Net-Zero company across its full value chain and achieve 100% renewable energy for its operations. 

"We know that being a trusted enterprise in this new world means showing that we can be trusted to protect our planet and do our part in the fight against climate change," Suzanne DiBianca, Salesforce's chief impact officer told reporters. At the same time, she added, "We know governments are beginning to both regulate and mandate climate disclosures... So we know that every company needs to be a net-zero company, whether they're ready to or not."

The next version of the Sustainability Cloud will essentially offer customers the Salesforce playbook for reducing carbon emissions -- what Salesforce calls "net-zero as-a-service," DiBianca said. New features include forecasting and scenario planning, enabling an organization to make better business decisions in travel and real estate areas. 

Salesforce also announced expansions to Hyperforce, the infrastructure architecture that allows Salesforce to leverage the public cloud. The company will bring the Customer 360 platform via Hyperforce to more than 15 regions worldwide by the end of 2022. Additionally, Salesforce is adding new EU operations to Hyperforce, meaning customers can process and store all of their data within the European Union for European customers. 

"Our customers can have a single customer experience, globally, and meet data residency requirements and meet compliance and privacy expectations of their customers globally," Taylor said.

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