Though this is my second consecutive Dreamforce, in many ways, I feel like it’s my third.
You see, in 2008, I was speaking at a different conference that week, but Dreamforce still made a huge impression on me. I was in Denver, and was charged with closing out Day One the Defrag conference. The topic was Social Computing in the Enterprise, and I was talking about what social computing vendors would have to do in order to bridge the gap to become enterprise ready. One of the critical success factors I mentioned was that to become enterprise-grade, social computing applications needed to be linked to enterprise applications so as to expose social information to business users in context.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco that same day Salesforce announced that it was integrating with Facebook. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was an Appirio application that was featured in the keynote on extending the cloud. If you are really curious, check out this “vintage” Appirio web page describing the application.
I found out about the announcement minutes before I delivered my talk, and adjusted my speech accordingly (I had planned to say that such integration would happen within the year). What I did know was that Salesforce was moving much faster pace than I believed it to be; and what I came to learn was that Appirio was driving much of the innovation.
Fast forward to last year’s Dreamforce, when I was able to attend as part of the analyst contingent. Earlier in the year there was the Twitter Integration announcement, and upon arrival I was handed a news briefing describing Chatter. It seemed the logical next step. I wrote at the time that, based on my conversations with customers at the conference, “the value proposition of Chatter was lost on many customers in attendance” (see this Saugatuck trip report - registration required). This in spite of the spontaneous applause that greeted Narinder when he demonstrated how how Chatter could be used as part of the platform to facilitate collaboration across cloud applications (at minute 26:45 of this video).
And now I’m back. Earlier today, when I registered, I felt that same energy and excitement that I did last year. I’m fortunate enough to be part of the Appirio team, as Director of Appirio’s Cloud Strategy Center of Excellence, and over the course of the past year, in our own Salesforce environment at Appirio, I’ve witnessed the introduction of Chatter Groups, recommended Chatter follows and the extension of the core Salesforce search functionality to Chatter. And, in talking to customers I’ve learned that they have figured out how Chatter can create business value in their organizations. I can’t wait to hear more Chatter stories about how they have put it to use in their own organizations. I’m also looking forward to this week’s keynotes, and to hearing from Salesforce about their plans to continue executing on that trend that I identified two years ago.
Come visit me and my colleagues at the Appirio booth, where we have t-shirts - and more - in store for you. And follow me here and in the Dreamforce Chatter app. I’ll be posting! Enjoy the conference!