Did you make it to Dreamforce? As a first timer myself, all I can say is WOW, it was everything that people had warned me of and more. A mega-event that is managed with uncommon precision and professionalism.
Throughout the week I had incredible conversations with current customers, prospects, partners, analysts, media and more. Boiling down such a big event is no easy task, but walking away there were three themes that stood out:
Collaboration is hot and getting hotter
We had an opportunity to connect with a number of industry analysts who provided very optimistic outlooks on the collaboration market. In fact, IDC shared findings from a recent study of 700 companies in which Corporate Collaboration was deemed the biggest issue business leaders are focused on for 2015. Digging deeper, we learned the key problem is finding the experts that have the information.
Alan Lepofsky from Constellation Research also stopped by the booth for a quick chat. His take on “intelligent and adaptive collaboration” which equates to context + sentiment + insight is something that is very compelling and links collaboration directly to personal productivity and thus business impact.
Overall, I love hearing all the buzz around enterprise collaboration because it drives conversations around business impact and how we solve real problems. Companies have tremendous experts—in fact every employee has valuable knowledge to share—the trick is sharing in the ways in which we all already work.
Ease of use will always prevail
One of the great things about a tradeshow of this size is that you get to speak with a variety of people. Our booth was full of buzz, but each conversation was slightly different—some of the people I spoke with have been customers for years, while others are just starting on their enterprise collaboration journey.
As we showed demos, one thing that was consistent was the response to how easy Bloomfire is to use. Users are no longer willing to choose between simple and powerful, instead they expect both and I was proud to show that Bloomfire delivers. They also gravitated to the option to use video as a medium to answer questions and show examples, a key feature that many of our customers are increasingly taking advantage of.
Analytics is critical to any enterprise offering
At Dreamforce, Salesforce unveiled their Wave Analytics Cloud, an app that customers can use to drill down into data. The app is slick and was created in a way that allows partners to build on top of it, but based on conversations with 15+ Salesforce partners, there definitely appeared to be some confusion in the community about those opportunities.
From our viewpoint, the ecosystem that Salesforce has created is second to none and provides valuable extension opportunism to everyone involved. Wave Analytics reflects the reality that analytics has essentially become a must-have requirement in any enterprise offering. It’s something that Bloomfire knows very well. In fact, we’re currently rolling out a number of exciting enhancements to our analytics offerings to beta users. Stay tuned—there’s more to come.
Dreamforce truly is a unique opportunity to interact with prospects, clients, partners, etc. at a break neck pace. Hats off to Salesforce for creating a thoroughly engaging atmosphere in a relatively short period of time.