Another Dreamforce is done and yes it was bigger and better than ever but my Dreamforce experience this year was different. Since 2007 I’ve been coming to San Francisco to present how CRM, Accounting and now ERP can work better together on a single cloud. This year my role was to take a back seat, act as host and have the great privilege of introducing FinancialForce.com customers as they told their own stories of the success they have achieved by running their front and back office applications on the Salesforce platform.
The success stories we heard were both educational and inspiring and here are just some of the highlights:
Jessika Botroff of the Revolution Group described how the system administrator role in her company has become much more strategic as she manages process improvement and implementation of new capabilities not just for sales, but for the company as a whole. The role now requires a much more broader understanding of the entire business.
Nana Gregg of BRG provided a wonderful analogy to help us understand the benefits of native versus non-native Salesforce apps. Nana likened adding apps to adding extra capacity to a public school building. Choosing native apps meant adding onto the existing firm foundation of the main school building leveraging existing utility services such as power, light, water and heating. Non-native was more akin to pulling a trailer into the car park and hooking up some temporary power. In both cases you got extra capacity but now your students come in through different front doors.
RJ Smith of Venture Technologies described how the Salesforce platform enabled a single consistent way for his customers to engage with his company rather than the inconsistent formats and processes his customers may have seen in the past when Venture was running a combination of siloed cloud and on-premise apps.
On Friday morning I got to play the role of the customer during my pre-keynote chat with Peter Coffee but there was no problem trying to remember my lines. I had been hearing all week from our customers about how a single cloud running CRM and ERP meant that the lines between Front Office versus Back Office were now blurred and today successful companies think in terms of “One Office” focused on serving customers and engaging employees.
See you all again in 2016 but first I just have to lie down in a darkened room for a while.