You Don’t Have to be From the Midwest….

Perhaps by now you’ve heard of a little event being planned for July 9th & 10th, 2015,  at Chicago’s Navy Pier…it’s a little thing called Midwest Dreamin’ 2015. The organizers of Midwest Dreamin’  somehow managed to convince Dan Darcy to come to Chicago to open up the activities on July 10th, and Peter Coffee will be making a return trip to Midwest Dreamin’ to close the event down.

Who is Dan Darcy?

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Many of us that have attended Dreamforce over the past few years know Dan as “The Dreamforce Demo Man”, but he gave up that role about two years ago and moved into something bigger and better. Dan is now the Senior Vice President for Worldwide Product Readiness. He is responsible for working with the product organization to develop priorities, product positioning and competency strategy for the distriibution organization, customers and partners. In addition, he manages the New Product Introduction processes to ensure that product releases have an enablement plan and assets are developed for consumption by customers, partners and employees.  Dan is also still head of Customer Visions for Marc Benioff.

Who is Peter Coffee?

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Seriously? If you have to ask that question, one might wonder how long you have been a salesforce.com user, developer, administrator or fan. Just in case you did just crawl out from under a rock, or recently converted from some other CRM system, I’ll fill you in. Peter Coffee is the Vice President of Strategic Research at Salesforce.com, but to those of us in the Salesforce.com community, we think of him as so much more than that. He’s the voice of Dreamforce, the pre-Keynote entertainment, the Master of Ceremony at the worlds largest technology conference. He is the show, before the show. He sets the stage at Dreamforce and gets the crowd all pumped up to see Marc Benioff talk about all the exciting things that Salesforce.com is working on, and all the awesome good things the Salesforce Foundation is helping to accomplish thanks to the 1-1-1 model – One percent of your time, one percent of your profits and one percent of your products being donated to great causes in order to help make the world a better place for all of us. Peter currently supports Salesforce efforts in CIO and developer engagement; in regulatory and stakeholder discussions, including information security technology and practice; and in collaborations with research professionals in both the commercial and academic communities

Breakout Sessions Are the Skid Marks of Learning
I think it’s always interesting and entertaining to listen to Peter Coffee and Dan Darcy speak, but where the rubber meets the road is what really helps businesses and nonprofits alike. That’s why people attend events like Dreamforce and Midwest Dreamin’. Skid marks of learning – just what exactly is that?  These skid marks don’t get made from quick stops or from taking turns too fast. They come from the rapid acceleration of business growth, from increased innovation and new ways of taking care of customers. Midwest Dreamin’ just completed its call for speakers and has a great lineup of fantastic speakers talking on everything from “Creating Change with Salesforce Communities” to “So You’ve Inherited (or Created) a Mess…Now What?”  Check out more sessions planned for Midwest Dreamin’ 2015.

Time is Money
How valuable is your time? Consider not only your salary, but the time you spend with family and friends, the time you spend helping others through volunteering or just by being a good neighbor. Attending Midwest Dreamin’ 2015, can actually save you both time and money. Sure, there’s a hard cost to attending…travel expenses and the registration fee, but the knowledge you will gain and the value of those new ideas that will start floating around in your head will certainly exceed those hard costs and help you find more time in your day by allowing you to streamline processes.

The Proof is in the Pudding
I know what you are thinking now….how can I get in on this? What do I need to do to get a piece of this action? That’s the easiest part! Visit the Midwest Dreamin’ Register! page. Yes…it really is that simple!

What’s that? You want to help?
Are you with a partner and wanting to help get your company’s message out to the hundreds of attendees coming to Midwest Dreamin’? We’ve got plenty of sponsorship opportunities still available. For details, visit Sponsorship Options

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If You Find Something That Works…Stick With It!

What’s the biggest challenge facing a user group leader?

  • Finding a place to meet?  No, sorry, that’s not it. You can meet anywhere, a park, the library, someone’s office. You could even meet at someone’s house!
  • Deciding on what time of day to meet?  Nope…that’s only a challenge for the very first meeting, then you ask the group what’s best for them.
  • Getting people to attend?  Uh…NO!  People seem to want to attend user group meetings, so if you build it, they will come.
  • Deciding on what food and beverages to serve during the meeting?  Oh come on, people will eat almost anything, as long as it’s free!
  • Finding interesting and engaging content?  BINGO!!!  We have a winner!  DING, DING, DING!!!!

I seem to have found a way to solve the content issue, and I blogged about it in an earlier post:  Speed Dating.  In this post, I share what happened during the 2nd half of the March 19th meeting of the Southern Indiana Salesforce User Group meeting. (For details on the first half of that meeting see my Lightning post.) 

Will you go out with me?

Isn’t that really what an appexhange partner is saying when they offer you a free trial?  It’s like a test drive on a car, but it usually lasts way longer than just a few minutes.  Most appexchange partners will give you 15 to 30 days to test out their product, to prove the worth to your management, before you start paying for it. That’s pretty cool, and if you ask me, a great marketing tool! 

I’m a no-good, two-timing CHEAT!

Well, not really.  But I did speed date with four different appexchange partners at my last user group meeting. 

 Arrowpointe Corp. – geopointe – Scott Hemmeter, CEO & Founder of Arrowpointe says that with geopointe, you can “unlock the where in your data”. In addition to simple mapping, geopointe gives you advanced routing, optimization and navigation. Imagine what could happen to sales if you not only giving your sales reps a list of who to call on each day, but also the most efficient order and routes to take. Please visit Arrowpointe geopointe on the appexchange at: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N300000016ZHeEAM for complete details. 

 ContactMonkey – Outlook Integration for Salesforce – Alex Smith, Chief Marketing Officer of ContactMonkey says that with Outlook Integration for Salesforce you can create and update deals in Salesforce without leaving Outlook. In addition, you can automatically add your emails to Salesforce to save time. ContactMonkey also tracks email opens, clicked links, and determines which email subject lines get the most action. Please visit ContactMonkey’s Outlook Integration for Salesforce on the appexchange at: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N3000000B4mHkEAJ for complete details.

 SteelBrick Inc. – SteelBrick CPQ – Nate Fish, Account Executive, says that with SteelBrick’s Next Generation CPQ you can configure, price and quote anytime, anywhere and from any device.  SteelBrick uses standard Salesforce price books, can deliver quotes to customers in Word or PDF format, and documents are automatically saved in Salesforce for easy tracking, auditing and compliance. It’s built 100% on Salesforce and even works on the Salesforce1 mobile app. For complete details, please visit SteelBrick on the appexchange at: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N300000016cxaEAA

 Arkus, Inc. – Clone This User – Justin Edelstein, Chief Information Officer of Arkus, Inc. says that with Clone This User the administrator can look up an existing user who will serve as the basis for a new user, enter a name and email, then generate the username and password immediately. And what’s even better is that this can be done from your desktop or via Salesforce1 on your mobile device. For complete details, visit Clone This User from Arkus, Inc. on the appexchange at: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N3000000B5jTkEAJ

That’s not cheating, is it?  All four Apps do something completely awesome and different.