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#DF16 Recap: Philanthropy, Innovation, Intelligence & Speed

Philanthropy: A Powerful Message for the Salesforce Community

Salesforce put its philanthropic message front and center at Dreamforce. kicked the keynote off on Wednesday with a very strong message around becoming a mentor to inner city children. And not just inner cities here in America, but abroad. A fast fact: more children have died in Chicago due to gun violence than soldiers died in Iraq during that same time period. “Geekdom can change inner cities forever.”

His new video (available on iTunes with 100% of the sales going to charity), gave a renewed look at the song, “Where is the Love”, and touched on issues of gun violence, #blacklivesmatter, violence abroad in the war on terror, and the impact all of these things have on innocent children. Powerful and touching, there were tears in people’s eyes throughout the room and watching online. Naturally, got a standing ovation. One of the best parts of the Dreamforce keynote is always when Marc Benioff takes a moment not to talk about Salesforce, but how we can help the world become a better place through philanthropy and social activism.

Another strong message of social justice came from (RED), the non-profit founded by Bono that partners with iconic brands and prominent public figures, to fight the war against AIDS. The goal at Dreamforce was to raise $1M and the Bill & Melinda Gates would double-match what is earned. The Benioffs will donate $1M, so if everyone donates, there is the chance to raise $4M.

Innovation: Inspired by Ohana

Starting with the Partner keynote on Tuesday with Tyler Prince and the alliance team, acknowledging the impact Consulting and ISV partners have had on the cloud ecosystem was apparent. So much so, Salesforce has chosen to rename its Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Program to App Innovation Partners. With more than 3,000 partner apps on the AppExchange today, Salesforce relies heavily on their partners to help accelerate innovation on the Salesforce platform.

The Partner Innovation Awards, given out annually at Dreamforce, also honor Salesforce’s consulting partner community recognizing the contributions they make to helping clients innovate and connect with customers in a whole new way. We are proud to be part of this award-winning cast of partners receiving a Partner Innovation Award this year helping customers to blaze a trail with Salesforce. As a strong Community Cloud partner, we’re excited about the possibilities with Lightning Bolt, and we were honored to have the Employee Community Template we were a part of for American Express being demoed in the Community Cloud Campground at Dreamforce.

Intelligence: The World’s Smartest CRM

The big announcement at Dreamforce this year was of course Salesforce Einstein. We’ve really come a long way with technology in such a very short time – mainframes, PCs, cloud, social, mobile, and more recently IoT. The ability to continue to push the customer experience boundaries requires speed, productivity, mobility, intelligence and connectivity. All of these themes are the new currency of business. Salesforce has recognized that consumer technology is largely driving the demand for Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, and its response is to build the world’s smartest CRM to keep pace with this change. AI is going to drastically change the way your employees work, the way you interact with others, and the way you serve your customers.


Growth: Salesforce and the Cloud Economy

Salesforce as a company has grown significantly since 1999 – coming a long way from being just a pure-play CRM company. They’re the driving force behind the cloud computing revolution. With sizable year-over-year growth across their technology stack, cloud computing is now recognized as a global economic engine and Salesforce has played a major role in making this happen. Cloud computing generates jobs which in turn impact IT and business innovation, and thus increased GDP in local markets. This Salesforce blog provides a good analysis of the economic impact of the company, but here’s a rundown of the Salesforce family by the numbers:

  • 24K employees
  • 2M jobs created by 2020
  • $8.32B in revenue this year
  • $389B in GDP impact by 2020

Salesforce’s growth is impressive, and for those in attendance at Dreamforce this year, being a part of this revolutionary gathering of 170,000 Salesforce employees, partners and customers was often times a very moving experience. You could just feel the energy across the entire Salesforce Campground and the passion shared by those on stage sharing their success stories and experiences using the Salesforce platform to run their business.

Be a Customer Trailblazer

All of these themes at Dreamforce encapsulated what Benioff’s keynote, entitled “Be a Customer Trailblazer” is truly all about. It represents who we are, what we stand for, and how we can do our part to drive change in society and accelerate innovation in technology – all at the speed of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s Dreamforce and where the platform takes us!


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Elizabeth Dias

Elizabeth Dias is an experienced technology marketing strategist focused on the financial services and retail industry at Perficient. With over nine years of experience as a professional business-to-business (B2B) marketer, Elizabeth is knowledgeable in technology strategies for the financial services industry focusing on mobile banking and payments, data analytics, and enterprise information management. She also closely follows the fintech community as well as tech trends in social and digital, and is also an active blogger and thought leader on Twitter (@techmktggirl).

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