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Dreamforce 2020: Things We’ll Miss and Things That We Won’t

Dreamforce, for many in the Salesforce ecosystem, is the highlight of their events calendar. Though with the Covid-19 situation affecting people globally, the conference this year will be re-imagined. Say ‘hello’ to Dreamforce To You 2020: ‘instead of everyone coming to Dreamforce, Dreamforce is coming to you — to your kitchen, to your living room, even to your own backyard.’

A few of us at Cloud Galacticos have been lucky enough to attend in previous years. This blog is about what we will miss, and not miss, about Dreamforce…

 

Paul Battisson Presenting at Dreamforce 2018

Paul Battisson, CEO

What I miss about Dreamforce:

The thing I will miss most is speaking and talking to other speakers. I love going to Dreamforce to share the things I have been working on over the past year, best practices I have found to work, as well as push the envelope with some strange and crazy ideas (I have spoken about VR in Salesforce and did the first talk on Machine Learning at a Dreamforce). I will miss learning from people and having these great conversations.

What I won’t miss about Dreamforce:

The flight. As lovely as a 12 hour flight, plus a connecting flight, and lots of time in an airport is, I will not be missing that part. I do like having some uninterrupted reading time, but the meal is never as good as food made nearer ground level.

 

Salesforce Conference in San Francisco

Trailhead at Dreamforce

Neel Meghani, CTO

What I miss about Dreamforce:

I have only done one Dreamforce trip so far. I had heard how big it is but experiencing it for myself it far far exceeded expectations. The biggest thing I miss is the atmosphere itself. The atmosphere can be felt as soon as you arrive in San Francisco. The coming together of so many people with a common interest just gives the whole town a big community feel making you feel at home! Obviously being there presents a big opportunity to learn, gain knowledge and ideas, but most importantly it’s the social side part that I’ll miss.

What I won’t miss about Dreamforce:

The travel, plus the fact it’s all go – full steam ahead as soon as you arrive. You have to ignore the jet lag and just keep going. This all means the sheer exhaustion you feel when you leave lasts a good week after you return. I needed loads of R&R when I got back. That feeling I will not miss. So Dreamforce To You sounds awesome to me!

 

Salesforce Ohana Golden Gate Bridge Walk Dreamforce 2019

Ben Duong, Head of Marketing

What I miss about Dreamforce:

Dreamforce is a unique beast. Bigger and brasher in real life than you can ever imagine – you have to be there to understand. What I will miss about Dreamforce 2020 going virtual this year is being in San Francisco itself. I have been countless times (due to my dad and family living there), but ‘The City’ never fails to amaze. From the skyline (Salesforce Tower joins the Golden Gate Bridge in iconic terms) to the diverse range of cuisines available, to the many cool venues, Dreamforce was made for San Francisco.

What I won’t miss about Dreamforce:

Having to travel over from the UK, with it’s 8 hour time difference, the jet lag is something I won’t miss. Even with the great coffee and sessions on offer, it always takes a few days to adjust. Dreamforce 2020 going virtual may take away the jet lag, but I’d be happy with the disorientation if it meant being back in San Francisco!

 

Baldforce at Dreamforce 2018

Phil Walton, CEO

What I miss about Dreamforce:

There is a real and constant ‘buzz’ at Dreamforce. Maybe it is just the warm weather, jetlag, and strong coffee? But it feels like there is ALWAYS something going on. It’s not just the sessions, the learning, the parties, it is often the bits in between. The conversation in a shared Uber, the chat in a lift, the friend you make whilst lost in one of the venues.

As well as bumping into friends, & colleagues, you always have your eyes peeled for ‘celebrity spotting’. Whether it is ‘Salesforce celebrity’, the VPs, the Community team, your AEs, or if you are lucky, Marc or Parker. But also (queue name dropping, sorry) I had a chance chat with David Blaine (who now follows me on Twitter!?), breakfast with Billy Connelly, and nearly knocked over Iggy Pop. You don’t get that on a Virtual presentation!

What I won’t miss about Dreamforce:

The downside of the great things, is that there is so much you can not possibly see. There are 1,000+ sessions, last time I think I managed to go to one! So I always have regrets about missed opportunities, missed learnings. I guess I will still have that, but I can sleep in my own bed when it is all virtual. 

 

Fleetwood Mac at Dreamforce 2019

ABOUT CLOUD GALACTICOS

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce consultancy, and a Salesforce Consulting Partner with an all-star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. We have people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield, and London. If you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience who can help you make the most of your org, why not give us a call?

 

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Cloud Galacticos 2019 Highlights

Being the CEO of a Silver Partner Salesforce Consultancy and managing a UK-wide team of people is no mean feat. So it’s no surprise that Phil Walton, who is also in the Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame, has a rather busy calendar. As we reach the end of another successful year, he reflects back on some of his personal highlights of 2019.

World Tour London and our Client Drinks Reception the night before (May)

Cloud Galacticos at Salesforce London World Tour with paul Sturgess

Team Galacticos with Paul Sturgess at Salesforce World Tour London 2019

 

For most Salesforce-ers Dreamforce is the highlight of the year. But for me, the London World Tour is the big one. OK so we didn’t have Fleetwood Mac or Alicia Keys, but it is a great chance for the UKI and European Salesforce Community to meet up in person.

We had a great day, meeting Clients and Partners old and new at our Gold stand. Plus we were joined by ex-Harlem Globetrotter and Britain’s tallest man Paul Sturgess, who not only attracted a lot of attention, but was a great guy to chat with!

North Africa Dreamin’

Phil Walton speaking at North Africa Dreamin

Phil Walton speaking at North Africa Dreamin

I was very proud to be invited to speak at Africa’s first Salesforce community event – North Africa Dreamin! It was a great trip to Casablanca, where I met some great people, and had some amazing food. It is amazing to see the Salesforce Ohana spreading around the globe.

Team Galacticos

2019 has been a fantastic year for Cloud Galacticos, with excellent growth in revenue and people. We have also picked up a number of new certification skills, and industry expertise. Between the team we have bags of experience in Healthcare & Life Sciences and also Financial Services, so they are now our official specialisms (although we work in many other sectors). 

We were really excited to welcome both Nkosi Ncube and Mike Gill (who you can see below at MuleSoft CONNECT 2019) to our development team. Both are smart, experienced, knowledgeable and great guys – exactly the type of people we want on the team!

Nkosi and Mike who joined the Cloud Galacticos team in 2019

Nkosi and Mike at Mulesoft Connect 2019

We also welcomed Malcolm Heeley to the team towards the end of the year. Malcolm has a lot of experience as a business analyst and project manager which we cannot wait to use!

Nell Meghani and Phil Walton with Malcolm Heeley (centre) who joined Cloud Galacticos at the end of 2019

Salesforce Consultancy

Certificates

Also between the team we have picked up a number of new Consultancy and Architecture certifications, which we are very proud of! We have also begun to deliver training for Salesforce, fantastic recognition of our deep knowledge of the platform.

Admin and Developer User Group

MuleSoft speaking at a User Developer Group

Manchester Salesforce Admin User Group

We also attended and helped run a number of user and developer groups in Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds – bringing Salesforce to the North of England! We had a variety of speakers including MulseSoft as you can see in the photo above.

Here’s to 2020!

About Cloud Galacticos

Cloud Galacticos is a Salesforce Silver Consulting Partner with an all star team. We are user and developer group leaders, bloggers, MVPs and all round Salesforce nerds. We have people all over the UK including Manchester, Leeds, York, Sheffield and London. If you are looking for a Salesforce partner with experience who can help you make the most of your org, why not give us a call?

 

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Highlights from Dreamforce 2019

As the dust settles on another Dreamforce and his jet lag fades, our head of marketing Ben Duong writes about his highlights at this year’s event:

Dreamforce 2019 is the sixth time I’ve attended what undeniably the main Salesforce event of the year – even with all the new upstarts like TrailheaDX and various Dreamin’ events. As per previous years, this year’s Dreamforce had a jam-packed line up of sessions, speakers, parties, and much more. Add to that around 170,000 international attendees, it’s always going to be a full-on four days.

 

#Flying Solo

The main difference this year was that I was flying solo (normally it’s in attendance with the CEO of Cloud Galacticos, Phil Walton). This meant taking a different approach whilst attending the conference. First thing I did was to sign up to the ‘Dreamforce Ohana Golden Gate Bridge Walk’ – which I discovered through the Twitter community and Eric Dreshfield. It was a great pre-DF19 social meet up. I met various members of the Salesforce Ohana from Brazil, Japan and Ukraine. I also ended up bumping into them again at various times during the week which was nice. Mainly, it was good catching up with James Ellis who is a regular at our North England user group.

 

#SalesforceOhana

Continuing the theme of meeting my #SalesforceOhana, there was an EMEA Trailblazer Get Together. It was a casual meet up of the #TrailblazerCommunity from the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. As well as familiar faces from the UK, I also met people from Spain, Switzerland and Morocco. And of course, one of the main party highlights was the UK & I reception party at the rather grand Hibernia Bank.

 

Learning

I attended some of the main keynotes, including the opening keynote with Marc Benioff; the Partner keynote; and Marketing keynote. I got a good overview of the latest updates relevant to me and Cloud Galacticos. I also went to a few useful sessions relating to marketing such as, ‘5 Tips for Writing Awesome Salesforce Community Content’ with Lucy Mazalon (Salesforceben), and ‘5 Lessons Learned from Interviewing 50+ CMOs’ with Ian Faison and Benjamin Wilson (The Mission).

 

Mindfulness

Most attendees find Dreamforce overwhelming. It’s a perfect cocktail of four full days of sessions, parties, hoards of people and lots walking. Luckily, this year there was a dedicated area of calm in the guise of the Plum Village Centre in Moscone South. I managed to do a 90-minute meditation workshop which helped centre myself again and was ready for Dreamfest that evening.

 

Dreamfest

Being a big music fan, Dreamfest is always one of my highlights, having managed to see the likes of the Foo Fighters, Blondie, and U2. This year was no different, with Beck supporting Fleetwood Mac. It was held at the baseball stadium which is the perfect venue for any music event.

 

Dreamforce 2020

At the end of each Dreamforce, most attendees would say that it was the best yet. Furthermore, they can’t wait to do it all again next year. And you know what? They’re right!

See you in San Francisco 9th to 12th November 2020…

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Preparing for the Annual Pilgrimage to San Francisco for Dreamforce 2019

With Dreamforce 2019 starting next week, our head of marketing, Ben Duong writes about what he’s looking forward to as he gets ready to go to San Francisco…

‘Glastonbury of the Tech World’

This year’s Dreamforce will be my fifth time in attendance, and I’ve seen it grow year-on-year to the ‘mega-conference’ that it has become. Each year is unlike the year before, as Salesforce is a company that embraces change and the latest technological advances. I guess as our CEO, Phil Walton, once described it, Dreamforce is the ‘Glastonbury of the tech world’.

With around 170,000 attendees from across the globe, over 2,700 sessions and workshops, plus hundreds of parties, and much more spread over four action-packed days, it can be pretty overwhelming. As you can guess there are plenty of great blogs from the Salesforce ecosystem highlighting their tips on ‘how to survive Dreamforce’. My blog is more about what I’m looking forward to and of course a couple of tips…

#FlyingSolo

This year I’ll be #FlyingSolo and representing Cloud Galacticos – a Salesforce Silver Partner consultancy. It’ll give me a chance to go out of my comfort zone and try things I haven’t done in previous years.

Golden Gate Bridge Walk Dreamforce

Photo Credit: Zachary Jeans

Salesforce Ohana

Meeting and connecting with fellow trailblazers outside of the sessions/parties is always one of the highlights. So I was excited to hear about the Dreamforce Ohana Golden Gate Bridge Walk (which has been going since 2014). What a great chance to get up close to an iconic San Francisco landmark, get some exercise and meet new people?

UK & Ireland Ohana

With hundreds of thousands of people coming to Dreamforce, you could be talking to someone from New York one minute, then someone from Japan or Morocco the next. It’s also nice when you do meet someone from your own country. That’s why the UK&I Reception event is always one of my highlights, not just because it’s normally in amazing venues (this year it’s in a historic bank building considered to be ‘the finest building in the City’), but it’s a chance to catch up with your peers as well as meet new ones.

Inspirational Speakers

Alongside the thousands of awesome sessions, there’s also a few high profile speakers attending the conference. The one thing they have in common is that they are doing amazing things in their field. This year we’re spoilt for choice, with Tim Cook (CEO of Apple), Megan Rapinoe (World Cup and Olympic Champion), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women), and of course, 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

Dreamforce 2019 Speakers

Photo Credit: Salesforce

Dreamfest

As well as all the learning, networking and walking, Dreamforce is a great chance to let your hair down and enjoy some great music, and all for a good cause. Previous years have seen the likes of the Foo Fighters, Blondie, U2, and Metallic entertain the crowds. And this year is no different with Fleetwood Mac. Expect lots of singalong crowd-pleasers. All the while raising money for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

All in all, this year’s Dreamforce continues the conference’s programme of amazing speakers, sessions, parties, and much more. If you’re lucky enough to be attending – and #flyingsolo – come and say ‘Hello’!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TheNorth / @CloudGalacticos for live Tweets during the conference!

Finally, here are some tips from the CEO and COO of Cloud Galacticos:

Phil Walton, CEO

“Don’t be afraid to travel around Dreamforce on your own. I used to do a lot of backpacking around the world, and when I travelled on my own I met people all the time – when I travelled with a partner or friends I met hardly anyone else apart from those friends! Especially at an event like Dreamforce where there really are lots of ‘friends you haven’t met yet’, people are welcoming if you can pluck up the courage to say ‘Hi, I’m [insert name here], I don’t know anyone at this event, what do you hope to learn here/where are you from/how long have you been working in Salesforce’ etc. Be brave!”

“Don’t expect a holiday! By the time you arrive you will probably be tired and possibly jet-lagged. For me the time difference is 8 hours, it’s like travelling to Australia. There will be early sessions, a full daytime schedule, many miles of walking, then the evening partying starts. Repeat that for four or more days… Oh, and don’t forget the jet lag, and not sleeping properly. You will be shattered – if you do it right!”

Paul Battisson, COO

“If you enjoy a session or feel you have learned something from it, try and find 2 minutes to wait around after the session is done and thank the speaker. It can be hard for speakers to know whether the session they’ve just given has been well received or not. Taking that time to say thanks can make their day. And don’t feel shy about waiting to ask for questions or advice! Speakers are only too happy to help and you may end up making a new friend!”

“Enjoy some of the more relaxing elements of the Dreamforce experience. Sit in the Dreamforest (the blocked off block of Howard) and enjoy the live music, meet the Pawdot Puppies, and attend a meditation session. It doesn’t have to be all mayhem and madness!”

Phil's Salesforce Tip of the Week

Phil’s Salesforce Tips – A Special Week #150th Edition

To celebrate my 150th consecutive week, I reached out to fellow members of the Salesforce community, to ask what Tips they would like to share. And I am excited to share these with you all today! Here are 10 GuestBloggers, and a special 11th guest, who has influenced me over my years as a Salesforce blogger. Thank you to you all for contributing, and reading, here’s to another 150!

Tip #1 Sarah Burton (Clear Channel UK) – “Salesforce Administrator of 5 years experience but still learning every day”

It’s ok to say No*

Admins need to ensure that we question ideas and processes that we get asked to implement. There are 3 questions I ask – ‘What’s in it for the users?’, ‘Is it Simple?’ and ‘Does it stick to the original Vision?’

*as long as you back it up with a good reason!

Tip #2 Tracey Morris (Jisc) – “Awesome Admin for UK wide non-profit digital technology in education & research charity”

As a busy Admin I have to prioritise what I’m doing – be it training, support or development (or all 3 at once) – so having a process in place where users can make change requests without interrupting me is a no-brainer. The user is happy because they’re being listened to and I’m happy because I can look at their requests when it’s convenient for me.

Tip #3 Naveen Gabrani (Astrea IT Services) – “Salesforce architect responsible for mapping business problems on Salesforce”

Focus on actionables after Dreamforce. Keep a notebook or a smartphone handy at the event. As you attend a session or a keynote, or meet a vendor at the cloud expo, make a quick note of anything you like, a useful tip for the users, an app you need to try out, a technology you need to build expertise on. After you are back follow up on these items. Give a presentation to the management or the users on interesting things you learnt. To get best returns on the investment you have made at Dreamforce, the most important time is the month after the Dreamforce.

Tip #4 Laura Guenther (Apttus) – “Certified Admin at Apttus”

Be smart about solving problems – utilize the Success Community:
Browse the Success Community for Answers, if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, post your own question. More than likely, someone out there, somewhere, has had the same issue as you and has solved it. You will get a response in less time than it will take you to troubleshoot. Be sure to join groups to participate in discussions and gain access to additional resources. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and precious time.

Tip #5  Rachel Natik (Cloud 4 Good) – “Cloud Consultant at Cloud 4 Good, 3X Certified”

Try this free App called ‘List Browse‘. I haven’t come across another app that does this functionality. You can select records in a list view, click browse and you can go through them one by one (and edit them!).

Tip #6 Selina Suarez (New Leaders) – “2015 Awesome Admin Award Winner at the Salesforce World Tour, New York City”

When starting a new project, prior to formal Salesforce Requirements gathering, ideally your first conversations should revolve around business process and not technology. Take the time to find out what people actually do on a day to day basis. Observe and ask questions.  This is your opportunity to uncover opportunities to offer solutions perfectly matched to the client’s needs.

Tip #7 Simon Edwards (Color Consultancy) – “Playing around with all things Salesforce since 2006”

If you are like me, and end up with lots of similar long report names this little ‘undocumented feature’ will allow you to display the report name on 2 separate lines when viewing the report. Just add a colon (e.g. Accounts: Most Recent) to your report name! Many thanks to Scott Hemmeter for this great trick.

Tip #8 Randi Thompson (Apex Revenue Technologies) – “Solo Admin using Enterprise Sales & Service Clouds for 60 users”

I love the capability to create custom URL buttons. Even though Process Builder and Publisher Actions have made a lot strides, there are still many instances (especially on the Task object) where a custom URL button is invaluable.

Tip #9 Steve Williams (BigKite Consulting) – “Salesforce Admin gone Consulting”

When dealing with a request for a new email notification respond by asking your user what immediate action the email will trigger. If they cannot think of one they will likely be better served by a Report or Dashboard. That way you have saved then from having to delete an unnecessary email and provided a way for them to access the information when they are ready to do something with it.

Tip #10 Mike Arthur (RiverUsk) – “Certified Admin, Consultant, Developer in Edinburgh”

I recently had a situation where a Visualforce page was exactly what was needed to solve a requirement.  Except I had never written any code in Salesforce and Cobol wouldn’t cut it.  I had heard of Trailhead, Salesforce’s free, online learning resource, and it helped me learn the skills to build my page!  The topics range from basic to advanced, including ‘Reports and Dashboards’, ‘Chatter Basics’, ‘Data Security’, ‘Apex Triggers’, ‘Visualforce Basics’, ‘Change Management’ and many more. Modules typically take 20-30 minutes to complete. Head on over and get learning!

And finally, a bonus ‘Tip’ from Salesforce Admin Evangelist…THE ButtonClick Admin…Mike Gerholdt 

My advice for being a great Salesforce Admin- don’t  overindulge on tips and tricks. It’s like having cake for breakfast, sure it sounds good- and probably fixes your hunger problem- but it’s not sustainable. Great leaders, philosophers, and visionaries didn’t change the world on a trick they learned. They did it by mastering their craft, by learning habits, applying those habits, and sometimes failing. You can’t be afraid to try something new and fail. Failure is how we learn and how we grow. Don’t be afraid to do the work- it’s easy to just ask for help right away, but try a few solutions first, see what works, and go from there.

 

Thanks to our friends at Apttus !