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Davanti Dreamforce Digest #1: Our Dreamforce 2021 highlights

30th September 2021

Author Gareth Reason

Last week saw Salesforce run its most ambitious Dreamforce yet – its first-ever global event with 100s of sessions across multiple tracks streamed live on its new Salesforce+ on-demand content platform.

To make sure we didn’t miss out on any of the action, and in order to capture the highlights and our key takeaways for our customers and the New Zealand market, the Davanti team spent an action-packed few days with their virtual notebooks at the ready, checking in on the latest news, updates and insights.

Now the dust has settled, and the team has had the chance to reflect on their highlights and key takeaways from the annual whirlwind of excitement that is Dreamforce, over the next few weeks a number of our Salesforce subject matter experts will share their insights here as part of our #DF21 Davanti Digest.

My colleagues Brad Riley (our Chief Technology Officer and Certified Technical Architect) and Scott Sullivan (our Southern Salesforce Practice Lead) thought we’d kick off the #DF21 Davanti Digest proceedings by putting our heads together (virtually) and sharing our thoughts on the Big Themes, Key Notes and Interesting News (particularly for our customers and organisations in this part of the world) from this year’s Dreamforce agenda.

So, without further ado, here’s a digest of our collective musings. (And if you’re interested in finding out more, stay tuned for more coverage from the team on many of these topics.)

 

Our top five Big Themes and Key Notes

1. Growth – and the power of the ecosystem

One thing that came through loud and clear this year was Salesforce’s focus on growth – and the strength of the Salesforce ecosystem to deliver to their aggressive growth aspirations. Already the world’s fastest-growing CRM platform, and having achieved US $26.3 billion in revenue this year, Salesforce is effectively looking to double its revenue in the next four years alone.

If we look at these growth aspirations in a New Zealand context, it’s going to be really interesting – and exciting – to see the growth that will be needed across the entire Salesforce ecosystem (agencies, vendors, partners, customers…) to support this, not to mention the massive upswing in jobs and capability requirements, which presents some exciting opportunities in particular for young New Zealanders starting out in their careers.

 

2. The rise of the “digital HQ”

 Unsurprisingly, with Slack the newest kid on the block since Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack in July this year – and the bold goal to create the digital HQ for success from anywhere – Slack was front and centre right throughout Dreamforce. (It even has its own 11-episode series in Dreamforce on demand content.) And new Slack-Salesforce integrations were announced.

With our focus on helping organisations achieve connected experiences and total experience transformation – for their customers, their people and across their operations – we’re following the Slack evolution with interest. In the next couple of years Slack will be embedded into all core, sales, service and Marketing Cloud journeys and will become a unifying force for organisations as they build out their experience journeys. Additionally, an organisation’s ability to enable “digital headquarters” is critical to enabling success from anywhere, a focus which continues to increase in importance in today’s ever-changing, work-from-anywhere world.

 

3. Trust – and the importance of becoming a “trusted enterprise”

We’re in a trust crisis,” Benioff said, and the importance of organisations becoming “trusted enterprises” is critical. The importance of trust was a key theme throughout Dreamforce, and we can expect to see a continued focus from Salesforce here. Benioff’s Welcome to the Trusted Enterprise episode is well worth a watch.

 

4. Operational maturity – ease, enablement, simplicity

Of course, there is a lot of new and cool news to report on the tech side of things, and Brad and team will share their top tech new and cool lists in a subsequent #DF21 Digest here soon.

Broadly speaking, though, when looking across the entirety of content shared at Dreamforce, we noted a real focus from Salesforce on increasing its operational maturity and creating increased ease, enablement and simplicity for Salesforce customers.

One example of this is a real focus on providing increased dev tooling and operational support, and putting more tools in the hands of the customer, for example with new inbuilt functionality such as backup and restore and the announcement of a new Scalability Center (akin to Salesforces Privacy Center) where an organisation can back up and restore all its data and assess the performance of their Visualforce and Lightning pages’ configuration and code. Historically you haven’t been able to do performance testing without leaving Salesforce, so to be able to do this natively will be very powerful.

There was a definite theme that came through signalling a desire to continually make things easier for customers across the full development spectrum, from low code to customisation – at one end of the spectrum, allowing organisations to configure what they can more quickly and easily through more pre-packaged and industry-aligned solutions and low-code options, and – at the other end of the spectrum – to provide better, more readily accessible tooling for those needing to do more intensive “heavy lifting” through customisation.

 

5. Sustainability

The last on this list, but certainly not the least. This is the greatest imperative, for all organisations, and Salesforce is intent on both leading by example through its own actions and also helping organisations to do the same, supported by Sustainability Cloud. Anita Hedges, our Sustainability Lead, will share her sustainability insights from Dreamforce here in the coming days. Sustainability is a leading priority for us at Davanti, as we look to continually advance our sustainability focus and commitment, guided by our own Sustainability Council (you can also read more from Anita here about our own sustainability journey since our formation of the Council earlier this year), and also to help our customers on their own sustainability journeys.

 

And in other news…

While it wasn’t news announced directly at Dreamforce, the announcement of Amazon’s plans to build a cluster of data centres in Auckland by 2024 was particularly timely – and we’ll be watching these developments with interest. Salesforce’s Hyperforce (launched late last year) will be a great fit here, allowing organisations to accelerate their public cloud journeys by securely and reliably delivering Salesforce Customer 360, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Clouds, Industries (and more) on major public clouds.

 

What next?

Stay tuned for more insights and deeper dives from the team. If you want to catch up on any of the content on demand – either by role or by topic – you can tune in here.

Marc Benioff mentioned that Salesforce will be looking to package up this year’s Dreamforce content and deliver “100,000 Dreamforces” with custom content tailored to the specific needs of customers – so we’ll be watching with interest to see what these packages look like and how we can share these with our customers.

Mention was also made of Salesforce making a move to share its product roadmaps (beta) online – so we’re keeping an eye out for those, too.

Lots more to follow!

 

If you’d like to chat to us about any of the ground covered here or in the upcoming #DF21 Davanti Digest series, please get in touch – we’d love to chat.

 

 

Gareth Reason is Davanti’s GM, Digital Capability.

Gareth Reason