Auto industry changing business models
Automotive Cloud, if it is to unseat incumbent automotive applications, needs to be simple to implement, integrate and use, said Mike Ramsey, a vice president, analyst, at Gartner and longtime auto industry journalist. If Salesforce can create cloud software that anticipates and facilitates these new models -- and using it isn't a struggle -- the vendor will be the only one doing anything like it, Ramsey said.
Michael RamseyAnalyst, Gartner
«Automotive Cloud is not just a CRM system for automakers. » That represents a big IT project that automakers may consider Salesforce Automotive Cloud instead of building or buying -- and then integrating -- all those pieces themselves. But replicating the functionality of tools such as Salesforce Flow for Automotive automations and Analytics for Automotive outside of the Salesforce cloud would require a lot of developer code and integration work.
Salesforce's vertical industry playbook
Automotive Cloud follows the pattern of other Salesforce vertical clouds, where large companies such as clothing or consumer packaged goods manufacturers either didn't have relationships with consumers in the first place, or they were severed during the pandemic when retail stores closed. «Salesforce is trying to understand the realities of an industry, and then out of the box, it these data models and algorithms,» Miller said. « That's the problem Salesforce is trying to solve». Analytics for Automotive, part of Salesforce's automotive CRM, comes with industry-specific dashboards that provide overviews of sales performance, customer lifecycle and revenue trends.
Salesforce hopes Automotive Cloud will appeal to large dealer networks, which typically have 20 or more dealerships and sell cars from multiple automakers, said Achyut Jajoo, senior vice president and general manager for manufacturing and automotive at Salesforce. He added that Salesforce has targeted auto financing companies as well as regional operations groups for large automakers. That might provide an opportunity for Salesforce Automotive Cloud as these networks look to integrate customer data among its dealers.