Peak Dreamforce: Why It’s Impossible to Summarize Dreamforce

September 22, 2015 John Gorup


“Was there a Health Cloud announcement?” Jeff Grosse asked me as we walked away from Moscone West. At that moment I realized that if a Salesforce MVP like Jeff is unable to keep up with all the announcements, we have reached “Peak Dreamforce.”

Peak Dreamforce is the result of a conference that has grown from a tech gathering to a cultural phenomenon. Dreamforce is now impossible to fully take in, so the alternative is to take from it what you need. If you need to grow from a novice to an expert Administrator, you can do it there. If you want entertainment, to find a new career, or be spiritually enlightened, you can also find it there. Dreamforce now requires personalization.

But in a way, there is a parallel between the Dreamforce conference and the Salesforce platform itself; Dreamforce and Salesforce are now platforms that have moved from mass experience to personalized experience.

Targeted solutions

As Marc Benioff said at the conference-ending fireside chat, Salesforce is “… a CRM, and it’s not.” The age of personalization is obviously a big part of Benioff’s strategy. Another clue to this is Benioff’s mention of Dr. Laura Esserman and how genomics is being used to target a person’s particular cancer. The future of medicine is not taking a pill to fight a disease — it’s about taking a pill to fight your disease.

Personalized medicine will change healthcare like personalized applications will change information technology. To get there, Salesforce will continue to rely on system integrators and ISVs to produce the bulk of targeted applications. Organizations in healthcare, retail, CPG, and financial services will continue to see a steady stream of pre-built applications. Salesforce’s reputation as merely a tool for sales, marketing, and customer service teams will also evolve as HR departments and finance teams get better tools built on the platform.

Internet of Things

Being a bit of a tech geek, I’ve known about the Internet of Things for a while now. But the demo I saw in the World of Connected Products area crystallized for me how Salesforce and connected devices can work together. The demo was a simple simulation: an opportunity was created for “5 beads,” (in the demo they were ping-pong balls) and when it was set to “closed-won,” a tiny robotic arm was set in motion to fulfill the order. The next order was for more beads than were in stock, so a case was automatically created. The case was automatically closed when the inventory was restocked.

I felt like I was taking peek into Henry Ford’s garage back in 1896. We are clearly on the precipice of a massive mainstreaming of connected devices.

Life in the era of Peak Dreamforce

Since we have reached Peak Dreamforce, a comprehensive recap of the event is impossible. Box’s Aaron Levie, who is always clever on Twitter, compared Dreamforce to Burning Man. Of course there’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek with that, but Dreamforce has become about self-discovery. It is truly whatever each individual makes of it.

Finally, Dreamforce is and always will be an important part of Appirio’s culture and history. We were born in Dreamforce when Narinder Singh was our only official employee, handing out newly printed business cards in the halls of the convention center. In true Peak Dreamforce form, it is impossible to thank everyone who made Dreamforce 2015 a success. To our friends at Salesforce, our customers, partners, sponsors, employees, families, hip-hop artists, DJs, investors, analysts, and vendors, we give our sincere appreciation and thanks.

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