Dreamforce is a big conference. San Francisco’s Moscone Center was the hub, but this event sprawled into many surrounding hotels and event centers, and transformed a block of Howard St into an artificial turf-covered outdoor conference arena for four days, complete with fine dining, live music, ping pong, bean bag chairs and jumbotron simulcasts of the well-attended keynote speeches.
Below you’ll find a roundup of some of the key technologies and products featured in the keynote speeches, most of which were anchored by major product launches or announcements. We pragmatically view these tools as a means to an end, and that end is our clients’ revenue growth. We’d love to know if you are excited about these platforms, and how you see them connecting to revenue growth.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud & Journey Builder
While this specific feature made its debut earlier this summer, it was the main focus of Scott McCorkle’s Marketing Cloud Keynote. Intelligent Demand is excited about this true integration of ExactTarget with Salesforce. Performing 1:1 marketing at scale is rife with challenges, and Journey Builder seems to offer a comprehensive solution across channels and devices, with an intention of delivering the right message at the right time to accelerate your customers’ journeys. This approach is tightly aligned with Intelligent Demand’s approach to revenue performance.
This was the big news, and an entire floor of one of the Moscone center buildings was devoted to it. “Today, Salesforce is disrupting the analytics market, just as we disrupted the CRM industry 15 years ago,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.
A lofty goal, for sure, but the smart money wouldn’t bet against Salesforce, who have done exactly that in the past. Quoting directly from their product announcement: “Wave is the first cloud analytics platform designed for every business user, making it easier than ever for anyone to explore data, uncover new insights and take action instantly from any device. Companies can now quickly deploy sales, service and marketing analytics, or build custom mobile analytics apps, using any data source — empowering everyone to make smarter decisions from anywhere.”
At ID, we think Salesforce is well positioned to excel here, especially for those who have already invested in the Salesforce cloud: Salesforce runs multiple tightly integrated enterprise-class cloud applications (6 clouds now, in case you’ve lost track), and their focus on multiple devices will serve this product well. We’ll be paying close attention to Wave as it proves itself in the marketplace.
Salesforce1 Platform and Salesforce1 Lightning
The Salesforce1 platform is a multi-device (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile, smart watch are specifically called out, and were demonstrated at Dreamforce) application platform with a “write once, run anywhere” mentality. Just about anyone can download and use the official Salesforce1 app on any mobile device, but that’s just the beginning. Lightning is a next-gen application development tool (available Q1 2015) which purports to turn Salesforce administrators into Salesforce developers, with a drag-and-drop based application development environment.
Dreamforce is a pretty wild ride if you hope to extract all the value you can from it — you simply can’t attend all of the myriad breakout sessions, vendor booths, vendor events, concerts and galas, all of which are potent networking opportunities. Our advice if you are going next year is to bring a team, plan it out well, and divide and conquer (that’s how we do it).
We’ll leave you with one of the cooler moments, an informal chat with Al Gore and Neil Young from the “Reimagine. Everything.” innovation keynote.
A note about competing platforms: now that Salesforce is in the Marketing Cloud game, some of the regular suspects (Oracle and Marketo being two good examples) at the conference had only a small presence with pop-up booths in nearby coffee shops and lounges, as though flying under the radar. The always-evolving landscape of technology platforms and vendor alliances makes for interesting viewing at times.
Please contact an Intelligent Demand consultant to discuss how these, and other, technologies can be leveraged to transform how you generate revenue.