By Simplus ANZ

It’s a wrap: Salesforce World Tour 2024

On 28th February, Sydney hosted the much-anticipated Salesforce World Tour 2024, a jam-packed event with over 140 inspiring sessions that had everyone buzzing about this year’s theme: AI.

Over the past few years, AI has become a groundbreaking force, transforming industries and advancing all aspects of commercial activity by solving complex problems in front of our eyes.

Salesforce World Tour unpacked it all and served up important insights as experienced first-hand by customers, kicking off with a keynote session from the AFL. The Campground was also a hive of activity, showcasing a range of Salesforce tools to help you work smarter, be more productive and drive growth, including Data Cloud, Einstein and Customer 360

The Simplus | Infosys team was there, soaking up every minute to bring you the highlights, lessons learned and outcomes realised from applying the winning Salesforce formula: CRM + AI + Data + Trust.

In this blog, we round up the top takeaways from the keynote and guest speakers across financial services, government, healthcare and education.

Let’s dive in.


Unlocking success with AI + Data + CRM + Trust

Starting your generative AI journey is a big step, but the importance, Salesforce says, is starting now. This year’s keynote session was all about how AI + Data + CRM + Trust has the power to revolutionise the way you interact with your customers. And there’s no time to lose.

They say a big part of the AI equation is trust (Salesforce’s No.1 value.) Why? Because 52% of consumers don’t believe AI is safe and secure. And sometimes, AI can get things wrong.

Thankfully, with Einstein’s Trust Layer’s natively-built secure AI architecture, data is locked down tight so you can build lasting, trusted customer relationships.

To take advantage of AI, it’s all about having a real-time, single view of your customer data. According to Salesforce, too many businesses still struggle with islands of trapped data. And that equals trapped value.

Got data challenges? Talk to Simplus, and we’ll help get you sorted.

How everyone can become an Einstein

The real magic happens when trusted AI and data are combined with CRM. Put it all together, and you have the latest Salesforce innovation unveiled at World Tour: Einstein Platform 1.

Built on an open platform, Einstein Platform 1 unifies all the data and CRM your employees use. It also lets you build AI-powered apps that continuously learn and adapt to individual customer needs. You can even automatically create content with Einstein Copilot, a new AI conversational assistant for CRM.

The result? Knock-your-socks-off customer experiences.

"Einstein 1 is the platform that allows us to allow every business to have access to AI. It’s integrated, intelligent and automated, and you don’t have to be a developer to take advantage of it with low-code or no-code. And most beautifully, it’s open."

Fans for life: How the AFL is growing engagement

In case we needed more convincing on the power of AI + Data + CRM + Trust, the AFL showed us how it’s using Einstein Platform 1 to work smarter and bring ‘footy into every home’.

With 18 clubs and one in seven Australians considering themselves a fan, the AFL operates a massive and diverse ecosystem. Through the combination of CRM + AI + data + trust, the AFL has been able to connect with fans in a whole new way.

"We needed to build one platform to be scalable, reliable and work for every one of our organisations. Einstein 1 platform does that in the best possible way. It gives our fans hyper-personalised content. I’ve seen hundreds of hours of manual work taken out of our club ecosystems."


GenAI adoption surges in banking

Also at World Tour, we shared findings from our latest research: Generative AI in banking: A progress report, having surveyed 100 decision-makers from small to large banks across Australia and New Zealand.

The progress report unpacks the critical success factors for the effective deployment of GenAI, providing insights from banks already using GenAI to enhance customer experience, optimise operations and improve security and data.

Adoption of AI is particularly strong in the banking sector, with 79% reporting being beyond the infancy stage and 19% already at an advanced stage of adoption. This is because of the role GenAI is likely to play in supporting bank priorities over the next five years – be it customer experience, Open Banking, cryptocurrency, sustainable finance or cyber security.

Craig Harris (Associate Vice President, Senior Manager, AI and Automation Practice at Infosys) compares AI maturity at Australian banks to those in Europe and the US: “In Australia, the spend is comparatively lower, but the effectiveness of that spend is materially higher here than in the US and Europe. People here are trialling and experimenting more with GenAI pilots.”

Unlike in the US where smaller banks tend to be early adopters, our research shows it is the bigger banks in Australia and New Zealand that are leading the way with GenAI. As a result, we’re starting to see the shift towards GenAI in banking becoming two-paced.

“Smaller banks must accelerate their GenAI programs so they’re not left behind. It requires a considered and strategic approach to address complex challenges such as legacy IT, skills gaps, and operational silos, as well as to define new use cases for Gen AI,” says Craig.

Jonathan Hatcher (Vice President, Solution Consulting at Salesforce) is seeing GenAI used as an enabler to improve customer experience and revenues. “Most customers I’m talking to are using GenAI to shift their contact centres from a cost centre to a profit centre,” explains Jonathan. “With the extra support of AI, they’re using that extra 10-15% of staff capacity to generate revenue from their investment.”

The key is what banks do in the next 12 months to improve on effectiveness and spend as they mature in this space.

AI innovation in Financial Services: Judo Bank

In this session, we learnt how Salesforce is leading the charge in AI innovation in Financial Services. 

Salesforce’s Greg Jacobi talked about the importance of,

  1. starting with a proof of concept, getting value out of it and scaling it;
  2. leveraging already embedded AI; and 3) building for the banker experience including character-based learning and insights.

For example, Judo Bank is now harnessing AI to change up the banking experience. As part of its digital transformation using Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, Judo Bank was able to quickly go to market with an AI CRM platform that’s helping them deepen customer relationships and make their data a powerful competitive advantage. Judo Bank’s Lisa Frazier says, “Humans make banking decisions; tech enables it.” 

Embracing digital transformation with AI CRM: The NAB experience

Despite economic uncertainties, we heard that leaders in banking and finance are still seeking to accelerate innovation in offering greater personalisation, connected experiences, automation and AI. However, barriers such as disconnected data and manual workflows are slowing the transformation.

It’s why 92% see industry clouds – like Salesforce for Financial Services – as the catalyst to grow their top-line, reduce cost to serve and drive personalisation at scale.

Trailblazer National Australia Bank is one such bank embracing digital transformation to deliver personalised customer experiences. With 73% of its team using Salesforce CRM and Customer 360, they’ve saved hours in bank admin while being able to create lovable, intuitive experiences at scale. NAB’s Elise Toohey says, “Be open to experimentation and pivoting – it’s not natural in a banking environment, so it’s important to build that into your culture.”


The future of government is here

Trust was the focus of a breakout session for government attendees. How do global government departments and agencies safeguard information and ensure AI-based outcomes are explainable, unbiased and ethical?

The advice was that all governments should establish trust prerequisites and put governance guidelines in place – now. 

Talk to the experts, start familiarising yourself with the tools out there and explore what generative AI might do to help you support citizens, faster and more efficiently.

Transport for NSW drives innovation with big data

Locally, one government department blazing new trails is Transport for NSW with its digital transformation – analysing torrents of data in real-time so it can react faster to transport network issues.

Karen McCarthy from Transport for NSW told us how they’ve replaced a range of disconnected systems with Salesforce to better understand the customer experience and prioritise actions to improve its services.

“Creating a single source of truth gives us insights to make decisions and respond quickly and clearly when changes happen rapidly,” said Karen.


Harnessing AI for person-centred care

Since the Royal Commission into Aged Care described the aged care sector’s technology as being “in the dark ages”, it has been undergoing a major modernisation.

Leading the way is Hammond Care, which uses Salesforce’s health cloud system and AI to better match client needs with care worker skill sets. John Sutherland, CIO of Hammond Care, put it like this: “To move forward, we need to be bold. Partnership is key to riding it out.”

Fay Flevaras from the Department of Health & Aged Care agreed. Since the aged care reform started in 2022, the Department has taken major strides in its digitisation strategy, creating a frictionless portal where consumers and aged care providers can digitally interact.

Her advice for getting started? “Start with the ‘just do it’ approach. Find partners to help you accelerate. Tap into community tech talk to hear what others are doing to learn first before implementing.”

Enhancing customer experiences in the insurance sector

Another inspiring session was that led by Medibank’s Jonathan Goh on harnessing AI and data to create more personalised customer journeys. Medibank recently adopted Salesforce Data Cloud – “the heart of our marketing” – to build a 360-degree view of its customers.

Jonathan explained how Data Cloud allows Medibank to create segments for more personalised and engaging marketing communications to customers, as well as to cross-sell other products.

Medibank’s tips for a Data Cloud implementation? “Test drive the marketing model first before starting. Keep it simple and don’t overcook it. Get the right people in the project, and it goes without saying, partner with Salesforce!”


Delivering large-scale transformations

The Department for Education South Australia (DfE) along with the State Trustees Victoria shared some great learnings and best practices for large-scale transformation with Salesforce and taking a human-centred approach.

Their advice is to think big and start small. Imagine what success looks like, prioritise capabilities that achieve outcomes, embed leading practices and principles, plan a roadmap to value realisation, and scale your success with agile decision-making.

SA Education Department’s student engagement platform

DfE talked about their recent implementation of a student engagement platform for around 30,000 users, enabling it to better document student information and make it actionable in real time.

When planning a large-scale implementation, DfE’s Crystal Warner suggests, “Define what success looks like for your organisation and students. Understand your capability needs and what Salesforce can do across various departments to create repeatable processes. Stick to the plan, implement, live and breathe it daily, and look for ways to continuously improve.”

Effective and Ethical Use of AI in Driving Student Success

In the world of education, AI is very much top of mind. In this panel session into the effective and ethical use of AI by students, we heard that 54% of higher education leaders are optimistic about genAI, with 77% seeing improved efficiency as a key opportunity. Meanwhile, 58% are concerned with data privacy, with over half raising Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a top concern.

According to the panel, AI presents an opportunity to think about learning in a new way. To start, we need to educate teachers on the use of AI, put guidelines in place for the development of responsible AI and rethink mechanisms to better engage with students.

Ready to start your Salesforce AI journey?

No matter where you are on your AI journey, Simplus is here to help scope, design, build and maintain your digital platform. Ready to boost your productivity and transform customer experiences?  Get in touch with Simplus today.

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