Community Live London is my Mum’s favorite FinancialForce event. To be fair she doesn’t follow the cloud ERP industry too closely but she’s a big CommLive fan because once a year she gets to see her expat youngest son for a few days. Of course, I’m a big fan as well. Being based in the US since FinancialForce’s inception, Community Live in London gives me the opportunity to catch-up on how things are going in the motherland both professionally and personally.
For me, the overwhelming impression of this year’s event was scale and maturity. My word this event has grown up. As record numbers of customers, partners, prospects, and staff gathered for the opening keynote there was clear evidence to that “I guess we’re not a startup anymore”.
That sense of growth and maturity continued throughout two jam-packed days of training, customer case studies, product presentations, and networking. Here were some of my highlights:
Customers front and center. It was striking how many customers and partners were expertly presenting their own experience of implementing FinancialForce apps in their organizations. “Customers say it better” has been a rallying call within FinancialForce for some time now and this was fully on display throughout the event.
Enterprise customers solving big scary problems. I had the pleasure of introducing Paul Risk of the Warranty Group who gave a masterclass on using the Salesforce platform and FinancialForce apps to roll out a centralized IT infrastructure to a global organization. Paul described cloud IT skills as being as essential for today’s business workforce as MS-Office skills were once regarded a decade ago. His commitment to training end users on platform skills is a shining example of empowering his business to innovate without having to go cap-in-hand to IT to get anything built. Read more about the Warranty Group story here.
Public Sector gets it. During a thought-provoking opening keynote session, we got to hear from Dr. Sally Howes OBE, former digital lead at the National Audit Office. To hear a thought leader in UK public sector IT talk the importance of improving the customer experience was frankly a revelation for me. I can’t recall in the earliest days of FinancialForce’s development that any of us were thinking about how cloud technologies would help governments better serve their citizens. But I was thrilled to hear this is indeed happening now. More on Dr. Howes discussion on the intersection of people, process, and technology here.
Of course the other major highlight was spending time with my Mum. We had a drive to a cracking pub in the Yorkshire Dales, chatted about her noisy neighbours and of course got out the old photos. Not sure I needed reminding about those trousers though.