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Riptide Blog

Cloudforce NYC 2011!

Posted by Vijay Budhram on December 7, 2011

8:30 am – I was early to registration and walked right in to get an amazing seat for the Key note event.  Walking into the Jacob Javits Convention Center, it was impossible not to get immediately pumped with a DJ rocking techno music in the atrium and wearing a shirt that said “I Cloud NY”, too cute.   Marc Benioff’s keynotes are always exciting, but the vibe here was more like a rock concert for us techies, geeks and business junkies.  Benioff spoke about creating a social revolution for businesses and how enterprises such as Facebook, NBC Universal, Burberry and Disney were all reinventing themselves through social, mobile and cloud technologies.  Today though, everyone got to enjoy the larger than life Salesforce excitement, no matter what level of social adoption they were at.

As soon as Marc takes the stage he declares, “We were born cloud at Salesforce.com and we were reborn social.”  Benioff also gave a warning to beware of the "false cloud" stating, "If you are upgrading and maintaining your cloud, you aren't in the cloud - if you are installing hardware, you aren't in the cloud."

9:15 am – Our friends and client, INFOR starts discussing an App they are developing with Salesforce, which allows hotels to tap into Facebook profiles and customize a guest stays based on the information they have shared socially.  It includes features such as playing in room music upon arrival that is based on preferred genres and other customizations that allow facilities to make each guests stay unique.

 

10:00 am – A customer testimonial video from Burberry spoke about why companies need to become social enterprises.  Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts takes the stage to discuss how critical it is that their company becomes social with technologies such as "Facebook for Burberry."   We can’t expect younger customers who are digital natives to turn off when they come to Burberry. We have to change for them.

10:30 am - After the 2 hour keynote we took a break, I ran to Gray’s Papaya for a much needed New York frankfurter and a papaya drink, Yum! “I Heart NYC!”   When I returned, I had enough time to visit the expo for a while as well as meet with many Riptide clients and other businesses looking to leverage Riptide’s expertise in all areas of Cloud Computing from initial Salesforce implementations to custom development.   It was really fun talking and chatting with business people who were all looking for solutions that were as unique as their company, and sharing some of the successes that Riptide has had with our clients.  We spoke about everything from quick and easy Salesforce solutions, customized training packages and major enhancements through custom development on the Force.com Platform.

11:50 am – In true Salesforce fashion, the Cloud Computing industry leader didn’t fail to deliver tons of knowledge at the expo; there was a Force.com Zone with 16 developer labs and 4 code consultation stations to give hands on experiences to attendees, and more.

11:55 am - Marc it’s cold in NYC!  We all want a bit more coffee and a lot less soda.  Am I alone here people?  Also, can we please have more docking stations for our cells and iPads?  Mental note, what about a booth with a Riptide charging station next year?  We’re not just Salesforce clients but Partners…. Yeah, we got your back Marc!

1:30 pm - Breakout sessions are starting, we all rushed to get the best seats as the number of people at this event is quite large!   There were interesting sessions on Chatter, Sales/Service Cloud, Force.com platform and more.  Attendees were able to cover the full Salesforce Cloud 2 ecosystem of apps, platforms and of course the collaboration cloud.  “I Heart Chatty and Sassy,” I picked my sessions and was off.

My 3 sessions:

2:00 pm - Location/Central Park: Chatter: Collaboration for the Social Revolution

Being that Riptide is both a huge Chatter user and evangelist I wanted to hear what Salesforce customers had to say about their successes, as well as their struggles, with adopting Chatter.  What I ended up walking away with were some awesome new ideas on how we at Riptide can continue to support our clients as they adopt and customize Chatter across their enterprise!

Chatty was at the session and he is a bad boy, always acting up, “I Still Heart Chatty!”  If you get a chance to meet Chatty in person beware as he may make you giggle, “..he he I really Heart Chatty”  Okay, time to focus back on the importance of being social in business.  As much fun as Chatty was, at Riptide we understand the importance of having a cohesive plan to take full advantage of the broad range of features available in the Collaboration Cloud.

3:00 pm - Location/Empire State Building: Social Listening for Marketers: Radian6 for the Social Enterprise

How exciting is this!  At Riptide we love what Radian6 can do and what it means for our clients to be able to monitor their Social presence.  For those that haven’t had the opportunity to look under the hood of Radian6, this session gave them a great view into its value.   The main question addressed at this session was - how is Radian6 now that it is working with Salesforce?  We learned that Radian6 will continue to offer a powerful social media monitoring client that allows companies to parse and manage large volumes of social media conversations from millions of sources.  Also, agencies and marketers can monitor overall volume, share of conversation, geographic distribution on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, filter by keyword, media type, date range and more to view conversations, and leverage that knowledge to support their business.   However, Salesforce is taking this one step further with its Social Insights product.  This new service, which is available today, provides analytics to help marketers understand the impact of a marketing campaign, and have the flexibility to respond to customers sentiment and react in real-time.  Social insight actually allows companies to automatically be notified and understand what is being said about their company in the social sphere and respond immediately.

A new pillar of the Social Marketing Cloud is the Social Hub. The Hub will automatically route relevant social content to products like Salesforce for quick engagement and response to customers or prospects. With the Social Hub, users can populate social customer profiles, route social conversations, and create contacts and cases in Salesforce.   And for all of us who are slightly obsessed with our Klout score, (54 Thank you very much) Social Hub offers Klout integration.

Finally, Radian6′s existing Social Websites feature allows users to build socially rich websites and widgets to engage with customers and sales prospects.  This is an important step in Salesforce’s Radian6 integration and at Riptide, we are here to help our clients utilize both Radian6 and Salesforce to its fullest potential.

4:00 pm - Location/Chrysler: Automate Your Business Processes Using Visual Workflow

I can’t believe this is my last session!  I would say I saved the best for last, but at Cloudforce they are all the best!  This session covered Flow, or Visual Workflow as it has been rebranded, and demonstrated how Flow is helping companies automate their business processes through this amazing tool.  Visual process tools and wizards simplify the addition of complex business logic to your apps.  Visual Workflow is powerful, allows for scalability, and is flexible enough to keep pace with the fasted moving businesses. Visual Workflow lets you visually string together one or more forms, business rules, and calls to backend APIs to implement a complete business process without writing code.

Visual Workflow enables you to automate business processes across your organization. For example

  • Call scripting for inbound or outbound call centers
  • Diagnostics & troubleshooting guides
  • Guided data entry processes to reduce errors & training costs
  • Product configuration
  • Sales quotations
  • Guided selling with sales methodologies
  • Employee on-boarding.

You can deploy flow processes to users in your org, as well as to external users through the use of Customer Portals or Force.com Sites.  At Riptide, we are such strong believers in the benefits Visual Workflow can offer companies that we have developed a Visual Workflow class to help train Admins and business users alike on building and using Flow.

So if you are wondering if Flow might be right for your business, or if it’s powerful enough to keep up with your changing business environment, give us a call and we would be happy to set up a Flow Demo for your team!

5:00 pm – Time to go home and process all of the amazing information from Cloudforce 2011 in NYC!  I wish it could go on forever, but it’s time to get back and start putting all of this knowledge to use for our clients… So Orlando here I come… Wait, did someone say Marketo party?

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Written by Vijay Budhram

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