Connectivity today has transformed the way businesses interact. Companies want to use and share vast amounts of data with an ever-expanding network of partners and third parties without operational risk. However, centralizing all data from cloud providers and data providers to one cloud provider, or moving from one cloud provider to another, has become a challenge. This is especially true if the data has not been standardized and is not shared by default, and if any process of authenticating and transferring data to multiple parties has been slow and laborious until now. Luckily, we’ve started to see a change in this trend.
Blockchain addresses security gaps by providing a distributed ledger that stores, tracks, and authenticates data for every node or partner on the network. A low-code platform not only allows organizations to build trusted data exchange networks, smart contracts, and decentralized apps, but it can also ensure network stability and provide clients with the correct protocols for authentication. The blockchain uses cryptography to build a secure connection between records while reducing the involvement of third-party intermediaries. This platform has been adopted by the world's leading analytics provider, IQVIA, Arizona State University, and other US institutions.
Table of Contents
Salesforce's road to blockchain
While interviewing customers, Salesforce discovered what its CRM was missing. The approach of the fourth wave of computing, and the increase in the number of companies working with external partners, revealed a lack of a trusted environment and a faster way to process data.
Interviewed clients tried to solve the problem using blockchain, but most of them stopped at the Proof of Concept stages and looked for ways to adhere to the development process. This is one of the major reasons Salesforce offered its blockchain solution to developers.
An important step was the acquisition of Mulesoft, a company dedicated to connecting corporate applications. Salesforce is deploying a dedicated decentralized network targeting public blockchain networks (Ethereum) in partnership with Lition. The initial enablement phase has already been completed and will be migrated to Lition as soon as the Lition testnet and mainnet update the code. Testing is done with the Ethereum Ropsten network. Once implemented, the Lition innovation will be available via an app in the Salesforce marketplace.
Blockchain can be defined as a growing list of records (or blocks) associated with the use of cryptography. Each block includes a cryptographic hash of the timestamp, the previous block, and relevant transaction data. Structurally, it is resistant to data modification, so the technology is used to create a secure connection between records.
Updating or editing a single entry requires changes to the cryptographic hash. Any entry added to the registry must be re-checked and include updated hashes. A change in the value of a record is usually published as a record on the blockchain. If the block is damaged, the same happens with the chain.
Key features include:
- Distributed decentralized digital ledger - This stores transaction such as transfers of funds through a network of computers rather than through a central source.
- Peer-to-Peer Network - This is available only to members who store and maintain transaction data.
- Data Verification - This uses cryptography and digital signatures to authenticate identity and transactions.
Salesforce blockchain use cases in CRM
Salesforce blockchain is a fast way to build trusted affiliate networks. It offers not only a distributed ledger infrastructure but also Salesforce metadata capabilities that improve CRM performance.
Companies can speed up their business by combining CRM workflows with blockchain data, making it easier to create new business processes and models that span sales, service, and marketing. Blockchain changes outdated processes and completely rebuilds them, simplifying the creation and exchange of transactions and documents. Every member of the blockchain network can easily see and verify every transaction. Using a distributed ledger provides a complete copy of the data at any node. Salesforce or other vendors can host nodes.
Organizations can deploy and manage blockchain workflows, contracts, apps, and networks with a click of the mouse with open-source blockchain technology and Salesforce Lightning. As a result, companies won't have to hire blockchain developers because any Salesforce admin or developer can use this technology.
Salesforce blockchain features:
Build networks with clicks
The technology makes it easy to create and manage your own blockchain apps, networks, and smart contracts.
Database Automation with Salesforce Lightning
Salesforce’s platform AI algorithms within blockchain technology integrate data into sales forecasts and other relevant datasets.
The easy attraction of partners
The infrastructure makes it possible to use API, ready-made applications, and integrate any current blockchains. This allows users to assimilate third parties into the system.
Besides the aforementioned benefits, Blockchain integration with Salesforce also facilitates analytics and powerful reporting from shared data.
Blockchain technologies can be used in a wide variety of industries. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the benefits of using them. Here are some options:
- Acceleration of service processes. Real estate companies can combine mortgage lenders, property managers, and realtors into a single reliable network, or blockchain, to better serve home buyers.
- Increase income through network interaction. Banks can improve customer service and minimize sales cycles by placing the entire KYC process on the blockchain network.
- Improving marketing experience. Hotel groups can create a blockchain network of various rewards to loyal customers with bonus points.
- Safe supply chain management. High-end clothing brands can ensure that raw materials are sourced ethically for effective business practices and customer confidence.
Basic components of the Blockchain Salesforce
The profit of the Salesforce blockchain is that enterprises can leverage the power of low code to develop and operate blockchain applications and networks, and smart contracts. It has such components:
A set of tools for building blockchain-based applications known as decentralized applications.
Integrates blockchain activities with Salesforce apps.
A component for inviting participants to Blockchain applications created in Salesforce.
Salesforce blockchain building blocks
- Consensus Mechanism: Salesforce offers a variety of consensus protocols, allowing networks to decide which process best suits their requirements.
- Hyperledger Sawtooth: This is the blockchain-based protocol that helps build the Salesforce blockchain.
- Smart Contract API: This enables enterprises to develop new business models based on automation. APIs allow blockchain developers to create and deploy a set of business rules across the entire network.
In the Salesforce blockchain, data is:
- Stored and cryptographically signed, making it difficult to counterfeit.
- Stored on multiple sides in identical copies.
- Refreshed if the network checks for changes.
Salesforce Crypto provides methods for generating digests, message authentication codes, signatures, and encrypting and decrypting information. They can integrate with external services like Google and Amazon Web Services or protect content on the Lightning Platform.
Should we wait for our own Salesforce cryptocurrency?
As consumer demand for cryptocurrencies flourishes, an increasing number of companies consider them to be a means of payment. According to a survey by Zogby Analytics, about a third of SMEs are currently accepting cryptocurrencies in one form or another.
There are advantages to having your own form of transaction value. Although there are still no top cryptocurrencies in the settlement system of Salesforce, Bitcoin may become a valid currency for it soon. Whether it will use this currency beyond the company's upcoming blockchain-based app remains to be determined, but those using Salesforce Billing can already accept cryptocurrency as a payment method.
The Salesforce blockchain allows users to connect with their partners using solid networks with no programming. With blockchain on the CRM platform, enterprises can improve the way they interact with their customers. Partners and third parties can use Lightning's intuitive interface and easily connect to a blockchain application or network to aid decision-making, a critical piece of the blockchain puzzle.
This will not only significantly improve the logistics of suppliers/buyers but also help create new revenue models. In short, the promising integration of Salesforce and Blockchain will replace rigid supply chains and prove its usefulness in a wide variety of areas, such as checking the quality of food and pharmaceuticals, authenticating values, securing voting, or moving medical records from one supplier to another.
As a certified Salesforce Consulting Partner, Ergonized offers a wide range of services to help clients maximize their Salesforce investment with predictable results. Innovation with Ergonized offers natural success in achieving current and future business goals.