This month 20 members of the Sonoma Partners’ team traveled to San Francisco to watch the latest production from Salesforce.com unfold. Benioff invited quite the cast for this year’s event- Hillary Clinton, will.i.am, Tony Prophet, and Al Gore all joined the masses (135,000 people!) for four days of innovation, fun, and giving back. Now that the curtain has fallen on Dreamforce 2014, here’s the Sonoma summary:
It wouldn’t be a proper Dreamforce without a new product announcement. This year, Salesforce unveiled Wave, the new Salesforce Analytics Cloud, designed to provide “analytics for everyone, anywhere”. As a lead-in, Benioff commented on the current state of data and its impact on today’s business world.
“90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years. There’s going to be 10 times more mobile data by 2020, 19 times more unstructured data, and 50 times more product data by 2020.” - Marc Benioff
According to Salesforce.com, Wave is the first cloud analytics platform designed for every business user, instead of just analysts. With Wave, Salesforce reimagined analytics, garnering inspiration from advancements in consumer apps and video games to reassess the entire analytics process.
You didn’t have to look hard to find the presence of partnerships at this year’s conference. On day 1, Benioff invited Microsoft’s new Corporate Vice President of Windows Marketing, Tony Prophet, to join him for a fireside chat to talk about what it means to be a good leader and the future of Microsoft. Yes, that’s correct, the future of Microsoft. At Dreamforce. THE Salesforce event of the year.
“Customers demand openness.” - Tony Prophet
Prophet said it best when explaining the importance of partnerships in big tech today. We’ve reached the point where we need to tackle the differences within our industry and attract world-class partners that can help us achieve our goals. Platform companies survive on ecosystems and our competitiveness as organizations depends on the strength of our partnerships.
Benioff and Prophet spent a significant portion of their chat discussing the Cloud, in particular where cloud computing is headed. Prophet mentioned an array of Microsoft products - Bing, Skype, Xbox Live, Outlook.com - describing them as customer-focused cloud based services. And why is the Cloud so compelling? It’s global, it’s platform agnostic, and it’s an incredible value proposition for customers. Prophet went on to explain that the Microsoft partnership with Salesforce.com was a a priority as we move towards a mobile first, cloud first world.
You couldn’t cut a corner at the Moscone Center without hearing the word mobility.
Mobility popped up in most of the week’s keynotes and musician-turned-entrepreneur will.i.am joined the conversation, introducing the world to the Puls, a wearable that claims to do everything a phone can, and more.
- Run at least a dozen apps? Check.
- Make calls without being tethered to a smartphone? Check.
“This is not a watch. It’s a new type of communication on your wrist.” - will.i.am
Mobility was the primary focus of the Consumer Goods Food Service with Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola Refreshments break-out session. Adam LeDonne, Director of Sales Strategy for the Kellogg Company, presented their organization’s new mobile CRM application and explained how the app, in just a few months, had transformed the way their sales team conducted business. Mobility allows them to sell from anywhere and their mobile app is so intuitive, their sales team doesn’t even realize they are using CRM as they swipe and tap their way to increased productivity. Since deployment, the app has seen a 300% increase in user engagement over their previous system. We’d call that a success story.
And when it comes to products, mobility wouldn’t let analytics steal the show so with a crack came Salesforce1 Lightning, an upgrade to the Salesforce1 platform that honors the user-experience trend. The enhancement focuses on increasing developer productivity, promoting code reuse, and aims to make building responsive applications a cinch. If you want to learn more about Salesforce1 Lightning check out the developers section of Salesforce.com.
“You can’t build a relationship if you aren’t talking.” - Hillary Rodham Clinton
But the core theme of the largest software conference on the planet? Relationships are everything. Because as much as it is about the technology, it isn’t about the technology. What’s important is how we use this technology, this data, and this accessibility to create exceptional experiences for our clients, no matter what service we’re providing. The updates and advancements and product announcements, regardless of how exciting they may be, are only as powerful as the use case they support. It isn’t about the products, it’s about the people buying the products.
Have a question about something you saw at Dreamforce 2014? Ready to start a conversation about a Salesforce.com solution for your business? Contact us and we can help you turn a Salesforce.com CRM dream into a reality.