At the end of March, I had the pleasure of attending my first Salesforce conference, Trailheadx ’18 in San Francisco. Admittedly, I’m not a seasoned conference attendee and with eimagine’s roots being historically Microsoft oriented, I felt a little imposter syndrome creeping in. I don’t really code and I’m not necessarily a “Developer”… Would I fit in with the “Ohana”? Was I in over my head on the topics? Truthfully, in the back of my head I knew that wouldn’t be the case. Those questions quickly faded away when I found a friendly, diverse, and knowledgeable group of peers and experts presenting and discussing a wide range of topics from useful developer tools and strategies to requirements gathering techniques and admin best practices.

Below are my top five takeaways from my experience: 

  1. “Clicks not Code” – the mantra authored by Salesforce. I found their mission to transfer as much of the development effort to the admin and/or analyst role refreshing for a non-coder like myself. This mantra removes the major barrier and therefore allows Analysts and Admins to bring the most value to their organization. An added benefit of having all your customizations created with declarative tools will certainly be supported by Salesforce.
  2. The Sky is the Limit – Salesforce is incredibly flexible and ever expanding into new technologies, and industries. This is a stark counter measure to most traditional software techniques. Typically, organizations narrow in on two to three cost effective, industry specific, commercial off-the-shelf software packages that perform various industry specific tasks ­or they look at implementing expensive custom builds. However, Salesforce has the ability to be a major player in both of these categories. The flexibility and ease of development makes it a middle ground between those two decision points.
  3. Data Scientist in the Cloud – Einstein,  Salesforce’s platform service offering for Artificial Intelligence (AI). Included is “Flip of the Switch” functionality such as predictive record scoring (lead scores, opportunity scores, engagement scores), insights, and individually tailored recommendations. These types of AI solutions allow organizations to build their own predictive indexes. The ability to intelligently prioritize data and deliver actionable results isn’t necessarily new technology but the simplicity and ease of having this functionality embedded in the platform for any organization is significant. This is especially true for lean organizations. Take a tour of some common Einstein examples here.
  4. Big Integration Play  – With the Mulesoft acquisition and the release of Integration Cloud, Salesforce is making major moves to be the preferred entry point to all the enterprise applications. This offering promises, with minimal effort, to integrate and surface all relevant data at your organization, including data that is siloed across cloud platforms and stored locally on enterprise servers.
  5. The Connected Ecosystem – The “internet of things” phrase has been buzzing around for several years now but Salesforce is making it easier for customers to deliver value by offering readymade architecture (see “Clicks not Code”) for end-users. While the possibilities seem endless, common use cases involve automatically deploying support tasks such as case creation, knowledge articles, and field service agents to areas where devices are reporting an erroneous state. Take a look at this trailhead Build an IoT Integration with Electric Imp example to learn more!

Attending the Trailheadx conference was an excellent opportunity to step away from the normal day to day tasks of consulting and development to immerse myself the ever expanding Salesforce landscape. It was especially helpful to hear and see how others are leveraging and configuring the growing Salesforce toolsets and features to solve unique business and community challenge and ultimately creating positive change.

 

 

 

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