Thursday, April 8, 2010
I just got home from Salesforce’s event, Cloudforce 2 in New York city. Following is the good, the bad, the ugly, and my suggestions. Disclaimers: I attended this event last year in NYC, spoke at this year’s event, and have spoken at the last two Dreamforce’s. My company uses Salesforce, I am a certified administrator, and have drunk the Kool-Aid; I love the Force!
The product is amazing. And by amazing, I mean freaking amazing. When I compare it to what we signed up for only five years ago, it’s like it isn’t even from the same family tree. They are evolving it faster than the H1N1 virus. The Content piece is an out of the park homerun. Chatter has a creepy logo (lose the anthropomorphic dentures), but is probably a game changer on the order of Microsoft Windows.
More good: The presentations were delivered in top notch fashion. In the past, some of the SFDC presenters struck me as amateurish, but this year, they were polished, precise, and on script. For the most part, the sessions were reasonably tight and packed with information.
Marc, I love you, you’re my Facebook friend, your company’s product keeps me employed, but please consider shortening the keynote next year. This is the Twitter generation. Thnk txt msgs. Short attention spans. Maybe consider one hour keynotes. Yes?
Same for the sessions. They were good, but how about one hour sessions that cover a broader range of topics? By the nature of the beast, a one day conference isn’t conducive to a deep dive, so it wouldn’t be like we are missing much. Tighten the presentations, then tighten them again.
Speaking of presentations, do you know what prospective customers and new customers crave? No, it isn’t listening to marketing guys go on and on, even when they’re decent speakers. They want to hear from current customers. Let’s face it, no one trusts vendors. Nothing personal, Salesforce. I’m sure my company’s customers don’t trust us fully either. What they do trust is the word from the guys and gals in the mud and blood. How about having kiosks in the expo hall where they could talk to customers? Perhaps allot 40 of the 60 minutes in a session to Q & A, instead of tacking on 15 at the end.
Friends at Salesforce, I hate to break it to you, but your family is growing. That means that you need to consider larger, better designed spaces for events. Elbow to elbow, so tightly packed that people can’t walk freely, and with a noise level that precludes conversation is no way to run an expo. Toilet facilities designed for half the number of attendees do not add to the ambience. Registration lines that wind down the hall, around the lobby, and down the stairs, are not cool. You guys brought burst capacity to CRM, surely you can do better with your own show.
Overall, I give the event a solid B. Very worthwhile, fun, and something I look forward to next year—once I forget about the overcrowding!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I work with a colleague who shall remain nameless (Steph). She is remarkably bright, insightful, and hardworking. One day, as she was looking at some pictures she had taken with her Blackberry, she started getting angry.
"I don't know why your phone takes such clear pictures. It's just the same model as mine and my pictures always come out blurry. Must be something wrong with the lens. Or maybe there's a problem with the software. Or maybe I just have a crappy phone."
I replied, "Did you try cleaning the lens?" This was met with the same look that is normally reserved for a particularly slow child who is making suggestions at the dinner table.
A few days later, I noticed her shots were now crystal clear. "What happened? Did you get a new phone?" I asked. "No, I cleaned the lens", she answered.
The point of my story isn't to make fun of my friend--we've all done similar and many of us have done much worse. The moral of the story is, look for the simple first.
Too many times, a user will come to me with a straightforward request and the first thing I do is jump into SQL. After spending an hour working on joins and nested statements, it may finally occur to me to check and see if we have a native report in Salesforce to answer her question. Guess what? At least half the time we do!
How often have you been confronted with the sound of hoof beats and immediately engaged the zebra protocol? Instead, try looking for horses. If it isn't the common cause, there will be time to look for exotics, later.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some reports to write (after I check if they already exist).
- ▼ 2010 (48)