Leaving my role at IHG meant that I was definitely not going to be able to get to Dreamforce in San Francisco this year. I didn’t have leverage to have IHG pay for me, and setting up my own consultancy meant I couldn’t be frivolous with my money, plus I didn’t have the holiday time left, so I was all ready to just watch from a far.
When my Ohana peer alerted me to Dreamforce To You, a free Salesforce UK event was happening at the ExCeL London, 3 weeks after Dreamforce, I was totally ‘in’. It would be on a much smaller scale, but it would give me the opportunity to soak up some of the Salesforce atmosphere and catch up with some members of the Ohana.
I arrived bright and early, thanks to a great night’s stay at the Holiday Inn Express (perk of my current role!) so was able to attend the early morning Customer Success Expo sessions.
Cyrill Lampart shared a fantastic demo of the In-app Guidance functionality which came out in Winter ‘20. It is available in all versions, and I believe this is a big gamer changer in increasing adoption. You can use it to provide guidance, link to further training such as in-house training or Trailhead, use it to gather feedback by sending the user to a survey, and of course it has a reporting functionality. If you need a starting point, there is the Salesforce AppExchange “In-App Guidance: Boost Sales User Productivity in Lightning Experience” package by Salesforce Labs available to download for free. I was also privileged to walk away from the session with a fantastic Blaze plushie!
6 Guiding Principles to Maximize CRM Adoption
I stayed at the Success Cloud Theatre for the second session 6 Guiding Principles to Maximize CRM Adoption hosted by Fran Donaghy. The key points were to Get Exec Buy In, Pursue Endless End User Feedback, Commit to Ease and Simplicity, Be Needed, Provide Value and Training! This was a great 20 minutes to really think about how we can increase adoption. My only complaint at this point was a slightly numb bum from sitting on a tree log…however it did fit nicely with the campsite theme!
Opening Keynote: Trailblazers, Together
From here it was time to head into the Opening Keynote: Trailblazers, Together this started with us being surrounded by “Forward Looking Statements” (of course) and the Dreamforce 2019 Opening Film, which is a super inspiration video that I had already seen online. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d recommend you take less than 3 minutes out of your day to take a look.
The brand new Salesforce UK CEO Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, gave us an introduction and summary of the theme of ‘Dreamforce’ which was very much focused on Equality. We were passed over to Deputy CEO, Paul Smith, who discussed the Customer Revolution, Salesforce Customer 360, the exciting Tableau acquisition, and stressed the importance of putting “Your Customer at the Centre of Your Businesses”. He highlighted the exciting launch of the Trailhead GO app, and how Trailhead is available for FREE training, not only for Salesforce skills, but also for other Digital Skills, Soft Skills and Leadership Skills.
Adam Spearing, CTO UK&I was up next focusing on the fourth wave of computing being here – we have moved from systems of record, to systems of engagement, to systems of intelligence. The Single Source of the Truth (SSOT) is becoming a big focus for many companies, often referred to as the “Golden Record”. To highlight this, we were presented a case study of how Louis Vuitton have implemented the 360 data manager, including integrating with MuleSoft.
The final solo presentation was by Nalina Athyantha who gave more information on Customer 360 and how much it is smarter with Einstein.
UK&I Innovation Panel & Breakouts
We were then surprised by political commentator Andrew Marr, who hosted the UK&I Innovation Panel, giving insight into various companies and how they are innovating or disrupting and in some case just handling disruptors. This panel included guests from Barclays, BT, Supermums and London First.
After stepping out of the Key Note into the Camp Ground, it was refreshment time – oh and we found the sweet bar…And soon we were back into our breakout sessions, which we enjoyed during our sugar rush. I chose to attend the Platform Keynote: Digitally Transform with the Next-Gen Customer 360 Platform to find out more about how customers are looking to lead and deliver digital transformation.
This silent disco session (yep 1 big plenary room, 6 breakouts, everyone with headsets) focused around two case studies. The first being Caesars Entertainment, and with hospitality being so close to my heart, it was easy to engage and digest. We were taken on a journey of how they have connected their various systems, to ensure Personalised Engagement for every customer, and have built this on Lightning and Heroku. We were taken into onboarding flows, and given insight into the prebuilt AppExchange flows, to allow you to customise rather than build from scratch. The second case study was from Arizona State University, who are putting innovation at the centre of everything they do. They are using Salesforce Blockchain to create a trusted learner network, to ensure an accurate student transcript. You can find out more about Blockchain, and it’s uses with the Salesforce Blockchain Basics badge, on Trailhead.
Although there were more breakout sessions I could attend, I chose to head off into the Camp Ground and spend some time talking to the data experts of Tableau. Tableau “Helps people see and understand their data” and as they are now a part of the Salesforce ecosystem, the integrations and capabilities are only likely to grow.
My first experience of Dreamforce, albeit on a much smaller scale, did not disappoint. The focus from Salesforce is definitely on Customer 360, Einstein, Tableau and Blockchain, all underpinned by the Salesforce Ohana Culture Core Values of Trust, Customer Success, Innovation and Equality. I would definitely recommend this event in future to anyone who wants to find out more about Salesforce, without the resources to make it to Dreamforce in San Francisco.