Salesforce 2016 World Tour Melbourne - Innovation Track

Salesforce World Tour 2016 rolled into Melbourne this past Tuesday with a bang showing off the latest product releases and customer stories to the 5000 odd attendees. I spent the day attending the innovation stream breakouts and wanted to share some observations.

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It’s no surprise that the Innovation track has become a regular feature at World Tour given the record Salesforce has as being one of if not the top innovators globally. Forbes has named them #1 most innovative company 4 years in a row. Only dropping to #2 behind Tesla last year, something I’d imagine they can live with.

Hosted by the always insightful Peter Coffee in the Richmond Room at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre the track run with 4 sessions covering the following topics:

  • Increasing Your Innovation Fitness
  • Secrets from the Startup Ecosystem
  • Evolution of Technology
  • Building the Knowledge Economy

The much hyped standout was of course Evolution of Technology with Peter Schwartz. Schwartz generally needs little introduction, but for those who aren’t familiar with him he worked at NASA during the Apollo Program, Consulted to the movie WarGames, published multiple books including The Art of the Long View, and is the current Senior Vice President Strategic Planning at Salesforce. A world renowned Futurist he’s well placed to speak authoritatively on the future of technology. The focus of the session was the rise of Predictive AI leading to a world where everyone had the equivalent of an intelligent ‘team’ of assistants working for them via their technology. Much in the same way today’s high flying corporate executives have teams of assistants managing their activities on their behalf. Furthermore Schwartz indicated this was the direction Salesforce were heading and was their big bet for the future.

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While Peter Schwartz was the big drawcard the other sessions did not disappoint. Panellist such as Ti Tien Mak, CTO of Auspost describes the culture of innovation he was creating at a large organisation that needs to go through transformational change tosurvive. Along with Rohan Workman, Director of the Melbourne Accelerator Program at the University of Melbourne providing insights into how Startups need to interact with large corporates, and how large corporates need to behave when interacting with Startups. Plus the benefits the two can gain from each other.

I’ve only scratched the surface of the day's insights in this post, but if any of it is of interest I encourage you to consider making the trip to Dreamforce in October where the innovation track takes on a much grander and more comprehensive schedule of sessionsthan the 4 run at World Tour Melbourne.