Mobilizing the Enterprise

Thoughts on SharePoint, Smartphones, and the future of enterprise productivity

Moprise at salesforce’s dreamforce conference

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Last week Moprise went down to San Francisco for SalesForce’s premier customer & partner event, dreamforce. Three things really resonated with me: the size of the event, the compelling vision and technology Marc Benioff laid out, and the actual adoption and usage that came from personally speaking with over 50 attendees at the event.  Salesforce seems poised to deliver the back office infrastructure for the new breed of modern distributed, collaborative, and deeply decentralized  corporation.

I was blown away by the number of attendees. At 40K, it was bigger than typical Microsoft or Apple developer events by at least 8 times.  Salesforce did a great job pulling together customers, partners, and the press while ensuring there was something relevant for each of them.  People I spoke with traveled from all over the world (Asia - India, Japan, China; Europe - UK, France, Germany; Australia; and naturally USA) to attend, present, or interact with Salesforce and each other. Externally, people pigeonhole salesforce as a CRM solution for the sales department but the number of CIOs, developers, and ISVs seeing opportunities beyond the sales department was staggering.  Multiple people related the common needs for social work flow, contacts, databases, and a cloud based app/extension model for other areas of their business and they were creating teams to evaluate extending the use of salesforce’s cloud infrastructure.

Marc Benioff presented a compelling vision of computation, data, and apps in the salesforce cloud. Marc and members of his executive leadership team presented their platforms or solutions, surrounded by customers, partners, and ISVs already leveraging the services.  The demos and testimonials were polished and incredibly well done - this wasn’t beta software written late into the night. A cynical person may suggest they were polished demos that are discarded after the event but even this requires a level of thought and insight into real use cases that resonate with customers.  Finally, the vision & demos around the recent acquisition of Heroku felt mature and well integrated into the overall salesforce vision of moving business processes to the cloud.

The main reason we went to the conference was to talk with many potential customers of mobile enterprise products and better understand their pain points. Much as Obi-Wan told Luke to travel to the Dagobah system to train with Yoda,  T.A. McCann, a Seattle area entrepreneur,  recommended I attend dreamforce as an opportunity to interact with leading edge users within corporations that live the new workstyle.   Dreamforce succeed better than we could imagine. It was easy to speak with people during the lunch, on the show room floor, and even along the walls and lobby of the show room area. There was extensive use of mobile devices, especially iPads & iPhones, during the event and it was easy to approach people and rapid fire questions. Multiple customers I spoke with demonstrated their use of salesforce infrastructure by logging in via their iPads or laptops. Customers were very happy to share their pain points and offer some real world color to the viability of the demos shown through out the day. Developers showed their extensions or their deployments. And partners commented on AppExchange, talked about their solutions, and go to market strategies.

 Marc threw a great conference full of energy and optimism. The company, vision, and platform were well promoted and adopted.  We’ll be back next year…

Written by daviddsouza

September 8, 2011 at 4:04 am

Posted in Culture, salesforce

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