Greece “a growing technological pole for entrepreneurs”

“I recognize the importance of Greece as a growing technology hub for entrepreneurs and its potential for the development of new digital talent,” Denis Terrien, CEO of Salesforce for the Europe market, told Kathimerini. South.

“As Salesforce grows, we will continue to invest in supporting our customers and partners in the region,” he explains days after he and his team hosted a series of meetings at Athens with leading commercial groups. Based on the data at his disposal, he estimates that “the Greek ecosystem of Salesforce customers and partners is expected to create 6,300 new jobs and nearly $ 2 billion in sales by 2026”.

Salesforce is a San Francisco-based, cloud-based multinational software company with $ 66.3 billion in assets that provide customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, analytics and application development.

Terrien emphasizes that the conception of work has changed: “It’s no longer a place to go, but what we do.

Kathimerini asked him what he thought of the business of tomorrow and how companies should create their digital headquarters, connecting employees, customers and partners to make collaboration easy and flexible.

– Salesforce is 22 years old and has achieved remarkable growth globally. It is the leader in its market. How did she achieve this success?

In 1999, Marc Benioff and Parker Harris founded Salesforce with a mission to transform business technology and make it as easy to use as Amazon and eBay. They launched an innovative new CRM platform to enable businesses to manage their customer engagements online – with a technology model delivered in the cloud and a subscription-based business model that ensured an enterprise-wide focus. business on customer success.

At the same time, Marc introduced the idea that a business can have a purpose beyond profit with the launch of a new model of philanthropy and incorporated into Salesforce the belief that “business activity is to improve the state of the world ”.

In 20 years, Salesforce has become the pioneer and leader in enterprise cloud computing. Today, Salesforce is the global leader in CRM, enabling businesses of all sizes and in all industries to leverage powerful technologies – cloud, mobile, social, voice and artificial intelligence – to connect with their customers in a digital world. .

Our success is also based on a set of core values ​​on which we were founded all these years ago. A lasting commitment to trust, customer success, innovation and equality has shaped our approach and defined our actions, at all levels.

After all of the turmoil of the past two years, values-driven leadership is more important than ever. Our values ​​are one of the main reasons customers choose Salesforce and people want to come work for us. They allow us to play an essential role as a trusted advisor to companies while having a positive impact on society and the environment. This balance is the key to our success.

– Salesforce founder Marc Benioff frequently declares that “businesses are the best platform for change”. What does this really mean?

Salesforce has always believed that a business should have a purpose beyond profit. Marc started Salesforce with philanthropy at its heart, pioneering the 1: 1: 1 model of philanthropy. This model promises 1% of employee time, 1% of proceeds, and 1% of equity to help support communities around the world.

Salesforce has continually leveraged its people, technology, and resources to help make the world a better place. Since the company went public in 2004, we have offered a 5,000% return to shareholders. At the same time, we’ve volunteered more than 6 million hours, helped 52,000 nonprofits and NGOs run on Salesforce, and donated $ 475 million in grants to give back to communities. This is, I believe, a prime example of how businesses can serve both shareholders and citizens.

More recently, and especially during the pandemic, we have seen many more companies committing to a more just, equal and sustainable way of doing business. One that values ​​all stakeholders – employees, customers, partners, shareholders, communities and planet. The role that companies can play in society and the expectation of a balance between financial performance and social impact is greater than ever. We believe that when we serve all stakeholders, businesses can be the greatest platform for change in society and the environment.

– How does Salesforce see the future of work?

At Salesforce, we see the future of work as digital and flexible first and foremost – it has gone from where you go to what you do. Before, for business leaders, the selection of your physical seat was the ultimate decision. Now, every business needs to create its own digital HQ that connects its employees, customers and partners on a single platform, making collaboration easy and flexible.

This explains why Salesforce earlier this year acquired Slack, a hub where anyone can communicate and collaborate. By seamlessly bringing together the right people, the right information and the right tools, we help our customers become more connected, more productive and more innovative. Together, Salesforce and Slack are creating the digital HQ for success wherever you are.

With the addition of Slack, we’ve completely transformed the way we work at Salesforce. Since January, we’ve seen individual and team productivity increase by 16% and 13%, respectively. The number of emails we send has decreased by 46% as our teams have turned to more collaborative and real-time communication.

The power of collaborative technologies is helping us redefine the way our teams work and reinvent the way our physical spaces can bring people together. Our flexible team agreements are a prime example: they allow teams to decide how, when and where to work. This includes the number of days per week they come to the office and the type of work they will continue to do at home.

At Salesforce, our vision for Success From Anywhere is to succeed together in a people-centric and digital environment. On the road to the future of work, we will continue to practice and learn together, prioritizing connection and empowering employees to redefine the workplace in their own way.

– The pandemic has clearly accelerated digital transformation on a global scale and, at the same time, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has proven that businesses, countries and societies must adapt to this new digital age with new skills. How is Salesforce helping businesses, countries, and corporations adapt to this new digital age?

As economies emerge from the pandemic, the world’s great digital awakening will not be equal. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but government and business must work together as part of the solution to the growing skills gap.

A recent study from Accenture estimated that by 2028, G20 countries could miss $ 11.5 trillion in cumulative GDP growth if the growing digital skills gap is not closed. In all countries and regions, especially Greece, if appropriate action is not taken, inequalities between businesses and communities will be exacerbated.

At Salesforce, we believe governments, nonprofits, and educational institutions shouldn’t be left alone to solve the problem. Businesses like ours have a central role to play in bridging the skills gap by rethinking education and training initiatives. This role will not only promote short-term economic recovery, but also enable sustainable growth and a more equitable future.

We are committed to responding to the need for training and retraining. We did this, for example, by launching Trailhead, our online learning platform. This takes participants from a low level of technical knowledge to a Salesforce role in as little as six months. By earning credentials along the way, participants can demonstrate their expertise to current and future employers.

It is also essential that companies constantly refresh the way they hire, focusing less on traditional education and more on the technological skills that individuals already have or are striving to acquire. In this way, digital roles will be open to a larger and more diverse talent pool.

Our new digital world revolves around everyone with the skills to participate. Immediate and sustained investment in digital skills is therefore imperative for our global economic recovery from the pandemic and for the resilient, long-term growth that must follow.

– Recently, many tech companies, among others, have supported Greece with additional investments, mainly because they see the country as a kind of talent factory. What is the vision for Greece and how does Salesforce want to support the country?

Greece has embarked on a remarkable journey of digital transformation, supported by a strong government commitment to invest in accelerating the digitization of the public and private sectors and in strengthening Greece’s digital readiness.

Industries across Greece are looking to digitalize, and Salesforce is partnering with organizations across the region as a trusted advisor to help them accelerate their efforts. Our presence extends across the communications and media, manufacturing, energy and financial services industries.

I recognize the importance of Greece as a growing tech hub for entrepreneurs, and the opportunity this offers to develop exciting new digital talent. As Salesforce continues to grow, we will continue to invest in supporting our customers and partners in the region. According to IDC research, the local ecosystem of Salesforce customers and partners in Greece is expected to create more than 6,300 new jobs and nearly $ 2 billion in business revenue by 2026. Ensuring that people are equipped with the right skills for the jobs of tomorrow, we can be sure of success in the digital economy. Looking ahead, we are excited about the prospect of becoming one of the main contributors to Greece’s digital transformation, helping businesses and governments to turn around and build a newly resilient and sustainable economy and society.

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