Dreamforce, the world’s largest technology conference, is next month. Salesforce.com has 1,500 employees flying into town to man booths. Each employee needs to staff at least 5 booths, and each booth requires a range of skill sets and content. That’s over 1,250 sessions. It needs to be scalable, secure and identity-enabled. How do you coordinate this level of effort?
When this challenge was presented to the Dreamforce team, they knew they didn’t have to panic because Salesforce Platform makes it easy to build a custom staffing application from the ground up, and thus came the creation of BoothForce.
BoothForce consists of multiple functional areas. It allows every Dreamforce staff member to log in and see what shifts are available to them by role. They can grab a shift and see it automatically appear on their calendar. In the event that you have a scheduling conflict, you can trade with another team member.
Salesforce Platform powers the entire application. Custom objects represent the available booths and the calendar built using Visualforce. Apex triggers were created to prevent scheduling conflicts and to email someone a reminder before their booth shift.
All of the usual pains associated with building a custom application, i.e. setting up a server, provisioning users, building custom reports, handling authentication, etc., are already managed by Force.com. This is why it was a no brainer to use Salesforce Platform , and we were able to easily build a working application that focused on innovation and making our users happy instead of dragging us down in production.
When staffing a conference for over 120,000 registrants, it is important to make sure that everyone is where they need to be. This is the role of a shift manager. They are responsible to go to each booth and ensure that the right people are there and have what they need. A shift manager can’t do this while strapped to their laptop. A mobile interface had to be created.We turned to the mobile development kit to build the mobile manager view in BoothForce. It is already integrated with Chatter so you can see a picture of the person you are checking in. When the shift manager walks the floor, they can stop at each booth and check users in with the touch of a finger. If that person is late or needs to be contacted, the shift manager clicks on their profile and sends a private message.
One of the biggest challenges with managing and deploying a custom application is handling authentication. Users have a way of forgetting their login information and nobody wants to spend their evening responding to “how do I get my username” emails.
This is why Salesforce Identity is such an important part of the platform. By using Identity, there are no more password-reset tickets or syncing usernames between salesforce.com accounts. When someone logs into BoothForce, they can use the same secure login credentials used to get into any other application.
No other platform can handle all of these requirements with the speed and scale that is needed to staff a conference of this size. Enjoy your time at Dreamforce and be sure to stop a shift manager to see BoothForce in action.