This doesn’t feel like the same old Dreamforce, does it? First of all, the week is shifted over (it was always Monday-Thursday, now Tuesday-Friday.) There’s the Dreamboat — a creative way to handle an even bigger crowd. Then Salesforce changes everything by announcing the Lightning Experience, a completely new interface, a month before Dreamforce.
As for Appirio, our theme this year is Expect a Different Experience. If you stop by our booth, or talk to one of our teammates at a session — we’ll be talking about a lot more than Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. We’ll tell you how Salesforce can be used as a platform to transform your Customer and Worker Experiences.
These are conversations we know will happen at Dreamforce, but what’s really exciting is what we don’t know. So what will surprise us at Dreamforce? Here are 5 predictions:
- Satya Nadella will surprise us — with a new commitment to a deeper partnership with Salesforce. The Microsoft-Salesforce relationship has been a strange affair over the last several years. Microsoft has moved from ignoring Salesforce’s existence to actually offering to buy them (with an offer too low for Marc Benioff). Now that the dust has settled, I predict that a new, more mature relationship will emerge. Either way, it will be a treat to all attendees to see Satya and Marc interact and give their insights into the tech world.
- Not only did the Golden State Warriors win this year’s NBA Championship, but at Dreamforce they will be a model for organizational excellence. On Tuesday morning, one of the key stories of organizational transformation will come from Rick Welts and Bob Myers.
- Obviously, the new Lightning Experience will be the most asked-about topic at the conference. Experts like Jeff Grosse will be deluged with questions on how to take full advantage of this new technology.
- Open Innovation, a term that’s been in use since the 1960s, will be rekindled at Dreamforce 2015. It will be especially relevant as the library of Lightning components on the AppExchange continues to grow.
- Platform improvements will be a primary emphasis at Dreamforce. Along with clearer branding on custom apps, Heroku Connect will take center stage as a way to connect mobile, consumer-facing apps with Salesforce.
Make the unpredictable happen
When you have a tech conference like Dreamforce — well, when you have Dreamforce, because certainly there is no tech conference like it — it’s fun to predict what will come out of it.
But what’s more important than the predictable is the unpredictable. When you gather that many thinkers, innovators, oddballs, entrepreneurs, corporate and governmental bureaucrats, and salespeople in one place for 4 days, anything can happen. But don’t rely purely on random chance to make the unpredictable happen. Step outside yourself and see what happens: If you are a non-techie, explore the Dev Zone; if you are a coder, check out the Admin Zone. Take some time to give back to the community. Do some training. Don’t stick just with people in your organization. Strike up conversations with strangers and get to know some of the thousands of members of the Salesforce ecosystem. Come to Dreamforce expecting a different experience.