Welcome!

Blog Post

Morphing Salesforce Delivers at Dreamforce

Dreamforce conference delivered attendee expectations while announcing significant changes to Salesforce portfolio

Having been a pleased Salesforce user for a few years, I was looking forward to attending the company’s Dreamforce conference this year.  As with any technology vendor conference, there were a number of product announcements.  As a major cloud provider and leader in SaaS solutions, some of these announcements surprised me, and Dreamforce provided an unusual technology conference experience.

Prior to the event, there was a lot of buzz about how many attendees would be at Dreamforce.   Usually, technology companies compete to put on a great show by hiring popular bands while vying for attention as being the most looked-for conference to attend. That said, technology vendor conferences are usually quite small compared to CEBIT in Germany and CES in Las Vegas.  Although a number of complimentary expo-only passes were distributed, Dreamforce seemed to be one of the largest vendor conferences with 85K to 90K registrants.

One aspect that stood out at Dreamforce was that keynote conversations featured high profile speakers like Jeff Immelt, Richard Branson and Colin Powell.  Desire by attendees to pick a spot close to the stage when celebrities presented was so intense that there was almost a stampede when ushers opened up a reserved section in the front.   As compared to regular vendor technology conferences where discussions usually center on technical topics, it was refreshing to hear about Arab Spring and global warming during keynote conversations conducted by Marc Benioff.

Large conferences also tend to leverage technology tools to manage the volume of attendees, and that offers vendors a great opportunity to showcase their offerings.  But many vendor conferences ignore this issue.  In my opinion, Dreamforce effectively used mobile and collaborative technology to promote and run the event.  Building on the buzz around mobile, Dreamforce organizers e-mailed attendees with a QR code to fast track their registration that made the process very efficient.  Prior to the event, organizers recommended that attendees leave traditional laptops at home—saying smart phones and tablets would be the most useful personal computing tools.

Organizers also had a chatter section on the event website for enthusiastic attendees.  Enterprise social initiatives are not well understood, and leveraging a conference to promote their use and acceptance is a neat idea. Attendees energetically shared ideas online on best practices for attending Dreamforce, along with other useful tips that effectively demonstrated the benefits of implementing an organizational social strategy.

Starting with a CRM SaaS heritage, Salesforce is moving rapidly to play a major role in multiple cloud technology areas.  Their portfolio includes human resources (HR), marketing, collaboration and service offerings linked to the SaaS arena.  In non-SaaS areas, the Salesforce portfolio includes a platform that supports multiple processes, such as file sharing through Chatterbox, identity management and social. Some of these support SaaS offerings, which makes the platform attractive to ISVs. It’s also hard to ignore for enterprise customers looking to improve business agility.

After looking at the announcements made at Dreamforce, there are some areas where I believe Salesforce will face challenges in product strategy and conference organization:

  1. The company’s Chatterbox and Identity Management solutions potentially could overlap their partners’ offerings. Salesforce needs to maintain its current partnerships to be truly successful in the market.
  2. The company needs to better manage the enormous crowds at the Dreamforce expo to improve attendee experience.  Salesforce needs to consider whether San Francisco can support such a large event.
  3. With its growing variety of offerings, Salesforce not only needs a larger sales team but also needs to encourage them to help erase the CRM mindset customers have when they think of Salesforce. Leveraging the overall Salesforce portfolio to drive innovation for customers seems like an obvious way to accomplish this.

Overall Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2012 did a good job of showcasing Salesforce’s technology, giving it a further advantage in the cloud marketplace.  Time will tell if Salesforce can maintain its lead over on-premise application vendors.  Given the company’s investments in broadening its portfolio, it seems that the current goal of Salesforce is to keep its momentum going while maintaining strong leadership over competitors.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Transforming cloud-based data into a reportable format can be a very expensive, time-intensive and complex operation. As a SaaS platform with more than 30 million global users, Cornerstone OnDemand’s challenge was to create a scalable solution that would improve the time it took customers to access their user data. Our Real-Time Data Warehouse (RTDW) process vastly reduced data time-to-availability from 24 hours to just 10 minutes. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Mark Goldin, Chief Technolo...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busine...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
First generation hyperconverged solutions have taken the data center by storm, rapidly proliferating in pockets everywhere to provide further consolidation of floor space and workloads. These first generation solutions are not without challenges, however. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Wes Talbert, a Principal Architect and results-driven enterprise sales leader at NetApp, will discuss how the HCI solution of tomorrow will integrate with the public cloud to deliver a quality hybrid cloud e...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
The session is centered around the tracing of systems on cloud using technologies like ebpf. The goal is to talk about what this technology is all about and what purpose it serves. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Shashank Jain, Development Architect at SAP, will touch upon concepts of observability in the cloud and also some of the challenges we have. Generally most cloud-based monitoring tools capture details at a very granular level. To troubleshoot problems this might not be good enough.