I was lucky enough to attend Dreamforce for the first time this year and I am pretty confident I picked a good one! The scale of the event is often commented on but it has to be seen to be believed, to the point I heard a local resident complaining that he couldn’t get a bite to eat because his favourite restaurants were all closed for private events.

The opening keynote, titled “Trailblazers, Together” set the tone for the whole event focussing on the power of the Salesforce ecosystem and the Salesforce economy. With new research suggesting the Salesforce ecosystem is on track to become nearly six times larger than Salesforce itself by 2024, earning $5.80 for every dollar Salesforce makes, it is an exciting time to be involved. Equality remains a key message and the women in leadership roles were out in force across the event, prompting the sceptic in me to look up the numbers. In fact less than 24% of global leadership roles at Salesforce are filled by women, however, with a Chief Equality Officer in place we can expect to see continued improvement. In conversations around the event, the most commented announcements were the single source of truth for all customers, dubbed Customer 360 Truth and the strengthening of the Salesforce AWS partnership with integrated AWS features available on platform.

From then on, it’s a combination of large scale keynote sessions, breakout sessions, round-table discussions, live demos and the list goes on. The standout keynote for me was the Service session titled “The New Age of Human Centric Service” with an impressive statistic of 225 new Service Cloud features in the last release, and a focus on Service Cloud Voice part of the strategic relationship with AWS.

There were many big customer names represented including State Farm insurance, Louis Vuitton and Southwest Airlines. Our customer, Elsevier, followed up their success at the London event in May this year with a new session “How Elsevier Supercharges B2B Sales in Business Information with Salesforce”. Our very own CTO, Keir Bowden, delivered a much admired session on “Test Your Lightning User Interface with Selenium and NodeJS” and our COO, Martin Tyte, chaired a Circles of Success event for consulting partners.

Of course, we had plenty of fun too. Fleetwood Mac played a brilliant set at DreamFest! and there was plenty of opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new ones in the Salesforce Ohana. I was excited to see David Beckham interviewed by Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the new CEO of Salesforce UKI, and they didn’t disappoint. They both commented on what we all felt about getting goosebumps when Obama walked on to the stage that same morning. And so the final words have to go to Obama, it was a simple message “Be kind and be useful”. I, for one, am upping my game. 

By Anna Bedford

Anna is an experienced IT professional. Her IT career started in Banking and Investment Banking software and systems, covering both development and Project Management. Anna has been with BrightGen for more than six years, initially in Delivery and then progressing into a senior commercial role.  For the last 3 years Anna has been an Account Director, responsible for a number of strategic accounts.