Posts filed under ‘Dreamforce 2006’

Dreamforce 2007 – Registration Open

Salesforce.com has announced that registration is now open – early bird gets you $100 off until July 14th.

 http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/registration/

Dreamforce 2006 was a great event – I highly recommend it if you haven’t already attended.

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May 22, 2007 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

Mapquest for Salesforce.com – Free Integrated Mapping

When I first saw Arrowpointe’s Google Maps Mashup for Salesforce.com, I was drooling over the functionality but I lack the technical skills to pull this kind of implementation off. When I met the folks from Mapquest at Dreamforce 2006, they promised a free and easy to install application that would give me the ability to map a contact or account and see others that are nearby.

While I don’t really “need” this functionality it sounded cool and I knew I wanted to give it a try. The application launched a couple of days ago so I sat down today to install it and see what it had to offer. After downloading the app from the exchange I didn’t see any of the buttons or functionality – what I didn’t realize is that there is a customization document with some instructions that you need to follow before this will work. At first the 37 page PDF was a little intimidating, but its filled with tons of easy to follow screen-shots (trust me – if I can do it anyone can). The only hiccup I had was when the instructions stated to copy and paste the code for the custom formula but the formula had some extra spaces in it that need to be removed first. When it wasn’t working for me I emailed their support and got an immediate response with how to correct it. Once you’ve created your custom formulas you’re pretty much ready to go. I think this would take most folks less than 15 minutes to get up and running.

Once you install the functionality you can let the fun begin. Go to any account or contact and you now have a Mapquest button that you can click to pull up a map of their area. Hover over the “dot” that represents your account and a callout flag pops up with the account information and links to show the details of that record, nearby accounts and contacts for that account. Click on the “nearby accounts” link and other “dots show up that you view by hovering over them. At this point you can see all of your accounts within the specified radius along with quick links to view their information.

Mapquest screenshot

Mapquest 2

For a non-techie like me, this is cool functionality that I never would have been able to develop on my own.  Some suggestions to make a good idea even better:

  1. Extend the mapping ability to leads
  2. Give users the ability to type in an address or zipcode and pull up accounts / contacts within the proximity rather than having to find the account first
  3.  Let users set a default address and add a link to directions to or from the specified account.

November 7, 2006 at 10:09 pm 25 comments

A Disruption At Dreamforce 2006?

I’m not quite sure I understand it, but I received a letter from Salesforce.com along with a $10 gift card to Starbucks. They write:

“We hope dreamforce was a great experience for you. We note that you attended the session titled “Product Roadmap: Sneak Peek into the Future at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday October 11th. Please accept this Starbucks gift card as our apology for the disruption experienced during this session.”

I attended the session, in fact I wrote about it here but I don’t recall any “disruption”. The only thing I can figure is that because it was such a small crowd that the moderator presented in a more casual setting and just talked to us from the floor rather than from the stage and they were unable to record the session because of it. They must think that since there was no recording the session didn’t take place.

It’s nice to see that if a disruption had actually occurred they cared enough to send an apology. Nice touch – I’m impressed, and thanks for the latte’.

October 21, 2006 at 9:50 am 5 comments

Ideas for Salesforce Mashups

In my synopsis of Dreamforce Day 4, I mentioned a breakout session called “Business Mashups” – the video of that session has been posted to the videos page here and also on the successforce blog. At the end of that session someone in the audience asked if there was a place on the web that had a directory of companies that offer webservices and APIs which nobody could recall. I’m not sure if this is what the panelists were thinking of, but I found a great site called ProgrammableWeb.com that has quite a robust directory of APIs and already built mashups. Not surprisingly, Google Maps is leading the pack with the most mashups, and 6 related to Salesforce.com are currently listed.

October 17, 2006 at 7:40 am 1 comment

Dreamforce 2006 Day 4

This morning’s 3 breakout sessions wrapped up this year’s Saleforce.com conference, and these 3 that I attended were actually 3 of the better breakouts I saw all week.

First up was the business mash-ups session on the developer track. While I’m not a developer, I’m really interested in API’s and webservices functionality, especially as it related to Salesforce. There was a great presentation from infopia, and examples of how they’ve gone out to dozens of API’s and integrated them into Salesforce for their clients. Spanning Partners also talked about integrating Google Calendar functionality within SF.

The next session was the community building session that featured 2 of the best Salesforce bloggers Mark from Salesforcewatch.com and Scott from Perspectives On Salesforce and ArrowPointe Consulting. Also on the panel was Joseph from LeverageSoftware. I really think the folks at Salesforce have done a great job to embrace community, especially on through the Successforce blog and on the Idea Exchange.

The last session of the conference for me was the professional edition roadmap presentation. At this point we’ve already seen most of these ideas in previous presentations and through the idea exchange, but a couple of ideas / future rollouts grabbed my interest: marketing tracking enhancements including click tracking – for an ROI focused marketer like me, this is a big development. SF loves their Google adwords tracking product and I think they want to expand this into new areas. Yahoo search tracking, organic search tracking and more are being considered. Salesforce wants to enable users to understand the context in which customers are interacting with us and this is definitely a good thing. Other cool ideas include saved search history and tagging features, both of which would make it easier to find our key data.

A couple of more photos, all of which and more can be found on Flickr.

October 11, 2006 at 2:32 am 1 comment

Dreamforce 2006 Day 3

Marc Benioff got us started again this morning with an interesting introduction to the featured keynote General Colin Powell. General Powell got a standing ovation and was an excellent speaker. He talked for a long time and held the audience for most of that time with interesting anecdotes and the importance of corporate philanthropy, a topic that Mr. Benioff likes to remind us is covered in his new book. Powell took us through some examples of how he uses technology, and I was impressed to know that he actually understands Salesforce and its implications on the business world and government and has a great grasp on how the internet is making things move and change at a pace that humanity has never seen before. I really enjoyed his speech, but I think Powell lost most of the audience’s attention when he began to explain the current political situations with various regions around the globe. At this point we had been listening to Benioff and Powell for more than 90 minutes. After Powell left the stage, various product demonstrations by executives from Symantec, Deutsche Bank, F5 Networks, Corporate Express, and Skype. Since Benioff and Powell ran so long, the general session went over by 45 minutes and people were walking out. Most of these “demonstrations” felt like sales pitches, but I liked seeing the real-world examples.

I headed back down to the exhibit hall to catch up with some vendors and ask some Salesforce staff some questions, and I thought I’d take a moment here to point out some booth “good guys” I met:

  1. ModelMetrics – Thanks Adam for referring me to another vendor when I described the Salesforce customization I was looking for.
  2. Before the Call – Really good bunch of folks offering instant access to a free version of their product. They also gave away a pair of tickets to the Oakland game that sadly I did not win.
  3. Convenos – thanks for the Skype headset, and for clearly and concisely explaining your product without being pushy or salesy.
  4. Salesforce – I had a specific question about Apex that nobody seemed to be able to answer but within minutes of leaving the booth I was on an email chain that had multiple people trying to track down an answer for me.

The booth poor conduct award goes to Eloqua: their team of hyper-aggressive salespeople wouldn’t let you past their booth without several calls of “can I scan you?” from multiple people. Sure you got my contact information and already sent me an email, but you left me with a poor first impression.

A couple of pictures from today, all photos can be found on Flickr, tagged as Dreamforce2006. Other folks have added pictures to the dreamforce pool.


Finally, a special thanks to Kingsley Joseph of The Successforce Blog for reaching out to me and inviting me to a have a beer with some other Salesforce Bloggers.

October 10, 2006 at 7:23 pm 1 comment

Dreamforce 2006 Day 2

Marc Benioff certainly has a flair for the dramatic.

Just before 9am this morning thousands of attendees were anxiously awaiting the gates to lift so they could enter the keynote speech and opening remarks. As the gates lifted we were greeted by a live band playing “crazy” and signs warning us that strobe lights would be used during the presentation. Sure enough, Benioff didn’t disappoint and he had our full attention. After a presentation on The Business Web and some recycled material from the roadshow presentation I attended a couple of months back in NYC, Benioff brought up former eBay COO Maynard Webb. Nothing too exciting here, and the real fun began when Chief Marketing Officer George Hu came up to present highlights of the Winter 07′ release. Although George looked like he was 12 years old, he was very funny and charismatic and had the crowd on his side with numerous jokes. Perspectives On Salesforce does a good job wrapping up this session and the rest of the keynote, but the highlights were:

  1. Pop-up reminders
  2. The Console
  3. Calendar Remodel
  4. collapsible sidebar
  5. Related list “hovers” (roll-overs to you and me)
  6. Inline S-Controls (mashups, widgets, and Ajax oh my)
  7. Business logic and workflow approvals

Next up was a brief and difficult to understand presentation by Cisco VP Laurent Philonenko, followed by Benioff back on stage to make a suprise introduction of Michael Dell. Dell came up on the video screen remotely and began congratulating Salesforce on the launch of Apex a tad prematurely. I know I hadn’t heard anything about Apex yet and was puzzled. After some slides on PRM, Benioff and Co-Founder Parker Harris made the big announcement that Dell alluded to earlier – Salesforce Apex.

Apex has the potential to be even bigger than the appexchange, giving developers and users the power to build completely custom code and applications on the Salesforce platform. Salesforce hosts it and provides the infrastructure, allowing customers to focus on creativity.

One final note on the keynotes – I thought it was very cool that Salesforce leased the old Siebel building (“We got a good deal, quipped Benioff”) in San Mateo and is converting it into an AppExchange incubator. For $2k per month you get a cube and access to help, resources, and potential VC interest and develop a business to plug into SalesForce.

That concludes the Keynotes, the rest of the day was spent at breakout sessions, the best of which was the live workshop that walked through a hands on demo of the new winter 07 features. For more coverage of the keynotes check out PerspectivesOnSalesforce and SalesforceWatch.

I headed back to the Moscone center around 8pm for the “Global Gala” with the band Train. I’ll admit, I’m actually a fan so this was a nice surprise. I assume corporate events are just about the last thing a serious musician wants to do but they were really good and the crowd was actually really into them.

More photos on Flickr

October 10, 2006 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

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