Want to Attend Dreamforce 2016, and Help Homeless Children at the Same Time?

If you had the chance to do something (that you do every year) and help a great cause at the same time, would you do it?

Yes, that was a rhetorical question, but do me a favor, answer it anyway.

My answer would be a resounding ‘yes’. I try to give back to the Salesforce community every chance I get. So when Cirrus Insight emailed to tell inform me that they were holding the same contest they held last year, where the winner would receive a free pass to Dreamforce, the contest I won last year, and auctioned off the Dreamforce pass because I did not need it, with the proceeds going to Project Night Night, I decided to take the bolder approach this year. Instead of entering the contest and hoping I would win, I simply emailed my contact at Cirrus Insight and asked if they would donate a pass that I could action off to benefit Project Night Night again this year. I think the response I got might have set the record for the quickest email response EVER. And that response was “Absolutely, YES!”

I’m now announcing the 2016 edition of “Attend Dreamforce, Help a Homeless Child” contest. One lucky winner gets a free pass to attend Dreamforce* and many homeless children get a NightNight pack from Project Night Night. *Conference fees only, sorry – travel and other accommodations are the responsibility of the winner.

Please answer these two questions:

  1. Do you still need a pass to Dreamforce?
  2. Do you want to help children have sweeter dreams at the same time?

If you answered yes to both questions, please place your bids here. To see the current high bid, follow me on Twitter and search for #DF16ProjectNight2X_HIGHBID.  The bidding will close at 11:59 PM on Friday, September 2, 2016.

URGENT UPDATE: Because Salesforce expects Full Conference Passes to sell out sometime during the week of August 29th, no bids will be accepted after 11:59PM Central Time on Saturday, August 27, 2016. The winner will be notified by 11:59PM Central Time on Sunday, August 28, 2016, via email or telephone.

If you happened to answer the first question with a no, please visit Project Night Night and consider making a donation.

Either way, please follow Project Night Night on Twitter and support their cause with prayers!

Thanks!

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Jen Nelson

This is the twenty-third post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Salesforce MVP and co-leader of the Chicago Suburban User Group, Jen Nelson.
image

 

What’s your job title? Senior Solutions Architect, Configero (EFD – That sounds pretty impessive. So you build stuff, right?)

What does that mean you do?  I like to say it is part art and part science. Once the customer’s requirements have been collected, my job is to identify and present solutions for the more complex requirements. Solutions may include any combination of code, declarative configuration and or AppExchange apps. I look at factors like Admin experience (how hard will it be to implement AND maintain), User experience (how hard will it be to learn and use), scalability and compatibility with other solutions that they already have, they are currently implementing or they have on their roadmap.  It is great fun and, sometimes a great challenge, because every Salesforce Org really is a snowflake! (EFD – I like that! Every Salesforce org really is a snowflake. Mind if I quote you on that? What you meant by that is every org, every company’s use of the Salesforce platform and ecosystem is beautiful and melts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, right? I kid…I’m a kidder. What you mean is that every company’s use of the Salesforce platform and ecosystem is unique, which really speaks volumes to the power of the platform.)

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)?  I’ve been on the platform for 10 years. (EFD – 10 years? TEN years?!? Wow! You were around to witness the birth of the AppExchange…and a whole lot more.)

Bacon or sausage?  It’s bacon or nothing!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  Both are import, especially if your goal is collaboration – it is awesome to be able to share knowledge but even cooler to say, I don’t know but let me introduce you to someone who might. (EFD – Let me introduce you to someone who might…hey! That gives me an idea for a blog post. Oh…oops. Nevermind.)

How did our relationship start, and when? Was there ever a time when I didn’t know you?  Seems impossible. I suppose we really got to know one and other planning Midwest Dreamin’ 2014. (EFD  – Ah yes…that little thing in Chicago. I think we knew each other prior to that, but going through such an ordeal gave us both new found respect for each other, the entire Midwest Dreamin’ planning team and everyone at Salesforce who helps organize Dreamforce.)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? One of my college jobs was working 3rd shift in a Pepperidge Farm Bakery – and I totally recreated the Lucy & Ethel conveyor belt scene with a batch of dinner rolls! (EFD – Did you still have that job after “Project Lucy”? And for the younger crowd, this is what Jen was referring to.)

You can find Jen on Twitter.

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Jocelyn Fennewald

This is the eighth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Jocelyn Fennewald, co-leader of the Chicago Women In Technology Group. 

  

What’s your job title? Managing Partner, OpMentors.
What does that mean you do?   My job is a mult-hat one. I am co-owner of my company, OpMentors. We are a Salesforce SI partner, as well as partnering with FinancialForce and Apttus on thier X-Author for Excel tool. Most of my day is working as a consultant and system admin. Working with clients to push their platforms to the next level is a absolute thrill for me. On any given day I can be working with the client’s system admin to solve an issue, conduct end user training or working through their implementation or optimization of Salesforce or FinancialForce. Being able to wear so many hats keeps it fun and interesting. Since I love problem solving so much, this type of work will always keep pushing my knowledge of the platform.

(EFD – Who doesn’t wear more than one hat on the job these days? And WOW…I do love Apttus X-Author for Excel!!))

How long have you been involved with Salesforce.com (as a customer and/or an employee)? 2.5 years as a customer, and now 1.5 years as a partner for a total of 4 fun-filled years.  (EFD – Congrats, you made the jump! Why am I now thinking about the movie “Speed”?  https://youtu.be/AmOBTB4Py-Q)

Bacon or sausage? Can’t I have both? Don’t make me decide!

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  I think it’s what you know about who you know. I always love to surround myself with the most amazing people because that pushes me to be better. If the people you know (like the great Salesforce community) are strong in all different areas then by knowing them and learning from them you will innately become more well rounded and have the communal knowledge to solve any problem. No one person can know everything about Salesforce so having the community is the most valuable part of Salesforce.  (EFD – Wow…I couldn’t have said it better myself!)

How did our relationship start, and when? After Midwest Dreamin’ 2014 I started following you on Twitter.  (EFD – Midwest Dreamin’?  What’s that?  😉  I know a thing or two about Midwest Dreamin’. If you don’t, check it out! It’s coming back to Chicago on July 21 & 22, 2016!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I am a drummer. I have just been playing for over a year but I LOVE it! I learning all different types of musical styles but can play rock music the best. (EFD – There’s a lot of musicians who are great Salesforce Admins & Developers. Perhaps we should get a band together!)

You can find Jocelyn on Twitter.

Dreamforce 2014 – A look back

It’s been a month now since I returned from Dreamforce. A month of attempting (rather unsuccessfully) to get caught up on missed sleep. A month of seeing Salesforce Community activity slow down some, a month of trying to remember all the priorities I had at work before I left for Dreamforce. It’s an ideal time to close out my Dreamforce experience with a brief summary of what I took away from it all.

1. The Salesforce Community still ROCKS! There were dozens and dozens of community-led sessions…and from all the conversations I was involved in, they were all well received by their respective audiences.

2. There will never, EVER be a ‘First Ever Admin Keynote’, but you can bet your last dollar that there will be a 2nd Annual Admin Keynote. (Safe Harbor applies here…remember, this blog is full of my opinion, and nothing more!)

3. The Developer Zone was cool, just like it has been before, but the Admin Zone took things up a notch, and put Admins on everyone’s radar. My prediction for Dreamforce 2015: an expanded Admin Zone – more space for Hero Booths, for conversation, for Theater Sessions, and yes, for coffee!

4. There’s even more focus on Analytics and Big Data. The Analytics Cloud and Project Wave…wow! Love the speed, robustness and flexibility of insights at the speed of thought!

5. A hackathon…done right. I had the pleasure of hanging out in the hackathon for a while simply observing and talking to people. Tons of awesome ideas & apps being built by plenty of great people. I’m thrilled that the prize money was spread out this year.

6. The Marc and Parker Q & A session – its a must attend. Having the opportunity to ask the founders a question is awesome, but what I think is even better is hearing them respond to the questions being asked. It solidifies the customer focus that salesforce.com has by demonstrating it from the top down!

So that’s my take on the highlights from Dreamforce 2014. I’d love to hear yours!

Notable quotes from the Salesforce Community

Here’s a few of my recent favorite quotes from the Salesforce Success Community and Twitter.

Here’s a great presentation shared by Patrick Watkins on the Raleigh User Group page on “Putting Your Browser to Work as a Salesforce Admin”…lots of great time-saving tips in here.

Here’s a “short-n-sweet” post from MVP Jen Nelson “How to Become a Salesforce.com Consultant”. She sparked some great conversation on the community, so be sure to read through the entire thread, not just her blog post!

Here’s a great Salesforce1 Admin tip from Kelly Bentubo, If you build it, they will come! I just recently moved to an Org not using mobile (and thought they didn’t need it). I’ve been slowly recruiting team members over to mobile and now users are starting to approach me to ask about ‘that cool thing that Aaron is using’… If you can think up the use case, build it out and then demo it. Often users/management need to see it in action before you can get their buy in. Also agree on the other tips for automation & ease of use, show them how it will save them time (answer the ‘What’s in it for me?’ question)

Want your quote included in a future post? Use hashtag #sfdcQOTW and I’ll be sure to check it out!

Memorable Quotes from the Salesforce Community

In the spirit of the Dreamforce “Tweets of the Week” blog posts, I bring you some of my favorite, recent memorable quotes from in and around the Salesforce Community.

“Can you post a mock-up of what you want? With reports and dashboards, Ansel Adams is more helpful than Earnest Hemingway” – SteveMo

 

“There will be no me, without SFDC” –  Adam Jeffries

 

“I am excited about the updated Flows coming too! Have you seen some of the examples that have been posted in the Feed here? I am astounded at every turn with the new ways that we have found to leverage Flows…so amazing!” – Jen Nelson

 

“SteveMo – How do I do this?” – seriously, who HASN’T asked that?

 

A little humor…unfortunately those of us in the “cloud” business compete against those who insist on moving “rocks” all day.” – Michael Traw

 

 

Is Too Much Community a Bad Thing? (I think NOT!)

There’s some buzz out there in the Salesforce social circles about something called Midwest Dreamin’ 2014.  What is that, you ask?  I’ll tell you.

The recipe to make Midwest Dreamin’ 2014 is a well-kept secret, but the descerning palate can detect a few things:

  1. The best of a user group meeting
  2. A little Dreamforce flair
  3. A little food
  4. Some socializing
  5. A great venue with awesome surroundings

Yes…I know, that really doesn’t tell you much of anything, but this entire post was meant to tease you, to spark your curiosity, to make you want to learn more.  Sorry…you will have to wait for another post.

Interested in sponsorship opportunities for Midwest Dreamin’ 2014?  Send an email to midwest.dreamin.2014@gmail.com and we will make sure you get all the details once we have them!

One last teaser:  Midwest Dreamin’ 2014, Coming to Chicago, Summer, 2014.

Join the group on the Salesforce Success Community and keep up with the buzz!

https://success.salesforce.com/_ui/core/chatter/groups/GroupProfilePage?g=0F9300000001rd6