February 7, 2024

Salesforce and AWS: Deepening Data Potential with Every Integration

A collaboration in review: assessing Salesforce and AWS’ partnership

Salesforce and AWS: Deepening Data Potential with Every Integration

Written by

Hardus Swanepoel

Head of Innovations Services

There’s exciting news reverberating around the digital newsphere for existing Salesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS) users. Salesforce and AWS have recently announced that they’re expanding their existing partnership, bringing BYOL (Bring Your Own Lake) and BYO LLM (Bring Your Own Large Language Model) integrations between Salesforce Data Cloud and AWS services. 

Salesforce and AWS have had a longstanding and powerful partnership, joining the might of the world’s leading CRM with the world’s largest cloud platform to deliver new data-driven service possibilities. Earlier this year, AWS and Salesforce took this collaboration even further, building on existing generative AI technologies available through AWS and infusing them into their Salesforce applications via the Einstein Trust Layer. 

Now, they’ve announced plans to make it even easier for Salesforce and AWS users to seamlessly manage and access their data across platforms, and safely integrate generative AI capabilities into existing applications and workflows with zero ETL requirements. 

Let’s take a closer look at how we got here, assessing the brick-by-brick approach Salesforce and AWS have cultivated to offer out-the-box data management and gen AI solutions. 

A collaboration in review: assessing Salesforce and AWS’ partnership

Although they first announced expansions in 2021, Salesforce and AWS have worked together for over half a decade, with AWS’ data cloud services powering a large majority of the Salesforce platform! Hard to believe, right? Well, it’s the truth and it’s what allows Salesforce customers the easy usability they’ve come to expect from Salesforce. Traditionally, customers have used Salesforce to manage customer relationships, build new apps, and derive insights, while using AWS for all storage and database needs. 

A problem that arose from this came in the form of complex custom integration code that was needed for customers looking to combine AWS services with Salesforce capabilities for application building. Lo and behold - Salesforce and AWS’ first partnership enhancement was born! 

Salesforce and AWS first offered developers pre-built out-of-the-box applications and add-ons that use AWS services for voice and video with AI and ML functionality, making it easier to merge existing Salesforce and AWS services. 

These two giants announced further integration capabilities again in 2021, with these capabilities being divided and bundled into 3 layers of integration options:

  • Connectivity - refers to capabilities facilitating network connectivity between AWS, Salesforce and an on-premises data centre.
  • Integration - refers to low-code and no-code tools that developers can use to connect service flows between AWS and Salesforce.
  • Application  - refers to the layer on which AWS service applications, like Amazon Connect CTI, Alexa for Business and Salesforce Service Cloud Voice can be integrated. 

How AWS and Salesforce are deepening customer centricity through Gen AI

With these service integrations acting as the foundation, it only made sense for AWS and Salesforce to deepen their partnership again, this time to enable large-scale data access necessary to power generative AI capabilities. In September 2023, Salesforce and AWS announced they’d be rolling out BYOL and BYO LLM integrations between Data Cloud and AWS. 

These integrations allow organisations to unify and access their data across Data Cloud and AWS services like Amazon Redshift to leverage the foundation models available in Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker securely within the Salesforce platform. As a result, customers can incorporate the latest gen AI technologies from AWS into their operations and applications. 

These new integration capabilities consist of:

  • BYOL support for AWS: customers can securely unite their data across AWS and Salesforce for faster insights with zero extract, transform, load (ETL) processes required.
  • BYOL Data Federation: allows organisations to access data from existing Amazon data lakes within Data Cloud without having to move the data first, creating unified customer profiles across clouds. 
  • BYOL Data Sharing: enables organisations to securely share and use customer data from Data Cloud across multiple AWS services, like Amazon Sagemaker and Amazon EMR, for large language model training and development within AWS. 
  • BYO LLM from Amazon Bedrock: enterprises can bring LLMs hosted in Amazon Bedrock to power generative AI applications and services in Salesforce. 

Through these integrations, organisations can create true, uninterrupted customer profiles across Salesforce 360, train AI models in AWS using data from Data Cloud and bring a foundation model from Bedrock to Einstein to build gen AI-powered applications.

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