Most predictions about Dreamforce are statements of the obvious. Dreamforce 2014 will have a renewed focus on the customer. There will be a lot of talk about the internet-of-things (IoT). Marc Benioff will wear cloud-themed sneakers.
There will also be a super secret announcement, that has been leaked and is not so secret anymore. Regarding this super secret announcement, by the way, Appirio will have a lot to say about it after it is no longer an official secret. I look forward to talking with you about the thing I can’t talk about.
What we do know is that Dreamforce will layout the roadmap for where Salesforce is heading, even if it’s not quite there yet. That means that you, as a representative of your company, can begin to build the foundation of your new business processes on existing stuff. The stuff you build today will flow right into the – what will by then be fully-baked – new features introduced at Dreamforce. Building your applications today with an eye on what is coming will let you hit the ground running and give you a big jump on your competition.
This is part of what makes Salesforce such a powerful force in business applications. If you listen to what Salesforce says, organizations can adopt innovation without much disruption to their IT department. We have seen this with Chatter. We have seen this Communities and Salesforce1. For people who have been in IT for a long time, this seamless adoption of innovation is amazing.
So, our main prediction is that Dreamforce will show you some low branches to go after to get you ahead and above your competition.
Here are five predictions that are more specific:
- At least two vendors will hand out t-shirts that have a “Keep Calm and <verb> on” theme.
- Hillary Clinton will start her keynote at least thirty minutes late.
- There will be pseudo-protesters from Oracle, or at least real protesters protesting something.
- The wi-fi will be spotty at best.
- Charging stations for wireless devices will be in short supply.
Despite the minor annoyances that comes with having a gathering as large as Dreamforce, this year promises to be another milestone in the history of an industry. In many ways, cloud computing has simply become “computing.” The question is no longer about the delivery mechanism for software, but how it can be used for a competitive advantage.