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What is Salesforce Data Cloud? & Other FAQs

You might have noticed a rise in Trailblazers talking about a product called ‘Salesforce Data Cloud’. There’s a bit of a buzz in the community because Salesforce has made the unprecedented decision...

Coloured background with text What is Salesforce Data Cloud? & Other FAQs

There’s a bit of a buzz in the community because Salesforce has made the unprecedented decision to grant Data Cloud accounts to all Enterprise and Ultimate Sales Cloud customers - at no extra cost! Of course, this is only useful if you first understand what Salesforce Data Cloud is.

Given we specialise solely in Salesforce marketing automation, at MarCloud we field frequently asked questions about Data Cloud most days, as well as helping users of Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud (including Account Engagement aka Pardot) get to grips with its purpose and features.

So you can know whether Salesforce Data Cloud is relevant to your business, let’s run through some typical FAQs.

What is Salesforce Data Cloud?

Salesforce Data Cloud is a customer data platform (CDP). A CDP is a software that combines the data from multiple tools in a single place that can be used to access a unified view of the customer. It’s useful not only for marketing teams, but also for sales, customer service, ecommerce, and other business functions too.

What does Salesforce Data Cloud do?

Data Cloud connects with Salesforce products and third-party tools, to combine your customer data in one place and update this in real-time (depending on the data ingestion connector). Just think of all the places you currently store fragmented data about your customers. Is it spread across three, four, five, or even more platforms? This is usually the case, especially for large organisations with multiple departments or multi-national teams.

Salesforce Data Cloud allows you to pull all of the data you have about a customer into one profile, so it can be relied upon for better marketing, sales, and service activities, along with accurate and up-to-date reporting.

It’s a really exciting platform and one that Salesforce is putting in the limelight because of the way it connects otherwise siloed teams.

Is Salesforce CDP now Data Cloud?

Yes, Data Cloud was previously called Salesforce CDP. In fact, Data Cloud has had four different names over the years but it’s not just the name that has changed with time. Data Cloud has seen a real evolution in terms of its functionality and capabilities. Ultimately, the renaming reflects the repositioning of a great product that is now more central to the Salesforce ecosystem.

Are Salesforce Genie and Data Cloud the same?

Salesforce Genie is one of the former names of the Salesforce Data Cloud software. It was known as Salesforce Genie until February 2023, when it became Data Cloud.

Is Salesforce Data Cloud a data warehouse or lake?

Data Cloud is not a standalone data warehouse, nor a lake. It is both and so much more. The technical capabilities include:

  • Data Lakehouse

  • Big Data Processing

  • Data Connectors

  • Transform and Model

  • Real-time SSOT

Here’s a diagram showing the full range of capabilities and product mix:

Diagram from Salesforce showing Data Cloud technical capabilities
Source: Salesforce

Is Salesforce Data Cloud free?

Enterprise and Ultimate Sales Cloud customers can currently access a Salesforce Data Cloud account for free. Prior to this, Data Cloud was only accessible to businesses with larger budgets. A paid subscription costs roughly £80,000 per Salesforce org, per year.

Can MarCloud help with Data Cloud?

Absolutely, we’re well versed in implementing and managing Salesforce Data Cloud. The Data Cloud Consultant certification launched in September 2023 and we already have a team member with this badge under their belt. We also have highly skilled specialists in data science, development, and business analytics too. Plus, we’re a Salesforce Partner with glowing client reviews, so you know you’re in safe hands!

There’s no doubt you’ll have more questions about Salesforce Data Cloud if and when you gain access. It’s important to be fully prepared and have all your existing accounts in order before you get started. You can find resources for getting prepared with Data Cloud here.

Otherwise, you’re welcome to send us a message for personalised implementation and other support.

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Anton Minnion

A data scientist and engineer, Anton has extensive experience in successfully delivering martech and salestech solutions for a variety of clients, both big and small, and across 25 countries. With a scary amount of knowledge in the development space, his focus at MarCloud is on innovating technical solutions for clients but also creating brand new apps and products for Salesforce platforms, to solve common business challenges.

Featured resource

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Salesforce Marketing Tools

With the eBook ‘A Guide to Salesforce Marketing Tools’ in your arsenal, you’ll have a go-to, comprehensive, expert guide to understanding and selecting your perfect Salesforce marketing platform(s), be it Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) or Engagement, and the products available to each.

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