Dreamforce: Focusing on the Customer
As I was walking between sessions at Dreamforce, I stopped by a side stage to listen to a band of geriatrics playing. They were old, but man could they shred! They sure sounded a lot like The Beach Boys.
Oh wait, they were The Beach Boys. Playing to less than a hundred people. And not on the main stage. Yeah, this was a party full of headliners.
Yet somewhere in the rock concert known as Dreamforce, a technology conference broke out – and that was just as good as the performances. A lot of great minds and great speakers were working towards solving two core questions: “how do we work faster? And how do we align the time we get back towards customers?” Obviously, this had some direct impact on our mission at Sitrion of Making Work Better, which made me feel pretty good that what we’re doing can have a high impact on customers.
Here’s what I took away from the conference:
Productivity starts with putting work in the right place.
Salesforce.com and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership back in May – and now, they’re ready to deliver on that relationship. Salesforce is rolling out integrations Excel and Power BI within Office 365, with plans to extend Salesforce.com’s data into more mobile Microsoft apps.
Why would these one-time rivals be collaborating like this? It’s simple: knowledge workers are in Microsoft Office all day, and that’s not changing anytime soon. If you want high adoption rates for your technology and you truly want to be a productivity-booster, you need to give companies the option to access your functionality within Microsoft. Don’t make workers log in and out of another siloed system, don’t force them into downloading a ton of mobile apps that take up space on their phone, don’t be concerned with getting your branding all over their space – just focus on the user experience. That’s what Salesforce.com is doing. And, of course, that’s something we know a thing or two about.
Mobile development is the primary initiative of forward-thinking companies.
One of Salesforce.com’s big product announcements was Salesforce1 Lightning – a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) development kit for the Salesforce1 mobile app. The stated goal is to make it easier for anyone to create mobile applications that work across all devices.
It’s an obvious need for enterprises and thus already a rich field of rapid growth. It’s good to see a big company embracing the same principles we solve with our enterprise mobile solution, Sitrion ONE. This is affirmation for a few soon-to-be megatrends that we’ve known about for a while – namely:
- Mobile development needs to be easier and in languages and systems that devs already know
- Cross-platform usability from a singular development effort is a required function of any mobile platform
- Allow your user base to create their own customizations – but make it as easy as possible!
In our world, we’re allowing .NET development that brings SAP data into every major mobile OS after a singular development effort. Salesforce.com’s efforts are towards slightly different use cases, but the guiding principle remains the same: let people work anywhere, on any device, with any data. Anything less, and your technology is getting in the way.
Did you attend Dreamforce? What learnings did you take away?