Seen as the next frontier in CRM, Einstein Voice Assistant was designed to bring “the power of voice to millions of Salesforce users”. This was an exciting concept, Amazon had Alexa, Apple had Siri, and Salesforce were joining in with Einstein Voice.
So, why did Salesforce retire it? And what’s next for conversational CRM user experience? Here’s what I found out when I did a little digging.
Note: Please acknowledge the Safe Harbor agreement. If you are unfamiliar with Salesforce’s Safe Harbor, you can find the information at the bottom of this post.
What is Einstein Voice Assistant?
Einstein Voice Assistant allowed users to conversationally interact with the Salesforce platform via the mobile app or smart speakers. It was originally announced at Dreamforce ‘18, then was in pilot from the Winter ‘19 release.
“Einstein Voice Assistant will transform the way people work, allowing them to get personalized daily briefings and make conversational updates to Salesforce via the Salesforce Mobile App or smart speaker of their choice.”– Say Hello to Einstein Voice: Salesforce Ushers in New Era of Conversational CRM
As voice technology became ever more sophisticated and the norm in our personal lives, it made sense why Salesforce went down this road, and it was easy to visualise how this technology would be transferable to our work.
Einstein Voice Assistant supported updating Salesforce conversationally, as well as daily briefings and accessing data via voice commands i.e. drilling into dashboard data.
Why Was Einstein Voice Retired?
When the retirement was first announced little was known about exactly why Salesforce was removing this feature. However, it was then revealed that the team working on Einstein Voice have moved on to development of the Salesforce Anywhere App. The premise of Einstein Voice was to enable users to do more on the run; changes to the way we work meant that focus changed to collaboration tools, ensuring users can stay productive and in touch from anywhere. However, Salesforce Anywhere has now also been retired.
“Safe harbor” – if you’ve ever seen or heard a Salesforce presentation you’ll be super familiar with this phrase. In fact, it’s used so often, it’s become a source of amusement.
What is safe harbor, and why is it so important?
Safe harbor, also known as a forward-looking statement, is a prediction or projection of a company’s future performance, including finances, operations or product development. Predictions made under a forward-looking statement are just that, predictions, and are not guaranteed.
Salesforce uses a forward looking statement to develop and promote features that may never be fully released. While this is rare, it does happen, as in the case of Einstein Voice Assistant which was retired in July 2020 after being in the “pilot” stage.