This is the first in-person Customer Appreciation Awards event, which is tantamount to the growth in Salesforce's customer base and maturity in the region, according to the company. 

Salesforce adds that this comes at a time when the global CRM provider has announced several partnerships including Meta and WhatsApp that allow Salesforce customers to connect with their customers and build new messaging experiences.

"Celebration of our customers is important as we continue to raise the bar and recognise that technology and business are moving at a pace we've never seen before," says Zuko Mdwaba, Salesforce area vice president / Africa executive and South Africa country leader.

According to Mdwaba, Salesforce has managed to secure 1 000 customers in Africa, with South Africa driving the majority of the growth with over 500 customers.

"The biggest trend we are seeing in the year ahead is generative AI, which is being embedded in all the technologies we use. In the past year, we secured partnerships with Google, Amazon, Snowflake, TikTok, Met and Whatsapp, to name a few. We have come together to share, inspire and build community," Mdwaba says. 

"The growth we're seeing in South Africa is significant and speaks to the need for solutions that support organisations in putting their customers at the heart of their business. This is an opportunity to applaud the success of our customers and for Salesforce to continue to support our customers' journey," adds Mdwaba.

The following recognitions were awarded: 

1. Dream Team Award

  • Celebrates exceptional teamwork and outstanding achievement
  • Winner: Cape Union Mart
  • Award received by Grant de Waal, Cape Union Mart CIO and e-commerce executive

2. Pioneer Award

  • This award recognises teams that are innovative and industry disruptors ahead of their competitors
  • Winner: Overberg Agri
  • Award received by Henry Steyn, Overberg head of innovation

3. Customer Experience Award

  • This award recognises the delivery of exceptional customer experiences
  • Winner: Retail Capital
  • Award received by Alex Corrin, retail capital head of marketing, technology and customer experience

4. Platform Powerhouse Award

  • This award recognises connected Salesforce solutions to amplify customer impact
  • Winner: Multichoice
  • Award received by Ryan Smith, Mulitchoise head of personalisation, data science

5. Trailblazer Award

  • Those who are not scared to take risks and follow a project from start to finish
  • Winner: Pepkor
  • Award received by: Nicky Simmons, Pepkor programme manager

6. Building Community Award

  • This award recognises organisations for impactful social-economic work contributing to African communities
  • Winner: Takealot
  • Award received by: Yaeesh Moosa, Takealot head of marketplace

7. Thought Leadership Award

  • This award recognitions demonstration to shape and influence leaders within the community
  • Winner: Clicks
  • Award received by: Melanie Van Rooy, CMO, Clicks

8. Certified MVP Award

  • This award recognises an individual who has made a substantial impact to the success of a programme
  • Winner: Standard Bank
  • Received by: Akhona Mafenuka, Standard Bank marketing cloud design lead

"These awards are a means for us to highlight the value of our customers as a key part of who we are as an organisation. It is a demonstration of how we achieve success now by working together and ensuring the customer is always at the centre of our focus," Mdwaba concludes. 

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*Image courtesy of contributor