Salvatore Vittichie (blue-infinity Salesforce team) and Pierre Aebischer (blue-infinity Managing Partner) attended the Dreamforce 2015 event in San Francisco. Pierre recounts his experiences.
How was the general ambience this year compared to 2014?
Complete madness... 170'000 attendees from all over the world (that’s 30’000 more than last year!)
Which new innovations most impressed you and why?
The two major announcements were no doubt the Internet of Things (IoT) cloud and SalesforceIQ. With these new extensions, Salesforce is clearly reaching well beyond the traditional realm of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to embrace a much broader notion of Customer Success platform. In the words of Alex Dayon, president of Salesforce’s products, CRM has moved from a “system of record, to a system of engagement and now to a system of intelligence”.
How does Salesforce's relationship with Microsoft benefit our clients?
The two companies have embarked on a path of collaboration since 2014 and the mutual integration across one another’s product lines can only be beneficial to clients. Indeed, many of our clients are using Microsoft products today and the latest announcements made at Dreamforce 2015 mean better integration of these tools with Salesforce’s ecosystem.
Who's presentation did you enjoy the most?
The keynote sessions are always interesting, although they also contain a lot of marketing hype. In general, I preferred some of the smaller presentations which were hosted by the many Salesforce ecosystem partners and which focused on specific extensions to the Salesforce platform, as well as real customer experiences. On the lighter side, the keynote address from charismatic fashion mogul George Zimmer was highly entertaining. He was presenting his latest venture, an online tuxedo rental business with a high-tech/high-touch approach.
Anything unexpected happened?
A funny moment occurred when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was demonstrating Salesforce integration with Microsoft's products. He wanted to show Cortana's ability to provide voice-controlled analytics and asked: "Show me my most at-risk opportunities,” But instead, Cortana fired up a Bing search of "show me to buy milk at this opportunity." Nadella gave it another shot, but this time Cortana decided it was time to start reminders. The third time, Nadella lost patience and quit the assistant halfway through the request.
Which groups performed this year?
Stevie Wonder made a surprise appearance on stage during the event’s main keynote session. Otherwise, the traditional UCSF benefit concert featured the Foo Fighters (with lead guitarist and singer Dave Grohl wearing a cast because he had fallen off the stage during a recent concert in Sweden), as well as the Killers and Gary Clarke Jr.
Did you meet anyone famous?
Several CEO’s of small start-up companies… I’m certain that some of them will be famous in a few years!