A few of the BrightGen team went along to London’s Calling last month, the largest Salesforce Community event in Europe.
With around 45 sessions, plus a keynote, Demo Jam, exhibition stands to visit and lots of people from the Ohana to catch up with, and not forgetting the BrightGen photo booth stand which had to be looked after (thank you everyone who popped by to see us!), we knew we couldn’t do everything. But we really tried!
And the good news is, if you missed a session or even the whole event, almost everything was recorded and is now available here.
But where to begin?
Well, these were our highlights. Enjoy catching up on the simply excellent, and varied, content from the day.
All things Lightning
Tony Clarke, Salesforce Developer
I’m a big fan of Lightning and learning, and that's definitely reflected in the sessions I chose to attend.
I kicked off my day with coffee and the Live Coding Walkthrough from Paul Battison. I liked the simplicity of the approach and the mixture of tech - Heroku, watson, node.js etc. He was really brave to do it all live as well.
Next was the Lightning Data Service session, a service that helps you create new Lightning Components. It offers a good reduction in code and some other benefits I can see myself using. Later, I joined Mike Topalovich for his troubleshooting and debugging Lightning Component Issues tips session. He shared 4 good approaches to testing and debugging Lightning Components and squeezed a lot of information into just 25 minutes. I’d recommend catching up on all these.
Stalking the BrightGen Customers
Andy Webb, Salesforce Service Consultant
Not necessarily intentionally, but I caught a lot of our customers and colleagues talks and want to give them a shout out! Louise Lockie spoke about the importance of end-user training for better results from Salesforce, and she should probably now come and join the BrightGen Service team as this is something we really agree on. And I also saw Amanda Beard-Neilsen’s session about her lessons learned from implementing CPQ. There has been a lot of noise about CPQ over the last year or so, and it's definitely a great product, but the message here was really to beware of not getting the support you need from the business and its sponsors, as user input and buy-in is absolutely critical. It was great to see my colleagues at BrightGen getting some recognition for their implementation on this project too, thank you Amanda! Finally, I checked in on our CTO Keir Bowden’s great session from Dreamforce 2017, ‘No Connection, No Problem’. You can tell those of us who have a commute and like to get some work done on the train to London! There are some great tips about Salesforce Mobile SDK in this talk.
The most important new takeaway for me was from Douglas Squires session ‘Small Changes - Big Gains’, about the value in spending some time on UI/UX. He shared a statistic that sums it up really - one single question on a form was causing users to quit. By removing it, completions increased, and they saved $12m!
There’s no avoiding GDPR
James Burgess, Service Manager
There were a few great looking sessions on GDPR at London’s Calling, which is unsurprising given the current climate. I attended the afternoon session with Salesforce as I was keen to hear more about the new Individual Object, which went live in the Spring '18 Release, so that I can share this with our customers.
It was great to see some lively debate in this session. The Individual Object definitely makes it easier to track information about an individual when they are spread across leads and contacts, and it will be a good when building a preference centre or when someone invokes their right to be forgotten. But it does have some limits at the moment, like lack of configurable automation. It’s good to see that Salesforce are on the track helping us find the answers we need though, and I’ll be watching for more in Summer ‘18 and beyond.
The other standout session for me was Bash Din’s morning slot about transforming finance and accounting on the Salesforce platform. There are certainly business benefits to bringing finance and sales team's close together to collaborate, and in getting finance into the selling process sooner, for example for credit checks to validate the customer before investing too much time in pre-sales. There was also just a lot of good sense in this talk - the reduction in errors and time saved in eliminating manual tasks, and the very avoidable challenge of sales reports disagreeing with finance reports if they work off different data. A valuable reminder of the benefits of 360 degree visibility and real time data that in some ways you start to take for granted when working with the Salesforce platform.
We are all allies
Carly Watling, Marketing Manager
Angela Mahoney’s afternoon session ‘Male allies in tech’ was well attended but I wish it had been seen by the whole conference! She shone the light on some practical ways we can support each other in our daily working lives that will help to fight inherent bias, improve the working environment for women and gradually might just help increase the proportion of women in leadership and tech roles. They were really simple, and translate to just being a considerate colleague - gender aside. Things like being sure to credit someone when repeating or building on a point they’ve made, and being ready to politely step in when a colleague is being interrupted or not listened to in meetings. She’s got me following @betterallies on Twitter which I’m really enjoying. I hope everyone will catch this one on-demand.
More than just great pies
Keir Bowden, CTO and Salesforce MVP
I covered off my whole day at London’s Calling in my blog last week ‘Pies, Freckles and a side of Salesforce’ but one highlight I’d like to draw attention to here is the keynote from Dr Sue Black. Sadly, this isn’t available for distribution so I encourage everyone to catch her live if you get a chance. Her inspirational and very approachable story captures the spirit of the Salesforce Ohana.
All in all we had a fantastic day - hats off to the hardworking team. And we were delighted to see so many of you enjoying the BrightGen photobooth. Do keep tagging us in your photos at #BrightGenCalling, they Brighten our newsfeed!
See you next year