After reflecting on my first Dreamforce, gratitude is my new attitude. My Salesforce badge provided access to a mind blowing amount of knowledge, a wealth of opportunity and over four days to enjoy it. With over 3,000 sessions, I soon realized I was not going to make every event and I needed to let go. I coached myself many times to be present, to stay present, and to make the most of this amazing event.
Arkus kicked off the week with our annual “Welcome to Dreamforce” party, featuring Salesforce.org’s one and only Ryan Boyle and his Hella Good band. So fun to see so many friends of Arkus for a hella good time.
Project Open Hand
One of my favorite events was volunteering for Project Open Hand, a local San Francisco nonprofit that provides meals with love to critically ill neighbors and seniors. 2,500 nutritious meals and 200 bags of groceries are provided every week to help sustain Project Open Hand’s clients. We spent our time packing 2,000 tote bags with a specially designed cookbook, mixing bowls and measuring cups, and the turn-out was tremendous! For individuals, corporations or youth programs interested in additional volunteer opportunities with Project Open Hand, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marc Benioff’s Keynote
Lining up for Marc Benioff’s “Be a Customer Trailblazer” keynote, it was clear just how many people wanted to get a glimpse of this iconic tech genius visionary. In line for over two hours, I visited with folks from India and Sweden. “What brings you to Dreamforce” was my hello and it worked all week long. People come from all over to attend this conference, and everyone had a different story. One old timer remarked that after attending Dreamforce 8 times he just lets Dreamforce come to him.
Seeing Marc Benioff for the first time will stay with me. He strikes me as a humble, quality fellow who showed us clearly what he is all about. Throughout the presentation, Mr. Benioff illustrated how he utilizes his gifts to bring good people together to do great things. I will not forget will.i.am when he spoke so passionately about providing technology, access and opportunity for kids otherwise forgotten and when he shared his video, Where’s the Love to raise money for his cause. I will not forget Deborah Dugan, CEO of (RED), who shared her personal story and path to a nonprofit founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage businesses and consumers to help fight AIDS in Africa.
Another highlight was spending time at the Saleforce.org lodge at the Westin St. Francis. A beautiful home-like hotel to compliment the charm and warmth of all the great folks at Salesforce.org. With client sessions, partner booths, and fun trailblazing activities, it was a lot of fun!
Struck by the level of support and tireless effort from our hosts Salesforce and Salesforce.org as well as the local people supporting such an impressive event, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that worked so hard to bring us Dreamforce. See you next year!
For highlights, keynote videos, and new product information, go to Dreamforce '16. If you’d like to share your Dreamforce‘16 story, please reach out to us on our Facebook page, or directly at me on Twitter @SCarabetta1 or in the Success Community.
I guess this being my 10th Dreamforce, the duties of writing the "Where is Arkus" blog post seems to be fitting so here is where you can find us, our clients and our products at Dreamforce 16.
We are always so proud to have our clients presenting at Dreamforce, giving them a chance to shine and share their success. This year we have four clients, all from the non profit space.
- Red & Project Open Hand will be presenting in "Innovative Technology and the Fight Against AIDS and HIV" Thursday, October 6, 4:00 PM - 4:40 PM at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco, Tower Salon A
- Boston Scholar Athletes will be presenting in a session called "From Process to Policy: Making Your Platform Mimic Your Organization" which is Tuesday, October 4, 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM at The Westin St. Francis San Francisco, Colonial Room: Power of Us Theater
- Jewish Community Center of San Francisco is presenting in "Jewish Community Center of SF's Robust Membership Solution" Thursday, October 6, 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM at Westin St. Francis San Francisco Colonial Room: Power of Us Theater.
We are so excited that our free AppExchange products get some love at Dreamforce (besides all the pins and stickers we are brining). This year Clone This User has been singled out in a session.
- MVPs will presenting "AppExchange for Experts Salesforce MVPs Share Their App Secrets" Wednesday, October 5, 9:30 AM - 10:10 AM at Moscone West, 2006
Just like Pokemon, you have to catch them all and while lots of Arkies will be attending Dreamforce a few have stepped up to do so presenting.
- Roger will be presenting at session called "Lessons Learned: Building a Hybrid Remote App with Communities and Ionic" Tuesday, October 4, 1:45 PM - 2:15 PM at Moscone West, Mobile Theater
- Justin will be working the Salesforce Security Booth in the Admin Meadow on Tuesday the 4th from 10AM - Noon. Stop by and wish him a belated birthday.
- I will be working the Mobile Admin booth at the Admin Meadow on Wednesday the 5th from 3 to 4pm.
No Dreamforce would be complete without the live coverage of Justin and myself on the CloudFocus Podcast and while Salesforce is being less supportive of the podcasting community this year, we will still be there, roaming the floors and podcasting away.
Dreamforce is quickly approaching, really, it’s right around the corner. Have you thought about your agenda? What sessions are important to you as an Administrator? Where do you start when the options in the agenda builder are so overwhelming?
A good place to start is the Dreamforce Trail Map for Admins. It’s a schedule for all 4 days with recommended Sessions, Keynotes, and Special Events catered to Administrators. Click on the name and it will take you to your agenda builder where you can read more details about the session and either bookmark (star icon) or enroll (check icon) or walk in (person icon). It has a good mixture of fun and education laid out for your time at Dreamforce.
You can also go straight to the agenda builder, at the top select ‘trail map’ and select your role or industry, then all the suggested sessions for that role or industry are displayed. For the Administration role there are some great sessions like Harness the Power of Lightning with App Builder and No Secret Decoder Required - Maintaining Your Org's Setup for Optimal Efficiency to name a couple.
I highly recommend attending the keynote sessions as well (Salesforce for Admins Keynote), those are hosted by the Salesforce Product Managers and Evangelists who are knowing of all things Salesforce now and planned for the future.
The Admin Zone is always a good place be to learn, have fun, and make connections. This year the Admin Zone will be the “Admin Meadow”, located on the first floor of Moscone West with a strong focus on Trailhead. Returning this year is the Admin Theater with over 60 sessions run by Salesforce Admins as well as the ‘Ask the Admin’ demo stations. New this year is an automation station with the purpose of showing how to map business processes; taking complex business requirements, map, then build in Salesforce.
As always, wear comfortable shoes, pace yourself, and enjoy all that Dreamforce has to offer!
In case you haven’t noticed, Salesforce is paying attention to the needs of marketers in an ever growing way, and this year’s Dreamforce lineup is a glowing example. If you are attending and interested in marketing products and best practices a great place to start is the Dreamforce for Marketers page, which lists the locations of marketing-focused content and keynotes of interest. Sessions are clustered mostly (but not exclusively) in the Palace Hotel, with keynotes in Moscone, so you still have to get a little bit of exercise.
The main page notes a couple big-name sessions, but a dive into agenda builder reveals some other gems. I will surely be attending some of the product roadmap sessions, which are typically given by product managers--you know, the ones who really know the skinny on new features. These sessions are a great opportunity to ask follow-up questions on announcements that are not always easy to get answered in a virtual context.
Also on my agenda are the “How Salesforce Uses…” and Hands-on-Training sessions. These take a more practical-application approach and can be especially insightful for those of us who work with Marketing Cloud and/or Pardot on a regular basis. I’m especially looking forward to How Salesforce Uses the Marketing Cloud to Onboard New Customers.
Even if you’re got a user of Salesforce’s own marketing products, there are sessions for you. Download intelligence on email and social from experts in the field. Shopping for a tool? This Demo Jam promises to be particularly exciting.
And remember, if you can’t make a session, bookmark it in agenda builder anyway and watch the video after the fact. I like to focus on making it to sessions where I want to participate in the Q&A or try to meet the presenters and save pure curiosity for the recordings.
Sessions are just one part of the experience, though. If you’re in marketing, you already understand the value of making connections, so don’t let this opportunity slip by. Take advantage of lunch and cocktail hours and strike up a conversation. With a centralized area for marketing this year, chances are high you’ll meet someone doing work you can relate to. We are here to build our expertise and learn from each other, which includes the person next to you in line, not just the one on the stage. Perhaps I will see you there…
While we love to blog about the new Salesforce release, sometimes we just focus on the clouds (Sales, Marketing, etc.) or give a rapid reaction. For Winter 17, I am going to try something new and just highlight things that made me smile or cheer. I call these things "The Good Stuff."
Ok, so these are not really all Winter 17 features, or actually features at all but one can never start planning for retirement too early. The Stay-in-Touch feature has long been the bane of the Administrator's life so I am jumping for joy at its long overdue retirement. The Cloud Scheduler, while once a cool idea, was never given more love, updates, or a training hand to get full adoption. Also notable retirements coming to a release near you are the LinkedIn Pilot and Chatter Answers. Salesforce must be buying those gold watches in bulk.
While I am not so keen on everything getting a "Lightning" marketing makeover, this feature could be the most time saving for the next 10 years. This new "no password" feature takes two factor authentication to the next level, just click your username, tap to approve a mobile application notification and enter in a pin or fingerprint. Now that is pretty neat. It is also nice to see Salesforce catching up with the times using Touch ID and fingerprints for authentication.
Speaking of logins and security, this new feature will allow the Authenticator application to back and restore your accounts from one device to another. This is great for when you lose (crazy party) or upgrade (fell in the toilet) your new phone and don't want to go through all the hassle of setting things up again.
Saving the best for last and getting to the heart of an ugly user interface. For years (and years) Flows have been a powerful, if dated looking, feature of Salesforce. They allow for a more wizard based, multi-step data collection with decisioning along the way. While the underlying feature was great, the look and feel left a lot to be desired so getting a new "Lightning Skin" is a nice new addition. Hopefully this is the start of the merge between Flows and Processes which seem like a natural direction.
As with the last several releases there’s a heavy emphasis on the Lightning Experience and with Dreamforce 2016 just around the corner, I imagine this trend will continue into what I hope is the most epic Dreamforce yet. Many of the changes to Lightning Experience are subtle, but go a long way in improving the usability of the interface for end users. A few of my favorites are listed below:
Field Level Help: A feature as old as time from Classic is now Generally Available in Lightning Experience. Add help text for your users which when hovered provides additional context/details.
Save & New Buttons: With the addition of Save & New buttons, one can easily and in quick succession create new records without leaving their place inside of the application.
“Never Forget” Record Details: As more and and more information is available on page layouts, Salesforce now remembers when users expand or collapse a section and when a user returns, these settings are honored. This makes it easier and faster to navigate page layouts, seeing only those sections or details that matter most to you.
But perhaps, the User Experience update that takes the cake (at least in my book!), is the ability to edit list views in-line and en-masse. Users can now modify a record or records from the list view without ever going to the detail or edit page. Please note that there are a few limitations with this release, mainly that if the list view contains more than on record type or filter logic with OR clauses then the inline edit functionality won’t be available. This feature is also available in Salesforce Classic for those of us who haven’t yet made the switch to Lightning Experience.
Second to UI/UX changes, the long awaited ability to associate a contact with multiple accounts, highlighted by our very own Peter White in Checking in on Summer ‘16, continues to get a facelift. In addition to the Summer ’16 feature release, with Winter ’17 we gain a View Relationship Action, Validation Rules on the Account Contact Relationship Object, and the ability to indirectly relate person accounts to accounts.
While all of these goodies are great, by far my favorite new functionality is Lightning for Gmail (Beta). All of us Google Apps users have been waiting a long time for this one. Lightning for Gmail, is the latest email integration from Salesforce. While not yet generally available and requiring some internal IT Administration to setup, users can take advantage of searching and viewing matching Salesforce records directly in Gmail through a new Salesforce Side Panel. Additionally, if your organization uses GCal or Google Calendar?, events from Gcal sync to Salesforce. The reciprocal Salesforce to Gmail calendar sync is not yet available, so you’ll want your end users to be mindful and aware. There are certainly some limitations here, but as someone who relies heavily on both Salesforce and Gmail, I could not be more excited that Salesforce is bringing this functionality to us.
Have you read the Winter ’17 Release Notes Preview? What are you most looking forward to? Let me know on the Arkus Facebook page, in the comments below, in the Success Community, or to me directly via Twitter @HollyRyall
I’ve always been partial to seeing the big name speakers when at Dreamforce. I can remember back to my first conference, Dreamforce 2008, where I was introduced to the quirky and brilliant writer Malcolm Gladwell (whose books and podcasts I consume as though they are going out of style) along with the aptly named Dr. Larry Brilliant who at the time was running Google.org. Ever since getting a taste of seeing these larger than life personalities live I’ve always made it my mission to get to these keynotes. From Bill Clinton to Bill Gates, these talks rarely disappoint. Here are a few big name speakers I’m looking forward to seeing in person this year at DF16.
I cannot think of a family that has done more in the area of philanthropy over the last 10 or so years than the Gates family. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives to such a wide array of causes to ensure that the foundation’s goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world is met. For those interested in giving back and philanthropy this is a can’t miss talk.
How often do you get a chance to see a hero from the civil rights movement in the 1960s in person? This man was a part of the walk over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and continues to fight day in and day out for civil rights in congress. No need to get all political, just saying, this man has lived a full life of fighting for what he believes is right and that is extremely respectable and should lead to a very powerful keynote speech.
The owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of Shark Tank is always entertaining. He’s a tech geek at heart which is always fun at a tech conference. I’m expecting him to bring an energy to his talk that will inspire many to become entrepreneurs and utilize the skills that they are learning at the conference to start their own business, create an app, or generally just get juiced up about the possibilities of what one person with a great idea could accomplish.
The CEO of (RED) is going to be a major highlight for me. Not only is (RED) an outstanding organization that is innovative in every sense of the word but they are also an Arkus client. I cannot wait to see what Deborah has to say about the impact that (RED) has on fighting AIDS in Africa. I think this will be a tearjerker for me.
Billie Jean King
Let's get this out of the way - I am a tennis geek. I go to the US Open every year and was even a ball boy for a few years back in the 90s. I’ve actually met Billie Jean King before at a tennis tournament that I participated in (and won) that took place at the USTA National Tennis Center (now called the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center). She’s been an outspoken voice for years on the topic of equal rights; in particular when it comes to women. I think she’s a great addition to talk about Women in Tech and generally is such an iconic figure in the world of athletics which makes me happy to see two of my favorite worlds collide (Salesforce and sports).
There are so many amazing speakers this year I can’t mention them all. Let me know who you are really looking forward to seeing by commenting below or on one of our many social outlets. Maybe we can meetup for one of these talks - hit me up.