July 19

Executive Spotlight: Dave Rey, President of Salesforce Global Public Sector


Dave Rey, president of Salesforce Global Public Sector, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding the company’s recent growth initiatives and how its driving value and customer success.

In addition, Dave Rey also discussed how recent acquisition are benefiting Salesforce’s portfolio as well as how IT modernization is driving improvements in network and platforms as well as data management in the federal health sector during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.

“The past few years have changed the way that government agencies think about how to best serve their customers. Salesforce is helping governments modernize, scale, secure, and rapidly deploy services to meet the ever-changing demands we see nationally and internationally. That’s the real value we bring to our government clients.”

You can read the full interview with Dave Rey below:

ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the company’s recent growth initiatives and how you’re driving value for your customers through Salesforce’s mission for customer success and core values of your business?

Dave Rey: As we all know, the government has a huge focus on improving digital services and customer experiences. Our current administration has been implementing significant customer service initiatives since the end of last year, accelerated by the executive order requiring federal agencies to offer a full-range of digital services for their customers.

The order calls out the need for enabling technologies that can streamline customer interactions and integrate experiences across agencies. The goal is to provide secure, equal and easy access, with a new level of transparency and responsiveness. How do we fit within that context?  I will tell you that from my first day at Salesforce, our core value of customer success has been part of every growth initiative.

For us, customer success starts with helping our customers deliver modern digital services to engage and support their missions.  It has been far too difficult for organizations to piece together the technology, data, and insight required for a single source of truth about their customers.  To achieve that single source of truth you need integrated and seamless access to data, processes, analysis, channels, and outreach. At Salesforce, we have made it our mission to make that easier with the Salesforce Customer 360.

We have a number of initiatives that drive growth and innovation within government. For example, Salesforce is proud to deliver three software releases each year. With our multitenant, metadata-driven platform, we provide customers with seamless, automatic upgrades each release, delivered in real time, with no downtime.

Another example is Safety Cloud, which enables employers to maintain and monitor the safety protocols necessary to get everyone back to work and back in the office, safely. And, governments are using net Zero Cloud to achieve their sustainability goals by helping them track, analyze, and report carbon emissions and waste management.  We are also driving unique out-of-the-box capabilities for the public sector that support licensing, permitting, and inspections, and grants management.

You’ve probably seen that quote from famous management consultant and writer, Peter Drucker, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’?

And to answer the second part of your question, our values drive our culture, and that culture drives our success. It really sets the tone for everything that Salesforce does, and it’s indicative of why people want to work with us. Whether it’s in the values we share with our customers or employees.  Every single candidate that I interview mentions our culture as a big motivator for why they want to be at Salesforce.

ExecutiveBiz: What can you tell us about the implementation of recent acquisitions you’ve made and how they’ve benefited your portfolio, technical capabilities and driven value for your company and customers?

Dave Rey: At Salesforce, we spend every day supporting government organizations. Public sector employees have so much thrown at them everyday, we want to give them the tools and technology to effectively respond. They need every advantage including a single source of information that breaks down the traditional silos of information providing an integrated view of their customers and processes.

Innovation is a part of our internal development as a company. While there is digital modernization happening in government, there are still legacy government systems that have been around for 10, 15, or even 20 plus years, and we help to modernize those systems and unlock the legacy data they have been sitting on.

If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of data analytics. It’s all about using data to drive better decision-making. Our focus is making it easy to access data with Mulesoft and easy analysis of that data with Tableau – two acquisitions that are now integrated into our Customer 360 platform.

We know that seamless digital collaboration and integration within organizations is essential.  We call it a digital HQ, and it’s a platform where government employees, customers, and partners can come together, around the globe. Slack allows organizations to collaborate, while easily engaging with integrated applications. This gives them an advantage over the old school “swivel chair” approach to accessing applications.

When I think about the traditional legacy approach to system development, which requires the government to identify, procure, build, scale, test, integrate, secure and deploy every application, I think about how untenable it was, with the risk, cost, and time needed. Now, the Salesforce platform changes this approach, allowing customers to leverage a full set of capabilities to move fast and build securely. Low-code or no-code development plus the capabilities enabled by our products our acquisitions are a powerful combination that have created the most comprehensive platform for all of our customers.  That’s a recipe for future success.”

ExecutiveBiz: What do you see as the most critical challenges facing those in the federal sector as cybersecurity continues to rise in importance and cyber hygiene becomes a necessity for all companies and even more critical at the national security level?

Dave Rey: “Cybersecurity is the top priority for the federal government. They are laser focused on zero-trust architectures, multi-factor authentication, incident reporting, and vulnerability scanning. One of the key values of being an SASE partner like Salesforce is we bring together the traditional IT approaches with FedRAMP capabilities that address security and customer success.

As I look at the cyber aspect of our industry, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is difficult for customers to secure their legacy applications.  They are dealing with multiple technologies, vendors, versions, skill sets, and threats that require a tremendous number of resources to address.  In contrast, our Customer 360 platform, from its Hyperforce infrastructure through the software stack, is federally reviewed and authorized. This authorization looks at security controls, operations, and personnel.

It’s not just about buying products anymore. It’s a true partnership between industry and government that is interwoven with the core values of the company and their investments to adapt to the changing environment into next year and beyond. We are continually improving our security posture which benefits every customer.  At the end of the day, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility between public and private sector partners, and requires a great deal of trust. We work together with our customers to ensure the highest level of security is in place.”

ExecutiveBiz: As the federal health sector continues to be heavily impacted by IT modernization and a wide range of other initiatives to improve its networks, platforms and data, what are the greatest improvements that are being developed in federal health and what else needs to be addressed?

Dave Rey: “During the pandemic we have seen major paradigm shifts in the way our IT health systems are being built and deployed. The successful platform-based deployment of contact tracing and vaccine management applications showed us what is possible. Government and industry partnerships have made a significant difference in how we deliver services.

I’ve never seen better collaboration between the two in all my years in this industry. There were lessons learned on both sides during this pandemic about how we can innovate together and drive improvements. As a result, we’re now looking into how we can modernize some of the government’s largest health systems. It’s critical for government agencies to modernize and to be able to ensure they are easy to access, and use, no matter what the customer needs.”

The pandemic forced a newfound level of creativity and collaboration between government and industry, and that’s not something we should forget about or lose. As we move forward, we will continue to focus  on that executive order – driving better user experiences for the customers of government agencies.”



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