Parker Harris, co-founder & CTO, Salesforce, recently in an f2f interview session with Bill Detwiler from TechRepublic, this Wednesday at the Salesforce TrailheaDX 2019 annual developer conference, opened up on his role as the CTO, and shared critical insights on architecture and handling outages and integration.
Speaking more about his role as the CTO, and how does Salesforce manage to bring together the core Salesforce and Lightning platform, Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and now MuleSoft Anypoint together under one roof, into Salesforce’s existing legacy stack, Parker said that his prime focus now is on integrating the Salesforce’s clouds and UI. “The key to that was architecture. We’re not going to go rewrite a lot of the technology that we have. Most CTOs in the world can’t afford to do that either, right?” Parker said. “We’re integrating at an identity level for login and authentication. So a CXO is going to have to do that. We’re integrating at a UI level so that it feels like the same service.”
When asked about Customer 360, Salesforce’ new cross-cloud technology that aims at balancing the B2C Marketing, Commerce, and Service products to work better together, Parker said that the integration work behind the Customer 360 is definitely on track. “Years ago, the CXOs of the world will probably cringe when I use this word, master data management, right? Whenever you say that, they’re like, “Ah, that really failed. That was horrible.” But the Customer 360, you could think about that as customer mastering. It’s about making sure you understand your customer uniquely across all your systems, and yet, don’t rewrite everything,” Parker said.
When asked for insights on Salesforce integration, Parker, acknowledging Salesforce’s largest customers’ have complex cloud architectures, said, “I like to say, “Let’s look at your architecture from a customer-centric perspective.” I don’t want to talk about the Salesforce architecture to a customer. What’s the customer’s architecture, and how does Salesforce fit in? Then within that, how do we make sure the development process of Salesforce, whether you’re developing UI or integrations or workflows or business process, how do you make sure there’s a consistent way to actually write that code, to store it in modern ways, like on Git, for example? Whether it’s UI or logic, store it in code, version it, right? Upgrade and downgrade if you need to, or roll back.”
Finally, speaking on the Pardot (Salesforce’s SaaS marketing automation platform) outage, Parker said that it was a tough decision to take down all services over Pardot, but it ultimately was the right thing to do. Parker said, “We made a very hard call, and we pulled the plug on the network, because we wanted to protect all of our customers’ information. I’ve been on numerous calls with our customers explaining the issue and apologizing, telling them how it will never happen again. But over and over again, our customers have thanked us for staying true to our values and being very clear in the heat of the moment that security is more important than anything, and the trusted safety of their data is job one.”