I was pleased to attend the 2013 Dreamforce with over 120,000 of my closest friends from around the globe. Dreamforce has become a major convention in San Francisco, growing from humble beginnings in 2003 with 1,300 attendees to an impressive 93,000 attendees populating all three Moscone Convention Center halls last year. This year, it’s even bigger. Why? For starters, the rise of cloud computing as a staple for business software has certainly contributed to the success of Dreamforce. But there are other contributing factors, not the least of which is the excellent keynotes and solid information imparted throughout the conference.
Obviously there are a number of things I walked away with, but wanted to take a moment to discuss some of the topics that I feel were of note:
What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid
Sheryl Sandberg asked this question during her one-on-one with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, one asked of her and all potential employees by Mark Zuckerberg. Her book was the primary topic of the conversation, and frankly is a must read for any business person.
While the book may be written from a female point of view, there is excellent advice for anyone who wants to build a business, become a better professional, grow faster and succeed more quickly.
Dispensing of stereotypes, getting rid of insecurities and leaning into possibilities will ensure an organization is more agile, which brings me to my next point.
Agility Equals Competitive Advantage
Cloud computing ensures we can do anything and everything faster. By aligning your organization to be more agile, you’re ensured to become the go-to choice for your customers simply because customers expect to have their ever-changing needs met quickly. The truth is we are in a race for customer acknowledgement and approval, which means you have to ensure your company moves quickly. It’s important to perpetuate agile processes, and remove any challenges that might get in the way.
The continued advent of cloud technology will only empower agile processes, ensuring that customers get what they really want faster.
The Cloud is the Great Enabler
Customers are not the only ones empowered by the cloud. Contact center agents are as well. This not only means faster delivery of service, but also a change in the customer transaction environment. According to Forrester, in 2012 93% of customer service transactions were voice. However, in 2013 that number dropped to 73% and will only continue to shrink as customers become more adept at utilizing other channels. This necessitates additional changes for the remote agent to ensure positive customer experiences. And more changes for contact center IT organizations to keep the information at the fingertips of the agent.
Because cloud technology is readily available, the days of being the big fish are almost extinct. Small companies can create and develop strong products and services and bring them to market more quickly than ever before. Cloud technology empowers everyone, so embracing it for your environment is critical to success now and in the future.