Salesforce Blockchain was only announced in May 2019 and at Dreamforce 2019, it was announced that Lamborghini, the premier maker of exotic super cars, was using Salesforce Blockchain to authenticate its previously owned (aka heritage) cars. Lamborghini represents yet another major early adopter of Salesforce Blockchain in a short amount of time since its release. Salesforce Blockchain will not be available to the general public until 2020 and it already has been rapidly implemented by early adopters such as Arizona State University, IQVIA, S&P Global Ratings and now, Lamborghini to gather and share massive amounts of data with an expanding and increasingly complex network of partners and third parties.
What is Salesforce Blockchain?
To define Salesforce Blockchain properly, we must look at what Blockchain is overall and its underlying components. Blockchain is a distributed decentralized digital ledger spread across a network of computers securely storing transactional data. Core features include:
- Distributed Decentralized Digital Ledger – the digital ledger stores transactions such as the transfer of funds across a network of computers rather than a central source
- Peer to Peer Network – the network is comprised of a partner network (only accessible to members) who all save and maintain the transactional data
- Data Verification – data is verified using cryptography and digital signatures to authenticate identities and transactions
Salesforce Blockchain takes all of the interconnected and complex components of Blockchain and makes it accessible to the general users. It is a low code platform built on Lightning and open source Blockchain technology from Hyperledger Sawtooth. It is designed to make building and managing trusted partner networks, workflows and contracts possible with clicks and not code.
“Blockchain is changing the way companies approach trust and transparency,” said Adam Caplan, SVP, Emerging Technology, Salesforce. “Lamborghini is a perfect example of this—we’re excited to see how such an iconic brand is able to innovate and transform the vintage car market with a cutting edge technology like Salesforce Blockchain.”
Per Salesforce’s News Release, Salesforce makes Blockchain more accessible and even more powerful through the following:
- Build Networks with Clicks — Drag and drop ready-to-use modules to build their own blockchain networks with minimal need for writing code.
- Automate Data with Lightning Platform — Make blockchain data actionable through native integration with Salesforce. Layer complex blockchain data on top of existing sales, service or marketing workflows like search queries and process automation. Even more, companies can now run Einstein-powered artificial intelligence algorithms that integrate blockchain data into sales forecasts, predictions and more.
- Engage Partners Easily—Lower the barrier to entry for partners, distributors and intermediaries to leverage Salesforce Blockchain. Companies can now pull in APIs, pre-built apps and integrate any existing blockchains with Salesforce. With an intuitive engagement layer, companies can also easily interact with and add third parties to their blockchain with a few clicks and a simple authentication—creating trust networks.
Lamborghini Salesforce Blockchain Usage
Lamborghini recognized the benefits of Blockchain and how Salesforce enabled them to achieve those desired Blockchain benefits. Using Salesforce Blockchain, they took on the challenge to improve their heritage cars certification process. Heritage cars are previously owned cars that when resold, must go through an extensive and exhaustive process to certify that the car is 100% Lamborghini.
“When a Lamborghini is resold, the vehicle often goes through 800 to 1,000 certification checks that take place at the Lamborghini headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy,” according to a press release published by Salesforce.
The certification process requires that Lamborghini coordinate a vast network of participants – technicians, repair shops, dealerships and more – to verify the provenance and authenticity of the vehicle. To improve the speed and efficiency of the certification process, Lamborghini digitized the process by creating a trusted network among the certification process participants in Salesforce Blockchain.
“Innovation has been at the core of our company since its founding,” said Paolo Gabrielli, Head of After Sales at Automobili Lamborghini. “Salesforce Blockchain will allow us to take our innovation a step further, accelerating the authenticity of our heritage vehicles faster than ever.”
In addition to speeding up the certification process, Salesforce Blockchain has layered on the inherent security of Blockchain into the process. All authentication checks are managed by Lamborghini and its trusted partner network where each partner in the Blockchain has access to the entire database behind the car from parts, service, history and verifications. Full data transparency with decentralized data renders counterfeiting practically impossible.
Usage in the Alternative Asset Management Industry
The quality of early design partners and what Lamborghini has been able to do with Salesforce Blockchain has shown that Salesforce Blockchain is a powerful product that will have practical application to any number of organizations, especially alternative asset managers.
Consider the following questions outlined by Salesforce to think about the potential use case of Blockchain at your organization. (https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2019/05/what-is-blockchain-technology.html)
- Do you want to solve a business problem, rather than an integration problem? Blockchain is at times mistakenly positioned as an integration technology, but that’s not a core strength. If integration’s your goal, you may be better off using an API, Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), or web service.
- Does your business process require inherent irreversibility? This quality is foundational to blockchain, so ask yourself whether it would help you achieve your business objective or hinder it.
- Do you want to transfer objects of value from one party or entity to another? If this is the case, consider whether what you intend to do will benefit from immutability. Also, does it require consensus? If the answer is “yes,” you might benefit from using blockchain.
- Do you want to transfer information across organizational boundaries? If your use case involves some level of managing cross-organizational trust, deploying blockchain can help. It can also be useful if you want to simplify the process between you and upstream or downstream business partners.
- Do you want to target an ecosystem, rather than a few parties? Consider whether the problem you want to solve requires (significantly) more than two participants. If it is just a handful, integration might be the way to go. If you are targeting an ecosystem, blockchain may be the right choice.
- Do you have a clear strategy for engaging and driving adoption with partners? Without their adoption of blockchain, the positive impact to your business will be limited.
With the above questions in mind, a high impact and practical usage of Salesforce Blockchain could be in streamlining the Investor Onboarding process, typically a laborious and inefficient process bound by repetitive tasks and adhering to rules and regulations such as:
- KYC (Know Your Client) Verification – working with multiple parties to review and verify specific pieces of data such as proof of identity, source of funds, legal structure, sanction and watch list screening, etc.
- Client Suitability Verification – working with clients to confirm their suitability for investing in a fund under FINRA Rule 2111 or MiFID II guidelines (i.e. investments are in line with their risk tolerance and ability to bear losses). As client situations can change, investment suitability must be continually reassessed
Bringing the KYC and Client Suitability Verification process into Salesforce Blockchain expedites the process by bringing all parties and the associated reviews together in one trusted network. Once the data is in one network, it can be shared with Salesforce CRM enabling process automation and AI insights into the process. In addition, it also enables a fully transparent review process that is inherently auditable.
Salesforce Blockchain is a major focus of Salesforce to enable their clients to easily avail themselves of this paradigm changing technology. Salesforce believes in clicks, not code and has brought this model to Blockchain. For the early adopters of Salesforce Blockchain such as Lamborghini, Salesforce Blockchain has shown itself to be an indispensable feature of Salesforce. To prepare for Blockchain, FinServ can help in mapping out your current processes and planning out what can be put into Blockchain. If you would like help with planning or implementing this, or just get more info or a demo on these features, FinServ would love to help. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call (646) 603-3799.
About FinServ Consulting
FinServ Consulting is an independent experienced provider of business consulting, systems development, and integration services to alternative asset managers, global banks and their service providers. Founded in 2005, FinServ delivers customized world-class business and IT consulting services for the front, middle and back office, providing managers with optimal and first-class operating environments to support all investment styles and future asset growth. The FinServ team brings a wealth of experience from working with the largest and most complex asset management firms and global banks in the world.