Thoughts on Salesforce Data Cloud

I attended the Salesforce World Tour Sydney edition last week and the stand-out talk for me was the one related to Data Cloud. This is a cloud that I have not seen or used in real life and I was curious to know what scenarios would be ideal for such a tool.

It’s the same product as Salesforce CDP and I think Data Cloud is a better name for it. I just hope they don’t go through re-branding exercise every year for this product like they did with the BI product that is now called CRM Analytics.

The presentation by Janani Narayanan touched upon the capabilities of the product before providing a glimpse into how Salesforce uses the product. The key points of the product can be seen in this video published by Salesforce last year as well.

The key functionalities I felt were:

  1. Out of the box connectors to pull in data from different systems.
  2. Ingestion APIs to push data into Data Cloud from other systems.
  3. Visual UI for creating mapping and rules to arrive at a golden record.
  4. Ability to output this data into Marketing Cloud for segmentation and marketing journey rules.
  5. Ability to leverage this golden record in reporting.

One of the points that came up while discussing with a colleague was who the target will be for this solution, as a lot of the bigger enterprise customers would already have an MDM solution in place to take care of these functionalities.

My take was that this solution would suit those 1% clients who have the budget for a large solution such as this one and does not have an MDM solution in place; or is looking to shift away from a legacy MDM solution for any reason.

The close integration with Marketing Cloud is a good selling point, but I don’t have hands-on with this integration and hence do not know the edge cases and how pronounced they might be.

Limits & Pricing

Pricing is the area I was most curious on and I could not find any more than I could find online. From what I could gather this could cost upwards of $100k/year with additional cost for additional ‘Data Service Credits’ that you might need.

While the platform itself offers 5TB of storage to get started, it also comes up with 10 million ‘Data Services Credits’. These credits cover the compute and processing related services available as part of Data Cloud.

I don’t have clarity as yet on how these credits translate to what volume of data that is processed.

The limits are itself are documented on Salesforce Help.


Salesforce CDP has been around for a while now and it should have matured a bit, especially since Salesforce are themselves using it internally. This is part that gives me hope for the product as this would guarantee continued enhancement and fewer breaking changes.

The part that is bound to confuse everyone is the costing and this obfuscation with ‘Data Services Credits’ which need a rethink. Let’s try not to import AWS billing fatigue into Salesforce universe as well.

What do you think? Leave a Reply