I’ve just returned from an enjoyable and rewarding trip to support the growing FinancialForce.com team in Australia. I was thrilled to be given the chance to make the trip and having spent a couple of weeks experiencing the excitement and energy around the growing Salesforce ecosystem in the region, I’m looking forward to being back!
Following a body clock adjusting urban hike around Sydney city center, Circular Quay and the Opera House we headed down to Melbourne for the Salesforce world tour event. Great to put faces to so many names at various meetups, tweetups and during the show. The keynote by our friend Leyla Seka was excellent and the FinancialForce.com booth was busy all day handling great conversations with partners, prospects and existing customers. Questions were focused on the process of how to move to the salesforce platform and how to move other existing processes onto the platform. The topic of reliable web connectivity came up more often than I hear in the US or the UK, and the National Broadband Network (NBN) project came up with not only an eagerly awaited path to better connectivity but also a business opportunity.
I enjoyed the session by Todd Sampson, local TV personality and CEO of advertising agency Leo Burnett. He spoke about the power of creativity to solve problems and the how fear is the thing that prevents creativity. His advice: if you are facing fear or something seems impossible, then take one step and the view may change. This seemed to echo a theme I have been speaking about recently: when trying to solve business problems, take it one step at a time.
Back in Sydney I attended the excellent Salesforce user group event. The room was packed and a review of recent and upcoming events proved this was a very vibrant community who are very Salesforce platform savvy. The topic of the morning was Communities with a detailed presentation from Salesforce product managers. During Q&A I noted that some standard platform features such as Files and Content were underused and again the speed or cost of data connections are a factor here. I couldn’t help thinking such a smart, savvy group are going to become world beaters once data networks’ reach provide both consistent reliability and high speeds.
The highlight of my trip of course was the official launch of the FinancialForce.com office in Sydney where the team hosted an excellent evening at Café del Mar and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with customers, partners and new employees. There’s a really entrepreneurial startup feeling to business in Australia and organizations large and small are thinking about new business services driven by the Internet of Things, mobility and communities.
At the end of the trip I headed off to Margaret River to visit family and chill out walking on the stunning coastal paths and sample the odd glass of wine. I stayed at a cracking little remote B&B. On the last morning just as I was throwing my bags in the car to begin the journey back to frozen New Hampshire, the friendly landlady ran out of the kitchen door to wish me a safe trip. “Oh, there is one thing I need to ask” she said. “Any chance you could write me a review on Trip Advisor?”
So yes, the Aussies are very cloud savvy and ready to give us all a lesson on how to survive and grow in a radically different digital world. And if you happen to be south of Perth and need a bed for the night do check out the Vintner’s Retreat where Rosie makes a cracking breakfast.