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.