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What We Learned at Dreamforce About Helping You

W. Dan Marks
October 13, 2016
Some colleagues and I attended Dreamforce last week and we learned a few things that could be useful to the business community.
You may have heard of Dreamforce, the annual user conference sponsored by Salesforce.com, a leading customer relationship management (CRM) software as a service provider.  User conferences are commonplace in the software industry, but to call Dreamforce a user conference is a bit like saying we live near the water. Accurate, but not remotely reflective of the scale and scope of either Dreamforce or the gorgeous gulf coast where we live and serve. Dreamforce comprises 170,000 attendees across 15 different buildings. Our gulf south community includes the Gulf of Mexico and a massive network of wetlands, rivers, lakes, and streams.
 What We Learned at Dreamforce About Helping You
 Dreamforce energized us and reinforced our commitment to serving you.
Lessons Learned 
  1. 1. Client success obsession. Salesforce.com clearly realizes that delighting their clients is critical to their success. We saw this in the way client success stories were central to every keynote, panel discussion, and breakout session. They even had live case studies featuring several key clients set up as booths in the expo part of the conference.
We share this obsession. Our mission is to help our clients achieve their financial goals and dreams. Every day our bankers delight in helping you get to where you want to go with the right financial tools for the job. We have at times shared case studies that we believe could be helpful like this one, but we could do more to help you learn from each other while still guarding confidentiality and privacy. We’ve already started brainstorming ways that we can pull this off and would love to hear your thoughts about what could be meaningful to you.
  1. 2. Making a meaningful impact. Salesforce.com has seen tremendous growth, but as they talk about the impact of this growth, they also talk about how it enriches the lives of their employees and makes a difference in the community. From the thousands of hours that Salesforce.com employees volunteer, to non-profits who use the software to achieve great outcomes, to highlighting the impact that their clients’ products and services have made in improving the lives of their customers, Salesforce.com realizes that work is more meaningful when it helps improve the community.
Community service is a hallmark of our culture as well. Our associates are passionate about giving back to our communities. We regularly highlight events that benefit the communities we serve and associates volunteering their time or being recognized for helping improve our profession. 
We would love to do more to connect and showcase the difference our clients are making in our communities. If you have suggestions for stories, please tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. We would also be honored if you wanted to write a guest post in Insights.
  1. 3. Technology helps people serve people. Salesforce.com is a cloud technology company, and they would say that they popularized the term “cloud computing” as an alternative to installing software. However, the posters that were hung throughout the conference featured images of people. The message was clear: “We are in the business of helping people succeed by serving other people.”
We like to say that we’re a team of people helping other people achieve their goals and dreams.  You just want to get the job done and be effective. You need to know that you can use our digital tools to get data fast or perform transactions like processing ACH files, making remote or mobile deposits, or swiping credit cards, all of which help you serve your clients.
Our people proactively reach out to see if you need help on more complex needs or to resolve a problem. We have been investing in developing our capabilities, including our upgraded website, new payment services offerings, and other product and service enhancements so we can continue to be proactive in helping you.   
 Looking to the Future
The technology industry is buzzing with speculation about Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Machine learning, speech-driven UI (Siri®, Cortana®, Echo, etc.).  A spirit of creativity and innovation has driven significant productivity and quality of life benefits since America was founded. We are optimistic that this will continue even as we sort through how to use these new technologies responsibly and in a way that connects us rather than divides us.
Dreamforce was a good reminder that every business needs to be experimenting in a smart way about how to move forward, since the technical and competitive landscape does not sit still. And stay tuned: We have several innovations in the pipeline that we’re excited about sharing with you soon.
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Siri is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

Cortana is a registered trademark of Microsoft.