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Did Dreamforce 2014 Live up to the Hype?

By October 22, 2014Communications

DF entrance

Dreamforce 2014 was Synety/CloudCall’s first time at the massive Salesforce conference, so what did we think of the CRM extravaganza?

As a first time Dreamforce attendee and sponsor, I was excited and nervous as the event approached. So much planning leads up to one week in October and as a sponsor, it’s a big investment. So did Dreamforce live up to our expectations?

Short answer: Yes.

As a Salesforce partner, this is your dream environment. Almost every person walking by your booth is a potential customer and the exposure you get is amazing.

Now there are a lot of other sponsors to compete with as well as the sessions and keynotes that keep attendees busy, but I found that people were eager to visit the Cloud Expo and many were looking for specific solutions. It was a great opportunity to teach people about our product, but it was also a learning experience for us as well. We got to hear directly from potential customers about what they liked and how they could use our solution, which is invaluable.

Connecting with customers and partners

Dreamforce is also a great opportunity to connect with customers and partners. We were thrilled to see our customer, Cloud Sherpas, win the Partner Innovation Award for 2014. They were recognized for their work using social, mobile and cloud technologies to help healthcare research. Congratulations to Cloud Sherpas!

Another customer, Veteran’s Workshop, gave a great interview on Salesforce Live discussing their organization and how it helps train disabled veterans in current technologies for better employment opportunities. We’re excited to work with such an inspiring organization.

Big Announcements

As an attendee and Salesforce user, there was a lot to take in throughout the week and of course, there were some big announcements everyone is talking about.

One of the biggest announcements was Wave. Finally, deep analytics has come to Salesforce, and it’s not just for Salesforce data – external data sources are also supported. It will be possible to build additional data connectors for this new analytics service which will add value to the overall service and allow external analytics to an ever-growing list of data stores.

The next big Salesforce development was Lightning, a rapid application builder allowing the creation of Salesforce1 hosted applications without specific development knowledge. This new system will lower the barrier to entry for developing on the Salesforce platform and create many new applications on the AppExchange. Lightning also serves to position Salesforce1 as a multi-platform / mobile-centric run-time system allowing developers to build once and deploy across a variety of customer hardware, including iPads and iPhones.

Salesforce gives back

Besides product news, Dreamforce always has a focus on charity – and this year was no different. All of the keynotes emphasized the importance of education and giving back in meaningful ways.

Attendees were encouraged to bring canned goods for Salesforce’s One Million Meals campaign, and Mark Benioff and Tony Robbins both agreed to match the donations if the million meals goal was met. Thanks to these generous contributions over 3 million meals were donated.

Hillary Clinton’s speech also focused on charity – and getting the most out of yourself by giving to others. She spoke specifically about the power of encouraging children to read from an early age. An uplifting and informative session. Be sure to check out an in-depth analysis of her speech from our friends at InsightSquared.

The importance of charity during Dreamforce provides a good balance and perspective to this hectic and business-focused event.

Truly an informative and useful week, our experience at Dreamforce was a huge success. Now it’s time to start preparing for next year!

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