Dreamforce ’16 Top 3 Highlights

Creative SparQ Inc. from Calgary to Salesforce Dreamforce 16

Salesforce, the leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) provider, hosted Dreamforce ’16 from October 3-7, 2016. This conference is an annual opportunity to gain insight into industry trends, learn more about emerging products, participate in training, and collaborate with like-minded individuals.

We see the top three highlights are Einstein, Lightning Experience and Trailblazers.

Here is our point of view on key items, coming out of four days packed with content.

By the Numbers

Dreamforce is one of the largest technology conferences in the world, and this year Salesforce capped registration (and sold out) at 170,000 attendees.

There were 3200+ breakout sessions, 15 Keynotes, and 400+ vendors on the expo floor.

This means that there is a substantial amount of broad and deep content to increase knowledge. It’s also an opportunity to participate in the community and excitement that surrounds the Salesforce ecosystem.

Here are our highlights:

Einstein

Salesforce Einstein "The World's Smartest CRM"

Einstein was announced weeks before Dreamforce and it was apparent that Einstein was the big product push this year.

Salesforce dedicated a large space to the “Einstein Discover Center” where customers could watch demonstrations and have one-on-one expert conversations. Einstein content was littered in other product demonstrations throughout the grounds, and Mark Benioff (CEO) covered it in his keynote when he called out many acquisitions to build the capability, and boasted having over 100 AI experts.

Salesforce refers to Einstein as “Artificial Intelligence (AI) for everyone” and are trying to demystify AI.

Two things that make a lot of sense out of Salesforce AI play are:

  1. The AI engine sits on top of your operational data so you simply conduct your business and AI gives you insight (without data exports/imports/setup/expert analysis/etc.).
  2. Salesforce is doing the hard work so you don’t have to, effectively “democratizing” AI.

The use cases we saw at Dreamforce were a tease. For example, predictive lead scoring, suggested opportunity next steps for success, Wave Analytics and forecasting.

We expect that Salesforce will expose Einstein functionality bit-by-bit in their regular releases and administrators will be able to expose it through Salesforce drag-and-drop customization of lightning pages.

Lightning

It’s very apparent that Salesforce is making a big push to Lightning Experience. In four jam-packed days at Dreamforce, we didn’t see the Classic user interface (UI) a single time.

Similar to the Einstein Discover Center, Salesforce had a “Lightning Lookout” space focused on helping customers plan their migration.

Based on the Salesforce Winter 17 Release, we expect Salesforce will be building more and more enhancements into the Lightning UI that are not available in the Classic UI.

In addition, Mark Benioff, after his pre-Dreamforce tour of 200 customers, commented that customers are asking for more commitment from Salesforce on the core product and Lightning Experience.

We should expect to see exciting things in the Lightning UI over the next year.

Trailblazers

Astro, Trailhead's Mascot

Astro, Trailhead’s Mascot

“Trailblazers” was the theme of Dreamforce 16, with an outdoors hiking theme throughout.

The theme first appeared with the launch of Trailhead (“The fun way to learn Salesforce”) in 2015 and had a portion of the floor at Dreamforce 15. We see three interesting points about the prevalence this year:

  1. Salesforce recognizes that a challenge will be the skill gap created as they grown at 20-30% per year. They will primarily address this through Trailhead, enhancements to partner training programs and additional certifications.
  2. The term “Trailblazer” is a tip-of-the-hat to Salesforce’s community with connotations of “adventurer” and “leader”. Salesforce customers (and Dreamforce attendees) are mostly huge proponents of the platform, take initiative to modernize processes, and are willing to help each other across companies, industries, and geographies.
  3. These “Trailblazers” are a relatively new type of change agent and symbol for modernization. The majority of attendees and speakers are business people, with business issues, bringing business solutions (delivered on Salesforce.com).

About Creative SparQ Inc.

Creative SparQ Inc. is a Calgary-based Salesforce consulting partner. We leverage the Salesforce platform to modernize and automate our customers’ businesses.

Contact us to find out more.

Creatiive SparQ Inc.

 

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