A fun family reunion. That’s how Salesforce describes their annual Dreamforce conference. The entire global Salesforce community flocks to the event, which is happening as we speak (or write) in San Francisco. Customers, partners, key stakeholders, and employees share their insights, experiences and vision during this three-day event. Learning, inspiration, and fun are the main ingredients. Sprinkled with 2.700 sessions by thought leaders and other experts. Together with my colleague Floor Knoups, I flew in to experience it myself this year. And let me tell you, Dreamforce 2019 really IS a dream. Here are our impressions from the first opening day. A head’s up: it’s all about working together to make the dream work.
Dreamforce 2019: filled with inspiration and fun
The first things we noticed when we walked in? Dreamforce 2019 is going to be an event filled with innovation, inspiration, motivation, information, and of course: FUN. Nobody sleeps when the great leaders in the Salesforce community come together. The day started off with a traditional Hawaiian song. A nod to the fact that we are all part of the Salesforce Ohana. A family of trailblazers.
Working together on the future of Salesforce
What the Ohana stands for turns out to be the common thread of the day. Togetherness. Salesforce is doing well and we are doing it together, was the message Danny and Anna Akaka welcomed us with. The company has a global and major economic impact. And not just that. It also creates a trust, customer success, innovation, and equality. The Salesforce trailblazing companies are re-educating veterans, for example.
CEO Marc Benioff was preaching the same message when he entered the stage during the opening. He spoke of a trust revolution, intelligent revolution, and a customer revolution. Something that can only be achieved if shareholders and stakeholders come together.
The big announcement Benioff made is the introduction of Customer 360 Truth, a Single Source of Truth (SSOT). Customer 360 Truth is a new set of capabilities that allow companies to connect, authenticate and govern customer data and identity across Salesforce. It provides a complete view and deeper understanding of every customer, so that companies can deliver more personalized customer experiences.
The message of togetherness sounded through during the keynotes as well. Among other keynotes, we visited the one where we got insights on how to transform your business by unleashing Salesforce Customer 360 apps. Sales, service, marketing, analytics, integration, and commerce. And focus on managing the one-to-one-relation with your customers. How? By using Salesforce Customer 360-applications. Louis Vuitton, for example, built and app with which the company could go back to its core: a direct connection with the customer.
Making AI work: join forces
Another keynote focused on how AI affects our workforce. Now and in the future. Since almost every organization is gravitating towards and some are even accelerating in their path towards digital transformation, it was a very interesting topic. AI turns out to be a driving force behind changes in business models, consumer expectations, and in our workforce. The message of this keynote? Embrace AI, and collaborate and innovate together with your employees to create a soft landing in this age of AI. Together.
Building a partnership can only be achieved together
Building partnerships beyond the traditional ones. Salesforce emphasizes on wanting to be different kind of company. Trust, learning, and customer success being the underlying values. We heard from Salesforce experts like Tyler Prince and Parker Harris about the pillars of being a Salesforce partner. The take-aways? Creativity is just connecting things (a famed quote by the late Steve Jobs), and the importance of bringing people, companies, and customers together. And, since we are living in times of disruption, the speakers stressed the importance of grow, innovation, empowerment of the Salesforce ecosystem, and investing in the success of your customer.
Prince and Harris also talked about the fact that the Salesforce economy will be six times larger in 2024 than it is now. Growing this fast, you can only succeed if you innovate and commit. Harris explained how we can’t do anything alone, how we need experts that speak the language of our customers. Later, Dan Springer stressed the importance of working together to create a global impact. Just like Lori Steel, who emphasized the fact that we win in customer success by joining forces. Needless to say, togetherness was, again, a common factor here.
Empowerment is key as well
Empowerment was also one of those keywords. Especially in the talk of Sarah Franklin who spoke about empowering people by offering a platform that everyone can build on. Dan Darcy offered us similar insights about empowering people and reskilling them. For example, by using Trailhead learnings.
All and all, it was a great opening day, that really invoked the feeling of being part of something greater. And it made you feel that together, you can achieve anything. Now, we are more than ready for the insights, fun, and visionary talks of day 2 of Dreamforce 2019! We keep you posted!
Curious what we've learned the other two days? Read the blogs here:
Dreamforce day 2: the second day full of impressions
Dreamforce day 3: the third day... a conversation with Barack Obama