This year, Appirio is proud to participate in our 10th Dreamforce. What began with Narinder Singh wandering around handing out newly minted business cards has become a primary way for us to connect with the Salesforce community. Appirio’s theme this year is Expect a Different Experience, and we look forward to meeting you there!
Predictions in the Peak Dreamforce era
In 2016, we reached what I call Peak Dreamforce. The conference has become so big that it has spilled into more regional events throughout the year, like Midwest Dreamin’ and Tahoe Dreamin’. Still, Dreamforce is the flashpoint for most of Salesforce’s new approaches to the enterprise software market. So with that in mind, here are 3 quick predictions as to what we’ll see:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a big focus of the keynote presentations. I predict we’ll see Parker Harris dressed as Einstein as he introduces Salesforce Einstein: Salesforce’s exciting new AI offering.
- Trailhead is going to be everywhere. Trailhead is not only a great way to prepare for Dreamforce, but it will be infused throughout the Dreamforce campus. I predict that Dreamforce will feature not just one, but two stuffed mountain goats.
- An even closer relationship with Amazon is on the horizon. Primarily, Salesforce’s Heroku runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and is being positioned as a way to get more out of your CRM data. With Marketing Cloud Social Studio, SalesforceIQ, and the IoT Cloud also on the AWS platform, it’s safe to assume that AWS will have a big presence at Dreamforce this year.
U2 and Salesforce: what success can look like
Of course, it wouldn’t be Dreamforce without a big rock concert in the mix. Many Dreamforce veterans remember Dreamforces by the musical guest. (My first Dreamforce was Foo Fighters.) But this year’s guest, U2, is particularly appropriate for the occasion.
The fact is, we never hear about the vast majority of rock bands. You’ll never see them on television or hear them in the radio. Most never fill stadiums around the world — but a few do. These are the bands that have the right amount of talent and chemistry, combined with the raw drive to produce good music. But even that is not enough. These bands happen to hit the market at the exact right time for their sound.
The same is true with companies. Tired of the maintenance and inefficiency of on-premises software, Salesforce produced a product for which the enterprise software world was hungry. But Salesforce didn’t make it on product alone. Salesforce built a talented, hardworking team and an entire ecosystem of partners to make it happen at the exact time it was needed.
Neither U2 nor Salesforce have rested on financial success alone. They have used their success to build awareness for social causes. As a kid in suburban America, U2 opened my eyes to famine in Ethiopia, Apartheid in South Africa, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Marc Benioff has used his success to change the world of corporate philanthropy, personally championing everything from children’s health to equality issues.
The few rock bands and companies that produce the right product at the right time make a lot of money. There is nothing wrong with that, and U2 and Salesforce are both institutions that have had incredible success. The fact that they have been able to enjoy this success while retaining their soul and building a better, more empathetic world is truly special. My prediction: we will enjoy both at Dreamforce.