Salesforce's NFT Cloud Will Legitimize NFTs at an Enterprise Level
We've seen a lot of movement into NFTs by folks in corporate marketing. Some are handling campaigns for major companies while others are creating agencies and working behind the scenes. Now, Salesforce, the leading provider of cloud-based tools and services for enterprise sales and marketing departments, is said to be planning an NFT Cloud to provide NFT capabilities to those customers. Salesforce's current dominance in CRM and related areas means that its integration of NFT tools will both legitimize NFTs to corporate leaders while supporting the work to be done.
Salesforce is big. As of May, 2021 they are said to have over 56 thousand employees with annual sales of $21.3 billion. The company describes itself in the Products section of its investor relations site as a CRM platform but this is customer relations as an overarching concept that includes such moves as the acquisition of Slack.
Salesforce is also a leader in the development of SaaS at scale and it has prospered greatly over the years. It has already developed Web3 services starting with the launch of Salesforce Blockchain in 2019. Now it’s adding basic NFT options to some of its products. For a huge corporation these folks are moving quickly and that's due, in large part, to serious buy-in from the top.
TIMEPieces and NFT Utility
Back in December, a number of Salesforce executives shared their 2022 predictions. Matthew Sweezey, Director of Market Strategy, discussed NFTs, the concept of utility and TIMEPieces:
"To unlock their full potential, brands are going to have to start creating utility via the token. Time is a great example. They launched TimePieces, which is a collectible and has utility. Each NFT grants the owner unlimited access to Time’s content, special event access, and a few other small perks.”
“In 2022, you’re going to hear a lot more about NFTs, and there will be winners and losers. Winners will move past NFT’s as simply collectable to find greater utility through the token."
"TIMEPieces represents an important first step in TIME’s Web3 community strategy, enabling us to bring together artists, collectors and fans in a collaborative manner with the goal of building utility and community value over the long-term."
Time Ventures x OpenSea
Benioff discussed NFTs in relationship to TIME and Time Ventures back in November at the Singapore Fintech Festival:
"'Another business that we made a very small investment in from Time Ventures is OpenSea. And when you look at kind of the eBay of NFTs, I think they have got this figured out. They have a lot of transactions on OpenSea, and the CEO there is this gentleman named Devin (Finzer), and he’s amazing,' said Benioff. 'His vision is incredible.'"
"He spoke about how Time is using OpenSea API’s to connect to Time’s platform to help manage NFTs."
Here Comes the NFT Cloud
On Wednesday, at an internal Salesforce event, co-CEOS Benioff and Bret Taylor were reported to have both discussed NFTs and plans for an NFT Cloud:
"Salesforce told employees at a sales kickoff on Wednesday that the company plans to release an NFT Cloud, according to people with knowledge of the matter...Salesforce sees an opportunity to bring the technology into enterprise software."
"Salesforce co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor both talked about the strategy at the online event, said one person who attended...Executives at the meeting referenced NFT-related work that Pepsi has done as an example, another person said."
"Salesforce, which provides cloud-based software for sales reps, marketing departments and e-commerce vendors, wants to offer a service for artists to create content and release it on a marketplace like OpenSea, one person said..."
"Salesforce could also potentially integrate the tool into its own ecosystem, where transactions could be managed, the people said."
Unleashing Corporate NFTs
It will be interesting to see what the first version of NFT Cloud offers. The thing is, pretty much everything up to the smart contract creation and minting stage is traditional art, media and design work. So it seems likely that they'll begin with an NFT design studio in the cloud that has an integration with OpenSea.
How Salesforce deals with smart contracts will be important. That could be managed initially through OpenSea but Salesforce will need to sort that out to enable clients to use their own smart contracts and to integrate additional marketplaces.
Of course, while Salesforce brings legitimacy it also implies that an incredible deluge of corporate marketing NFTs is about to be unleashed.
Are you ready?