Dreamforce is a family reunion of sorts

Typically, when I return home from a conference I am so physically and mentally exhausted that I need at least a week to recover. This year, my return from Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce conference, left me with a different feeling. While I was still physically and mentally exhausted, I didn’t need a week to recover. In reality, I felt more alive and invigorated than ever, even after a full week of meetings, interactions and late nights.

True to form, Dreamforce was full of new technology updates.There are two that I want to share with you.

One focus of the conference was the coming evolution of intelligence in computing, which Salesforce has named Einstein. When Winter 17 is released, we will begin to see the fruits of Salesforce’s technological advances in this growing area of business intelligence.

The next big focus was that Lightning appears to be ready for primetime. Many in the community have been waiting for parity with Classic User Interface. With the Winter 17 release, it appears to have happened. Database Sherpa will be embracing Lighting with all new clients and we recommend that everyone take a look in 2017. We’d love to continue to Sherpa our clients with implementation of Lightning. If you are wondering about the advantages of this new User Interface and what it will bring your organization, please contact us. We’d love to talk to you further.

Along with discussion of these two key technology updates, there was a room full of various third party applications and partners. There was a place to go and learn more with hands on training and books available at a free bookstore. Lots of mental learning available for sure, however, this year there was a space for self care with a Meditation Lounge run by Zen Monks and Nuns from Plum Village Monastery. During the keynote by Marc we were welcomed home, to a family reunion of sorts. And, there were hugs. Not the requisite side arm hug, but really full body embracing hugs. There was laughter. Joy. And we ended the conference with a day of compassion.

While we had the brain engaged and thinking, we had our spirit and body fed and nurtured as well. This is not your typical technology conference!

Finally, we Sherpa’s capped off our experience at Dreamforce with our first Database Sherpa company retreat. We took in the beautiful northern California coast while discussing learnings from Dreamforce and prepare for an exciting 2017 which continues to be centered in compassion.

So, I wanted to take a little time here to explain why we have aligned ourselves so closely to Salesforce. We could work with any system, so why have we chosen to tie ourselves to this company?

It’s because embedded in the DNA of the company is the concept of community. That building community will, in return, help drive the company to deliver a better product. But, why do I say this? What concrete examples can I share with you to show you all that this isn’t just talk, but it’s how the individuals in the company behave? I’d like to share just three specific things I have witnessed over time, but there is more:

  1. A few weeks before Dreamforce I was invited along with 19 others to hear Marc Benioff’s keynote and to provide him and his team feedback. It was quite an unexpected surprise, but one I was honored to be a part of. What I found interesting is that he really wanted to hear from us. Small business owners to CTOs of Fortune 500 companies. He took tours across the USA. Then, based on the feedback received, much to my surprise, he revamped his keynote. I can tell you that I’ve never met a CEO so in touch with the community around him.
  2. Salesforce also listens to needs of the community through a forum called Ideas. From here, you are able to post ideas of things you’d like to see in Salesforce. They have implemented over 500 ideas just recently and over 40 are to be released shortly. The product managers keep an eye on Ideas where they derive much of their updates.
  3. The User Groups, which is an amazing community of members who come together to help each other and learn together. There are over 200 user groups all over the world (yes, world, not the USA). These user group are supported by Salesforce with resources. They treat the members and the User group leaders as an extension of the company by eliciting feedback and providing updates on the company direction.

This intentional building of community creates a feeling of family. Where the lines between partner, employee & customer are blurred. We are all part of one larger community, a larger family. One that is about helping to build each other up and not tear each other apart. And, we at Database Sherpa are centered around community, we believe our clients are more than clients, they are family. We care for each of them like a family member and we center all we do around one thing, compassion. Compassion for our family. For you.

I was happy to be home, in my own bed and not living out of a suitcase. My family was very happy to see me too. But, I have a longing to be with my other family again (both the Salesforce and Sherpa family) and when Dreamforce 2017 comes along in November, I will be on an airplane, headed for San Francisco with love and happiness in my heart.

So, until then, I will leave you with this video that so clearly captures the Salesforce family or Ohana and I hope you enjoy the Sherpa family portrait.