A Summary of Extentia’s Dreamforce 2018 Experience
Extentia just completed its seventh year (my third year) at Dreamforce, the gigantic lovefest for the Salesforce ecosystem. With an increase from last year’s attendance, this year’s 171,000 attendees comprised 30% of the population of San Francisco, and the city was bursting at the seams.
This year, Extentia had its own booth at the Salesforce Partner Lodge
Our presence in a booth at Dreamforce this year signaled Extentia’s increasing commitment to the Salesforce ecosystem. With a dedicated Center of Excellence, and a variety of Salesforce® certifications, Extentia spoke to a number of consulting partners and Salesforce ISVs who were interested in our consulting services. We also renewed our contacts with a plethora of Salesforce employees who were eager to help us succeed.
Our location at the Partner Lodge gave us a front row seat to all of the keynotes as they were live-cast throughout.
Salesforce management changes and company projections
This was the first Dreamforce where a co-CEO was introduced. Keith Block – the newly minted co-CEO of Salesforce said demand for the services of ISVs, integrators, and MSPs was "unprecedented" as technology enters an era that is unlike anything seen in previous decades.
While Salesforce is expected to report a revenue of $13B this fiscal year, it revised its 2022 goal upward beyond its already aggressive goal to a whopping $23B. Salesforce will need to grow at a 20% CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) to meet its 2022 target of $23B. Its growth will be fueled by the latest innovations in applications that bring together social and Big Data, AI, ML, and predictive intelligence.
To underscore this Salesforce optimism, they claim that their recent acquisition of Mulesoft can be built into a $10B business long term. Additionally, their new Customer 360 initiative will make it easier for companies to bring service, commerce, and marketing together to deliver the unified experiences that their customers demand – with clicks, not code.
A new emphasis on strategic partnerships
The decision to partner with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud to attain global scale are paying off with more sales growth in EMEA and Asia Pacific (APAC). Setting foot into new geographic markets rife with cloud-based platforms and applications becomes quite a task for many enterprise software corporations. Salesforce and Apple forged an iOS mobile app development partnership to redesign the Salesforce Mobile app to give customers "rich experiences exclusively on iOS, with unique Apple capabilities such as Siri Shortcuts, Face ID, and Business Chat."
Einstein Voice – Powered by Siri
One of the stars of the show was a new capability dubbed as Einstein voice. It allows users to create notes using voice commands – includes creating or updating records (accounts, contacts, leads, and more). This announcement that Siri would power Einstein Voice was as much of a boost for Apple Siri as it was for Salesforce. While this capability will not be available until the winter of 2019, it was very warmly received. This new capability could spark more love with Salesforce as sales reps don’t have to key in as much information as in the past.
The importance of this announcement was underscored by someone who stated that Dreamforce could be renamed Voiceforce because of this groundbreaking announcement. As to its future success, we were all impressed with the demo in the keynote but were skeptical because of our personal experiences with Siri.
The fourth day of the conference – devoted to wellness
The fourth day of the conference was devoted to health and mindfulness. Twenty monks from France, Arianna Huffington, and Deepak Chopra spoke to audiences about media, modern life, and mental health. It was a fitting ending to the hectic nature of the first three days of (amazing) Dreamforce madness.
Other major speakers at the conference
There were too many notable speakers to mention them all. Here are just a few. One of them was the former Vice President Al Gore who had an interactive session about the climate change issue. A highly charged attendee of that talk recounted a number of fascinating details that made me sorry that I missed it. Other speakers included Steve Kerr, the ever-popular coach, and motivational speaker from the Golden State Warriors and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida who spoke on the future of government.
Calibrating the size and impact of Dreamforce
Peter Coffee, the VP of Marketing for Salesforce made two interesting observations that were staggering comparisons to other large meetings: the first claim was that the world’s largest financial services conference is the financial services track at Dreamforce and secondly that the world’s largest IoT conference is the IoT track at Dreamforce.
Extentia is looking forward to next year’s Dreamforce!
Salesforce is one of the fastest growing segments of our business and we are committed to improving our knowledge and the depth of our certifications and customer success. Our Salesforce Center of Excellence is dedicated to these improvements. Our StepUp Quest program – an internal competition where teams can accomplish a series of Trailhead challenges and projects to win individual and team prizes, further ensures that our experts are blazing new trails.
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