Global CRM leader Salesforce is taking a plunge into the NFT space. This week, the software firm announced launching the NFT Cloud, a platform for brands and businesses to mint and sell NFTs. But is it just FOMO, or is there actual customer demand for such a thing?
Simply put, NFT Cloud is an easy-to-use stepping stone into the NFT space and the growing metaverse. Brands can now use NFT Cloud to tap Salesforce's cloud-based tools for creating and selling NFTs. Furthermore, they can also engage with online communities and gather data from their NFT offerings.
NFT Cloud is primarily designed for consumer brands wanting to sell NFTs for exclusive access rather than art or trading value. "The art should look great. But that's not really the point," said Salesforce's senior vice president of emerging technology, Adam Caplan.
According to the company, it's a turn to the future which stems from the curiosity of customers. "Salesforce is seeing interest from CMOs and CDOs who are asking for help entering web3, and we are enthusiastic about bringing new innovations, products and offerings to our customers in a way that allows them to build and maintain meaningful relationships with their customers," said Adam.
With NFT Cloud, Salesforce aims to make the NFT selling process more accessible to brands. According to Adam, the platform is about helping their customers mint, manage and sell NFTs using no code. Also, the NFT Cloud makes it extremely easy by abstracting all the complicated technology in the growing Web3 space.
Adam claims to see a lot of interest across various verticals like retail, media, fashion, and consumer goods. He further explained, "It's really about driving engagement and communities, and we're seeing super passionate communities in the NFT space."
Meanwhile, some may question the ethical and ecological impact of selling non-fungible tokens. In fact, 400 Salesforce employees reportedly sent a protest letter to co-CEOs Bret Taylor and Marc Benioff in February.
However, Adam insisted that this new venture would be consistent with Salesforce values. "We want to help our customers assess whether there is a viable path forward with NFT technology in a sustainable and ethical manner," Adam said.
That means the leading blockchain for NFT collectibles, Ethereum, is currently off the table. Blockchains like Polygon and Immutable X are layer 2 solutions that cut down on Ethereum's environmental hit. But we don't know if Salesforce intends to use any blockchain that ultimately interacts with Ethereum's mainnet.
Currently, the Salesforce NFT Cloud is in closed pilot and available to limited customers. However, Salesforce has indicated it would be open to the public this year in October.
In 2018, Salesforce announced working on a blockchain product; the following year, it introduced a blockchain development tool. While it's not popular anymore, you can find a Salesforce blockchain training program on the company's training site.