In the ever-changing world of Salesforce (and enterprise technology), product capabilities evolve and adapt – and in the case of Salesforce’s product portfolio, so do their products’ names!
Due to the changes Salesforce have made, and in case you come across a retired name, we thought we would create this ‘formerly known as’ guide of names. But first, let’s take a brief look into the ‘why’ – a conversation that has become quite topical recently.
Note: I haven’t included product names where they changed from their acquired name to a name given by Salesforce post-acquisition. The exception is where the acquired name was used for a number of years.
Why Do Salesforce Change Product Names?
The main reasons why Salesforce will change a product’s name:
- Making product names easily understandable, reflecting their capabilities or the target persona. This was a concern with their ballooning product portfolio and aiding communications to new customers. The initiative is known as “Salesforce Easy” internally at Salesforce.
- To express that there’s something new – typically a ‘reimagining’, ‘rearchitecting’.
- And the opposite – that something needs to be retired and replaced by something different.
Data Cloud, Salesforce’s Customer Data Platform offering (CDP), had to be number one on the list. The reason for giving Data Cloud the top spot is twofold. Firstly, it’s changed its name five times in a handful of years. Secondly, this technology has evolved at such a rapid rate that it’s now the core underpinning of the Salesforce platform.
The advent of generative AI innovations on the Salesforce platform (like the Einstein 1 Platform and Copilot) has been reliant on the connectivity provided by Data Cloud to improve the outputs surfaced from user prompts (such as the ‘next best action’ users should take). This is the magical trifecta AI + Data + CRM that Salesforce have been advocating.
In some instances, changes were made because the name just didn’t stick – but what’s more important to note is that some of the name changes were to indicate the significant developments that happened to the product. Let’s see how Data Cloud got to where it is today:
- Customer 360 Audiences: Salesforce’s initial CDP offering, launched in 2020.
- Salesforce CDP: The name changed in 2021 to align with how the blooming CDP market was referring to this technology.
- Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform: In 2022, Salesforce CDP received a new name as part of the simplification of how Salesforce named their marketing products.
- Salesforce Genie: At Dreamforce the same year, Genie was born. This signified a shift in the use cases (broadening beyond marketing to sales, service, and more) and the zero-copy architecture.
- Data Cloud: In 2023, the name Genie was dropped (but not the cute mascot), and Data Cloud has proven itself as a wise investment, partly responsible for powering Salesforce’s GenAI innovation.
This is another product that has been on a long journey, winding up as CRM Analytics in April 2022, which has stuck since.
- Edgespring: In 2013, Salesforce acquired a company called Edgespring.
- Wave and the Analytics Cloud: At Dreamforce the following year, Edgespring was renamed Wave. At the same time, the Analytics Cloud was born. The difference between the two is that Analytics Cloud was the Salesforce product you could purchase and use (much like Sales/Service Cloud). On the other hand, Wave was the platform that the Analytics Cloud was built on, which meant that Salesforce partners could build apps on the platform, and sell them via the AppExchange.
- Einstein Analytics: As the brand name for Salesforce’s artificial intelligence offerings, it made sense for Einstein Analytics to adopt this name once predictive capabilities were incorporated.
The story until this point was told by Rikke, who has been an expert since the start and is one of the core product managers working on the product:
- Tableau CRM: Following the mega acquisition of Tableau in 2019, Salesforce jumped to unify their analytics offerings under one recognizable brand name. But perhaps they jumped too soon, as users quickly became confused over what they were purchasing and/or using. Tableau is very different from Tableau CRM – different platforms, different concepts to master, and different skills required to leverage them.
- CRM Analytics: As we mentioned, Salesforce settled on the all-encompassing, descriptive name of CRM Analytics in April 2022, which has stuck since. Thinking speculatively, who knows what Salesforce have planned for this product, with perhaps a consolidation of all analytics offerings – CRM Analytics, Tableau, Datorama/Marketing Cloud Intelligence – only time will tell.
Salesforce Industries offers pre-built solutions on the Salesforce platform that take common industry requirements and package them into solutions that can be deployed with faster time to value.
- Vlocity: Founded in 2014, Vlocity quickly gained force as an ‘Industry Cloud’ pioneer with three Forbes Cloud 100 awards in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
- Salesforce Industries (Industries Cloud): In 2020, Salesforce acquired Vlocity. As a result of the transaction, Salesforce was able to add Vlocity’s industry-specific CRMs to its existing products, known as Salesforce Industries.
When acquiring Vlocity and continuing to invest heavily in developing Salesforce Industries solutions, Salesforce recognized the key point: Industries work differently from others. This has spurred on 13 Salesforce Industry Clouds ranging from Financial Services Cloud, Communications Cloud, Nonprofit Cloud, and others.
Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) is a go-to choice for Salesforce customers looking for a B2B marketing automation tool, being more tightly integrated into Salesforce’s core objects than other providers on the market.
- Pardot: Acquired by Salesforce in 2013 (at the same time as ExactTarget, now Marketing Cloud), the snappy name remained to differentiate it from the Marketing Cloud product suite, being suited for different use cases, built on different tech stacks, and sold as separate product SKUs.
- Account Engagement: Fast-forward a decade later, there was a desire to make Marketing Cloud’s expansive product suite consistent and immediately understandable. As traditionally considered a B2B marketing tool, Account Engagement was settled on as the new name.
Marketing Cloud Personalization
Alongside Pardot, Salesforce renamed a number of their Marketing Cloud offerings in April 2022, which caused quite a stir. Marketing Cloud itself was an acquisition (ExactTarget) that has been extended by numerous other acquisitions over the decade since.
Personalization (formerly Interaction Studio) is Salesforce’s real-time personalization and interaction management solution.
- Evergage: Salesforce acquired Evergage in early 2020.
- Interaction Studio: At some point in time, Salesforce integrated Evergage into their technology stack, paving the way for a modern, powerful Interaction Studio.
- Thunderhead Interaction Studio: This is where the story winds back in time. Interaction Studio had existed before the Evergage acquisition, known as Thunderhead Interaction Studio. This was retired on March 1, 2023, due to Salesforce’s successful integration of Evergage, therefore surpassing poor Thunderhead.
- Marketing Cloud Personalization: Fast-forward, there was a desire to make Marketing Cloud’s expansive product suite consistent and immediately understandable. Personalization was settled on as the new name.
Marketing Cloud Intelligence
As mentioned, Marketing Cloud has been extended by numerous other acquisitions over the decade since ExactTarget was acquired.
- Datorama: Acquired by Salesforce in July 2018 for a cool $800M, this marketing intelligence platform was set to transform the way marketers analyzed their marketing performance. This took the Analytics Builder reports (that previously existed in Marketing Cloud) to the next level.
- Marketing Cloud Intelligence: Fast-forward, and it’s the same story – a desire to make Marketing Cloud’s expansive product suite consistent and immediately understandable.
Marketing Cloud Advertising
Perhaps the most minor of the 2022 Marketing Cloud name changes, it’s worth noting that this advertisement management product made a slight transition:
- Advertising Studio
- Marketing Cloud Advertising
- Quip: Acquired in 2017, Salesforce had their sights set on Quip to bring Salesforce data to life in an interface that was prime for collaboration. In this way, teams could pull Salesforce data into a format they wanted to work with, such as a marketing campaign brief, and have data changes sync back to Salesforce records. Quip was integrated into Salesforce in 2019, starting with Sales and Service Cloud.
- Salesforce Anywhere: As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Salesforce Anywhere was announced to help teams better collaborate on Salesforce records whilst working remotely. Quip was integrated into Salesforce Anywhere, which subsequently faded away into history, having not been taken past the pilot phase.
- Live Documents(?) → Quip: I have some recollection, in the depths of my memory, that Quip was renamed “Live Documents” or similar (I couldn’t find any historic coverage online to confirm this). Somewhere along the way, Salesforce returned to the name Quip. A wise move – it’s short, snappy, and distinct.
- Canvas: While Quip still exists as a standalone product, it gained the spotlight once again. Canvas sits in the Slack interface, bringing the intuitive and intelligent Quip into Slack channels.
Einstein Conversation Insights
- Einstein Call Coaching: Gave sales reps and managers insights and trends from sales calls, taking the rich fabric of a conversation and splicing it into key moments. This means that conversations can be analyzed – at scale and speed – which would be impossible without the help of AI.
- Einstein Conversation Insights: With a new interface, and included as part of Sales Cloud Unlimited.
High Velocity Sales
- High Velocity Sales: Arrived as an add-on for sales reps to streamline their sales cadences and automated communication with sequences to follow up or take the next suggested action.
- Sales Engagement: The name changed sometime in 2022 and is included as part of Sales Cloud Unlimited.
When Salesforce announces something new and very innovative, the name has the potential to be changed, even over a matter of months. On this occasion, the relaunch name change was to emphasize the fact that this ‘platform’ is not only focused on the generative AI tools but goes broader to encompass the Data Cloud as the foundation.
- Einstein GPT: Announced at TrailblazerDX 2023, Einstein GPT delivers auto-generated AI content right within the Salesforce platform. There are many use cases for Einstein GPT, including Slack, sales, service, marketing, commerce, and app builders.
- Einstein 1 Platform (and Copilot)https://www.salesforceben.com/breaking-news-salesforce-announce-einstein-1-and-copilot/: Fast forward a few months to Dreamforce, and the Einstein 1 Platform was unveiled, which included Copilot (for users) and Copilot Studio (for admins and other professionals building on the platform).
Another one that was announced and had its name tweaked within a few months. Here, we can see some reasoning…
- Prompt Studio: Enables admins to create prompt templates, choose how they want to ‘ground’ the prompts in Salesforce data, and activate them for users quickly and easily.
- Prompt Builder: The name change, we assume it is to only stay aligned with the other two parts that make up the other parts of Copilot Studio (Model Builder and Skills Builder).
Salesforce Starter Edition
- Salesforce Easy: Announced in the summer of 2022, this Salesforce CRM edition was targeted at small businesses to get up and running with Salesforce and encouraged self-implementation (with guided setups).
- Salesforce Starter: This was later renamed “Starter”, with an emphasis on the guided onboarding interface and built-in AI capabilities.
It is not a name change per se, but a rebirth of a retired product name to be used for a different purpose. Salesforce still owned that powerful website domain name – the opportunity to put it back into use then presented itself with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Work.com (legacy): Those long-serving in the Salesforce ecosystem may remember Work.com as the ‘social performance management platform’. Aimed at HR managers, the idea was to drive motivation and performance (e.g. see team member goals, give feedback on Chatter, share recognition from Salesforce records). The now legacy Work.com was launched in 2012 and later retired in 2015
- Work.com: Comprises Salesforce applications, resources, and content for organizations to create more resilient workplaces and a workforce that feels supported. The first phase was “COVID-19 response products”. There are many components to Work.com; however, for simplicity, it can be broken down into four parts: Workplace Command Center, Employee Experience App, Trusted Communications, and Emergency Response Management (ERM) App.
The topic of name changes came up during True to the Core at Dreamforce ‘23, following Einstein GPT becoming the Einstein 1 Platform. Whether you agree with the new names or not, keep the intention Salesforce had, and we can appreciate the openness of Patrick Stokes, EVP of Product & Industries Marketing at Salesforce, who saw the opportunity to bring us all along.
“Names are going to continue to change, but here’s what we’re going to try to do. First of all, when we change a name, we’re trying to express there’s something new – sometimes there’s a lot new, sometimes it’s questionable how much is new. And when it is questionable, I’m going to be as honest with you all as possible in our marketing to very clearly state what’s new. I hope you saw this come through in the Main Keynote.
“We’re relaunching our whole platform – the Einstein 1 Platform – and that is just the core salesforce platform. Why the name change? Well, we rewrote the whole metadata framework underneath to support some of this new high-scale functionality, such as the new data storage capability that Data Cloud provides and the new AI capability (Copilot and Prompt Builder).
“So, all of that combined is new, and we’re saying that we now have an AI platform – that’s the intent behind that rename. This doesn’t mean we won’t do it again in the future, but we’ll be more clear on what it means when we do. Name changes mean there’s a desire to talk about what’s new.”