Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dreamforce 2006 Day 3

Marc Benioff got us started again this morning with an interesting introduction to the featured keynote General Colin Powell. General Powell got a standing ovation and was an excellent speaker. He talked for a long time and held the audience for most of that time with interesting anecdotes and the importance of corporate philanthropy, a topic that Mr. Benioff likes to remind us is covered in his new book. Powell took us through some examples of how he uses technology, and I was impressed to know that he actually understands Salesforce and its implications on the business world and government and has a great grasp on how the internet is making things move and change at a pace that humanity has never seen before. I really enjoyed his speech, but I think Powell lost most of the audience's attention when he began to explain the current political situations with various regions around the globe. At this point we had been listening to Benioff and Powell for more than 90 minutes. After Powell left the stage, various product demonstrations by executives from Symantec, Deutsche Bank, F5 Networks, Corporate Express, and Skype. Since Benioff and Powell ran so long, the general session went over by 45 minutes and people were walking out. Most of these "demonstrations" felt like sales pitches, but I liked seeing the real-world examples.

I headed back down to the exhibit hall to catch up with some vendors and ask some Salesforce staff some questions, and I thought I'd take a moment here to point out some booth "good guys" I met:
  1. ModelMetrics - Thanks Adam for referring me to another vendor when I described the Salesforce customization I was looking for.
  2. Before the Call - Really good bunch of folks offering instant access to a free version of their product. They also gave away a pair of tickets to the Oakland game that sadly I did not win.
  3. Convenos - thanks for the Skype headset, and for clearly and concisely explaining your product without being pushy or salesy.
  4. Salesforce - I had a specific question about Apex that nobody seemed to be able to answer but within minutes of leaving the booth I was on an email chain that had multiple people trying to track down an answer for me.
The booth poor conduct award goes to Eloqua: their team of hyper-aggressive salespeople wouldn't let you past their booth without several calls of "can I scan you?" from multiple people. Sure you got my contact information and already sent me an email, but you left me with a poor first impression.

A couple of pictures from today, all photos can be found on Flickr, tagged as Dreamforce2006. Other folks have added pictures to the dreamforce pool.

Finally, a special thanks to Kingsley Joseph of The Successforce Blog for reaching out to me and inviting me to a have a beer with some other Salesforce Bloggers.

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