By Paige Van Riper

Dreamforce 2016 has come and gone but what a Dreamforce it was! Every year the conference gets bigger and spreads out across a larger geographic area. We know it isn’t possible for anyone to take it all in, so we thought we’d share some of our highlights from Dreamforce.

This year was the year of the Trailblazer. From the national park trail theme for the décor in the various “lodges” to encouraging participants to plan and follow their own trail of learning at the event, Salesforce went all out promoting the Trailblazer theme.

For all of our staff who attended, one of the biggest highlights was getting to meet past and present clients in person. We can’t think of anything better than connecting face to face with our clients and hearing about how they’re doing and using Salesforce. We loved seeing some of our clients present sessions, sharing their knowledge and lessons learned with others. We hope you will consider presenting next year at Dreamforce. We’re always happy to help you craft a presentation.

Dreamforce has grown to such a massive size that you could fill a book with all of the exciting innovations announced, all the great sessions highlighting exciting ways the platform is being used and all the really cool apps you can use to augment the platform. However, I am restricted to the space allowed in this blog post so I have chosen several highlights that were themes among our staff’s highlights.

Lightning

We have to start off the list with Lightning. Recognizing that Salesforce Classic is the past, and Lightning is the future, our staff spent as much time as possible gaining Lightning knowledge and experience. The Lightning Experience is really sleek, streamlined, and appealing. Lightning removes a lot of clutter found in the Classic version and provides a more efficient and appealing user experience.

The Lightning Experience will bring additional capabilities to customize your Salesforce org to fit your organization’s needs. As Lightning and Classic move past feature parity, we’re going to see that future enhancements are likely to be available only in Lightning.

Salesforce has a great tool you can run to see how Lightning ready your org is for switching to Lightning and Cloud for Good is happy to help you implement Lightning when the time comes. We are also providing a readiness check to help you determine if your org is ready to turn on the Lightning Experience. Contact your Account Executive to get more details.

Trailhead

This year Trailhead took over the Dreamforce theme! There is good reason Salesforce is featuring Trailhead so prominently. Trailhead is a great resource everyone should use to amp up their Salesforce skills and learn about areas of the platform they may not be familiar with.

Nonprofits have trails dedicated to their use of Salesforce including “Manage Fundraising for Nonprofits” and the new trail “Manage Volunteers for Nonprofits.” Salesforce.org announced that they are working on additional nonprofit trails which will be released in coming months.

Communities/Lightning Bolt

While Communities aren’t new in Salesforce, we are seeing more and more potential for them to bring significant functionality to extend the reach of nonprofits without adding additional staff. Communities can grant access to volunteers, donors, partners and others in Salesforce. At Dreamforce, Salesforce announced Lightning Bolt which is essentially a quick start for Communities. Check out recordings from some of the sessions focused on nonprofits using Communities to gather ideas for how your nonprofit could benefit from their use.

Quip

Salesforce recently purchased an office productivity and collaboration application called Quip and they’ve quickly incorporated it into their suite of products. It is currently an internal collaboration tool that allows users to create shared interactive documents, spreadsheets and tasks. It brings together CRM, document management and productivity, a combo that is a big need in the nonprofit world. It is integrated with Salesforce and has tremendous potential for future uses.

Einstein

You couldn’t miss Einstein’s appearance at Dreamforce this year, but is Einstein in the world of Salesforce? It is artificial intelligence (AI) that is built into the Salesforce platform for use across all products such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Pardot, etc. Understanding how something as complex as machine learning or AI can be used to help with things like predictive tasks, or opportunity forecasting was pretty cool. There were many great examples that illustrated how AI can be extremely useful. There are several Trailhead modules that help explain the concepts and you can check out some of the sessions illustrating how Einstein is already being used by Salesforce customers.

I challenge you to continue to blaze Salesforce trails with the great resources available to you. You can now access recordings of the Dreamforce sessions and keynotes. Also, check out the Salesforce Trailhead modules to enhance your knowledge of anything that piqued your interest from Dreamforce. Mark your calendars now for Dreamforce 2017 – November 6–9, 2017. We hope to see you there!

You might also be interested in these posts:

5 Thoughts About Lightning Experience
Salesforce Communities: Getting Started
Salesforce Trailhead Guides You to Success

Paige Van Riper

Paige Van Riper