How do AppExchange partners continue to innovate, and what technology trends are both exciting and top of mind? We enlisted Salesforce MVPs – customers recognized for their contributions to the Salesforce Ohana – to interview executives from eight AppExchange partners for a recent ebook, Keep Innovating: 15 Experts on Tech Trends and Innovation. Read on to learn about innovation from these MVPs and the partners they interviewed.
Denise Carbone and SMS-Magic: The responsibility of innovation
A customer since 2004 and Chicago User Group leader, since 2008, Denise is a Salesforce MVP with multiple Salesforce certifications and has presented at many Salesforce events, including Dreamforce. Denise has a deep level of respect and appreciation for all who engage in the Salesforce Ohana. Denise asked Nitin Seth, Co-founder and CEO of Screen-Magic about the responsibility of innovation."I would not say that innovation is one person’s responsibility. It’s across the organization. In our organization there are characters who thrive in an uncertain environment, and who look for new pieces of information that can become trends tomorrow. The product team is looking at all of these trends, and other teams, such as marketing, sales, and research, also assist."
Amber Boaz and Conga: The fourth wave of innovation
Amber is a runner, volunteer, and Salesforce MVP. She holds numerous Salesforce certifications, including Certified Service Cloud Consultant. Amber has deep knowledge of the contact center industry and experience administering and configuring Salesforce. Amber spoke with Bob DeSantis, COO from Conga to learn more about how the company thinks about innovation.
"We’re very focused on contract lifecycle management, or CLM. And right now our VP of product says we’re approaching the fourth wave of innovation. That’s being driven by AI, and a renewed awareness of the value of contracts and contract assets as part of running a business, especially a sales business."
Deepa Patel and Skuid: New mobile technology
A Salesforce MVP since 2012, Deepa is the founder of DPCRMGURU. Her many certifications include Service Cloud Consultant, Sales Cloud Consultant, Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, Pardot Specialist, and Salesforce Certified Administrator. Deepa Patel talked to Mike Duensing, Chielf Technology Officer of Skuid about what customers can expect from new technology.
"For our customers, mobile is a big area. More and more of the workforce is using mobile. Providing solutions that will accommodate mobile form factors is very important. A lot of our customers are evaluating Salesforce Lightning and looking to understand what it’s going to take to move to Lightning."
Kristi Guzman and FormAssembly: AI
Kristi is a self-proclaimed #SFNerd. She is a Salesforce MVP, with multiple Salesforce administrator and developer certifications. She has also spoken at multiple Salesforce events, including Dreamforce. Kristi interviewed Cedric Savarese, CEO of FormAssembly, to learn more about their approach to innovation.
"I think we’ll talk about AI, and we’ll talk about machine learning. They’re becoming more available, and they’re definitely in the mainstream now. So we’ll see more and more applications that benefit consumer and businesses."
Phil Weinmeister and SpringCM: Voice-based user experience
Salesforce MVP, holder of 18 certifications, and author of Practical Salesforce Development Without Code, Phil is focused on engaging customers by combining community, context, and collaboration. Phil sat down with Erik Severinghaus, Chief Strategy Officer at SpringCM, to learn about innovation.
"I think fundamentally, the improvement of UX and voice-based user experience is going to continue to be transformational, improving the way that we can connect with these machines that do all of this work. We still haven’t necessarily crossed that threshold where it’s more efficient to use voice-based or user experiences other than the typical mouse and keyboard, but I think the days of the mouse and keyboard are numbered. I think that number is starting to come in terms of months, not years."
Tal Frankfurt and Nintex: The next wave of innovation
Tal is a Salesforce MVP, and founder and CEO of Cloud for Good and CRM Market. Tal interviewed Nintex’s VP of Product, Vincent Cabral, to learn about Nintex Document Generation and how the company stays innovative.
"AI will soon help people to make better, more informed decisions. Right now, data is collected, monitored, and analyzed. The next wave of innovation will be optimizing processes to be more efficient and predicting the next step in the process."
Jeff Grosse and Fonteva: Predictive analytics
Jeff is a Salesforce MVP, cloud fanatic, Salesforce admin turned consultant, and Evernote and Disney freak. He holds Salesforce Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Developer, Service Cloud Consultant, and Sales Cloud Consultant certifications. Jeff talked to Jake Fabbri, VP of Marketing about Fonteva and how it keeps up with the pace of innovation.
"It all comes back to the ability to drive a better experience for customers. AI and predictive analytics tools are going to be important in the next year. Analytics are going to not only look at what’s happened in the past and the current trends, but based on that, what’s most likely to happen to optimize revenue or customer experience beyond where it is today."
From listening to these conversations, AI is the reoccurring topic. Henry Evans, VP of Channel Sales at Phoneburner rounded out the conversation in this interview by adding, "I think that the AI conversation is only going to get bigger. AI is this catch-all phrase for technology getting better at predicting human behavior. When I use Salesforce, I now see Einstein predicting things. It’s really incredible how software is finally getting connected enough and smart enough." (Check out the app.)These conversations remind us to continue to be forward thinkers. Get there before your customers do. Read more from these partners in the ebook, Keep Innovating: 15 Experts on Tech Trends and Innovation.
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