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My aha moment at Dreamforce 2015!

I was one of the lucky 170,000 + persons that had a chance to be a part of Dreamforce 2015 during September 15 - 18 at San Francisco. An amazing event with 1600 sessions and tremendous opportunities to interact and network with your peers, clients, analysts, competitors and of course, buddies.

 

Upon return, I reflected on the various events / announcements and decided to jot down the buzz words that really stood out from the mind-numbing amount of information thrown at us:

  • The evolution of last year's Lightning Platform into Exchange (50+ components pre-built in the cloud) and Experience (new user interface)
  • Salesforce IQ for Sales Cloud and small business in which the CRM system is connected with email and calendar. With the help of algorithms, predictive analytics drives customer communications
  • Trailhead (online learning) and the free starter kits: This is a significant leap in the training area. While the Developer Edition was already freely available, Trailhead takes it to another level in terms of personal, hands on and most significantly, free training for everyone. This truly is democratization of technology learning
  • Vertical apps (financial service cloud and health cloud)
  • IOT Cloud powered by Thunder Platform (with Microsoft as a launch partner)

 

Apart from the serious stuff, there was entertainment too. Some of it standard stuff like the Foo Fighters rock concert and some unusual like:

  • Stevie Wonder trying to get the audience to croon about Salesforce being "the sunshine of my life"
  • Parker Harris, Co-Founder of Salesforce, turning up to a key note address dressed as "Lightning Man" (or as Marc Benioff put it 'a NASCAR driver in baby blue suit with Thor's hammer')
  • Japanese rock star Yoshiki making a surprise appearance on a stage behind the audience (quite literally!)

 

But, my one big aha moment was during the session featuring Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. While showcasing Office 365 and other Microsoft products, at one point he seamlessly transitioned from a Microsoft screen to a Salesforce screen and referred to both as the best in class products! That was a powerful indicator of how closely Salesforce and Microsoft are partnering and collaborating given that Microsoft's own Dynamics is still a player in the same CRM market!

 

Were you there at SFO too? Or did you follow the live streams remotely? If so, I would like hear your comments and opinions on what appealed to you as being significant or interesting at Dreamforce 2015.  

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