Posts Tagged ‘user event’

Event Report: Marketo Moves From Revenue Management To Customer Engagement Platform #MKTGNation14

Marketo Moves Beyond Revenue To Customer Engagement Platform


A growing realization that funnels are dead again (and again) in sales, marketing, service, and commerce drives a big shift in the digital business disruption.  In front of 6000 customers, prospects, influencers, and employees, Marketo’s CEO Phil Fernandez put to bed some myths about the mix of Marketo’s key customer industries, showcased significant customer success stories, and announced new product features including the new customer engagement platform.  An analysis of the news from Marketing Nation 2014 in San Francisco includes:

  • Launch Of A New Customer Engagement Platform. The new Engagement Platform includes three signature features: Real-Time Personalization, Marketing Calendar, and Search Engine Optimization.  Real-Time Personalization enables a campaign to personalize across multiple channels including email, web, and mobile.   Marketing Calendar provides an interactive visual interface to manage campaigns.  Search Engine Optimization includes tools to analyze keyword rankings, suggest new key words, and optimize web page rankings.

    Point of View (POV):
    The shift from revenue management and marketing automation to a broader scope of customer engagement is critical.  Customers expect category leaders such as Marketo to anticipate customer needs and set vision.  The shift to digital transformation requires brands and organizations to design traditional marketing activities as part of a larger customer experience continuum.  Real-time personalization plays a key role in ensuring relevancy across channels.  The Marketing Calendar improves collaboration among internal and external teams.  The SEO optimization is one of many tools required to optimize existing campaigns and programs.  In speaking to over 50 customers at the event,  the general consensus was that the new product announcements would move Marketo from one-trick departmental pony to broader CMO platform.
  • Partnership with Axciom To Deliver Mass Personalization At Scale. Marketo announced a partnership between the new customer engagement platform and Axciom’s Audience Operating System (AOS).  AOS brings a rich stack that includes an applications layer, audience operations layer, and data layer to help organizations engage in a single view of customers across multiple channels.  Using Acxiom’s AbiliTag™ Real-Time Insight organizations can take relevant segmentation information to craft personalized marketing messages.

    (POV):
    Customer engagement systems must deliver massive contextual relevancy at scale, create role-tailored communication styles, deliver bionic user experiences, and move at the right time More…

Event Report: Microsoft Convergence 2014 Day 1 Demonstrates Solid Momentum and Mindshare ( #CONV14 )

Microsoft Convergence Kicks Off In Atlanta

The annual Microsoft Convergence customer event kicked off on March 4th, 2014.  Far from the days of the Stampede in Fargo, North Dakota, the event shows how far the Microsoft Dynamics customers, partners, and products have progressed.  Over 12,000 attendees including customers, partners, staff, and prospects gathered in Atlanta, GA for the largest Microsoft Enterprise Applications conference.  The sold out event featured a volunteer program on Day 0 and a good number of partner meetings the weekend before.  Analysis from four key announcements on Day 1 include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics gaining momentum on the large enterprise and divisions of large enterprises. Key customers presenting in the opening keynote include Chobani, City Harvest Inc, Delta Airlines, Lotus F1 Team, New Belgium Brewery, and Weight Watchers.  These presenting customers share a key theme of customer centricity and a Microsoft enterprise backbone.  Moreover, many showcase the devices and services theme set by former CEO Steve Ballmer.

    Point of View (POV):
    Constellation sees a growing trend where organizations and brands move to Dynamics for both CRM and ERP.  The ability to integrate back to other Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Services provides both a pull and a push.  As organizations think about consolidating vendors and moving to the cloud, the Microsoft Dynamics team provides some compelling options in manufacturing, retail, distribution, public sector, professional services, and travel and entertainment.  The launch of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise License at $200 per user per month show cases the move upmarket.
  • Dynamics CRM users gain key marketing and social capabilities. Microsoft announces the next release of Dynamics CRM in Q2 of 2014.  Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, which was formed from the Marketing Pilot acquisition , debuts to assist with campaign management.  The service and support offering gains new features such as Unified Service Desk along with closer integration to recently acquired Parature.  Newly launched Microsoft Social Listening launches at no additional charge for Dynamics CRM Online professional license holders.

    (POV):
    The rewrite of acquired entity Marketing Pilot provides some improvement to the original product.  Parity at the Exact Target and Hubspot level will take at least two to three more releases.  Release of unified service desk paired with Parature, provides a powerful combination in customer service and support.  Microsoft Social Listening finally provides customers with a social tool that has been sorely missing in the line up.  More importantly, in CRM and customer experience, the mobile access options have not forced customers onto Windows Phone and instead have provided native support of iOS and Android..
  • Dynamics ERP users prepare for new releases. Dynamics GP gets a release for Q1 2014 that includes identity management, workflow, and self service companion apps.  Dynamics NAV shoudl receive an update in Q4 2014.  More importantly, the team announced the availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 for May 1st 2014.  Key themes include mobile enablement, support for deployment on Windows Azure in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) layer, and an end to end apps and services framework.  .  The cross offering with the Windows Azure team is the Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services which improve implementation times and enable agile updates.

    More…

Trends: Real World Lessons In Optimizing The Customer Service Experience From Kana Connect

Workshop On Optimizing Your Customer Service Experience Identifies Eight Strategies
At the 2013 Kana Connect event from September 15th to 17th, 2013 in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of co-leading a workshop with Scott Hays a Sr. Director, Product Marketing for KANA Software.  The goal of the session was to explore eight strategies to improve customer experience. 

By now, you are well aware that “experience counts.” Your customers’ loyalty and future purchases hang in the balance. In this session, we’ll explore the key things you can do to make sure their experiences are positive. Ray Wang from Constellation Research and Scott Hays from KANA guide an interactive workshop to invigorate your future initiatives.

Speaker(s): Scott Hays, Ray Wang, Constellation Research

The event began with a overview of  Constellation 9C’s of customer engagement  and then an overview of the eight ways to optimize your customer service experience.  Teams were broken up to documen current state and to rank future state.  Teams were told to identify the top three ways among these eight strategies:

  1. Effortless and personalized
  2. Channel convenience
  3. Channel consistency
  4. Social media
  5. Unified agent desktop
  6. Agent knowledge
  7. Process-driven
  8. Internationalization

Results Show Future Focus on Channel Consistency, Social Media, and Effortless and Personalized

Given the Kana customer base, current state priorities of agent knowledge, process driven, and channel convenience came as little surprise to the participants.  In fact, most workshop attendees have had More…

Event Report: Metaio’s #InsideAR Conference Hails The Future Of An Always On, Always Augmented Reality

Digital Business Arrives In The Always On Always Augmented World


On October 10th and 11th, 2013, over 800 attendees from more than 45 countries arrived at the Munich Olympic Park to share their passion and excitement about the latest augmented reality (AR) developments (see Figure 1).  Hosted by augmented reality pioneer Metaio, Inside AR 2013, has emerged as one of the world’s largest conferences dedicated to the business of AR.  The conference touched on key areas such as:

  • Wearable computing
  • Hardware advances
  • Applications and development
  • Global adoption
  • Future of digital business and AR
  • AR use cases from engineering to sales
  • Consumer AR
  • Future of print and packaging in AR
  • Public sector use cases

Figure 1. Full Flickr Stream Of InsideAR Including Demo Videos


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Source: Copyright © 2001 – 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

Augmented Reality Brings Contextual Experiences To Life

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Event Report: The Evolution And Maturation of @Tibbr at #Tucon2013, the Tibco User Conference

tibbr Continues To Show Momentum In Customer Adoption And Addition Of Key Enterprise Social Features

On October 14th to 17th 2013, the Tibbr enterprise social crowd mingled with the core Tibco faithful at this year’s TUCON 2013 user conference in Las Vegas.  (An analysis of the broader Tibco announcements can be found from my colleague Holger Mueller).  While the Tibbr team continues to build synergies with the core Tibco offering in Big Data, Events, Integration, and BPM, the Tibbr team also made key announcements that include:

  • tibbr crosses the 6.5M users adoption mark. The team announced paid user growth from 1.2M to 6.5M in over a year.  Distribution partnerships with Amazon Web Services (AWS), KPN, and T-Systems highlight future opportunities for growth.

    POV:
    The team’s partnerships and geographic expansion in Latin America and EMEA have paid off. With an entry point of $12 per user per month, 6.5M users represents a sizable growth in subscriber base, even after enterprise wide discounting.  Given the virality of successful enterprise social networks (ESN), tibbr could prove to be a key cross-sell lead gen for the rest of Tibco’s products.
  • tibbr Files and partnership with Huddle. tibbr Files allows customers to integrate with existing content and file systems such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Huddle, and SharePoint.  Users can access tibbr to view conversations, work on files, and collaborate through the tibbr interface.  the tibbr team announced its partnership with Huddle at Tucon 2013.

    Point of View (POV):
    Customers have been clamoring for more out of the box integration options to unify content repositories.  The partnership with Huddle is crucial for organizations that rely on Huddle’s security mechanisms.  In tibbr, users retain their security, permissions, and versions when accessing Huddle’s files.
  • tibbr Tasks. tibbr Tasks provides social task management capabilities.  Users can create tasks in process, track and update tasks via social channels, and manage a visual portfolio of tasks across all project management tools.

    POV:
    Tasks are a key requirement for supporting Purposeful Collaboration as described by colleague Alan Lepofsky. Many customers have deployed tibbr to unify disparate business processes.  The addition of tasks embedded in enterprise social will improve collaboration at the business process level.
  • tibbr Pages. The new pages product allows users to publish content within and outside the organization.  Pages also retains tibbr security rules.

    POV:
    The tibbr team takes a stab at the proliferation of Microsoft SharePoint kudzu with its own application.  By enabling users to find, publish, and share, the tibbr team adds another key tool to enabling content creation and collaboration for users.

Figure 1. The Tucon 2013 Scene and New Tibbr App Screen Shots



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Source: 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates. All rights reserved.

The Bottom Line: tibbr Emerge As A Key Player For Enterprise Social

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Event Report: Customers Very Happy At Ultimate Connections 2013 (#ulticonnect)

Partnership Announcements Enhance Ultimate Software’s Offerings


Amidst a crowd of 1500 customers, partners, and attendees, Ultimate Software held their annual gathering from March 12th to March 15th, 2013 in Las Vegas.  Geared towards the medium sized to enterprise markets, Ultimate Software has steadily taken market share from ADP for payroll and expanded out into operational and strategic human capital management (HCM) capabilities.  New mobile access, generation 4 cloud architecture, and timeline features for employee’s highlight Ultimate’s growing ambitions and customer requirements.

At the event, Ultimate announced two strategic partnerships that bode well for customers and prospects facing an increasing level of customer complexity and growing need for global capabilities:

  • Celergo partnership adds global payroll capabilities to internationalization efforts. Celergo’s founder and CEO, Michele Honomichl, and Adam Rogers announced on stage global payroll services support for 110 countries and the ability to process payroll in over 150 countries.  In addition, Ultimate’s Spring and Fall 2013 release of the flagship UltiPro includes support for 28 country specific localizations such as Australia, Brazil, China, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, and Thailand.  Other key features include, global compensation management, localized compliance for data and employee privacy rules, and additional language translations.

    Point of View (POV):
    Ultimate’s customers operate in 144 countries.  As organizations follow the growth overseas, the global payroll connector and Celergo partnership gives mid market and enterprise customers a competitive option as they expand their presence abroad and usage of UltiPro.  These proactive steps to address global capabilities now, provide a key differentiation among potential competitors and places Ultimate Software in a potential position of international expansion.
  • Informatica partnership paves the way for future cloud partnerships.  At the conference, Informatica announced a self-service solution for HCM data connections.  Built on top of UltiPro Carrier Network (UCN), customers have access to over 100 packaged connectors to benefits carriers and third party solutions.

    (POV):
    Customers and prospects do not want to worry about integration of their employee records or people management solutions with medical, dental, vision, and other benefits providers.  In the long term, customers seek worry free integration platforms to third party applications, cloud ecosystems, and mobile ecosystems.  The partnership with Informatica solves the needs of complex integration scenarios and Ultimate customers do not pay for the integration tool.  However, customers who are looking for a lower cost integration solution for non-UCN endpoints may want to consider more cost-effective offerings for more point to point integration scenarios.

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Event Report: Microsoft Dynamics Convegence 2013 (#conv13)

Customer Success, Acquisition, And New Features Drive Day 1 Headlines

Almost 12,000 Microsoft faithful converged in New Orleans for the flagship Dynamics event.  Wayne Morris (@WayneMorrisOz), CVP kicked off the event reiterating the theme of “A World Ahead”. Meanwhile, Kirill Tatarinov (@KirillTatarinov), President of Microsoft Business Solutions Division, led the session with a series of impressive brands and compelling customer success stories.  Highlights from the day include:

  • Impressive Global 2000 customer wins. Kirill hinted at wins at SpaceX and followed with live customer presentations from ShockDoctor, Chobani, Weightwatchers, and Revlon.  Dennis Goetz (CFO) of Shock Doctor shared how they grew their business moving away from spreadsheets to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Maureen Hurley (VP of IT) and James McConeghy (CFO) explained how Chobani installed Microsoft Dynamics AX in their main New York plant in less than a year and then implemented Dynamics AX at a new plant in less than 27 days. Christine Butler (VP of CRM and Business Development, and Loic Vienne (VP of Systems) at WeightWatchers discussed how they put in Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage with 500 million customer touch points a year.  David Giambruno (SVP and CIO) and Steven Berns (Executive VP and CFO) of Revlon, made the impressive move to consolidate 21 ERP systems into one on Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    Point of View (POV):
    The Microsoft Dynamics team has successfully moved up market from a previously SMB centric message.  The rise of global 2000 customers in the $500M to $5B revenue range shows the growing presence, success, and scalability of Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM.  Though the business is estimated to bring $1.4B in revenue, Microsoft Dynamics still represents a small fraction of Microsoft’s overall revenue ($73.72B 2012).  However, success in the Microsoft Dynamics business improves attach rates and cross-sells into Sharepoint, Office, SQL Server, and Azure.  Microsoft’s small investment in Dynamics reduces customer fragmentation and plays a key role in long-term growth.
  • Acquisition of Netbreeze for social analytics. The Netbreeze acquisition brings data mining, natural language processing (NLP), and text analysis to social signals such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, 6,000 online news websites, 500,000 message boards, and 18M blogs.   The system supports 28 different languages including Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Direct language translation beats translation back to one language.

    Point of View (POV):
    Netbreeze and Marketing Pilot address a growing need among the customer base for marketing automation and management.  Netbreeze is key to merging both the structured CRM information and the unstructured social signals.   As the CMO role continues to reclaim its technology destiny, we are moving away from transaction integrity and moving towards surfacing insights.  Netbreeze provides insight into marketing spend effectivity.
  • Announcement of Marketing Pilot 15.  MarketingPilot 15 adds improved user experience and analytics.  In addition, the long awaited connector to Microsoft Dynamics CRM arrives on March 2013.  International general availability is planned for later 2013.

    (POV):
    Marketing Pilot provides core marketing capabilities that were missing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.   Customers seeking an integrated marketing solution should consider Marketing Pilot.  However, the technology platform is dated.  For those customers seeking a cloud based approach, Silverpop, InfusionSoft, Aprimo, and Marketo may serve as better alternative today.  Compared to CMS marketing products like SiteCore or Adobe CQ, Marketing Pilot remains a distant second in features, but a top contender when cost is considered.
  • Windows Azure partner hosted offerings for ERP. Partner hosting for Dynamics GP 2013 and NAV 2013 will be available in June 2013.  Dynamics AX will see an Azure hosted version in 2014.

    (POV):
    Among the Dynamics ERP customers, partner hosting remains a popular option for dipping their toes into cloud ERP.  A key barrier to Azure hosting has been the performance issues with SQL Server for Azure.  Resolution of those issues will free Dynamics to deploy more of its capabilities in Azure.  The go forward architectural model for Dynamics AX resembles Dynamics CRM where a VM is assigned per tenant but all management is done by Microsoft.
  • New mobile applications for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.  New mobile apps will address key horizontal functions such as expense management, time tracking, and approvals.  The expense management offering will capture and reconcile expenses, time allows the completion of time sheets, and approvals allows managers to complete business requests.  Microsoft intends to support Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, Windows Phone 8, Android phones, and iOS phone devices

    (POV):
    Customers are increasingly asking for a mobile experience.  The move to address mobility focuses on “in-between time” tasks that improve productivity for employees and bolsters offerings for services based industries and public sector.

 

Figure 1. Ongoing #Conv13 Flickr Stream

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The Bottom Line:  Progression In The Dynamics Product Line Results In A Competitive Alternative For Customers

On December 21, 2000, Microsoft announced the intention to acquire Great Plains.  In July 2002, Microsoft bought Navision A/S, the foundation of Dynamics NAV and AX.  Until 2007, Microsoft Business Solutions had struggled to find and grow beyond its SMB niche. Over the past seven years, the team has focused on deepening vertical capabilities, improved integration with Microsoft components, expanding partner programs, and making strategic acquisitions for product and technology features.  The process has been slow but steady but increased investment in Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM has paid off.

Fast forward to 2013, Microsoft now has a strong portfolio of solutions that Global 2000 organizations can deploy with confidence.  The MBS team is not afraid of tuck in acquisitions nor purchasing common IP from trusted partners.  The rearchitecture efforts and gradual hosted capabilities have helped move the product forward.  Consequently, customers and prospects seeking a newer architecture, Microsoft footprint, and deeper micro-vertical capabilities now consider the core Dynamics products for both ERP and CRM in short lists.  Key use cases include the consolidation of ERP, move to Two-Tier ERP, and primary CRM system of record.   However, customers should be cautioned that success will require selection of the right Microsoft Partner.  Selection of the right partner is never an easy process as many partners exist and validation of capabilities still remains a challenge for prospects and existing customers.

Your POV

Are you Microsoft Dynamics customer? Do you plan to invest more or less with them in 2013?  What do you think about their strategy?   Are you ready to consolidate on Microsoft? Add your comments to the blog or send us a comment at R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org or R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com

Please let us know if you need help with your apps strategy.  Sign up for a Constellation Academy Workshop or let us assist with:

  • Assessing readiness
  • Designing your strategy
  • Assessing integration capability
  • Vendor selection
  • Connecting with other pioneers

Resources and Related Research

Event Report: The Sentiment At Microsoft Convergence 2011

Friday’s Feature: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010

Research Report: Microsoft Partners – Before Adopting Azure, Understand the 12 Benefits And Risks

Monday’s Musings: The Hidden Value In SaaS Deployments

Trends: 2011 Cloud Computing Predictions For CIO’s And Business Technology Leaders

Research Summary: Best Practices – The Case For Two-Tier ERP

Tuesday’s Tip: When To Go With A Two-Tier ERP Strategy

Strategy: 5 Lessons Learned From A Decade Of Naught

Tuesday’s Tip: 10 Cloud And SaaS Apps Strategies For 2010

Tuesday’s Tip: 2010 Apps Strategies Should Start With Business Value

Best Practices: Lessons Learned In What SMB’s Want From Their ERP Provider

Reprints

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Disclosure

Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us. For the full disclosure policy, stay tuned for the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

* Not responsible for any factual errors or omissions.  However, happy to correct any errors upon email receipt.

Copyright © 2001 – 2013 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.
Contact the Sales team to purchase this report on a a la carte basis or join the Constellation Customer Experience!

Monday’s Musings: Trends In The Top Software Insider Posts of 2012 (#softwareinsider)

Thank You For Your Support

SoftwareInsider.org generated almost 10 million page views in 2012 (see Figure 1).  This does not include syndication through Constellation Research, Forbes (discontinued in 2012), Enterprise Irregulars, Computerworld UK, and other great media partners.

Figure 1.  Software Insider Achieved 9.8M Page Views for 2012

Classic Posts Address The Key Fundamentals In The Disruptive Technology Shift

Four posts have made the all time favorite list and address the 5 consumer technology forces that influence enterprise software.

  1. Monday’s Musings: How The Five Consumer Tech Macro Pillars Influence Enterprise Software Innovation
  2. Research Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM and The New Rules of Relationship Management
  3. Tuesday’s Tip: Understanding the Many Flavors of Cloud Computing
  4. Best Practices: Five Simple Rules for Social Business

2012 Top 40 Reflects A Broader Shift To Business Outcomes And Technology Adoption

Analyst Relations and the World of Influence - The top blog post of 2013 discussed the future of the industry analyst versus legacy analyst firms.

Consumerization of Technology and The New C-Suite – The impact of technology on the C-suite has never been greater.  As business strategy relies more on technology, CMOs, CFOs, and other line of business heads can expect to work more closely with the CIOs and CTOs.

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Event Report: IFS World Conference 2012 – Innovations Abound Beyond ERP (#IFSWoCo2012)

Key Themes Include Mobility, User Experience, and Innovation

Over 1100 IFS customers convened October 15th to 17th, 2012 in Gothenburg Sweden for the IFS World Conference.  The conference brought together the world of projects, service and asset, manufacturing, and supply chain.  The conference highlighted the:


  • Massive move to mobile. IFS continued their push into their mobile apps portfolio with seven touch apps.  Martin Gunnarsson director of research and development, discussed how the mobile solution addresses three personas: casual, professional, and transactional. IFS Time Tracker addresses project time and attendance reporting, confirmation, etc.  IFS Trip Tracker simplifies travel expense reporting.  IFS Sales Companion helps sales professionals manage their accounts, tasks and opportunities. IFS Quick Reports provide the ability to create and view ad-hoc reports on a mobile device.  IFS Quick Facts enables fast keyword search of any object in IFS Applications.  IFS Flight Log allows the management of platform operational data in the aerospace and defense industry.  IFS Support Companion delivers interaction with IFS support centers.

    Point of view (POV):
    The move to mobile continues the user experience emphasis of IFS.  These new Touch Apps address specific work processes and allow for quick to complete tasks.  By calling on services running inside IFS Cloud, users gain direct access without having to talk to the ERP back end.  IFS should be lauded for support of the three key mobile apps ecosystems: Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Windows Marketplace.  pushing out to public apps stores provides customers with an easy and frictionless experience.  Customers and prospects can expect more touch apps to address areas in CRM, HR, reporting, search, and projects in 2013.
  • Launch customers on IFS Applications 8. Customers on hand at the conference provided upfront honesty of the migration to IFS Applications 8Early adopters, Remmele Engineering, Portsmouth Aviation, VBG Group, Bright Point, and Teracom shared insights on their move to IFS Applications 8.  Some customers moved from IFS 2003, others from IFS 7.5.  Right now 40% of the customer base has made the move to 7.5 or 8.  IFS has 34000 users are live or implementing and expect 25 customers by year end to be live on IFS applications 8.

    (POV):
    The different release paths, industries, and use cases reinforced the marketing messages that the move to IFS Applications 8 was worth the trouble.  Customers cite the user experience, business intelligence, and the move to mobility as the key reasons for the shift.  Regulatory compliance and new industry specific features also played a significant role. More…

Event Report: The Day 0 & Day 1 Tweet Stream From #OOW12

Enjoy the Day 0 and Day 1 Tweet stream.

The Storify Tweet Stream

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Event Report: The Tweet Stream From #DF12

Enjoy the tweet stream from #DF12.  It’s all in here.

The Storify Tweet Stream

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Event Report: Dreamforce X (#DF12) Emerges As The South By Southwest (#SXSW) For The Enterprise

Dreamforce Represents The Mecca For The “Art Of The Possible” In The Enterprise

Whether Salesforce.com’s flagship conference at Moscone Center was the most attended conference (~48,000) or the most registered for event (~90,000), matters not.  When examined in context of the magnitude of what was accomplished, the impact of this 10th annual event transcends attendance numbers.  Business folks and the converted IT brethren converged on the week of  September 18th, 2012, to see what the future could be inside the enterprise.  They left with inspiration and the gospel of what was possible, as told by those before them.  The event represented the intersection of where aspiration meets innovation for the enterprise.

Key takeaways from interviews with over 100 attendees reflect the following trends:

  • Attendee sentiment signals the return of the front office.  Prior to the coining of the CRM term, front office was the term which defined marketing, service, eCommerce, and sales force automation.  The move back to integrated customer experiences reflects a renewed interest in all the front office touch points and all the support in the back office required to support the customer experience.  Attendees walked in with questions about how to integrate their legacy ERP and expose their transactional systems into the front office.
  • Customers seek knowledge and case studies on business transformation. Delegations arrived to see how they could change their business.  Most came with both business and IT to learn from the best practices of others.  Almost every customer case study session was packed and common questions revolved around, “How did you do that?”
  • Product announcements and pre-announcements bring the enterprise closer to the consumer experience. Pre-announcement of Salesforce Identity for Winter 2013 will provide users with Facebook-like single sign on and identity management services.  The availability of the Touch Platform services will provide a write once, deploy anywhere touch based mobile UI Experience.  The pre-announcement of the Force.com Canvas provides a UI layer to run any other application within the Salesforce.com environment.  The App Exchange Checkout delivers out of the box billing for developers and improves the users app store experience.  Geolocation capabilities in the pilot of database.com in the Winter 2013 release will improve mobile experiences.  Chatter communities pilot in Fall of 2012 and pre-announcement addresses the issue of multiple group management.
  • More…