We recently attended the Salesforce Essentials event in Madrid, Spain and it was such an impactful experience we wanted to share it here. Below are our collective thoughts – why we were excited, what we learned, and biggest takeaways.1. Why did we decide to go to this event? Carolina: Once I knew that a Salesforce Event was going to be celebrated in Spain, I became very curious. After doing some research, I saw that it was going to be in the capital Madrid. (We didn’t get the Olympic Games but hey, we got a Salesforce event!) At that point I started to look at which companies where going to be present and also started to wonder how Salesforce is perceived in Spain. Then driven by the curiosity of issues such as: how are the companies embracing Salesforce? How many there would be? Do they have a wide knowledge of the platform? Are the developers of these companies using Salesforce Spanish? What are their thoughts on Salesforce? How could we share FinancialForce.com with them? Are they already working with Salesforce1? … And what really intrigues me, knowing the economic status of Spain, is do they think that Salesforce could be a good bet to enable companies to create jobs in the future? Do the students see a future working in the cloud? Would companies abroad invest in Spanish companies?…So to try and get answers to all these questions, I attended the Salesforce Essentials – Madrid. Agustina: Some weeks ago I saw on Twitter that a Salesforce Event was going to be celebrated in Madrid, yes, in Spain. Finally Salesforce had arrived in my country and I was so happy that I couldn’t stop telling people. When Carolina told me that she would go, I decided I had to be there too. Why? As she said before, I was curious to find out how much Salesforce knowledge there is in Spain, which companies work with this platform and how. I was really surprised to learn that some important brands such as Telefonica, La vaca que ríe or Repsol already knew about the benefits of Salesforce.
2. What were our first impressions upon arrival?
Agustina: People, stands, music, lights, food, even a football table. Everything was set up for registration before the keynote speech. Salesforce magic was all around us, and best of all we could finally meet other Spanish developers face to face.The keynote was a fantastic presentation of the product. Miguel Milano, Salesforce’s president in Europe, led us through the Salesforce world and most important, told us about Salesforce Foundation and all their initiatives. He introduced some other presenters and happy customers. I realized that Salesforce is more than a platform. We are a partner that offers an app for business but there is no limitation when you work with Salesforce. Did you know that Sony is one of these happy customers? Yes, Salesforce helps them to interact with players around the world. I’m sure that any of the attendees were also happy after winning the PS4 that was raffled at the end of the event.
Carolina: My first feeling was, this is so cool! Maybe I was expecting something a little bit smaller as I was thinking the number of people attending was going to be no more than 400 – 500, but the event exceeded 1,000 attendees. There were several halls, presentation rooms, auditoriums both downstairs and upstairs. They had really put a great effort into organizing the event. We had the opportunity to chat with the Spanish Salesforce Community, people thinking of embracing Salesforce and adopting it in their companies. The keynote was “awesome” and FinancialForce.com was part of it via our 360 BackOffice app that we created for the Salesforce1 launch. It was a really great opportunity to be involved. The response was amazing and we received interesting comments and questions. People also shared their thoughts and expressed the need to jump onto the Salesforce1 “train”. “Salesforce1 app, the one to rule them all”.
3. What did we learn?Carolina: I think the most amazing thing that I discovered was that Salesforce is starting to be well known in Spain. We were fascinated by the number of companies that are embracing Salesforce, including Axa, Acciona, Logista, ONO, HoneyWell, Amadeus, Prosegur, Cosentino, Abengoa, Telefónica, Repsol, Universidad de Navarra, Groupalia, Vocento, Occidental, Mapfre.
It was really great to have the opportunity to personally meet some impressive consulting firms that are working with Salesforce in Spain, and entrepreneurs that are providing services around Salesforce too.
I learned that there is a great future for Salesforce in Spain, and even more for FinancialForce there! Why? We have efficient apps, suitable for the Spanish market, yes, I totally think we can invest with this in Spain!Agustina: DevZone gave us the opportunity to learn how to develop a Salesforce1 app – a simple one but it was a good starting point. And we have to remember that many developers in the room were beginners, and I include myself in that group when we are talking about Salesforce1. 4. What did we take away from Salesforce Essentials? Agustina: We had an amazing day. We finally put faces to the people we have talked with many times on Twitter and in our Salesforce User Groups. We had the chance to discuss different topics including packaging process, vf pages, unit test performances and governor limits. I was able to share my knowledge and learn more from others. And everything was conducted in Spanish – something that I miss a lot. It was great to realize that Salesforce is starting to be an option in Spanish businesses and who knows … FinancialForce.com as well. I’m looking forward to going to another event like this, and enjoying it with Carolina and other colleagues as much as I did this time. Carolina: For me, it was all about the community and the passion that we share for Salesforce. Now, as a developer, the great chats I had, the sharing of ideas about coding, common issues, common challenges and various conversations about how to implement better apps in Salesforce1. Our common vision was all geared toward how we can all become Salesforce1. (Following on from this I returned with some thoughts/ideas that I’m trying to implement)
I can’t wait for the next event on the 29th May!