Dreamforce 2018 was just a few weeks ago, and we’re still abuzz with energy, fresh ideas, and motivation from the event.
The four-day conference in San Francisco featured keynotes from inspiring speakers, fireside chats with some of the biggest names in the space, and opportunities to connect with fellow Trailblazers — not to mention entertainment left and right.
During this year’s Dreamforce, Salesforce announced a host of new tools, features, and partnerships. The latest advancements will make it easier to connect technologies, use the power of data to provide a 360-degree view of customers, create new opportunities for voice-activated artificial intelligence, and support the power of Trailblazers to change the world.
Here are some of the highlights of our experiences while attending Dreamforce this year.
Our Favorite Events at Dreamforce 2018
Marc Benioff Keynote
Salesforce Chairman and Co-CEO Marc Benioff welcomed all attendees to Dreamforce 2018 with an opening keynote, alongside his Co-CEO Keith Block. Marc not only celebrated his birthday during the 2-hour keynote but also celebrated Dreamforce’s “Sweet 16.”
In the keynote, Benioff highlighted the dedication of Salesforce’s Trailblazers, who have the power to work together to improve and elevate the business world — which will in turn impact the rest of the world, as well. He spoke of Trailblazers as agents of change, who will drive innovation in the current technology landscape and help make the next big ideas a reality.
Benioff emphasized that we are at the beginning of the 4th Industrial Revolution, an era that will bring connected technologies together like never before. Using Marriott as an example, he outlined the potential future experience of a hotel guest who never has to stop by the front desk during his stay. Imagine the guest using his phone as a key card for his hotel room; asking Alexa’s voice recognition technology to order him a car; asking Alexa to change the temperature in the room — and save that as his profile preference for future stays; the list goes on and on.
The 4th Industrial Revolution is expected to deliver technology that works better, faster, and smarter; and people like us — the Trailblazers building and implementing these advancements — are capable of making it happen.
Parker Harris’ True to the Core: What’s Next for Our Core Products
RelationEdge’s Salesforce MVPs Chris Whitehead and Denise Carbone told us that this year’s True to the Core was different than past years — in a great way. Traditionally, this session has featured product managers of Salesforce telling attendees what they’ve delivered and then giving a sneak peek into their roadmap. But this year, the Salesforce leaders asked attendees to help build the next roadmap with a focus centered around reimagining the IdeaExchange.
The IdeaExchange is where the Salesforce Community can submit ideas. The community then votes on the ideas, with the hope that the best ones will make it into upcoming releases and updates to Salesforce products. The Salesforce product managers generally comment on the top ideas, ask questions, and give feedback.
There has been a lot of public shared frustration around how the current IdeaExchange is not living up to its promise. The True to the Core session at Dreamforce 2018 was designed for all participants to contribute to making IdeaExchange more effective. The session shared how Salesforce will reimagine the experience to create meaningful dialogue around the product roadmap.
Bret Taylor tweeted in early August that IdeaExchange was “broken.” Both Bret’s and Parker’s support and dedication to listen to the Community is inspiring.
Hard truth: @Salesforce Idea Exchange is pretty broken right now, and we aren’t living up to our promise of true community engagement in our product roadmap.
— Bret Taylor (@btaylor) August 4, 2018
One major change to the IdeaExchange process is that instead of allowing members to vote for an unlimited number of ideas per release, the community will allow each person to vote for 50 proposed ideas. The goal is that this will help members become more focused on getting critical things into the platform. Salesforce is bringing the community into their release planning by doing this.
Speakers from Salesforce included:
- Parker Harris, Co-founder and CTO
- Bret Taylor, Chief Product Officer
- Kristen Engelhardt, VP, Voice of the Customer
- Eric Jacobson, VP, Product Management
- Jennifer Sacks, Senior Director, Customer & Market Insights
RelationEdge’s Tatiana Cooke attended the Salesforce Admin Keynote, led by Salesforce’s Parker Harris, co-founder, and Sarah Franklin, Head of Admin Marketing. They emphasized the value of Salesforce admins, who often spearhead process improvements, technology adoption, and greater efficiency at their companies.
The keynote shared how Salesforce will continue to push the boundaries of declarative vs code, continuing to enable Admins to create workflow without the use of Apex Classes or Lighting Components. Salesforce will also continue to promote Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) on the Appexchange for product plugins that support common business use cases.
They encouraged participation in the Trailhead Community as a way to enable admins to learn on their own. And as always they celebrated the value of the Trailblazer Community, where admins can learn from and support each other in improving their Salesforce knowledge, advocating for positive change, and driving value for their businesses.
Insights in Action: Salesforce Voice of the Customer
On the unofficial first day of Dreamforce — Monday, September 24th — Denise Carbone attended a reception hosted by the Salesforce Voice of the Customer team. It was titled “Insights in Action” and attendees included the product managers representing Salesforce CPQ, Service Cloud and the new Integration Cloud.
Denise was invited to attend this reception after she participated in a meeting earlier this year with Salesforce’s Bret Taylor, in which he was seeking feedback on prioritizing the company’s product roadmap. The guests joining her included others who were invited during Salesforce’s listening tour roadshow, and members of a Client Advisory Board (CAB).
Great kickoff to #DF18 w/ @KTobyEngelhardt @pjenkel @jennyst0 @karenmangia @tcsfdc @salesforcestu @apexsutherland @dancinllama @dpcrmguru @CRMJav thanks for listening @Salesforce pic.twitter.com/pblNd220YG
— Denise Carbone (@DeniseCarbone4) September 25, 2018
Our Impressions of Dreamforce 2018
Twenty RelationEdge employees attended Dreamforce, and with a conference this big, no two people have the same exact experience. While each team member had a unique perspective, the overarching theme across all of them was the sense of community and the opportunities to make real connections with incredible people working towards shared goals.
Here are some of our highlights:
“My favorite part of Dreamforce is the connections you make and the ones you strengthen.” – Chris W.
“The best part was being able to meet with current and potential customers. The Field Service Lightning room was a great place to meet others and hear about various use cases for the product.” – Kortney Cervantes
“What I enjoy the most is networking with colleagues, customers, old friends, partners and new connections.” – Chris Z.
“Marc Benioff brought everything together, reiterating that we are at the beginning of the 4th Industrial Revolution; a revolution that will bring every connected technology together.” – Tatiana C.
“I attended most of the roadmap sessions. Roadmap for Reports & Dashboards is always a favorite. “Build an Amazing Enterprise Rockstar Solution with Ladies Be Architects” was a great session.” – Kortney C.
“The Pardot Roadmap was very informative. Roadmaps are the best!” – Chris Z.
“I feel inspired and grateful for all the Ohana connections, both new and old.” – Denise C.