The Dreamforce ’13 main keynote featured a performance by Huey Lewis and the News, a in-depth presentation of salesforce.com’s charitable efforts, including helping to rebuild earthquake ravaged Haiti, and salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff’s keynote address.
“I’ve never been more excited to be in our industry. It’s because of the Internet of Customers,” began Benioff. He spoke on the third wave of computing we are now in, the “Internet of Things.” This era features all kinds of new channels in which companies can engage customers, with four and a half billion aggregate social users, five billion smartphones by 2017, and 50 billion connected products expected in the marketplace, all powered by the cloud. Everything is on the Internet, from light bulbs, to cars, to toothbrushes.
With all of the connectedness going on globally, Benioff urged the audience to recognize that behind everything put on the Internet, every device, every app, and every tweet, is a customer. “We need to reassess how we connect to our customers in a whole new way. Some companies pivot to their shareholders, or partners. We pivot to our customers. Pivot to your customers. That is what the new world is about,” said Benioff.
He added that every company is a customer company. Because if you don’t become a customer company, someone else will take your place. Benioff challenged the room to welcome all of their customers to the Internet of Customers. “Are you ready to make the change? Are you ready to make that change for your customers?” asked Benioff. Many aren’t, added Benioff, saying that some two-thirds of companies feel unprepared for the social and mobile world.
Salesforce.com co-founder Parker Harris then arrived on stage in a “Back to the Future” spoof. “I brought back this new customer platform. It’s totally connected,” said Harris. “Everything in the future is connected.” He then began to detail Salesforce1. The technology works as a custom publisher. Salesforce1 is 100-percent mobile, cloud, and social, and can connect everything in one place. It takes the huge customer investment that has been made in Salesforce and moves it to the modern era.
Developers can use Salesforce1 to build next generation apps, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can use it to publish those apps, admins can use it to manage Salesforce from anywhere, and users can experience all of this on any device.