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Dreamforce 2013 - 10 things I learned

The much awaited annual conference of Salesforce.com at San Francisco, Nov 18th - 21st, as usual, was a grand event.   The conference tradition that started back in 2003, with a humble beginning of a little over 1000 personnel attendance has grown in leaps and bounds within a decade.   The 11th edition came in the backdrop of pre-conference developments, such as first billion dollar quarter, recent acquisition of ExactTarget, and alliance with HP.   Here are my take-aways on this year's edition of the conference.  Before I go on further, I must admit that I could not attend this year's conference in person.   However, thanks to "internet of things", I could follow some of the sessions on the web (some even near real-time) and my notes below are based on this remote form of learning:
  1. Health is Wealth!
    This year's unusual thinker's track brought "Health" as one of the themes in the conference.   In Partnership with UCSF, key note speech from Deepak Chopra & friends, and 20+ sessions on the healthcare, the role of technology in solving health issues received a much needed attention!
  2. Philanthropy
    If Health was featured in Marc Beinoff's key note speech, Philanthropy took center stage.  The first 30 minutes of Marc's keynote had various flavors of philanthropy: from 1/1/1 philanthropic model to 2010 Haiti earthquake and the role of technology in rebuilding efforts
  3. Attendance
    The official figure stood at 135,000+ registrants, 1250+ sessions, and 350 Exhibitors; Going by these numbers, Dreamforce 2013 was easily the largest software conference. 
  4. Salesforce1
    Shifting gears, the biggest product announcement of Dreamforce 2013, was Salesforce1 (Wrong, if you guessed ExactTarget, which was kind of, second!).   While the details are still coming thru', my initial impression is that it is a packaging of the existing capabilities (with uplift on internal insights, such as APIs) to bring under one platform for mobile apps.   The new platform comes with 10x APIs and appears to have much more capabilities. 
  5. ExactTarget
    The second major product roadmap was on still newly acquired marketing leader, ExactTarget.   The Salesforce Marketing Cloud is taking another journey with ExactTarget, mobile connectivity, and Salesforce1 all coming together.
  6. HP & Salesforce.com
    The biggest alliance of the event undoubtedly belongs to the announcement of the deal between Salesforce.com and HP to create new "Salesforce Superpod"; in its simplistic form, it is aimed at providing a private instance of Salesforce, powered by HP technology.   It may be noted that Salesforce.com announced a similar strategic partnership with Oracle earlier this year (here is my earlier blog on this).   By inking another partnership, Salesforce certainly follows the principle that "one should not put all eggs in the same basket".
  7. Celebrities and Industry Leaders
    This year's event had its own share of personalities from different walks of life: Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg, Deepak Chopra, Jerry Seinfeld, and Alec Baldwin, to name a few.
  8. Dreamforce Gala
    Salesforce certainly mastered the old saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy ".   This edition of Dreamforce Gala featured "Green Day" Concert.
  9. Developer Hackathon
    Dreamforce received a big boost in pre-conference buzz with the announcement of $1 Million, the largest hackathon prize event.  Unfortunately, at the end, the result was shadowed by controversies.
  10. Next year's event
    The date for next year event is October 13-16, 2014.   Pre-registration is already available!


Good synopsis article... Yes, it is really interesting to note that Salesforce has another strategic partnership in its kitty; One may wonder if it is a major shift on the Salesforce side to embrace private cloud

Good consolidation...!

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