Last week saw salesforce.com host their annual Dreamforce event in San Francisco, and NewVoiceMedia was there, along with 45,000 other delegates from around the world.
The key message from the event, and from Marc Benioff and team, was that the world's gone social. In his usual exuberant style Marc attacked old world competition, using the Arab spring events to big up Facebook and talk about how social media is reinventing the world of communication, and how if you're a CEO and you are not planning how you will make your business social you will be next to go in a "CEO Spring".
There was no shortage of social enterprise leaders to reinforce the point, notably Tim Campos the CIO of Facebook talking about how Salesforce powers their business, Ellen Levy of LinkedIn talking about the transformative power of social technologies in the business world and Eric E. Schmidt, Google's Executive Chairman, making some controversial points in the closing address on how the US needs to address some serious issues on its ability to compete with the new economies.
With over 150 new features available in the "Winter 12" release, it is hard to keep abreast of it all. One of the key thrusts is the "Service Cloud", where salesforce.com combines its solutions for the service side of business. It is here that NewVoiceMedia's solutions interact with Salesforce to provide a fully integrated customer experience - voice, portal, Facebook, Twitter, self-service, communities and forums. Salesforce has also finally recognised issues over European data protection legislation and developed a solution that allows its customers to decide where their data is kept - customers can now chose to have certain data stored in their own data centres.
salesforce.com makes much of its roots in corporate philanthropy and Marc introduced the Chancellor of the University of California San Francisco, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who are the benefactors of a personal donation from Marc of $100M to build a medical research facility adjacent to the new salesforce.com campus. Susan presented some fascinating information on their research, including how close they may be to a vaccine for malaria.
Highlight for many at the opening keynote was an address by the CEO of Burberry, Angela Ahrendts who stole the show with a message of how she has reinvented her business backed by Salesforce and its social media solutions, allowing her clients to interact with Burberry using their preferred channels. The next day Marc and Parker Harris (salesforce.com's CTO) joked about which one of them would be changing their wardrobes!
Entertained during the keynotes by the likes of MC Hammer and will.i.am, and Metallica at night, Benioff and Salesforce are without doubt at the leading edge of the business social revolution.