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Reflections on DreamForce 2013: Upward Mobility

dreamforce I left this year’s conference very excited about the new mobile app capabilities that Salesforce has just released for its users. The release of Salesforce1 truly illustrates the power of the Salesforce platform and connecting to customers. You no longer need to be a mobile expert to create powerful mobile apps for your members and/or staff. Designed to accelerate the development and deployment of apps, the new Salesforce1 platform will open up new possibilities for associations. When you create apps on Salesforce, your members will have the ability to access information on any mobile device at any time. Perhaps, this means updating member profiles on the go or renewing memberships from a mobile device. Fonteva For Associations users can already do this via our member portal, which is mobile responsive. The additional value will be the ability for staff users to go in and add or search members from any device as well as view reports and dashboards. Also, for our customers, all staff users can easily get Fonteva For Associations on any device. If a staff member has administrative privileges, he or she can activate them via cell phone. Think of the potential for increasing productivity and serving members better. This latest release from Salesforce demonstrates how being on the right platform can bring value to your organization without your having to manage costly upgrades. In addition, as writer Doug Henschen observes in his recent commentary for InformationWeek, the speed with which the platform became available is unprecedented: It’s refreshing that Salesforce1 is shipping today in the form of the new mobile app and admin apps available in the Apple and Android app stores. All those new APIs are also accessible to developers today, providing granular access to Salesforce services. In recent years there has been a gap of a year or more between Dreamforce announcements and product availability. At the same time, Henschen expresses some skepticism about the new platform because it does not yet fully eliminate what he calls “technology differences behind the scenes at Salesforce.” He cites and Heroku as an example of the company’s ongoing efforts to bring “different worlds together.” Henschen goes on to characterize Salesforce1 as a “platform in progress.” While I think this view is reasonable, I would place most of the emphasis on the tremendous progress that’s been made— and will continue to be made­—in in developing and deploying advanced mobile apps. If you look at the big picture, things are definitely moving onward and upward.
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