August 10, 2011

Meet us at Dreamforce 2011

In early June I (find me @ValaAfshar on Twitter) received an invite from Marc Benioff to attend the executive summit for Salesforce.com’s biggest cloud computing event of the year, Dreamforce 2011. The main theme of this year’s conference is the social enterprise. Needless to say I enthusiastically accepted the invitation for a number of reasons:

  • Salesforce.com’s sales automation and services cloud solution is the best in the industry. Since 2003, we have been leveraging this innovation to develop a highly automated and fully transparent business ecosystem that leverages the best-and-brightest resources, across all functions (sales, services, marketing, engineering, IT…), to service our amazing customers and partners.
  • We believe that the ‘social enterprise’ is more than just about people, it also includes products. This year Enterasys introduced the first ‘social switch’ – a name given to it by Marc Benioff at the Boston Cloudforce event in June. Network World ran an article with short video showing how it connects people and machines using social media. Today, we are monitoring and managing our global IT infrastructure via Chatter. Think about the fusion of information technology megatrends: cloud computing, mobility and social collaboration. Using Salesforce.com we have built a social enterprise that connects all of these megatrends to produce the 4th capability – ubiquitous secure management from anywhere, at any time.
  • The best and brightest professionals will be at Dreamforce. The opportunity to learn from a cross-functional group of thought leaders is an opportunity that only comes once a year.
  • Metallica – need I say more?

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to present at two sessions. The first is regarding advanced predictive analytics to improve services and support delivery. In 2010, our services organization was recognized as a ‘Service Elite’ winner by CRM magazine. In 2011, we received the CRM Excellence award from TMCNet. In this session we will demonstrate the use of services cloud to predict customer temperature and to produce balanced performance scorecards. Ultimately the goal of any services organization is to transition from a reactive to proactive model and we can do this today.

The second session is about the social enterprise. I plan to demonstrate the use of Chatter by connecting from San Francisco to our Enterasys Headquarters in Boston and to manage (monitor & control) our IP network infrastructure via Salesforce.com Chatter. This is an amazing demo and I think the audience will be intrigued by the possibilities of human-to-machine and ultimately machine-to-machine collaboration (imagine your products connecting to your CRM services ticketing system automatically… we do that now!).

We have a surprise announcement to share at Dreamforce and another potentially industry first solution. I am excited to learn from the fantastic sales, marketing, services and technology leaders who are planning to attend. Please connect with me if you have any questions or would like to ‘chat’ at Dreamforce. I am very interested in knowing how you are using social media to drive business growth and learning.

About The Contributor:
Vala AfsharChief Marketing Officer

Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) is the Chief Marketing Officer for Extreme Networks, responsible for global marketing. An award-winning inventor of social technologies and customer services operations, Afshar is a two-time Stevie Award winner stemming from his previous leadership of the company's Support organization, and is considered a pioneer in cloud computing, social collaboration, business intelligence and customer relationship management. Afshar is a recognized social media advocate, having been the keynote of several industry events including Salesforce’s Dreamforce, as well as Gartner and IDC conferences. His thought-leadership has been sought after by leading publications, and he regularly contributes bylines to Huffington Post, Inc., and InformationWeek, among others. To his credit, Vala was recently named by Leadtail as "the most retweeted B2B marketer." He is also the co-host of the weekly "CXO Talk" interview series, where he interviews C-level thought leaders from companies such as Accenture, SAP and Intel.

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