Beyond the Euphoria: Dreamforce 18 Highlights

David Strangeward
By david.strangward@sqwarepeg.com October 9, 2018
David Strangward is a Delivery Lead based in Melbourne.
Dreamforce

With the dust settling on Dreamforce for another year, let’s unwrap the central themes, key learnings and promises made at this year’s global gathering.

Dreamforce the juggernaut that showcases the new tools, features, and future direction of Salesforce alongside insights from business leaders, managers, technology experts and everyone in between is over for another year. As the dust settles and we peel away the hype, excitement and euphoria of an event that draws +170K people, what does it all mean for today’s customers, partners and the army of architects, developers, analysts and administrators that develop the technology platforms of tomorrow?

Customers at the Core

Seeping through every keynote, breakout, workshop and demo is the growth of customer expectations, regardless of industry or service. Customers expect rich, relevant and real time experiences in every interaction with a business wherever, whenever and however they occur. These demands and increasing expectations are expected to occur in a fiercely competitive environment where technology budgets remain constrained and shorter delivery timeframes are presumed by product owners.

Einstein Voice

Salesforce delivers to these demands through a few different lenses. They continue to evolve the intelligence of the platform delivering better experiences based on AI elicited insights and serve these up through an increasing array of channels. Einstein Voice is the newest kid on this block not only speaking useful information but also streamlining data entry using voice-based tools and analytics that save huge amounts of time and promising to drive massive adoption among mobile staff and customers.

Customer 360°

Lens two is an attack on the barriers to rapid innovation and rich information experiences by smashing the bottlenecks to data collection, aggregation and transformation essential to deliver a real time 360° view of the customer. This is being spearheaded through the purchase and integration of MuleSoft and other significant major platform developments from Data Capture, Platform Events, enhanced Heroku Connect and Apache Kafka for Heroku.

Lightning Strikes

Bringing technology into the hands of business users and administrators is the next lens in this demand focussed battle for innovation and delivery. Building on the Lightning Platform, enhancements to the Process Builder, the new Lightning flow builder, Lightning page and App builders, rapid sandbox deployment to Heroku and apps enable technologists and product owners to work more closely together and deliver rapidly.

Enriched DX

And the final lens enables developers to build amazing and business specific functionality that is restricted only by the imagination. The maturing DX development environment continues to be enhanced, available now in sandboxes, linked to source control, easily deployed to Heroku, Amazon or other platforms with enhanced testing and debugging capability. A big effort to close the gap on functionality not exposed by metadata is resulting in a powerful and collaborative development environment.

In short, while established applications get enhanced, the real buzz from the Salesforce showcase that is Dreamforce is the strength of the platform to deliver richer, smarter and faster customer interactions supported by better business processes across multiple real-time devices with an increased delivery clock speed.

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