Dreamforce 2021 – Day 1

Sessions on 4 channels. On stage discussions with several interesting people. Customer stories and a lot of forward looking statements. It was here, Dreamforce. Three days of Salesforce filled excitement and fun.

It was not hard to guess what this years Dreamforce (DF) would be focused around, even before it started, and once it started, the suspicion was confirmed in early minutes of the opening main show, titled “Welcome to the Trusted Enterprise“. And the topic, Slack! I don’t think one session went by without mentioning Slack in one or the other way. I remember 2019 the events main topic was Tableau, as that purchase had been finalised in August of that year. The year before that “the topic” was Mulesoft, and in 2020 it was Vlocity.

For me the topic of this year suited more than perfectly, as we are taking Slack in use at my employers, and the work is in high gear with integrations and educating our staff in its use. Like always the demos were impressive, and lifted expectations high on what’s to come regarding this new acquire and collaboration. Like so many times, one should not expect too much deep diving technical sessions. There are webinars and other events for that sort. But still, my maybe only disappointment with DF this year was the first day. The whole first day, or night as it was in Finland, was that the sessions were too much of sales pitches. They were in my mind too generic and only scratching the surface. A bit more deep diving could have appeared.

The Digital HQ which was one of the main theme of the event, did eventually go further into different use cases, possibilities and even a little technical stuff. Like the IBM part on how they when the pandemic started had to find their new digital HQ for nearly all 350 thousand employees. That was interesting to hear.

Astro

So what was the topic Digital HQ. Well due to the extraordinary times with the pandemic, and the remote work, companies have needed to find new ways to work and keep the collaboration alive. And as the pandemic is starting to ease, and people are slowly heading back to the offices, there are still big changes happening. For instance a lot of people even quit their jobs, as they don’t want to return to the offices, and many companies are implementing a “new normal”, meaning hybrid forms of working, where the remote work is in a much larger focus. In the session Marc Benioff showed a slide where a info shown was that only 15% plan to return to the office, and that is a significant number. But back to DF.

Beside of Slack, Salesforce (SF) continued to lift up the talking point of Customer 360. This has been, and most likely will be something in the true center of SF ideology to and of their customer. In addition automation is still very much on the surface, and as SF has worked hard on Flows, an automation tool within SF, that was brought up on the Admin tracks several times. Now they also publicly admitted that the older automation tools called Workflow and Process Builder are going to be retired, and not in 5 to 10 years, but changes happening in 1-3 years.

So during the first day sessions I most enjoyed were

  • Main Show: Welcome to the Trusted Enterprise with Marc Benioff and special guests
  • Customer 360 Unites Your Teams with a Single Customer View
  •  Welcome to Your Digital HQ
  • Grow Moments into Relationships with Slack-First Marketing

In the main show, there were information and facts about what SF has managed to generate both in the philanthropy side as well with it’s successful Trailblazer community. Like the mentioning of there being 15M Trailblazers, that is huge. And the claim that by 2026 there will be 9.3M new Salesforce jobs around the world, one must wonder, can that claim be true?

This years DF contained 150 sessions and 124+ hours of content. That is huge numbers. And as they were recorded, and will be available for on-demand later on, one must admit it’s truly a great service to provide for free. What comes to big numbers, a slide was shown with some enormous statistics.

35 billion process automations, and 116 billion Einstein predictions. Those are HUGE numbers.

In regards to upcoming features, in Service Cloud, there is coming out a All-Digital Contact Center and Einstein-Powered Service Workflow in the Winter ’22 release, as GA (Generally Available). In regards to Slack, there’s the Huddle function already out, and in Summer ’22 release there will be something called Clips. Also a new function called Swarming is to come in Spring ’22 release. On the Sales Cloud side one interesting function is Subscription Management in the Summer ’22 release.

Salesforce Einstein

I had the chance to check out for a while also the Demo Jam, where third-party providers got to present their add-on solutions that can be downloaded from the AppExchange. The providers were given 3 minutes time to present their tool, and I must say I was very impressed on how fast but thoroughly they managed to present their product. A couple caught my interest even to check out later on.

The first day ended in Dreamforce Opening Celebration, where the band Foo Fighters performed, which was a nice treat. Although at this time I was starting to be pretty tired, after being awake since Tuesday 6:15pm, so 24 hours straight.

The first day was good in it’s whole, and as I was prepared of it being a bit more of advert and general subject day, the anticipation grew for day two and three. Post of those other days coming up within the following days.

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