Salesforce was ranked by Fortune in 2019 as the number one best place to work among large companies1 and was recently named in Forbes’ 2020 World’s Most Admired Companies,2 so it’s no wonder they are growing at a rapid clip. But, as more employees join the Salesforce team of Trailblazers, the demands of communicating effectively across the organization, and making employees feel valued increase. Jo-ann Olsovsky, Executive Vice President and CIO at Salesforce, and her team are tasked with providing effective and reliable ways to connect people across the organization and make sure they continue to feel a part of the team regardless of where they are located around the world.
IBM and Salesforce have partnered together on live video streaming projects for many years, most notably to extend the reach of Dreamforce sessions to customers and interested parties that can’t make it to the event in San Francisco each year. In 2019, Salesforce decided to expand its video streaming work with IBM to include internal employee communications as well. Being able to continue to grow and scale communications and do it in a way that doesn’t impact other applications running on the corporate network is a significant priority. In this video story, Jo-ann talks about the importance of video, the impact on Salesforce employees and company culture…the “Salesforce Ohana3,” and where she sees video technology headed in the future.
Corporate data and employee experience
One of the key points Jo-ann makes is that video data is corporate data and it needs to be protected just like other type of data, and how maintaining trust through the safety and security of data is extremely important. As the use of streaming increases and volumes of video archives grow, the need to properly protect and manage the content also rises.
Jo-ann also talks about how video acceleration has been a key component of welcoming new employees and making sure they feel a part of the Salesforce team starting from day one. She emphasizes the importance of maintaining high quality while scaling to larger audiences as the company continues to grow its employee base at a rapid pace. Today’s employees are exposed to broadcast quality video experiences across devices outside of work, so bringing that same high quality experience to the workplace just makes sense.
AI and accessibility
Artificial intelligence is gaining interest as it relates to video content and how it can be leveraged to add value. AI-based closed captioning, for example, is already available and interest is growing, not only for accessibility, but as people choose to watch soundless video. As Jo-ann puts it, “We want all of our employees to be a huge part of every event…, so accessibility is a really big deal for us.” And captioning leverages AI-based speech to text capabilities, powered by Watson in the streaming solution, making every spoken word in the video searchable for increased discovery of on-demand video assets and archived live video events, such as employee town halls.
Another important point Jo-ann makes is that Salesforce makes it possible for employees working remotely to access the video streams from any device, whether they’re on a smart phone working at a client site or at home connecting remotely. It’s important for the click to view experience to be seamless and to properly transcode different versions of the video behind the scenes that will “just work” on different types of devices and connections, especially for employees who are on-the-go who want to quickly view to stay “in the know.” Each and every person have the best viewing experience possible and feel like they are just as much a part of the communication as if they were sitting in the same room. As she puts it, each employee should “feel like at any of our corporate events they’re sitting right there and they’re feeling it.”
Salesforce has made video a priority. They have continued to broadcast and grow their external Salesforce Live audience, attracting a massive, highly engaged turnout for the Dreamforce event as well as ongoing engagement throughout the year. And, they have prioritized video for employee experiences as well, helping to empower employees to blaze their own trail.
For insight into how Salesforce leverages video streaming for Dreamforce, check out this featured blog post. And, for more video content and coverage from Salesforce, also be sure to check out Salesforce Live.