Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
Last week Moprise went down to San Francisco for SalesForce’s premier customer & partner event, dreamforce. Three things really resonated with me: the size of the event, the compelling vision and technology Marc Benioff laid out, and the actual adoption and usage that came from personally speaking with over 50 attendees at the event. Salesforce seems poised to deliver the back office infrastructure for the new breed of modern distributed, collaborative, and deeply decentralized corporation.
I was blown away by the number of attendees. At 40K, it was bigger than typical Microsoft or Apple developer events by at least 8 times. Salesforce did a great job pulling together customers, partners, and the press while ensuring there was something relevant for each of them. People I spoke with traveled from all over the world (Asia – India, Japan, China; Europe – UK, France, Germany; Australia; and naturally USA) to attend, present, or interact with Salesforce and each other. Externally, people pigeonhole salesforce as a CRM solution for the sales department but the number of CIOs, developers, and ISVs seeing opportunities beyond the sales department was staggering. Multiple people related the common needs for social work flow, contacts, databases, and a cloud based app/extension model for other areas of their business and they were creating teams to evaluate extending the use of salesforce’s cloud infrastructure.
Marc Benioff presented a compelling vision of computation, data, and apps in the salesforce cloud. Marc and members of his executive leadership team presented their platforms or solutions, surrounded by customers, partners, and ISVs already leveraging the services. The demos and testimonials were polished and incredibly well done – this wasn’t beta software written late into the night. A cynical person may suggest they were polished demos that are discarded after the event but even this requires a level of thought and insight into real use cases that resonate with customers. Finally, the vision & demos around the recent acquisition of Heroku felt mature and well integrated into the overall salesforce vision of moving business processes to the cloud.
The main reason we went to the conference was to talk with many potential customers of mobile enterprise products and better understand their pain points. Much as Obi-Wan told Luke to travel to the Dagobah system to train with Yoda, T.A. McCann, a Seattle area entrepreneur, recommended I attend dreamforce as an opportunity to interact with leading edge users within corporations that live the new workstyle. Dreamforce succeed better than we could imagine. It was easy to speak with people during the lunch, on the show room floor, and even along the walls and lobby of the show room area. There was extensive use of mobile devices, especially iPads & iPhones, during the event and it was easy to approach people and rapid fire questions. Multiple customers I spoke with demonstrated their use of salesforce infrastructure by logging in via their iPads or laptops. Customers were very happy to share their pain points and offer some real world color to the viability of the demos shown through out the day. Developers showed their extensions or their deployments. And partners commented on AppExchange, talked about their solutions, and go to market strategies.
Two people sitting in a room is a conversation. Three is a meeting, and things start to deteriorate from there. As the number of participants grows, the odds increase that PowerPoint slides will be shown, meaningless “action items’’ distributed, pet projects trotted out, oratorical skills exhibited, and BlackBerrys checked.
Last week, we expanded into a new office in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood but we don’t yet have conference room furniture. I thought it would make our board meeting more difficult but Scott Kirsner’s timely advice on running a good meeting suggests it’s better we don’t get too comfortable:
1) Have an agenda and goal
2) Nix the chairs
3) Start at an odd time
4) Limit the size
As we have our meeting, we all use Coaxion for the iPad. This is a private meeting so social sharing doesn’t make sense. Coaxion makes it easy for private groups to share pre-reading, finalize the agenda, and refer to the data during our discussions. With Coaxion, I can share documents and product stats from our development team’s SharePoint site, opportunities from the Marketing Team’s SharePoint, and the board can bring in their ideas from Dropbox for the meeting pre-reading. A powerpoint-less and paperless meeting – what a concept!
During the meeting we can refer to the docs, updating them if needed, and track our decisions. Post the meeting, our decisions and follow up can be tracked within the Coaxion discussion thread. If someone had to call in via phone, they would have all the data they need to participate effectively.
No powerpoint (check), no paper (check), focused agenda (check), small team (check), no chairs (check), and start anytime (check)…
The GoogleDoc’s team solicited feedback from their users and it’s no surprise to us that the most requested features for any document management system are offline & mobile access. The desktop web browser was great for Enterprise 2.0 but we believe Enterprise 3.0 is all about mobile productivity beyond email. And with intermittent connections and high latency networks, caching and offline access to data is a key piece of this.
In light of the RSA and Citibank breeches, security will always be critical and was another requested feature. Sharing is good but it should stop when the the need ends. And despite the rise of the social enterprise, we feel private communication remains a critical piece of execution in the enterprise – product launches won’t remain secret if plans are broadcast on the corporate social network.
These are some of the reasons we created Coaxion. Currently supporting Dropbox and SharePoint but let us know (feedback at moprise.com) what other corporate data sources you need to work with.
We have written about the unfortunate use of consumer channels for professional communication before and today another article from CNN makes the point more graphic:
10) Not using the right method of contact
Never message a business contact on Facebook. Seriously. Why? Because Facebook is where you go to look at pictures of people from high school when you’re drunk — there’s even a plug-in to prevent you from ruining your social media life whilst whiskey-soaked.
Sending a business-oriented message via Facebook is like wandering into a debauched party and expecting everyone to listen to you when you start talking about sales figures.
Microsoft has put on some great events for corporate developers, IT Teams, and IT executives where they were educated on the details of computer programming, tips and tricks on using the technologies, and business tracks covering the value proposition with rich return on investment models. This really helped entrench Microsoft into the corporate back-office as well as the corporate hierarchy. It will be interesting to see how Apple evolves their developer outreach programs to court this profitable segment.
At Moprise, we’re all heading down for WWDC. Luckily the CEO and Moprise developer interests were clearly aligned and tickets for our development team were purchased first thing in the morning.