On Saturday, May 20, Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, hosted a Community Day in downtown Indianapolis to celebrate the official grand opening of Salesforce Tower and to announce its commitment to workforce development and continued growth in Indianapolis. Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff was joined by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett to share remarks on the importance of Salesforce Tower and to highlight upcoming Salesforce initiatives.

In case you haven’t followed this story as close as we have, here are a few announcements that tell the story of Salesforce’s commitment to Indy:

Salesforce Tower in Indianapolis is now one of four towers worldwide. The other towers are located in San Francisco, New York, and London. Indianapolis is home to the 2nd largest Salesforce employee footprint, just behind San Francisco, due to their 2013 acquisition of ExactTarget.

The Salesforce logo is now on top of the building, and Salesforce has so far taken occupancy of 4 floors but will expand to 6 inside the building amongst other renovations such as a first-floor lobby and showcase and an “Ohana floor.” Tenants have noticed an invigorated lobby and reception area, increased security and lots of blue. 

Photo courtesy Salesforce
Photo courtesy Salesforce

Prior to the press conference on Saturday, local media were invited to tour two floors of the building. Floor 21 was redesigned with the new corporate design standards that are exhibited across all Salesforce offices. “Our executives from other cities walked into the Indy tower offices and said ‘it feels just like my office at home!’” said Elizabeth Pinkham, Executive Vice President of Global Real Estate. “No matter what office you are in, they all look and feel the same.”

Here are a few photos from our tour on Floor 21:

Social lounges – Each floor has a social lounge with a complete and stocked kitchen. It’s part of the new Ohana design that is rolling out amongst all offices. – Photo: TechPoint
Culture Gallery – The wall photos are indicative of the ohana culture and lifestyle exhibited by Salesforce. Elizabeth Pinkham gives us the tour and highlights the wall art. – Photo: TechPoint
The carpet acts like a gravel path walking you through the office to the green “grass” where the teams collaborate and get work done. Natural light was important, so the workspaces are nearest to the windows while the quiet work and meeting rooms are on the inside of the floor. – Photo: TechPoint
Each floor has a meditation room, complete with a water feature, dim light, and zen atmosphere to give you a few minutes a day to practice mindfulness. Salesforce is also hiring instructors to meet with employees and offer guidance on adding mindfulness as a daily practice. – Photo: TechPoint
Sustainability is a key feature of the ohana design. Landfill, compost and recycle options are available on every floor. – Photo: TechPoint

Currently under construction, the 47th floor of Salesforce Tower will be the new Ohana Floor, designed to host Salesforce events and support the needs of nonprofits and community partners. TechForce, Salesforces’ internal IT support team, will operate on this floor alongside a coffee lounge and event space. And if you needed another reason to see it for yourself, the views of Indianapolis are stunning.

After the tour, we were led outside to the stage for the presentation. Bob Stutz, CEO and Chief Analytics Officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, welcomed the Salesforce community and the multicultural prayer greeting from Muslim, Jewish, Tibetan and Catholic faith leaders. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb both continued the warm remarks and smiles as they recognized the rankings and other growth ingredients that are critical to our tech ecosystem.

The keynote of the presentation went to Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff, who spent no less than 15 minutes hitting on multiple topics of talent, community, economics and policy.

He glanced up at the sky and said: “Today we mark another milestone in the journey of our company and in the life of this city and this state the official opening of Salesforce Tower Indianapolis.” 

Read the full transcript of Marc Benioff’s on-stage remarks here. 


Tibetan monks chanted on stage as part of the multicultural greeting. – Photo: TechPoint
Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff on stage to celebrate the grand opening of Salesforce Tower Indianapolis. – Photo: TechPoint
Left: Image of the stage and audience in front of Salesforce Tower Indianapolis. Right: Marc Benioff answers questions from local media. – Photo: TechPoint

In addition to fulfilling the commitment of 800+ jobs by 2021 announced in 2016, Benioff also revealed a new focus on advancing their workforce development initiative to include 500 local apprenticeships by 2020.

According to Salesforce, “the Salesforce Economy will contribute 1.9 million new jobs and more than $389 billion in new GDP impact worldwide by 2020. Salesforce is focused on building the economy of the future, while bringing along the workforce of today.”

While the full details of these 500 apprenticeships have not yet been announced, the goal is to enable people with new careers in technology. The apprenticeships will be part of Salesforce Futureforce, the company’s set of diverse programs dedicated to training and hiring for the jobs of tomorrow — all of which stress inclusion and equality.

Currently those programs are aimed at parents re-entering the workforce and veterans, but could also be great for career changers who are looking for a new career path.

 In addition to the workforce announcements, Salesforce upped their volunteer commitment from 100,000 hours in 2016 to 200,000 in 2017. More than 90 percent of Salesforce’s employees in Indiana volunteer in local public schools and with nonprofits. Recently, Salesforce adopted James Russell Lowell School 51, where employees taught children to code. Salesforce also supported TechPoint Foundation for Youth with a $75,000 grant awarded earlier this year and continues to support them financially and with volunteers throughout the year in many different capacities.

If I had to choose one word to sum up the feelings from today’s announcement, it would be “community.” And I’m proud to say that ours includes Salesforce.