A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dreamforce report - Develop on Demand? 

I'm in San Francisco now attending the annual Salesforce.com customer conference. These people really know how to drum up the excitement. Attendance is about 5000, which includes executives and professionals from sales, marketing, and customer support; IT managers and developers; and of course admins from a variety backgrounds. It's exciting to be around all of these people going through similar challenges and victories and hearing about how they do things in their organizations.

The big news from the keynotes:
- Last year SFDC released AppExchange, which allows anyone to create a add-on tools/applications and make them available to the public. So far there are about 400 apps individuals and companies have added. Some are for sale, some are free.

- Now, SFDC wants to expand on that idea. They are making their Apex development language and platform open-source. Developers can also use their servers to host the code. Of course this allows SFDC to utilise other's work and make customers happy without actually creating the code and including it on the road map themselves. Genius. Someone else's notes on Benioff's keynote:
Article in eWeek about the announcement:

- Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke for an hour this morning. What a phenomenal speaker! What does Powell have to do with SFDC you might ask? I think we all wondered that. Well, the (long) intro Benioff gave him talked about how Powell had inspired him years ago in the realm of corporate philanthropy. (Another theme at this conference is all of the philathropy SFDC does and how they are trying to influence others to do the same and spotlight organizations that are also doing a lot.) Anyway, Powell's speech covered areas on leadership, philathropy, the current state of foreign affairs between the US and the rest of the world. He also threw in a bunch of little funnies about missing his old job, the current administration, and adjusting to his new life. Can't say I agreed with everything he did while he worked as SoS, but I have a lot of repect for the man.

The sessions I've attended have been pretty interesting so far, including:
- Integration Strategies in a SaaS (software as a service) environment
- Redefining Integration: The End of the Black Box (making ERP integrations more transparent)
- How to Make Change Manangement a Reality
- The Path to Achieving 100% Adoption
- Territory Management Made Simple
- Global Deployment Case Study

I've also spent a good amount of times talking to vendors at the expo and looking at what they have to offer. Some cool tools out there!

Gotta run to the next session. If there is any more exciting news from the conference, I'll post again.
Hey Audra, hope you're enjoying San Francisco. Any chance of finding out when the Jot Spot app will be ready for Salesforce? I'd really love to get some wiki action going.

Have a good time,

I looked out for the wiki stuff and really did not see it at dreamforce. Kind of surprising. There were some bloggers there, but not really any mention of wiki as a collaboration tool. there are several vendors that have really cool document sharing/collaboration tools (ShareNow and DreamFactory being the ones I was most impressed with). I wonder if any of these types of tools would serve the same goals you have?
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