A keynote all about innovation
The power-packed day kicked off with a moving Welcome to Country by Gadigal Elder Uncle Allen Madden, followed by laughs courtesy of host and comedian Julia Zemiro.
“I like to call these types of events a hybrid. As people are at home, people are in the studio – oh look they have forgotten how to clap! This audience hasn’t gone out much.” We know the feeling Julia.
Yes, 2020 was a year we will never forget, and it required more than ever for businesses to drive innovation.
“2020 gave us problems like we’d never seen before, and therefore we needed solutions like never before,” said Pip Marlow, CEO & EVP, ANZ/ASEAN at Salesforce in her opening speech.
One of those solutions included supporting governments’ responses to COVID-19, with South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria and New Zealand using Salesforce technology to support their manual contact tracing efforts. Trailblazer Michael Dreyer, GM of National Digital Services from the Ministry of Health New Zealand, shared how the security of the Salesforce platform created trust with the New Zealand population to share data and allow for highly effective contract tracing.
Talking about technology, Pip reminded us how it has enabled us to stay connected throughout the past year. “Can you imagine what 2020 would have been like if we didn’t have those clear video calls?”
One Trailblazer who was crucial to this was Telstra. Michael Ackland, Group Executive, Consumer and Small Business, at Telstra joined Pip to discuss how their digital transformation has helped them drive success with consumers. Michael’s biggest learning from the past year?
“Simplify first – and through the process of migration and transformation, keep coming back to those principles of simplicity.” And, importantly: “Use every crisis as an opportunity to make change as fast as you can.”
REA Group, another incredible Trailblazer featured in our keynote, couldn’t agree more.
“Never waste a crisis,” said Kul Singh, Chief Sales Officer, from REA Group, who explained how they are pushing boundaries through a hybrid workplace model that is built on trust and flexibility.
More on both those Trailblazers below.
Introducing Cloud 3.0
We got a peek into the future of work with Jo Gaines, Area Vice President for Salesforce Digital360 Business, as she talked us through how Salesforce will enable companies to work from anywhere with Cloud 3.0 as part of the keynote.
Jo showed us how Salesforce Customer 360 is being transformed into the operating system for Cloud 3.0 – led by our core value of innovation. So, what have we been hard at work on?
- Hyperforce: Flexibility and hyper scale to deploy Customer 360 on major public clouds
- Single source of truth: Engagement with a customer at every touchpoint
- Intelligence: Built in automation and AI
- Experience: Seamless experiences on every channel
- Ecosystem of partners: Think AWS, IBM, Google and more.
A Golden Hoodie Trailblazer showed us the power of a campfire
As its sole system administrator, Mia Pacey has played a crucial role in taking Surf Life Saving NSW from pen and paper to digital processes. A Trailblazer through-and-through, Mia put up her hand to attend the Trailhead bootcamp before the organisation had even invested in Salesforce, proving you don’t need a tech background or a ton of resources to transform the way your team works.
For those wanting to blaze a similar trail, Mia says it’s important to connect with the Trailblazer community, where there are resources and user groups that can support organisations with limited resources. Mia even demonstrated how she’s taking the importance of community back to her team by creating an innovative ‘campfire’ method. Campfire discussions allow her team to explore new features and ask questions about the platform – and we hope Mia’s new golden hoodie makes an appearance at the next one!
We debated what the pandemic means for workplace gender equality
The business community has made progress on gender equality, but the past year has threatened to undo some of these gains. According to Angela Priestly, Head of Strategy and Co-Founder of Agenda Media and host of “The Great Regression” panel discussion, the pandemic exposed many cracks in the system and highlighted the precarious position of women’s workforce participation.
An expert panel, including Shivani Gopal from The Remarkable Woman and Upstreet, Paul Voges from Salesforce and Jinan Budge from Forrester, shared their thoughts on current workplace disparities, as well as how businesses can be platforms for change
“Acknowledging there’s a problem is the first step,” said Paul. “And that starts with leadership. Then you need to set goals and hold yourselves accountable.”
Shivani built on this, saying that what gets measured gets done.
“Talk about your gender pay gap and what you’re doing to fix it. If you want equality, you need to have equity in your organisation,” Shivani said.
However, more acceptance for flexible working – for both men and women – was seen as a silver lining of the pandemic by the panelists and something that needs to stay the norm.
“I hope flexible working becomes the domain of both men and women, and that the stigma is going,” Jinan shared.
“We need to keep shifting the narrative towards a growth mindset and what’s possible if we change the game.”
Login or register for Salesforce Live: A&NZ to hear three game-changing steps businesses can take to improve gender equality at work.
We explored how to build talent for an equal future
In another panel, renowned journalist Jenny Brockie led a discussion on how organisations can prepare and build talent for a future that doesn’t discriminate against social identities such as gender, race, and class. Our panelists had some important thoughts.
Angus Dorney, Director of CareerTrackers, believed partnerships between the private and public sectors and private and not-for-profit sectors were key.
“I feel there is a lot of creativity that comes out of those kinds of partnerships,” said Angus. “It expands the pool of talent and it expands the opportunities available to everyone.”
Eva Cheng, Director of Women in Engineering and Information Technology at University of Technology Sydney, also noted that this responsibility also sat with employees – not just at an organisational level.
“Employees need to be engaged in working with young people to break those cycles of perceptions of ‘what I can and can’t do’ or ‘should or shouldn’t do’,” said Eva.
Rob Caslick, Founder of Two Good Co, agreed, pointing out that employees want to be connected to purpose.
“How do you as a business leader bring that into your business and respond to the needs of your employees?”
Wondering what you can do now to help build an equal future? Eva had a great suggestion:
“Who in your immediate circle can you tap on your shoulder to bring to an opportunity? Because some opportunities may appear to you, but that’s not the case for everybody.”
We learned how Telstra created simplicity at scale
Digging into points mentioned earlier by Michael Ackland, Telstra’s Amanda Hutton explored the importance of simplicity and flexibility. As Group Owner, Consumer and Digitisation, Amanda has helped drive Telstra’s efforts to make experiences simpler, easier and more consistent for customers and employees.
Telcos haven’t always been famous for their simplicity. Amanda said that confusing products and services were a major customer pain point, while frontline teams shouldered the headaches of legacy systems. The company knew that to achieve simpler experiences across multiple channels, they would need more than just a new IT stack – they would have to rethink products, processes, and priorities, going from 1,800 plans to just 20.
“It has to start with the products we have in market,” said Amanda. “If it’s a highly complex product that requires a lot of people to explain it, you’re going to get a lot of inconsistency.”
But frontline workers needed simpler outcomes, too. As the people who “live and breathe” the complexity of products and systems, Amanda said frontline teams played a critical role in designing and testing new systems and processes, iterating along the way.
“Change when you need to, but don’t lose sight of the goals,” said Amanda.
The approach has paid off. Now, 90% of frontline workers are operating from the same console and customer feedback is positive. Perhaps most telling of all was a new starter who almost immediately caught on to the system, condensing weeks of training into a single day.
Simple never sounded better.
How REA Group changed the property buying and renting experience
There’s no denying Aussies love property. And no doubt most of us have visited realestate.com.au during our adult life – whether it was for renting, buying or selling.
But last year was a challenging time for REA Group’s customers, with property inspections and auction attendance limited by COVID-19 restrictions.
“Being a digital business we thought about what we could do to support our customers and make sure the property market stayed alive,” explained Smrithi Kamtikar, Senior Manager Product at REA Group.
She explained the two key things they were able to do:
- First, they partnered with customers to make videos available online so buyers and renters could still inspect properties.
- Second part was around auctions, and partnering with online auction providers who REA Group could integrate with.
“I think it all comes back to our mission – which is to make it easy for our customers to do business with us. We’re constantly looking at ways that we can simplify and streamline. The way we use our Salesforce products across our sales, marketing and operations is key to digital engagement,” said Smrithi.
A reminder to do less, but better
Simplicity continued to be a motif when Greg McKeown, leadership strategist and author of “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” summarised the path of essentialism. With Trailblazers from all industries looking to remove complexity from their experiences, how can we apply similar principles at an individual level?
Ultimately, he explained, essentialism is not about doing more things, it’s about doing the right things. He offered five tips:
- Each day, identify your first priority (singular, not plural).
- Clear space in your calendar for concentrated, essential work in the morning.
- Negotiate essentials. Rather than a “polite yes” or a “rude no,” take a beat and then be honest about what you can contribute.
- Schedule a quarterly personal off-site to step back and prioritise.
- Think boldly about new ways to focus on essentials, emphasising true movement rather than millimetres of progress in every direction.
We got a peek at how digital transformation is solving some chronic workplace woes
It’s been almost a year since businesses made the move to remote work. Many took a ‘lift and shift’ approach that, while understandable at the time, proved to be “a bandaid solution at best”, according to Matt Loop, Head of APAC for messaging platform Slack. Now, more businesses are looking at how they can fully “unbundle the office” and accept hybrid work as the new norm.
In this episode, “Creating Your Digital HQ with Slack”, Loop shared insightful research conducted mid-2020 by Future Forum that investigated how teams, leaders and whole workplaces stayed connected, engaged and productive during this extraordinary time, as well as the tools that helped them transform.
Australians are faring well, with 82% of enterprise workers saying they feel empowered by the tech they use in the workplace. One-third have also become more tech savvy, and two-thirds said they couldn’t do their job now without collaboration software.
However, app proliferation was a barrier, with 70% of employees saying they feel their work would be easier if they had a single integrated platform to work from. Access to information is a huge part of this, Matt added, and a problem most organisations encountered was the lack of a single source of truth. This jives with one of the main culprits for lost time in workplaces: switching between apps and searching for information.
Businesses that can resolve this issue, Matt concluded, stand to reap benefits (and probably a few thanks from employees).
“The undisputed biggest takeaway was the awakening and potential rebalancing of where and how work gets done,” Matt said.
“For leading companies […] creating a Digital HQ can bring balance to the system.”
Have some fun and test your Trailhead knowledge!
If you like your learning mixed with a bit of fun, have we got the game show for you. Join Salesforce experts as they compete to answer questions about Trailhead resources and hot topics like:
- Where can you find the Admin podcast?
- What career paths are available for solutions architects?
- How can you join a Trailblazer community near you?
There are also a few Salesforce celebrity guest appearances sprinkled throughout. So if you’re looking for answers to any of the above questions, or think you have what it takes, catch the Trail of the Century game show on-demand now.
The new Salesforce Live experience
With a new platform, our very own ‘worm’ reactor and a performance from Australia’s Guy Sebastian, the engagement, conversations and networking opportunities were at an all time high! So, thank you to everyone who tuned-in and connected virtually – we could not have done it without you.
And the best thing about Salesforce Live: A&NZ this year? There are still another eight episodes to come!
Today wasn’t just our premiere episode, it was the start of a new Salesforce Live experience. An experience where we deliver six weeks of inspiration, innovations, and Trailblazer connections. Whether your role is in sales, marketing, service, IT or Admin, there is an episode designed just for you. And we haven’t forgotten our industries: financial services, retail and consumer goods and government Trailblazers also have their own dedicated episodes with industry experts.
Catch up on all the on-demand episodes from Salesforce Live: A&NZ.