Dreamforce 2012 Recap – A Summary of the Big Announcements

After a somewhat surreal appearance by MC Hammer, things got started with Mark Benioff announcing an array of new products. This kicked off with the eagerly anticipated full release of Salesforce Touch. The Touch UI is something like a virtual rolodex, allowing you to easily scroll to the data in your Salesforce org with one finger.

Another interesting item is the enhancement of Data.com, which can now pull in contextual information about contacts from social networks and web posts.

My favorite was the new Salesforce Marketing Cloud which allows businesses and users to manage all their social channels in one place. As a marketer, I can appreciate a tool that will help me manage Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, online communities, etc. more intelligently and efficiently.  There weren’t complete details, but the Marketing cloud appears to be the marriage of Radian6 (for listening to the social web) and Buddy Media (for posting to the social web).

Chatter collaboration is reducing email by approximately 30% and will continue to be reduced with the use of Chatter Communities. There are many features included with this product, including Chatter Box, which will be similar to Drop Box, making it easier to share files with chatter groups including customers, partners and associates. There is also a feature to collect social conversations in what looks like a related list on the User page.

Work.com provides a set of tools that can be used to motivate employees. I can align my workforce using social goals, give feedback and coaching in a private workspace, and manage performance. Salesforce partnership with Workday allows me to better manage performance and compensation through a seamless integration with Workday HCM.

Many other feature enhancements were announced as highlights of the Winter ’13 release.  I’ll be looking forward to learning more about what these new and improved tools can do and will be certain to watch this epic keynote again once the YouTube is posted.

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