We entered a world of the new digital since COVID-19 hit. The pandemic exposed technological fragilities in most businesses with a dire need for a complete digital transformation. With lockdowns and mandated remote working in place, the workforce was scattered. This was reflected in the growing demand and supply of multiple online collaboration tools. A year and five months into the pandemic, the situation is not very different. Although some companies have begun to partially function offline, a huge chunk of their functions still takes place online. With this in mind, Salesforce has recently come up with a service called Salesforce+ that they plan to officially launch at their annual software event, Dreamforce, to be held Sept. 21–23.
The Netflix of business
Salesforce+ is a video streaming service that enables better collaboration within organizations. It comes with a plethora of options like live experiences, original series, podcasts and will cater to every line of business. With the promise to be an on-demand business media platform that provides business content around the clock, it is deemed “the Netflix of the business world.”
Salesforce+ will feature original programming from their in-house Salesforce Studio, where the core content has been developed and already produced.
The lineup of the core content looks like this:
- “Leading Through Change” is their weekly program that focuses on how business leaders around the world are dealing with the pandemic.
- “Connections’’ features the most innovative marketers from conglomerates like Levi’s, GoFundMe, and IBM. They talk about how they are trying to connect and stay connected with their audience in a brand-new way.
- “The Inflection Point” gives an inside look at the lives of CEOs from various leading brands such as Coca-Cola, Ford, PayPal, and others. They share their personal stories, values, and influences from their journey to becoming the great leaders that they are today.
- “Boss Talks” is a career advice series starring big names from different industries. It is specifically designed to inspire professional growth and workplace authenticity.
- “Simply Put” is a short-form video series that helps explain complex business concepts and modules in a simple manner.
With a fun and innovative lineup of content already in place, Salesforce+ plans to debut more original content soon. This will feature industry leaders talking about their knowledge and Salesforce users from minority communities talking about improving their skills to find new career opportunities.
Salesforce+ comes with the option of customization that enables viewers to choose the content they want to watch based on industry, roles, and topics. With four broadcast channels, zero external advertisements, and no monetization, the platform seems to be a love child of Netflix and LinkedIn.
The four broadcast channels that have over 100 hours of inspiring content are:
- Primetime Channel for news and announcements. This will feature the latest news, announcement, and inspiring stories from Salesforce and its customers.
- Trailblazer Channel for training content. This will help viewers learn aspects of how to build a successful career and community from fellow community members.
- Customer 360 Channel for success stories. As the name suggests, this channel features success stories directly from the members of the Salesforce community, fondly known as Trailblazers.
- Industries Channel for industry-specific offerings. This will feature stories of how leaders from various industries re-imagining their industries to drive maximum growth.
With engaging stories and expert advice, Salesforce+ hopes to have a stronghold on the future of technology and inspire change in the digital-first world. However, with monetization not in sight at the moment, it makes one wonder how they plan to sustain a service that has no return on investment.
Salesforce vs. Microsoft in a battle for the workplace
The primary idea of Salesforce+ is to bring together business professionals from different fields to collaborate on a business-media platform and educate their viewers. And when it comes to a collaboration tool that also helps in upskilling and education, LinkedIn’s Lynda (now rebranded as LinkedIn Learning) has pretty much cornered the market. And, because LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, at the end of the day this becomes a scenario of Salesforce vs. Microsoft.
Salesforce seems to be taking the fight to Microsoft on many fronts, including its recent acquisition of business communication platform Slack. To stand ground against Microsoft Teams’ recent moves to increase its own standing in the collaboration market, Salesforce acquired Slack last year. This move will have a huge impact in bringing together the customer base of two already big companies and could prove to be one of the best collaboration moves in the business world. Consequently, this move could also mean big trouble for Microsoft. To add to this, Salesforce+ poses strong competition for Microsoft’s LinkedIn Learning.
Salesforce+ vs. LinkedIn Learning
Although the comparison between Salesforce+ and its competitor is unavoidable, there are clear distinctions between them. Let’s compare how LinkedIn Learning differs from Salesforce+.
LinkedIn Learning is an open online course provider that provides video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business fields. It centers around offering educational courses. Salesforce+, on the other hand, is primarily a video streaming service that is not just restricted to online learning. The platform gives an insight into the lives of CEOs and provides career advice to inspire viewers. With a range of options like live experiences, original series, podcasts, and content from every line of business, Salesforce+ is an on-demand business media platform.
LinkedIn Learning offers more than 4,000 courses that cover a wide variety of different topics — everything from software development to cinematography. The content on Salesforce+ is aimed at inspiring its viewers and providing insight into various professional industries. Although it has a short-form video series that helps explain complex business concepts and modules simply, it’s a learning experience rather than courses. The aim of Salesforce+ is to inspire rather than teach.
Since LinkedIn Learning offers courses for viewers to learn, there is a subscription charge, although there is a free one-month trial. Salesforce+ on the other hand is completely free at the moment.
In a nutshell, LinkedIn Learning focuses solely on online learning, and Salesforce+ focuses on business collaboration and industry insights, where education is a bonus. Since Salesforce+ is being dubbed as “the Netflix of the business world,” the one thing I’m looking forward to seeing is if Salesforce+ releases a chatbox feature that enables real-time messaging while watching content similar to the ones that Netflix and Amazon Prime parties have.
The launch of Salesforce+ could mean a whole new world with major strides toward attaining the new digital. It presents a golden opportunity for Salesforce to go beyond being a CRM platform and create an emotional connection with its customers. It would provide viewers with the opportunity to take great inspiration right from industry leaders. Overall, it could prove to be a community of industry professionals and viewers on one platform that goes beyond paid customer acquisition. Promises and expectations galore, it’s going to be exciting to see what a platform that is already creating so much buzz can achieve after it is launched.