Salesforce’s business intelligence platform, Tableau, is getting generative AI features  in the form of Tableau GPT, built on the company’s proprietary Einstein GPT AI engine, which has  also been integrated into other products such as Slack.

“Tableau GPT can enhance and automate things like analyzing data, exploring it, sharing it, consuming it. The generative AI engine introduces a number of really exciting use cases where for example, analyzing data feels more like a conversation via a chatbot as opposed to drag and drop,” said Pedro Arellano, head of product at Tableau.

“Other use cases include the engine anticipating questions that users might ask based on what’s already in the data or taking hundreds of insights and explaining them using very easy to understand summaries,” Arellano said.

Einstein GPT, the foundation for Tableau GPT, comprises various large language models (LLMs) including those from OpenAI, Cohere, and internal, proprietary Salesforce models, noted Sanjeev Mohan, principal analyst at independent consulting firm SanjMo.

These internal models were  driven by Salesforce’s investments in companies with natural language processing abilities, and insights about how enterprises conduct data analytics, according to Amalgam Insights principal analyst Hyoun Park.

“Tableau previously acquired Narrative Science, a natural language generation solution for analytics. In addition, Salesforce has made strong investments in data science over the years such as BeyondCore, Metamind, and Datorama and has hundreds of data scientists in house as well,” Park said.

In addition, Tableau GPT has been given a data security and governance layer in order to protect enterprise data from internal and external data leakages or unauthorized access, according to Arellano.

The addition of the governance and security can be attributed to Salesforce’s effort to build trust among customers, especially at a time when companies are banning the use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT over data leak concerns, analysts said.  

“These layers protect users who are afraid that their prompts will be used to retrain LLMs. Also, it can guard against LLM hallucinations,” SanjMo’s Mohan said.  

Tableau GPT is expected to be available in pilot later this year, the company said.

Proactive data analytics with Tableau Pulse

Salesforce has also released a new flavor of data analytics under an offering dubbed Tableau Pulse, which the company said offers proactive analytics.

“It is sort of a personal guide for your data, where it knows your data. It knows the goals you’re trying to achieve with your data. And it helps you reach those goals,” Arellano said.

Tableau Pulse will also use Tableau GPT to help enterprise users make better, faster decisions using automated analytics on personalized metrics in an “easy-to-understand way,” Arellano  said, adding that that Pulse can surface insights in both natural language and visual formats.

Use cases include alerts when there is an unusual change in data or metrics, and help for users to drill down to the reason for the anomaly, the company said.

These insights can be further shared with colleagues via collaboration platforms such as Jira or Slack in order to find a resolution, Salesforce added.

“The automatic nature of the analyses provided by Pulse increases productivity but also introduces consistency and comprehensiveness since the same analytics are applied wherever necessary,” said David Menninger, research director at Ventana Research.

However, Tableau might be playing catch up with other vendors, analysts said.

“A number of vendors have developed and are refining ways to look at the graph of individual and user behaviors and interactions with data and then glean insights and make recommendations based on changes,” said Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

Cloud-based products, according to Henschen, tend to have a leg up in analyzing user behaviors and data interactions at scale.

“Products that started out as server-based products, like Tableau, have typically taken longer to develop graph and personalization capabilities that can be delivered consistently across the both cloud and on-premises deployments,” Henschen said.  

Though many vendors offer automated insights, the addition of generative AI-produced narratives “will help make these insights more complete and more easily delivered in multiple languages,” Ventana’s Menninger said.

Tableau Pulse is expected to be available in pilot later this year, the company said.

Data Cloud for Tableau to unify data for analytics

In addition to Tableau Pulse, Salesforce is offering Data Cloud for Tableau to unify enterprises’ data for analytics.

The plan is to layer Tableau on top of the Data Cloud, which was released last year in September at Dreamforce under the name “Genie.”

“With Tableau, all of a company’s customer data can be visualized to help users explore and find insights more easily. Data Cloud also supports zero-copy data sharing, which means that users can virtualize Data Cloud data in other databases, making it instantly available to anyone,” the company said in a statement.

Data Cloud for Tableau will also come with data querying capabilities, the company added.

There are many business advantages that Data Cloud for Tableau can provide, according to Henschen.

“Advantages include bringing together all your disparate data, separating compute and storage decisions, and enabling many types of analysis and many different use cases against the data cloud without replication and redundant copies of data,” Henschen said.

Salesforce’s move to combine its Data Cloud with Tableau can be attributed to Tableau having reaching a ceiling in its core analytic discovery capabilities, according to Park.

“It is being pressured to increasingly support larger analytics use cases that push into data management and data warehousing. Although Tableau is not going to be a full-fledged data warehouse, it does want to be a source of master data where analytic data is accessed,” Park said.

Data Cloud for Tableau, however, is part of a strategy to  compete with data lakehouse, data warehouse vendors, and an effort to own or control more data, Menninger said. The integration of Tableau and Data Cloud will lead to direct competition with the likes of Qlik, Tibco IBM, Oracle, and SAP, analysts said.

Data Cloud for Tableau is expected to be made available later this year.

Other updates includes a new developer capability, dubbed VizQL (visual query language) Data Service, that allows enterprise users to embed Tableau anywhere into an automated business workflow.

“VizQL Data Service is a layer that will sit on top of published data sources and existing models and allows developers to build composable data products with a simple programming interface,” the company said.

Salesforce woos new users with Tableau generative AI

Generally, the addition of generative AI features to Tableau can be seen as an attempt to attract customers who are not analytics or data experts. Business intelligence suites face a problem of adoption as at least 35% of employees are not willing to learn about analytics or data structures, Park said.

“To get past that, analytics needs a fundamentally different user interface. This combination of a natural language processing, natural language generation, generative AI, and jargon-free inputs that translate standard language into data relationships provides that user interface,” Park added.

Another reason why the new features could attract customers is the disinterest of business users in using dashboards. “These users would rather use natural language which has context. Up until now, NLP was very difficult for computers to handle but the new LLMs changed that,” Mohan added.

Business Intelligence, Enterprise Applications

Salesforce previewed new capabilities for its Field Service application suite on Tuesday, giving an early look at a new mobile application powered by the company’s EinsteinGPT generative AI engine.

Salesforce Field Service, which is a part of the company’s Service Cloud, offers applications designed to boost productivity of companies’ frontline workers, lower operating costs, and enhance customer experience.

In addition to the EinsteinGPT-powered Field Service Mobile app, updates to to the suite include Asset Service Management and Contractor Management, said Taksina Eammano, executive vice president of Field Service at Salesforce.

EinsteinGPT, which was showcased by the company last month, is Salesforce’s generative AI engine, trained on large language foundation models such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and open source-based Anthropic.

The company had said that it would offer EinsteinGPT via five products — for service, sales, marketing, developers, and for its Slack workplace chat and collaboration application.

EinsteinGPT for field service employees

The EinsteinGPT-powered Field Service Mobile application, according to Eammano, can help enterprises achieve three goals — support technicians trying to complete service work and summarize it easily, drive more insights about customer experience by collecting more data points, and scale up revenue by upselling or cross-selling.

The application can help frontline service workers complete their work by automatically generating step-by-step guides and how-to content to address specific customer issues, including troubleshooting error codes for an appliance, Salesforce said. AI-generated work summarization can include contextual information, images and text.

In addition, Field Service Mobile will allow teams to coordinate customer issues and work orders in Slack, use prebuilt capabilities from Salesforce’s Component Library for tasks like finding nearby spare parts and managing timesheets, and help onboard employees quickly, the company added.

The generative AI-powered Field Service Mobile application is expected to be available in beta by December.

Asset service and contractor management

Salesforce also unveiled Asset Service Management and Contractual Management updates to its Field Service suite.

Asset Service Management, which is powered by the company’s Data Cloud, helps maintain enterprise equipment and machinery with real-time data collected from sensors and predictive maintenance based on usage, Eammano said. This minimizes preventable maintenance issues and extends the lifespan of expensive infrastructure. Asset Service Management is expected to available in beta by December 2023, the company said.

The Contractor Management feature, meanwhile, is designed to help enterprises manage their contractual workforce and has been added to the Flex Worker Management module inside Salesforce Field Service.

“Contractor Management with Flex Worker Management allows companies to easily scale their contractor workforce, and efficiently deploy them based on skills, distance, and available tools,” the company said in a statement, adding that the new capability is generally available now.

Enterprise Applications

CRM giant Salesforce today said that it would commit $250 million to investments in startups focused on generative AI, even as the company warned of the dangers of the technology.

The company emphasized the potential gains for application software possible through the use of AI in its initial announcement of investments in four AI-driven companies. The first, Anthropic, bills itself as an “AI safety and research company,” trying to create more predictable and steerable AI systems, without the unintended consequences and bad behavior of some large AIs.

The second, Cohere, is a natural-language processing startup which, it said, aims to make language AI accessible to a much broader range of companies. Hearth AI, an agent-relationship management company, is dedicated to creating AI that can understand human social networks. Finally, is an AI-powered search engine, offering summarized search results and a degree of privacy compared to large commercial offerings.

Salesforce said that it already uses AI technology for sales, service, marketing and commerce applications, which allows users to quickly analyze behavior and improve customer experiences in those areas.

Generative AI – that is, AI that can create its own information, whether that’s text, images or otherwise – is very much the technology of the moment, with ChatGPT and generative art program DALL-E 2 wowing users. Yet, Salesforce warns, there are real downsides to slapdash or careless development of generative AI systems. These can include learned toxicity, the possibility of widespread misuse (e.g. people passing off AI-generated content as their own), and more.

“As businesses race to bring this technology to market, it’s critical that we do so inclusively and intentionally,” said Kathy Baxter, principal architect for Salesforce’s ethical AI practice, and Paula Goodman, chief ethical and humane use officer, in a blog post Tuesday. “It’s not enough to deliver the technological capabilities of generative AI, we must prioritize responsible innovation to help guide how this transformative technology can and should be used.”

Salesforce’s existing AI offerings are grouped under the Einstein product family. Einstein technology currently offers predictive analytics, and today Salesforce announced that it is testing new software, Einstein GPT, that will offer generative AI.

Salesforce’s AI development has been guided, in large part, by a set of rules that echo the Rome Call for AI Ethics, a declaration that took place at the Vatican in 2020, where tech CEOs, religious leaders and representatives from government and academia pledged to develop AI that is unbiased, transparent, safe and inclusive.

A Salesforce survey released yesterday showed that, despite some skepticism, over half of businesses believe that “generative AI is a ‘game-changer,’” with strong majorities seeing the possibilities for reducing team workloads, selling products more effectively and leveraging data.

Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise Applications

Salesforce was an early adopter of artificial intelligence (AI) with its Einstein recommendation tools, but it is taking a cautious approach to deploying the latest AI trend, generative AI.

It’s been a month since Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted, “Get ready to be wowed by Salesforce EinsteinGPT! It generates leads, closes deals, and even makes coffee (just kidding, but wouldn’t that be amazing?)”

On the eve of the company’s Trailblazer DX ’23 developer conference, though, Einstein GPT still wasn’t ready. “We’re still very early days,” Salesforce Service Cloud GM Clara Shih said in a conference call to demonstrate Einstein GPT to journalists. “We’re testing and validating and iterating before we launch these products as generally available.”

Salesforce has committed to building AI that is responsible, inclusive, accountable, transparent and empowering, a series of values similar to those espoused in the Rome Call for AI Ethics.

Interest in generative AI from customers is high, Shih said. “We have pilots across every single cloud that is happening, and many of them are oversubscribed,” she said.

It’s easy to see why they’re interested: Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can write sales proposals or respond interactively to customer complaints far quicker and more cost-effectively than a person. But there are dangers: the models such generative AI tools use to decide which word to write next can occasionally “hallucinate,” generating wildly inaccurate or inappropriate recommendations, and making it risky for enterprises to use them unsupervised.

In a period of great economic uncertainty, enterprises are focusing on customer experience and customer retention, said Gartner distinguished analyst Gene Alvarez. “AI brings hopes of providing great customer experiences at scale while not driving costs higher,” he said.

But imperfections in the output of today’s generative AIs mean that human review is needed, he said. “Salesforce appears to be taking its time to navigate all these issues in advance of the release, which is a prudent approach,” he added.

What will Einstein GPT do?

Einstein GPT is not one product but five: Einstein GPT for Service, for Sales, for Marketing, for Slack and for Developers.

When they’re eventually released, they’ll offer enterprises ways to incorporate suggestions from a generative AI model into their Salesforce workflows. These suggestions will be based on the data used to train the generative AI model, and also on the data held in an enterprise’s Salesforce system.

“We’ve got the relevant context to really make the most out of generative AI,” said Shih. “Our Salesforce Data Cloud means we can allow the generative AI to continuously adapt as customer information and needs change.”

Einstein GPT for Service will prompt service agents with responses to customer questions and requests, summarize the interaction to create case notes, and even extract relevant information to generate new knowledge base articles, she said.

For sales staff, Einstein GPT for Sales will summarize news about accounts and identify key contacts, as well as generate drafts for sales emails. The creation of targeted email campaigns, ads and landing pages will be the preserve of Einstein GPT for Marketing.

Einstein GPT for Slack will provide natural language access to CRM functions from within the Slack messaging platform that Salesforce acquired in 2021, while Einstein GPT for Developers will automatically create code snippets and test cases based on comments in code.

For Gartner analyst Kyle Davis, there’s potential for generative AI to assist developers in writing better quality code.

“This is different from developing a whole application but provides valuable assistance in smaller scoped scenarios,” Davis said. “I see this with Microsoft using Power Apps Ideas to help developers create a Power Fx formula that would’ve been difficult to create on their own, especially if they’re new to Power Apps development. The same is now being incorporated into Salesforce. Poorly written Apex code can cause low-performing applications.”

Einstein GPT: Not just GPT

Despite Einstein GPT’s name, GPT won’t be the only generative AI tool it uses. Salesforce plans to combine its own AI models with others from an open ecosystem of vetted partners, including those of its launch partner, GPT developer OpenAI, said  Shih.

“This means customers have choice,” she said. “They can bring their own generative AI models or choose one of our out-of-the-box generative AI options.”

In all the demonstrations of Einstein GPT during the conference call, one feature remained constant: Whenever Einstein GPT generated any text, another click was required before it was shared with another person.

Jayesh Govindarajan, SVP of engineering, Einstein and Bots, explained: “You saw generative AI operating within the trust boundary, with a human in the loop at all times. Another powerful benefit to having humans in the loop is that the edits and the refinements go back into reinforcing the model, and over time, improve their performance. The more you use, the better it gets.”

Requiring a person to click “OK” may not be sufficient to keep AI hallucinations from causing trouble, particularly if that person’s compensation depends on how many queries they respond to or how many lines of code they write, so CIOs will need to take a holistic view of the checks and balances they build into their processes, not just look at the user interface.

There are other UX challenges too, Gartner’s Alvarez notes: Just because a bot can tailor a response using a customer’s personal information quicker than a human operator could, doesn’t mean it should.

“There are ethical issues to be wrestled with, such as the thin line between being helpful to a customer and being invasive,” Alvarez said. “This is where ethics on customer etiquette are needed to avoid interactions that will drive customers away.”

While Salesforce is taking a cautious approach to introducing generative AI, its partner OpenAI has gone full speed ahead. OpenAI uses Slack internally, and saw early on the potential for plugging its ChatGPT bot right into its corporate Slack channels.

It has now released a beta version of its ChatGPT app for Slack that anyone can sign up to use. It will appear in the Slack App directory, subject to the usual corporate approvals for app integrations. Once installed, it adds two functions to Slack’s “More actions” button: “Summarize thread” and “Draft reply.” It’s also possible to use the app as a search tool by asking it questions. Salesforce wants other companies to pile in on generative AI, and its investment arm, Salesforce Ventures, has set up a new fund to support them. “We’re launching this $250 million AI investment fund to nurture the next generation of AI startups and to guide the ecosystem in developing generative AI in a responsible way,” Shih said.

Application Management, Artificial Intelligence, CIO, CRM Systems

Generative AI has become a top priority among businesses even though IT leaders are expressing concerns about potential ethical issues posed by the technology, according to a new Salesforce survey.

Sixty-seven percent of senior IT leaders surveyed said they will be prioritizing the technology over the next 18 months, and 33% claimed it would be their top priority, the survey said.

Despite its perceived benefits, however, respondents to the survey remain skeptical about some of the ethical challenges currently surrounding generative AI, in particular that its output could be biased or inaccurate.

Various forms of AI have been used by businesses for decades. Generative AI is the latest major development in the field. According to IDC, it is a form of artificial intelligence that uses unsupervised and semi-supervised algorithms to create new content from existing materials, such as text, audio, video, images and code.

The Salesforce survey, which asked 515 senior IT leaders in the US about their thoughts regarding generative AI, comes a week after CEO Marc Benioff told analysts that the growth of AI presents an opportunity for Salesforce. It also precedes the launch later this week of the company’s EinsteinGPT, which Benioff said will complement the company’s Einstein technology.

Launched in 2016, Salesforce Einstein is an integrated set of AI technologies that brings artificial intelligence into all Salesforce products, which the company says ultimately provides customers with more personalized and predictive experiences.

Although 33% of respondents to the Salesforce survey think the technology is already “over-hyped,” 57% said they believe that generative AI is a “game changer.” According to the report, better serving customers, helping to take advantage of data, and allowing organizations to operate more efficiently were cited as the top benefits of the technology by 87%, 80% and 79% of respondents respectively.

In addition, 79% of senior IT leaders said generative AI will help reduce team workload and thereby reduce burnout, and 77% believe that the technology will help their organization serve their customers faster. Seventy-five percent of respondents said generative AI helps their organization sell efficiently.

IT leaders express concerns about AI

However, as recent events have shown (Microsoft’s Bing chatbot recently professed its love to a New York Times reporter and told him to get a divorce), generative AI is not without its problems, a concern reflected by a significant percentage of the senior IT leaders surveyed by Salesforce. Seventy-nine percent of respondents believe that the technology has the potential to be a security risk, while 73% are concerned it could be biased, and 59% of respondents believe generative AI outputs are inaccurate.

Furthermore, 66% of respondents said their employees don’t have the skills to successfully leverage generative AI, while 60% believe the technology won’t integrate into their current tech stack, and 59% don’t have a unified data strategy to implement generative AI successfully.

Consequently, 99% of senior IT leaders surveyed believe their business must take measures to better equip themselves to successfully leverage the technology.

The importance of acknowledging the technical and ethical concerns regarding the implementation of AI was further highlighted by the fact that 83% of respondents to the survey think businesses must work together to ensure generative AI is used ethically.

In comments posted along with the announcement of the survey findings, Clara Shih, CEO of Salesforce’s Service Cloud, said that generative AI represents a change in how organizations across industries will analyze data, automate processes, and empower different departments to improve customer relationships. However, she also warned that the technology is not without new risks and challenges.

“Whether generating a tailored sales email or customer support chat response, an ethics-first approach grounded in trusted data and human-in-the-loop workflows is what will allow enterprises to safely and responsibly use generative AI to deliver against today’s growing customer expectations,” Shih said.

Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise Applications

Despite a tumultuous couple of months, strong user uptake of Tableau business intelligence and MuleSoft data automation and integration software fueled a surprising 14% year-over-year jump in revenue for Salesforce’s fourth quarter.

Posting revenue of $8.38 billion after stock market trading closed on Wednesday, the company beat the expectations of analysts, whose average forecast for the quarter was $7.99 billion, according to data from Yahoo Finance. Concerns about the company’s ability to absorb various acquisitions it has made over the last few years without losing focus on product development and sales, and recent layoffs in the wake of a hiring binge during the pandemic, have raised questions about the company’s ability to grow.   

The better-than-expected results caused the company’s share price to rise by 12% in afternoon trading Thursday.

Speaking to analysts on a conference call after the results were announced, CEO Marc Benioff praised the company’s subsidiaries for helping to drive growth, noting that MuleSoft was included in seven of the company’s top 10 deals in the quarter, while Tableau was included in every top 10 deal, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

Mulesoft, Tableau outperform company expectations

Mulesoft and Tableau outperformed the company’s own expectations, said company CFO Amy Weaver, also speaking on the call.

Benioff also told analysts that customer revenue attrition was at its lowest level in the company’s history, ending the quarter below 7.5%.

Fourth-quarter subscription and support revenue was up 14% year on year to $7.8 billion, while professional services and other revenue totaled $600 million, an increase of 19%. The results helped boost Salesforce’s total revenue for financial year 2023 to $31.4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 18%.

Despite the revenue gains, Salesforce posted a fourth-quarter loss of $98 million, compared with a loss of $28 million in the same quarter last year, due mainly to restructuring costs that included layoff-related expenses.

The previous 90 days haven’t been smooth sailing for Salesforce. During the quarter, the company cut around 10% of its workforce, shut numerous offices, and co-CEO Bret Taylor and Slack CEO Stuart Butterfield both announced in the same week that they would be stepping away  from the company.

Like many other tech companies, Salesforce blamed the need for layoffs on a hiring spree during the pandemic — when the need to go remote spurred corporate demand for cloud services and collaboration software — that was followed by weakening demand last year as a result of macroeconomic issues including inflation and supply chain disruptions.

Salesforce touts soon-to-be-launched EinsteinGPT

Looking ahead, Benioff said that Salesforce’s upcoming EinsteinGPT offering will soon integrate with all Salesforce cloud products, including those from its Tableau, MuleSoft and Slack subsidiaries. He added that EinsteinGPT, which Salesforce is set to unveil next week, will complement the company’s Einstein AI technology, which offers predictive analytics and allows for voice control of software, and which has already been incorporated into products including Tableau.  

The growth of AI as well as the internet of things (IoT) presents an opportunity for other Salesforce products, Benioff said.

“We‘ve always been influenced by the world of AI and IoT and seeing our customers try to add in all of their intelligent devices onto our platform so they can have better relationships with their customers who are connected to them in these incredible new ways,” he said.

Benioff’s comments come in the same week that Zoom announced it would be expanding AI capabilities throughout its product portfolio and Microsoft officially made Bing Chat available to preview users in Windows 11.

Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence and Analytics Software, Technology Industry

Enterprises worldwide are not tapping the potential of their data when making critical business decisions and navigating uncertain macroeconomic conditions, according to a Salesforce survey.

Nearly 67% of 10,000 business leaders polled globally are not using data to set pricing in line with economic conditions such as inflation, according to the Untapped Data Research survey.

Only 29% of these leaders are using data to set strategy when launching products or services in new markets, and just 17% are using data to achieve their climate goals, according to the survey. Just 21% of the survey respondents said they are using data to make decisions about their company’s diversity goals.

The lack of data utilization is happening even though 80% of the leaders said that data is critical to decision making and 73% said that data reduces uncertainties.

The business leaders who were polled also believe that data can help generate more efficiency and trust in their organizations if leveraged correctly, according to the survey. Nearly 72% of these leaders said that data keeps people focused on the things that matter and that are relevant to the business.

In addition, more than 66% of the executives surveyed said that they think data can help minimize the influence of personal opinions or egos in a business conversation.

Data deluge sparks operational challenges

The volume of data generated and the lack of knowledge to operationalize or utilize it in the most effective way are impediments to tapping the potential of enterprises’ data reserves, according to survey respondents.

“While 80% of business leaders say data is critical in decision-making, 41% cite a lack of understanding of data because it is too complex or not accessible enough. What’s more, one-third of leaders said they lack the ability to generate insights from data,” Francois Ajenstat, chief product officer at Tableau, wrote in a blog post.

Salesforce acquired visual analytics software provider Tableau in August 2019.

In addition to the impediments cited by Ajenstat, the volume of data generated globally is expected to more than double by 2026, adding to more complexities for enterprises, according to the study.

Investing in data literacy skills could be the solution

Enterprise leadership teams can work to eliminate these impediments by investing in data literacy programs for employees and weaving a data culture into the fabric of the enterprise, according to Ajenstat.

“If a company doesn’t yet have a data culture, then they need to invest in platforms that allow them to turn repeatable processes into core capabilities,” Ajenstat said, adding that data literacy programs should be offered to all employees.

The proliferation of generative AI and natural language processing will break down learning barriers for employees, Ajenstat said.

“These innovations are giving non-data people the confidence to make an informed decision and act on it,” Ajenstat wrote.

Data Management

Salesforce skills are among the most sought-after in the IT industry and demand is soaring. The most performant CRM system today, Salesforce is a core technology for digital business, and its associated applications and ecosystem help make it in a leading platform for those seeking a lucrative IT career.

Salesforce certification is an excellent path for acquiring niche knowledge and skills to push your IT career forward. Salesforce’s certification scheme changes often, and its paths and prerequisites can be confusing. Following is an up-to-date guide on certifications that Salesforce offers to help you earn a competitive edge leading to new opportunities.

Benefits of Salesforce certifications

Salesforce jobs range from the technical (architects, developers, implementation experts) to those related to marketing and sales. Each role varies in terms of the required depth of understanding of Salesforce platform.

Earning Salesforce certifications can set you apart for lucrative roles. The average salary for an entry-level Salesforce administrator is around US$100,750, and senior Salesforce administrators make approximately US$128,000, according to Salesforce Ben. According to a study by, 70% of Salesforce developers in the US are satisfied with their salaries given the cost of living in their area.

Salesforce certification overview

Salesforce certifications are based on a role-based scheme centered on six roles: Administrator, Architect, Consultant, Designer, Developer, and Marketer. Details about the certifications and certification paths for these roles are available below.

Salesforce Administrator certifications

Salesforce administrator certification emphasizes admin functions, including defining user requirements, customizing the platform, and helping users get the most out of Salesforce. The certification is offered at two levels: Administrator and Advanced Administrator. Administrators can earn additional certifications for app building, CPQ (configure price quote), and business analysis (see below).

Salesforce Administrator

A Salesforce Certified Administrator manages and maintains an organization’s Salesforce CRM system. This includes creating and modifying user accounts, managing data, creating and maintaining custom fields and objects, and configuring the system to meet organizational needs. The Salesforce Administrator certification demonstrates a candidate’s in-depth knowledge of the platform’s configuration and customization, as well as their proficiency with the platform’s features. To earn this cert, candidates should know how to maintain and modify Sales Cloud and Service Cloud applications; manage users, data, and security; and construct dashboards, reports, and workflows.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Administrator60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Advanced Administrator

A Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator has more advanced knowledge and experience compared to a Salesforce Administrator. They handle complex tasks such as customizing the platform, configuring advanced security features, and optimizing performance while ensuring the platform aligns with company requirements and goals. To earn the Salesforce Advanced Administrator certification, candidates should understand advanced Salesforce admin capabilities and be skilled at designing advanced reports, dashboards, and automation processes.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Advanced Administrator60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce CPQ Specialist

A Salesforce Certified CPQ Specialist is responsible for implementing and maintaining the Salesforce CPQ solution for an organization, ensuring accurate pricing and quotation processes while providing technical support to streamline sales operations. The Salesforce CPQ Specialist certification demonstrates a candidate’s ability to implement Salesforce CPQ solutions, design and build quoting flows to meet customer requirements, and troubleshoot platform issues. A candidate who earns the certification will have proved their ability to build bundle configurations, pricing, output documents, and renewals and amendments.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce CPQ Specialist60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Administrator

Salesforce Architect certifications

Salesforce Architects design and implement solutions on the Salesforce platform to meet specific organizational needs. This includes managing the technical aspects of Salesforce, such as customizing objects, fields, and validation rules, as well as developing and maintaining integrations with other systems.

Salesforce Application Architect

A Salesforce Certified Application Architect designs and develops custom solutions on the Salesforce platform. This certification requires deep understanding of Salesforce features and functionality, as well as the ability to model a role hierarchy, data model, and appropriate sharing mechanisms. While there is no cost associated with this certification, to earn this credential, candidates must complete all four certifications, each of which has its own associated exam and fee:

Salesforce Certified Data ArchitectSalesforce Certified Sharing and Visibility ArchitectSalesforce Certified Platform Developer I (see below under Salesforce Developer certification)Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder (see below under Salesforce Developer certification)

Salesforce Data Architect

A Salesforce Certified Data Architect designs and manages the data architecture and data integration strategies for a Salesforce implementation, ensuring data quality, security, and integrity to support business requirements and drive effective decision-making. To earn the Salesforce Data Architect certification, candidates should be able to design and implement data solutions within the Salesforce ecosystem, such as data modelling, data integration and data governance. 

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Data Architect60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$400/$200None

Salesforce Sharing and Visibility Architect

A Salesforce Certified Sharing and Visibility Architect is responsible for designing and implementing the access controls, sharing models, and security settings in Salesforce, to ensure the appropriate sharing of data within an organization and protection of sensitive information. The Salesforce Sharing and Visibility Architect certification is designed for architects, analysts, and administrators with the knowledge and skills to design secure, scalable security models on To earn this certification, a candidate should be good at communicating technical solutions to technical stakeholders and ensuring quality and success through a structured project delivery framework.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Sharing and Visibility Architect60 multiple-choice questions120 minutes$400/$200None

Salesforce System Architect  

A Salesforce certified System Architect focuses on the overall architecture of a Salesforce implementation, including the design of custom solutions, data architecture, security, performance, and scalability. The certification emphasizes testing, governance, and integration with external systems within an organization’s infrastructure. While there is no cost associated with this certification, to earn this credential, candidates must complete all four certifications, each of which has its own associated exam and fee: 

Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment ArchitectSalesforce Certified Identity and Access Management ArchitectSalesforce Certified Integration ArchitectureSalesforce Certified Platform Developer I (see below under Salesforce Developer certification)

Salesforce Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer

A Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer designs and manages the development, testing, and deployment processes for Salesforce projects. The Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Architect credential is designed for those experienced with applying DevOps, Application Lifecycle Management, and governance to support client requirements.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$400/$200None

Salesforce Identity and Access Management Designer

A Salesforce Certified Identity and Access Management Architect designs and implements security and access controls for a Salesforce implementation. The Salesforce Certified Identity and Access Management credential demonstrates a candidate’s knowledge, skills and capabilities at assessing identity architecture and designing secure, high-performance access management solutions on Customer 360.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Identity and Access Management Designer60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$400/$200None

Salesforce Integration Architect

A Salesforce Certified Integration Architecture designs and implements integration strategies between Salesforce and other systems, ensuring seamless data exchange and the optimization of business processes through use of APIs, middleware, and other technologies. The Salesforce Integration Architect credentials exam shows a candidate’s fluency in effectively communicating technical solutions to technical stakeholders and providing a project delivery framework that ensures quality and success.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Integration Architect60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$400/$200None

Salesforce B2B Solution Architect

A B2B (business-to-business) Solution Architect designs and implements solutions for businesses that operate in B2B context, leveraging Salesforce to optimize business processes, improve customer engagement, and drive growth for the organization. Prerequisites include earning Salesforce Application Architect certification (see above). Candidates must then successfully pass the Salesforce B2B Solution Architect exam, which tests their ability to architect and drive multicloud B2B solutions that deliver business value for the customer.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce B2B Solution Architect60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$400/$200Salesforce Administrator

Salesforce B2C Solution Architect

A Salesforce Certified B2C Solution Architect designs and implements solutions for businesses that operate in a B2C (business-to-consumer) context, leveraging Salesforce to enhance customer experiences, improve customer relationships, and drive growth. Once candidates have completed the three prerequisite certifications (chart below), they must successfully pass the Salesforce B2C Solution Architect exam, which tests their ability to design and implement multicloud solutions, as well as their understanding of the Salesforce Customer 360 Vision and Platform.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce B2C Solution Architect60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$400/$200Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification; Salesforce Integration Architect Certification; Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification

Salesforce B2C Commerce Architect

A B2C Commerce Architect designs and implements commerce solutions for businesses that operate in a B2C (business-to-consumer) context. The B2C Commerce Architect Certification is designed for candidates who have expertise in designing global sites that support multiple brands and channels using standard design patterns and storefront integrations. Certification also designed for candidates with knowledge of the commerce ecosystem and solution architecture, including primary integrations for client business needs and process flows. 

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce B2C Commerce Architect60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$400/$200Salesforce B2C Commerce Developer

Salesforce Heroku Architect

A Salesforce Certified Heroku Architect designs and implements scalable, secure, high-performance applications on Heroku, leveraging the platform’s capabilities to deliver business-critical solutions for the organization. The Salesforce Heroku Architect certification is targeted for a Heroku Consultant or Partner who understands how to build scalable apps on Heroku and to apply Heroku best practices within the enterprise, as well as how to integrate Heroku apps with Salesforce via database, API, and event systems.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Heroku Architect60 multiple-choice questions120 minutes$400/$200Salesforce B2C Commerce Developer

Salesforce Technical Architect

A Salesforce Certified Technical Architect designs and leads the implementation of complex, enterprise-level Salesforce solutions that align with an organization’s business objectives and technical requirements. Candidates must have hands-on experience as follows before taking the exam:

Over five years of implementation experience, including development, across the full software development lifecycleOver three years of experience in an architect roleOver two years of experience on the Lightning Platform with at least one of those in a lead architect role, implementing Salesforce applications and technologies

The prerequisite include earning the Salesforce Application Architect (see above) and Salesforce System Architect (see above) certifications both of which are granted after all respective prerequisites for each is completed.

To earn the Salesforce Technical Architect certification (post completion of the prerequisite and experience), the candidate must successfully pass the Architect Review Board Evaluation (step 1) and the Architect Review Board Exam (step 2).

Technical Architect Review Board Evaluation: The candidate must review and solve a hypothetical situation and then present their solution to a panel of evaluators, who lead a question-and-answer session after the presentation.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsTechnical Architect Review Board EvaluationOnline format: Solve hypothetical scenario60 minutes for solution preparation, 30 minutes for presentation, 30-minute Q&A, and additional 45-minute Q&A$1,500/$750Salesforce Application Architect; Salesforce System Architect

Technical Architect Review Board Exam:

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsTechnical Architect Review Board EvaluationOnline format: Solve hypothetical scenario180 minutes for solution preparation, 45 minutes for presentation, 40-minute Q&A, 45-minute additional Q&A$4,500/$2,500Technical Architect Review Board Evaluation

Salesforce Consultant certification

Salesforce offers 10 certifications for customer-facing consultants who design and implement solutions in their area of expertise. In addition to the 10 they can also pursue Salesforce marketing cloud consultant certification covered under Salesforce marketing certifications

Salesforce Business Analyst

A Salesforce Certified Business Analyst bridges the gap between business requirements and technical solutions, using their knowledge of Salesforce to analyze, design, and recommend solutions that drive success for the organization. The Salesforce Business Analyst Certification tests a candidate’s ability to capture requirements, collaborate with stakeholders, and support the development of solutions that drive business improvements.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Business Analyst60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Administrator

Salesforce Education Cloud Consultant

A Salesforce Certified Education Cloud Consultant designs and implements solutions for the education industry using Salesforce Education Cloud. The Salesforce Education Cloud Consultant certification demonstrates that a candidate has experience consulting within the education industry and has expertise in Salesforce applications, including the knowledge required to apply several applications in common customer scenarios.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Education Cloud Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Administrator

Experience Cloud Consultant

A Salesforce certified Experience Cloud Consultant designs and implements solutions using Salesforce Experience Cloud. This includes leveraging the platform’s features to enhance customer experiences and improve business processes. The Salesforce Experience Cloud Consultant certification is for candidates with experience consulting on Experience Cloud in a customer-facing role and can troubleshoot and solve platform issues.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsExperience Cloud Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Administrator

Salesforce Field Service Consultant

A Salesforce Field Service Consultant implements and optimizes the Field Service module within the Salesforce Service Cloud. This includes working with clients to design and configure FSL for their field service operations, such as scheduling, dispatch, and mobile workforce management, and providing ongoing support to ensure continued success with Field Service. The Salesforce Field Service Consultant certification recognizes professionals who design Salesforce solutions for customers and who administer and configure Salesforce applications on customer premises.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Field Service Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Administrator; Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant 

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant

A Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant plays a critical role in helping nonprofit organizations to utilize Salesforce for managing their operations. The role involves consulting with clients to understand their needs, customizing Salesforce to meet those needs, providing training and support, and ensuring that the platform is being used effectively and efficiently to support organizational goals. Candidates with this credential can successfully design and implement Nonprofit Cloud solutions that contribute to long-term customer success.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Administrator

OmniStudio Consultant

A Salesforce OmniStudio Consultant creates and implements solutions using Salesforce OmniStudio,  working with clients to understand their business requirements and customizing the platform to meet those needs. The Salesforce OmniStudio Consultant certification is ideal for candidates with at least one year of Salesforce experience in one or more roles such as Business Analyst; Business Consultant; Solution Architect; Delivery Manager/Director; Project, Product, or Program Manager; or UX Designer

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsOmniStudio Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Pardot Consultant

A Salesforce Pardot Consultant helps organizations maximize their investment in the Salesforce Pardot marketing automation platform, working with clients to understand their needs and leveraging use the platform to optimize lead generation. The Salesforce Pardot Consultant certification is for professionals experienced with implementing Pardot and who can explain Salesforce administration concepts that relate to Pardot features.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Pardot Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Pardot Specialist

Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant

A Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant helps organizations leverage Salesforce Sales Cloud to manage their sales processes. This includes configuring and customizing the platform, providing training and support to users, and implementing best practices for sales management. To earn the Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant certification, candidates must be able to design and implement Sales Cloud solutions, including application and interface design, and be able to manage and design analytics for tracking purposes.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Sales Cloud Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Administrator

Service Cloud Consultant 

A Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant designs and implements solutions for a company’s customer service using Salesforce Service Cloud, working with clients to understand their business requirements and configuring the platform to suit their needs. This Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant certification recognizes individuals who design solutions for contact centers, as well as analytics solutions for metric tracking. This credential proves that you can design, build, and implement Service Cloud functionality.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsService Cloud Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Administrator

Saleforce Tableau CRM & Einstein Discovery Consultant

A Salesforce Tableau CRM & Einstein Discovery Consultant helps organizations use Salesforce CRM, Tableau, and Einstein Discovery tools to manage customer relationships, visualize and analyze data, and make informed business decisions. The consultant provides implementation, customization, and integration expertise in these technologies, as well as training and support. The Tableau CRM & Einstein Discovery Consultant credential is intended for individuals experienced with data ingestion processes, security and access implementations, and dashboard creation.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSaleforce Tableau CRM & Einstein Discovery Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Marketing certification

Salesforce also offers certifications aimed at marketing professionals, including two for Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation platform Pardot. In addition to the detailed certifications below, Salesforce Marketeers can also pursue Marketing Cloud Developer certifications (covered under Salesforce Developer Certification) and Pardot Consultant certification (covered under Salesforce Consultant Certification).

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator

A Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator manages and configures Salesforce Marketing Cloud to meet the organization’s marketing automation and communication needs. This involves setting up email templates, managing data, configuring integrations, and monitoring performance. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator certification tests a candidate’s ability to execute administrative functions within Marketing Cloud in accordance with business requirements.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant

A Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant helping organizations use Salesforce Marketing Cloud to achieve their marketing goals, by identifying client needs, designing and implementing solutions, and providing ongoing support and training. To earn the Marketing cloud consultant certification candidates must be able to configure and implement Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email application tools and troubleshoot platform issues and should be able to provide solutions to execute both tactical and strategic email campaigns.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Marketing Cloud Administrator

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist

A Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist designs, executes, and optimizes email marketing campaigns using Salesforce Marketing Cloud, ensuring the effective delivery of targeted and relevant messages to drive engagement and improve business outcomes. The Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Email Specialist certification is designed for individuals who can demonstrate knowledge, skills, and experience in email marketing best practices in the areas of content creation, subscriber and data management, delivery, and analytics within the Marketing Cloud Email application.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$400/$200Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification; Salesforce Integration Architect Certification; Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist Certification

Salesforce Pardot Specialist

A Salesforce Pardot Specialist manages and optimizes a company’s use of the Salesforce Pardot marketing automation platform. This includes configuring and customizing the platform to meet business needs, creating and executing marketing campaigns, analyzing and reporting on campaign performance, and ensuring the platform is integrated with other sales and marketing tools. To earn the Pardot Specialist certification, candidates should be able to design and build marketing campaigns within Pardot and be versed with email marketing, lead generation, and lead qualification.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Pardot Specialist60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Designer certification

Salesforce offers two certifications under the Designer credentials: one centered around User Experience and the other around Strategy Designing.

Salesforce User Experience Designer

A Salesforce User Experience (UX) Designer designs and improves the UI and overall experience of Salesforce. This includes conducting user research, prototyping, testing, and creating user-centered design solutions to meet business requirements. The User Experience (UX) Designer credential is for candidates who have a baseline knowledge of problem-solving and design using core UX concepts and who are able to use’s core features.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce User Experience Designer60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Strategy Designer

Salesforce Strategy Designer helps create and visualize sales and customer success strategies with Salesforce. The designer addresses challenges at the system level, maps out ecosystems, aligns stakeholders across organizations, and incorporates user insights to drive innovation. The Salesforce Strategy Designer Certification validates candidates’ ability to design systems-level solutions toward desired business and user outcomes. Candidates with this credential also have the expertise to lead innovation across product lifecycles.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Strategy Designer60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Developer certifications

Salesforce developer credentials are for professionals who build custom applications on the platform. This track includes the Salesforce Certified Platform Application Builder, which can also be applied to the Salesforce Administrator track. There are two types of developer certifications: the two-tiered platform developer credentials and one aimed at developing ecommerce solutions.

Salesfoce B2C Commerce Developer

A Salesforce B2C Commerce Developer designs, builds, and maintains the e-commerce platform for businesses to interact with their customers. They create custom functionality and integrate the platform with other systems to enhance the customer experience and drive sales. Candidates should be experienced full-stack developers for Salesforce B2C Commerce Digital. The B2C Commerce Developer certification is geared toward those adept at setting up the development environment, working with the digital data model, working with site content, using Salesforce Business Manager to perform site configuration tasks, using scripts to extend site business logic, interacting with external applications, optimizing site performance, and troubleshooting.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesfoce B2C Commerce Developer60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Industries CPQ Developer

A Salesforce Industries CPQ Developer customizes and implements Salesforce CPQ solutions for clients in industries such as Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Financial Services. They work to streamline the quoting and proposal process by automating pricing, discounts, and product bundles while ensuring compliance with industry regulations. The Industries CPQ Developer certification is created for candidates who have experience developing configure, price, quote applications for Salesforce Communications, Media, and Energy & Utilities Clouds.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Industries CPQ Developer60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce JavaScript Developer I

A Salesforce JavaScript Developer I creates and implements custom JavaScript code within Salesforce to meet specific business needs, using JavaScript, Apex, and other programming languages to build, test, and deploy custom applications, automations, and integrations. This Salesforce JavaScript Developer I certification is intended for candidates owning the knowledge, skills, and experience developing front-end and/or JavaScript applications for the web stack. The certification comprises two parts: the JavaScript Developer I exam and the Lightning Web Components Specialist Superbadge, which vets hands-on Lightning Web Component development skills.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce JavaScript Developer I60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Developer

A Salesforce Marketing Cloud Developer designs and implements marketing automation solutions using Salesforce Marketing Cloud, working with stakeholders to understand business requirements and to design effective marketing campaigns. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud Developer certification is designed for candidates who can develope effective, personalized marketing assets such as emails, landing pages, and forms leveraging HTML, CSS, and AMPscript. To earn this cert, candidates should be proficient in SQL and have experience using Marketing Cloud APIs.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Marketing Cloud Developer60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist

Salesforce OmniStudio Developer

A Salesforce OmniStudio Developer designs, develops, and maintains custom applications using Salesforce Lightning, Apex, and Visualforce. They also create, configure, and customize components in Salesforce OmniStudio. This Salesforce OmniStudio Developer credential demonstrates a candidate’s ability to develop cloud applications with OmniStudio declarative development tools, including FlexCards, OmniScripts, Integration Procedures, DataRaptors, Expression Sets and Decision Matrices, and Industry Consoles.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce OmniStudio Developer60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Specialist

Salesforce Platform Application Builder

A Platform App Builder creates custom applications leveraging tools such as Apex, Visualforce, and Lightning components. The Salesforce Platform App Builder certification is for individuals who want to exhibit their skills in designing, building, and deploying custom applications on the Lightning Platform, including creating, managing, and updating data models, application security, business logic, and process automation.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Platform Application Builder60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Platform Developer I

A Platform developer creates and deploys business logic and UIs using the programmatic capabilities of Lightning. The Salesforce Platform Developer I credential is intended for individuals experienced in building custom applications on Lightning.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Platform Developer I60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100None

Salesforce Platform Developer II

A Salesforce Platform Developer II builds custom solutions using Apex, Visualforce, and other programming languages. They play a crucial role in designing, coding, testing, and deploying complex business requirements to meet the needs of the organization. To achieve the Salesforce Platform Developer II certification candidates must be experts in the advanced programmatic capabilities of the platform and data modelling so they can develop complex business logic and interfaces on the platform. The certification involves a multiple-choice exam, a programming assignment, and an essay exam. To pass, candidates must be able to design, develop, test, and deploy maintainable, robust, and reusable programmatic solutions following Apex design patterns and object-oriented best practices.

CertificationExam FormatDurationCost/RetakePrerequisite CertsSalesforce Platform Developer II60 multiple-choice questions105 minutes$200/$100Salesforce Platform Developer I

Careers, Certifications, CRM Systems, IT Jobs, IT Skills,

Almost two months after cloud-based CRM software provider Salesforce announced it would be cutting around 950 jobs, the company has announced it will lay off about 10% of its workforce, roughly 8,000 employees, and close some offices as part of a restructuring plan.

Salesforce had nearly 80,000 global employees as of February 2022, up from more than 49,000 employees as of January 2020.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, the company disclosed that its restructuring plan calls for the company to incur charges between $1.4 billion and $2.1 billion, with up to $1 billion of those costs being shouldered by the company in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Salesforce said these costs consist of up to $1.4 billion in charges related to employee transition, severance payments, employee benefits, and share-based compensation; while up to $650 million will be spent on exit charges associated with the office space reductions.

In a letter sent by Salesforce’s co-CEO Marc Benioff and attached to Wednesday’s SEC filing, he told employees “the environment remains challenging, and our customers are taking a more measured approach to their purchasing decisions. With this in mind, we’ve made the very difficult decision to reduce our workforce by about 10 percent, mostly over the coming weeks.”

Salesforce over-hired during the pandemic

He added that as Salesforce’s revenue accelerated through the pandemic, the company over-hired and can no longer sustain its current workforce size due to the ongoing economic downturn. “I take responsibility for that,” Benioff said in his letter.

The company said it expects to complete most of the employee restructuring plan by the end of fiscal year 2024, and to finish its real-estate restructuring in fiscal 2026. According to Benioff’s letter, US-based employees affected by the layoffs will receive a minimum of nearly five months of pay, health insurance, career resources, and other benefits to help with their transition. Those outside the US will receive a similar level of support, with Salesforce confirming that local processes will align with employment laws in each country.

Despite having a relatively successful financial 2022, the year’s last quarter saw the company grapple with several high-profile executive departures, including co-CEO Bret Taylor and Stewart Butterfield, the chief executive and co-founder of Slack, both of whom announced they would be leaving the company in the same week. Salesforce acquired Slack in 2020 for $27 billion, in a deal where Taylor played a key role.

The news comes as the WSJ reported that, based on estimates from, employers in the tech sector collectively cut more than 150,000 jobs in 2022. In comparison, according to data compiled by the site, there were only about 80,000 layoffs in March-December 2020 and 15,000 during the whole of 2021, meaning that technology companies have been laying off workers at the fastest pace since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

CRM Systems, Technology Industry

Salesforce’s third-quarter financial report Wednesday showed a solid 14% year-over-year increase in revenue, beating analysts’ expectations, but was overshadowed by the announcement that company co-CEO Bret Taylor will be stepping down. The move will leave company  founder Marc Benioff once again running the company as lone CEO.

Salesforce’s revenue growth, totalling $7.8 billion for the quarter ending October 31, was largely driven by subscription and support revenue, which increased by 13% year-on-year to $7.2 billion, while professional services and other revenues saw a 25% increase over the same period, to $604 million.

Earlier in November, the cloud-based CRM software maker announced it would cut about 950 jobs from its global workforce, facing pressure to cut costs since activist hedge fund Starboard Value took a stake in the company and immediately called for the company to increase its margins.

However, despite the strong third quarter performance, Salesforce’s share price fell more than 9% in Thursday morning trading, as much of the commentary from industry observers centered around Taylor’s resignation.

Speaking to analysts on a conference call after the results had been published, Benioff said “this quarter has been further proof of our commitment to profitable growth, continuing our operating margin growth, continued focus on our revenue growth, continued focus on our market share growth.”

It was on this same call that Benioff announced the news that Taylor had made the decision to step down from his role as co-CEO of Salesforce.

“While there is absolutely no easy time for a transition like this, I really do feel that now is the right time for me to return to my entrepreneurial roots, particularly given the technology landscape and the economy going through such tectonic shifts,” Taylor said.

He added that he would remain as co-CEO through the end of the fiscal year to ensure a smooth transition and a “a strong close to the quarter.”

Taylor first joined Salesforce in 2016 when the CRM software provider acquired his previous company, Quip, and has since held the position of president and chief operating officer at Salesforce prior to his promotion to co-CEO last year. He also played a key role in Salesforce’s $27 billion acquisition of Slack in 2020.

In addition to his role at Salesforce, Taylor was also chairman of the board at Twitter when Elon Musk tried to terminate his agreement to buy the social media platform for $44 billion. After publicly announcing Twitter would pursue legal action to enforce the purchase, Taylor lost his role as chairman when Musk eventually took over and immediately dissolved Twitter’s board.

This is not the first time that Salesforce a co-CEO has chosen to leave the company. In 2018, Benioff named Keith Block co-CEO and he remained in the position until he stepped down in 2020.

“Co-CEO arrangements are historically challenging long-term relationships, but it seems to be one which Marc seems to favor for succession planning as well as allowing him to pursue broader philanthropic interests,” said Jason Wong, VP analyst at Gartner.

He added that the co-CEO situation, which started with Keith Block, also allows Benioff to scale executive responsibilities, given the size and growth of Salesforce which now has several business units in MuleSoft, Tableau and Slack, all of which have their own CEOs.

“Marc is still very much committed to running Salesforce and has set several milestones, such as surpassing SAP as the largest enterprise applications vendor by revenue this past year and a target of $50B in annual revenue by 2026,” Wong said. “I believe he would want to be at the helm as these milestones are achieved.” While it’s unlikely Benioff will announce Taylor’s successor in the immediate future, Wong said he would not be surprised to see another co-CEO appointment from within.

CRM Systems, Technology Industry