A few weeks ago*, along with 14,000 other people, we jollied along to the Salesforce World Tour London. We’d planned ahead and were pre-excited (or perhaps more properly, anticipating the experience).
We learned a *lot*. We went to a lot of sessions. We met people. A *lot* of people. And it was all good.
The plenary session
We had a moment of excitement at our twitter activity appearing on the tweet wall right at the start as the intro session segued into the ‘main event’. It only encouraged us, so we went a bit twitter mad. And found some very funny comments frm other twitterati, too.
The plenary featured a James Bond style arrival at the venue (some very creative minds in Salesforce events!) of the VP delivering the main session – which covered a lot of stuff about cloud software, market share and new products and services. If you want the juice, its best to watch it back to be honest, but there were two main non-profit highlights were that:
- Billie Laidlaw, CIO of RSPCA shared how they are starting to adopt cloud technology to support a range of their services
- Salesforce Foundation donated £200,000 to CoderDojo, an organisation offering coding schools for young people around the world – these are brilliant, do check out the site – www.coderdojo.com
And there our en-masse Purple presence broke up to follow the many tracks and options available and learn as much as possible to support our clients to use Salesforce.
Some highlights from other sessions
The biggest news for non-profits at the World Tour was the launch of NGO Connect (and Advancement Connect for higher ed). This new non-profit app is to take over from the non-profit starter pack and serve the needs of larger organisations. It’s in use already in the US, and coming to the UK and Europe in the autumn. This was really the first sneaky public peak – though Purple Vision are partners on this service and we’ve already been trained and are ready to support implementations when the time comes.
The main features are around constituent management, fundraising and event management – with features for Gift Aid and Direct Debit being developed now for the UK. The events module is impressive with a graphic interface seating management option, and campaign options.
To be really honest, you couldn’t see masses in a 40 minute slot – if you are curious, check out our game changing apps flip book or ask us for a demo, we’ll be running them frequently from September and already can deliver them on demand.
Salesforce 1 Lightning
Lightning is the app builder that links with Salesforce – its quite impressive by all accounts with our technical team exclaiming over the drag and drop functionality that is on offer among other features. They’ve all bookmarked this tool to look at further, and hopefully share more in the future
Salesforce Wave – the Analytics Cloud
Wave is the new Analytics offer from Salesforce. It was impressive. The word amazing was used. The tools presented as easy to use, intuitive and flexible and showed impressive results from the data used. It was usable on any hand held device and data didn’t have to be held within Salesforce to use the tool either – a big selling point for charities with data in multiple sources.
Our take on this is that this is one to watch – we’re not yet sure how the pricing model is going to work (though of course Salesforce Foundation discounts will apply to non-profits). We’re also not sure until we’re able to play with it how much it will be able to play with classic non-profit modelling like RFV (recency, frequency, value), attrition rates, lifetime value and so on. And we know you’d want us to know that before we say more to you, so we’re checking it out.
Marketing Cloud is all about content, audiences and personalisation – principles at the heart of most non-profit comms goals and approaches. Who am I talking to, what do they want/need vs what do we have to deliver, how can I make sure we recognise and build on their preferences so they have a truly unique experience of our services? The tool goes beyond smart email (journey builder is a dream!) and into integration with social listening, customer care (I am not sure that our American colleagues have figured out that when they say social care we infer a different meaning than customer care via social!) web and video.
There are smart integrations with the Service Cloud to deliver really holistic customer service, too. There are features like being able to switch someone out of planned marketing activity if they have an open case with customer care (who wants a marketing email when you’re in a dispute, right?). Not all of this super functionality will be relevant for all non-profits but I like the flexibility to be able to buy bits of the tool, play around and then add more later if you want.
Our Purple attitude is always to future proof and use tools that will grow with you – this delivers that option. I suspect you won’t have heard the last of this from us.
HR Employee and Engagement
The focus for HR professionals remains engagement and the benefits of employee engagement – yet many tools have a very transactional focus. Salesforce shared some customer success stories from employers using a bundle of apps to form an employee engagement solution. This approach echoes Purple Vision’s own ‘palette’ approach which we recommend strongly to our clients.
The key message for change management and technology is clear – and one which the Purple team has been advocating for some time – you cannot simply develop and deliver great systems and expect people to use them – you have to facilitate the process. Deloitte identified the three top reasons why IT projects fail as:
- Resistance by employees (82%)
- Inadequate sponsorship (72%)
- Unrealistic expectations (65%)
Projects must now focus on stakeholder management, business readiness, communications and training, and the success of a project measured by the value it delivers.
Habits and hacks for Salesforce Admins
The goal of this session was very practical and focussed on short-cuts for admins to take in making the most of the system. I think this advice is helpful regardless of the system you use, but is particularly apposite for Salesforce of course
- Think of your Salesforce users as clients – engage, get feedback offer 1:1 and hands on sessions and user chatter to support users to learn more for themselves
- Get into ‘good habits’ – such as daily, weekly or monthly tasks to keep the system in tip top shape and keep everything manageable
- Use resources wisely – the App Exchange has great dashboard packs for admins, LinkedIn and other user groups post updates and feedback
- Update – share new developments and updates with your ‘clients’ – prepare them if there is an update that may change how they view a system, share new apps and of course for admins, update your certifications each year, too.
Thoughts on the day
These notes are really only the tip of the iceberg from the day – we saw much more besides and you’ll no doubt hear more form us as we go.
Salesforce World Tour London was certainly a ‘full on’ day – its an extravaganza and very American in its style and approach. A cynical Brit (moi?) might find it a bit overwhelming but its actually pretty infectious – and you will find yourself saying ‘awesome’ at some point during the day, even if you actively try and resist it.
The passion of the people behind Salesforce really does come through. Its not just the tech – though this was beautifully showcased – but its the investment in customer journey and customer experience too that shines through. You do genuinely feel that Salesforce cares that you have a great time and want to bring tech to life for real users, not just our more technically minded colleagues.
I think we’ll come back on this experience at some point, and reflect more – and be able to share more, too.