Learned Optimism and Salesforce at CEBIT – Sydney 2013

There's no mistaking a Salesforce conference - the company boasts a growing ecosystem of customers and partners that is unusually vibrant and positive, with a refreshing absence of cynicism or suspicion.  I can't pretend to be able to truthfully compare it with Microsoft shows or Oracle shows, I don't go to them - but there's this great optimistic vibe at Salesforce shows. A vibe that we can get things done.

Martin Seligman's concepts on Learned Optimism and the nature of happiness are being introduced to my daughters' school and it got me thinking thinking about the subject in the context of our work with the Salesforce platform.  It's a concept that comes to mind when I think of the state of play with Salesforce in 2013.

Salesforce customers,prospects, reps, partners and executives have learned to be an optimistic bunch. And for good reason. We've all figured out we can get real work done. Quickly. That's why there's an expectant buzz when Salesforce put on a conference.

The show started a little more slowly than usual though.  The opening of the show, and the fact that it is wrapped into the broader CEBIT conference, meant there were a few formalities to work through, not least some pitches from our friends in federal, state and local government.

But, in the last hour before lunch things warmed up  considerably, with Vivek Kundra orchestrating the presentation of more interesting material, including slick demos of Marketing Cloud, and Salesforce's extensions to its Chatter platform that will see  a) corporate 'intranets' fully modernised and 'socialised' and b) Chatter Communities allowing our customers to build private branded social communities for their partners and customers. Salesforce Chatter is a core part of Salesforce adoption within our favourite customers - and these are great extensions that make it a broader more functional platform for workplace collaboration.

Lorna Jane was a great case study for a company driving its business growth using social media alone, rather than traditional marketing. The rate of store opening was jaw-dropping.

And we were proud as punch on Day 2 to see one of our own customers, Scenic Tours, present their ambitious plans for using Salesforce and their chosen marketing automation platform, Silverpop, to drive further growth and efficiency. The Scenic story began back in 1986 with Glen Moroney, the Founder and Managing Director,  hosting packaged holidays for Melbourne-based seniors clubs along Australia’s famous Great Ocean Road.

With many years of continuous growth behind them, we've recently seen the launch of their exclusive Scenic ‘Space-Ships’ for Europe, widely acknowledged as the finest craft on Europe’s waterways. They are the first river cruise ships in Europe to be 100% owned and operated by an Australian company. By next year, Scenic will be operating no fewer than 10 of these magnificent vessels. They have an extremely loyal customer base - ProQuest is very excited to be helping them build a great sales and marketing solution.

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