Salesforce World Tour 2017

The Salesforce World Tour London saw over 10,000 attendees filling London ExCel to learn more about the Salesforce product, platform and its future. Networking with like-minded professionals and meeting with many vendors working on the Salesforce platform, Octopus Blue CEO Andy Bailey offers his thoughts on the event.

Welcome Trailblazers

2017-05-17 17.45.35After queueing through airport-style security for about 20 minutes (a first for me at a tech conference!) I, and hundreds, of others missed the start of the event. I joined as Craig Walker, VP & CIO Shell Downstream, Shell, was talking about how they need to continue to make their brand more interesting, exciting and fun.

“We are moving to a service that sells a commodity, Salesforce is key to that.
I want to give my customers an experience that brings back them back to my brand.”

Craig Waler, VP & CIO Shell Downstream, Shell

Next up was Julie, a Salesforce Admin. The Trailblazers gamification program has helped to encourage her to be excited about trying new experiences. After winning 185 badges Julie won an awesome admin award for 2017. I’ve always been a big fan of gamification and it was interesting to see one of the largest cloud software vendors globally using it front and centre.

Be a Trailblazer

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After a musical introduction from Becky Hill and a short Salesforce film, Simon Mulcahy, CEO opened his keynote explaining that Salesforce allows you to do what you do best (I think he must have been reading the Octopus Blue website!), bringing everything together in one customer success platform. Simon also highlighted that Salesforce donates 1% of their equity, profit and employee time to charity.

Simon joined Salesforce eight years ago and as a Brit living in the US he quipped that it was good to be back to top up his accent and learn to spell properly again!

Outlining the talk, Simon spoke about the Einstein AI platform, updating the Trailblazer program with US National Park look and feel. He described a Trailblazer as a pioneer, adventurer.

After thanking the partners, customers and employees, Simon sang Salesforces plaudits – fastest growing top five company, the innovator of the decade! With core values of Trust, Growth, Innovation and Equality, Salesforce aims not just to make the best software, but to be the best software company.

With 75 billion ‘things’ connected we are truly in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. When you go to Amazon and get other predictive recommendations, it ruins it for their competitors. We are in the age of the customer…the customer is at the heart of everything we do.

The Age of AI

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Einstein took complexity and made it simple, e=mc². Salesforce claims to have done the same with CRM, taking the hassle so you don’t have to.

With Einstein, they offer predictive insight into your customers. Partnering with IBM Watson who gives predictive insight into third parties.

There was a very slick demo whereby a thunderstorm was predicted by Watson and Einstein sent out messages and suggestions to customers and prospects who may be impacted by this.

Internet of Things

Nina Bhatia, Managing Director of Centrica Connected Home joined Simon to talk through a very interesting use case. Hive’s mission is to give their customers great control over their homes and lives through connected technology. Nina believes that by 2020 the smart home will be as ubiquitous as the smartphone. I don’t share her optimism on the timeline, however, what I saw looked very exciting.

Lucy, the customer in this demo, has just bought a new flat. She doesn’t know anything about Hive and Hive don’t know Lucy. Using the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Hive can seek out lookalike audiences. Lucy is browsing for home furnishings and sees a Hive ad. As she clicks through, Marketing Cloud can tell that Lucy is a new customer so leads the ad with a Hive Starter Pack. Data is showing that customers resembling Lucy are likely to by a Hive Thermostat. Lucy takes a photo to check compatibility, is given the ok and orders.

After a confirmation email, Lucy downloads the app and can start using Hive straight away.

“Salesforce helps us to make the most of the Internet of Things and transform the homes and lives of our customers.”

Nina Bhatia, Managing Director of Centrica Connected Home

Sales Scoring

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Every sales process starts with a lead; a webinar is a great place to start. With a sign-up form generated by Salesforce, Einstein collects details of their browsing history to find out more about them. Einstein Score then assigns a score based on the prospect’s likelihood to buy, allowing sales teams to focus on the strongest leads and increase conversion rates.

With the browsing history, Einstein can also recommend which products the prospect is most likely to buy, sharing with the sales team for review before sending a proposal to the prospect.

Networking

After the keynote I joined the exhibition floor to speak to the dozens of software vendors partnering with or built on the Salesforce platform; ERP systems, Sales Accelerators, Connectors, Business Intelligence and more. You’ll be pleased to know that several of these will also be popping up on the Octopus Blue network soon…watch this space!

Octopus Blue. The business software experts.

To arrange a complimentary review of your software requirements, please get in touch or visit the Contact Us page on our website, fill in your details and one of the team will contact you to arrange.

Journey to the Cloud

We have been hearing for a few years now that business systems will largely move to the cloud, though until fairly recently, enterprises have been reluctant to move away from the traditional client server model.

In conversations with clients and contacts over the last year or so there has been a seismic shift from “we are considering it” to “we are actively planning for it”.

As companies start to embrace digital transformation, cloud adoption has really taken a front seat. It has become the key component of digital strategy; transforming business operations with innovation that impacts every aspect of a company’s front and back office, not to mention their customer interactions. The drivers for the transformation frequently revolve around agility, scale, cost savings, collaboration, system and location independence.

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I’m showing my age but I have been advising accountants and businesses on software related matters since long before ‘software as a service’ became a viable option. Back in the dark days of dial-up (or even pre-then, if you think back), client/server or standalone solutions were the only route. I can recall configuring systems with several geographically separate databases that would (or should) update changes across the systems at predetermined times, via a dial up modem.

Glancing over at the bookshelves in my office I can still see several old books “MCSE Teach yourself…, DOS Quick Reference, Using Windows 3.1, Novell Management” etc. I’ll probably never open them again but I’ve not had the heart, or ruthlessness to throw them out. They’ve become redundant, legacy information but in a way, they catalogue the progress and the changes that have occurred almost without us noticing.

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Technology changes the way we work. It’s not always predictable but I think the seeds of change regarding cloud computing were sown twenty odd years ago when internet adoption started to happen. Cloud meant something different back then; we talked about SAAS – Software as a Service.

The arrival of the smartphone, many would point to the original iPhone. I’d been using an XDA Windows phone for years before then and didn’t see it as a game changer but it was. It brought pocket computing to the masses and the move to cloud computing was sealed

Digital Transformation is not actually about technology, it is more about how businesses integrate these technologies to help them transform and improve. Shifting from an on-premise infrastructure to the cloud is not simply an IT matter; it is a strategic move that will bring value to the business as a whole. It’s no longer an if. but a when.

There are many different cloud computing solutions – hybrid, hosted, SaaS, Cloud – and it can be daunting to figure out what the differences are and exactly what your company needs. At Octopus Blue we understand this, it’s our passion. We would love to steer you through the maze and help you form a plan for your own successful cloud implementation.

Octopus Blue help your small business to optimise your processes and software, enabling you to operate in the most time efficient and cost effective way.

Octopus Blue are uniquely independent, whole of market, business software experts. Our experienced consultants will implement and configure your entire software stack, empowering you to laser focus on what you do best.

Octopus Blue. The business software experts.

To arrange a complimentary review of your software requirements, please get in touch or visit the Contact Us page on our website, fill in your details and one of the team will contact you to arrange.

Software Implementation [Video]

How can Octopus Blue help you with business software implementation?  Find out more in this video with Founder and CEO Andy Bailey.

To arrange your complimentary requirements call and report, please enter you contact details below.