Dreamforce And The Internet Of Customers
Attendee numbers for this year’s Dreamforce conference was said to be upwards of a 130,000 people. Regardless of that count, being there in person, I can definitely say, it was a mass of humanity. Most vendors/sponsors lined up their key announcements to coincide with Dreamforce. The Salesforce ecosystem of partners is immense.
Dreamforce – Focus on Social Responsibility
Marc Benioff kicked off the keynote in a unique way focusing on philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. He invited the Prime minister of Haiti, Petra Nemcova and Sean Penn to join him to discuss the ongoing relief work there. This really set a different tone for Dreamforce as the first 30-45 mins were not focused on any product announcements. I must say, I was really moved to see this. This tone of focusing on people carried through to the product announcements.
Dreamforce – The Internet of Customers
The internet of customers and focusing on the customer was a key theme at Dreamforce. Benioff with the energy of a charismatic evangelist, walking up and down the aisles, went in deeply on this point. He quoted an IBM study that revealed 66% of companies do not understand their customers. Another interesting point he made was that behind every device and tweet is a customer. It was an unapologetic sermon on the customer experience. All subsequent product announcements were based on this. Benioff announced major product updates and the new Salesforce1 platform. Chatter was a seminal part of the strategy and a central piece, albeit the core stream of the platform. Chatter became the in-context conversation and interaction stream for users. Whatever the business application used from the platform, Chatter could be used in context. Even partners integrating with the Salesforce1 platform showed how Chatter was key to bringing social collaboration capabilities to their applications.
Salesforce faces a huge challenge with struggling Chatter adoption. We believe a key reason was full seamless integration into all business applications people are in outside of just sales. People don’t want to go to social, social collaboration has to come to people. It has to come down into the flow of how people work. This renewed focus on the customer and allowing users to connect and collaborate in business applications and processes on any device and from anywhere, is a better story that will impact enterprise adoption of Chatter. Also we believe real-time collaboration capabilities such as unified conferencing has to be integrated for users to make collaborative decisions in real-time.
Mobile – Key for The Internet Of Customers
Mobile connectivity and support was also a huge theme under the Internet of Customers umbrella. Users need to be able to connect in real-time from any device. In the modern workplace, with my smartphone or tablet, wherever I am is my office. Therefore, the focus on allowing people to connect and access their business applications on any device with social collaboration capabilities, is a key tenet of the internet of customers and improving the customer experience.
The Customer Experience
We believe and agree that it is all about Customer Experience. However, It’s the customer’s experience! It’s not the experience of the enterprise software provider or vendor. Customers create their own experience and technology providers have to think and design systems with the customer’s workflow and how they want to work in mind. Companies also have to think about how customers interact with them and focus on their experience.