Dreamforce 2016: Where Innovation Meets Reality
Dreamforce 2016: Where Innovation Meets Reality

Dreamforce 2016: Where Innovation Meets Reality


Dreamforce brings thousands of individuals from the Salesforce community together for four full days of education, company updates, networking, and innovation. Dreamforce is one of the largest annual business conferences in the world.

The theme of Dreamforce 2016 was centered around helping companies to get closer to their customers through technology and artificial intelligence (AI). This was realized with the announcement of “Salesforce Einstein,” or what they call “Everyone’s Data Scientist.”

Salesforce Einstein is artificial intelligence built into the Salesforce platform.  It revolutionizes sales intelligence as we know it and makes every interaction smarter. Alongside Einstein’s release, Salesforce has confirmed that their Lightning experience will move much faster to keep up with clients’ expectations.

If your company is using (or preparing to switch to) Salesforce, this is all great news for you. Salesforce is enabling their community of users with the tools to connect with their prospects in the smartest ways possible, to facilitate more work on-the-go capabilities, and ultimately a lightning fast experience.

As a part of Blytheco’s commitment to being solution experts, we rallied our in-house Salesforce troops and sent them to Dreamforce 2016, which was held October 4-7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Below, they share their event highlights and news from the frontlines of what is on the horizon with Salesforce.

Describe Dreamforce 2016 in a few words.

Christa Krompolcas, Blytheco Salesforce Consultant & Business Account Manager

Christa Krompolcas, Blytheco Salesforce Consultant & Business Account Manager

Christa Krompolcas: Inspiring! Exciting! Overwhelming! HUGE and energizing!

Dan Martin: Dreamzilla takes over San Francisco!!

Apryl Hanson: Empowering sales-people to become better sellers.

Salesforce Einstein launched at Dreamforce 2016.  What does Einstein mean to your customers?

Christa Krompolcas: Einstein to me means MORE information that is relevant to the clients’ needs while being intuitive in how the information is used.

Dan Martin: Salesforce states: “Einstein is removing the complexity of AI, enabling any company to deliver smarter, personalized and more predictive customer experiences.” I imagine lots of companies, our Salesforce Clients included, are going to be marketing in a way that has folks asking “how’d they know that about me/my company?”

Apryl Hanson: Salesforce is really thinking ahead of the curve in terms of any other CRM out there today. What this means to our customers is that Einstein is a way for them to get insightful information at their fingertips without employing a data scientist.

Which session did you feel the greatest impact from and how do you plan to apply it to your work at Blytheco?

Dan Martin, Business Solutions Manager, CRM Software

Dan Martin, Business Solutions Manager, CRM Software

Christa Krompolcas: Actually it was a keynote speech by Tony Robbins. The speech he gave was so inspirational and made us realize we control the things in our life, and how we respond to it whether it is positive or negative. If you’re always responding positively, then positive things will, in turn, bless you in your life and you can continue that cycle more and more. Applying it is very simple since the ground work has already been laid down with the F!SH culture that we live by at Blytheco. Tony’s speech and our F!SH culture intertwines and adds to our “above the line thinking.”

Dan Martin: I attended a “coding” session with Christa; it gave me a better sense of both the innate possibilities in Salesforce and the challenges for Consulting and Dev SF folks: Easy to conceptualize, but technical to execute.

Apryl Hanson: The one session that was the most impactful was the Salesforce demo session where Einstein was showcased. Salesforce did a great job explaining in detail as to where Salesforce is headed in the future.

 

Dreamforce is often described to have a unique vibe that “changes the city.” Did you feel that shift? Can you describe the culture of Dreamforce?

Christa Krompolcas: Not sure if “changes the city” refers to the large influx of people (170,000), LOL, but the

Apryl Hanson, SR Director, Customer & Partner Strategy

Apryl Hanson, SR Director, Customer & Partner Strategy

culture of Dreamforce is one that I have not experienced before. It is not necessarily the activities, or the events, or even the sessions, but more so the people, the Salesforce community. This is a community that is very giving, very appreciative, very accepting of others no matter our differences. There is no judging of others. You can start a conversation with a total stranger about absolutely anything and feel no animosity what so ever. It is like you have known them for years. You just feel good and peaceful. You feel value to others and the world, that you can make a difference.

Dan Martin: At times it felt like we were part of a pulsing, organic beast: Imagine your college classes getting out at the same time, but in this case, 170,000 hungry people are flocking to the Conference buildings, the Intercontinental, the Marriott and 5 other surrounding hotels for their box lunches!!

Apryl Hanson: The culture at Dreamforce is very energetic. The entire city becomes alive with buzzwords related to Salesforce and you can’t even go to a restaurant without it being taken over by an after event related to Salesforce.

What was your biggest takeaway from Dreamforce 2016?

Christa Krompolcas: My biggest takeaway…. That’s a tough one. The drive to learn more and achieve more. Dreamforce was a Professional conference in the beginning but in the end it changed me personally, to give me even more of a drive and a purpose. Knowing just how much I can affect and contribute to others using the Salesforce solution as well as in my own community. Salesforce truly lives by their 1-1-1 philosophy and it is contagious.

Dan Martin: It’s an amazing solution, especially when the Salesforce App Exchange ecosystem is considered; conversely, there are robust alternatives at a lesser price.

Apryl Hanson: The biggest takeaway was honestly seeing how much Salesforce supports the community and charities while encouraging other organizations to do so as well. Salesforce makes it a point to give back and their incubator program is one way they build up the community while supporting startups.

We hear the term ‘Lightning’ a lot these days. Can you give us some insight about Salesforce Lightning and what we can expect to see in the future?

Christa Krompolcas: MORE features and functionality will be added in each release (Spring, Summer, Winter). Lightning is the future of Salesforce and it is a great platform to build on. Many partners are utilizing the platform to build their apps and solution. Lightning allows for a shorter development time. Some solutions have been created in approximately 6 weeks because the platform cuts out the barriers you would typically run into with building out a solution. With this release (Winter ’17), the Kanban screen was added to the leads object just like it was with the Opportunities object in Summer ’16. There are just so many great items with Lightning, it makes it hard NOT to love it.

Dan Martin: Classic has become dated; if you’re showing Salesforce, it’s the Lightning UX you want to see (full Classic functionality is just a toggle away).

Apryl Hanson: In terms of Salesforce Lightning, I think we’ll continue to see improvements in the user experience, having fewer clicks for the customer.

Dreamforce 2016 (pic1)

Mobility is the way of the future and how we seek to use CRM today. Were there any big releases centered around the Salesforce1 Mobility App?

Christa Krompolcas: Salesforce1 is already a great app. There were some minor enhancements lately but nothing that is too significant. However, more customers should be utilizing Salesforce1 in their organization with their reps. This is truly a great tool to make sure to get the information into Salesforce, especially on the go. It is a timesaver!

Dan Martin: Drag and drop CRM functionality on your Smart device is pretty powerful!

Apryl Hanson: Salesforce1 Mobility enhances the way that reps are able to work on the go.

We’ve talked about the platform, now let’s talk about the fun! What was your favorite moment at Dreamforce?

Christa Krompolcas: Favorite moment? really? Hands down had to be the concert (Dreamfest) with U2! Nothing can top that for fun. It was an amazing experience and U2 lives the philosophy that Salesforce promotes of giving back to the community and fighting for good causes.

Dan Martin: 3 favorites: Tony Robbins for 3 hours, the U2 Concert AND the subsequent concert inside of CLOUD (formerly known as COW) Palace!

Apryl Hanson: The highlights for me personally include Tony Robins inspirational session, as well as the Shark Tank event. It was enriching being exposed to the mindshare that comes from being in the same room as these brilliant thinkers.

Dreamforce 2016 Pix 2

Is there anything else that you feel our clients and anyone else should know about Salesforce and/or Dreamforce?

Christa Krompolcas: Register & book your trip early and definitely attend next year! There is a TON of information, not just technical information. There are also presentations on Sales processes, connecting with your clients, building your brand, etc. Dreamforce is for EVERYONE with over 2500+ sessions, I’m sure there is a session to fit your needs.

Dan Martin: Salesforce, and its App Exchange Eco System has good reason to be considered “Best in Class”.

Apryl Hanson: I think that it is important to remember that Salesforce is more than just a sales tool. The Salesforce platform encompasses so many add-ons and integration which transforms a simple sales tool into a business management tool. I’m not sure that everyone is aware of all the categories Salesforce contributes to.

 

Did you know that Blytheco supports Salesforce?  If you need help with re-implementing Salesforce or want to Rent-an-Admin for a short period, give us a call at 949-268-4372.


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Article reprinted from the Winter 2016 issue of Bellwether.

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