This was my fourth time attending the awesomeness that is Dreamforce. For those that count by bands, my first Dreamforce was the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
However, this was my first year attending Dreamforce as a consultant. Having clients at the conference definitely put a new spin on things. Before, I was just there to absorb sessions and meet the occasional vendor. This year, I had the opportunity to meet clients and put personalities to names.
As a result, I consider this Dreamforce to be a Dreamforce of People, both internal team members and clients. Since LeadMD often works with the clients remotely, it was great to shake hands and make that all important in-person connection.
Plus, I work from Dallas, while most of our internal LeadMD team is in Scottsdale, AZ. So, Dreamforce also provided a week of team building with co-workers that I don’t get to see very often. Whether it be meeting potential partners, or discussing Marketing and Sales Automation strategy over a slice of pizza, the time was invaluable to helping me grow professionally and become a better communicator.
I hope you had a similarly positive experience. Without further ado, let’s dive into what else made this Dreamforce one to remember.
Salesforce and the Internet of Things
As far as the actual concepts presented at Dreamforce, I think it was clear that Salesforce believes that the “Internet of Things” should be at the front and center of everyone’s thinking. And Salesforce is not alone in this thinking. Increasingly, everyday objects are also using the Internet to connect to the cloud for It’s estimated that 1.9bn devices are already connected to this Internet of Things (source: BI Intelligence).
As a consumer, I agree that this should be at the forefront. I want all of my devices connected. I want the vendor of my device to know there is a problem before I do, and hopefully fix it! The launch of the Internet of Things cloud will help device manufacturers establish better relationships with their customers, and better understand specific use cases.
The Lightning Experience
We were also shown the new Salesforce UI, which was the same UI demoed to the public a few weeks before the conference. I overheard a lot of people asking why this wasn’t unveiled at Dreamforce. Nobody really knows the answer to this. Did Salesforce want to get reactions before Dreamforce? Was it logistically necessary for Partners demoing products and sessions happening before Benioff’s big keynote?
Also shown off was the new reporting user interface – probably what excites me most about all of the new UI. With the ability to have multiple dashboard columns and embedded reporting components, dashboards and reports are really being taken to the next level.
SalesforceIQ is based on late year’s RelateIQ acquisition. It’s a new tool that can really help change the game for sales reps, if it works as advertised,. Cloud Scheduler is baked in to help set meetings. The app also can plug right into Gmail and generate records, including follow-ups, in Salesforce all from a single interface. I’m excited to give it a try. I think of it as the Outlook Connector for Email, that has Gmail-esque features.
Since the acquisition of ExtactTarget and Pardot by Salesforce, the presence of Eloqua is gone. You could still find Marketo in the Engagement Center, along with LeadMD, this year.
All in all, as a dedicated Salesforce nerd, I’m very excited to see the Salesforce user interface and basic functions get a facelift and feature improvement. I’m interested to see how these changes plus the Internet of Things cloud changes the industry over the next year. Until next year! #DF16