This week, San Francisco has been home to the largest vendor-led technology event of all times: Salesforce.com reportedly attracted more than 90,000 registrants to the tenth edition of their annual Dreamforce conference.
Aptly described as being more of a festival than a business conference, Dreamforce impressed with a lineup of leaders and influencers that shared their views on how the mobile and social technology revolution is changing business and the world. Preluded by MC Hammer as the supporting act, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff worked a packed Moscone Center during his 3-hour opening keynote presentation, with prominent customers and their success stories galore on stage. Later throughout the conference, he hosted a fireside chat with Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson centered around the theme of entrepreneurship, and a profound conversation about leadership, the economy, politics, and international inter-connectedness with General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt and former Secretary of State General Colin Powell.
With Howard Street closed to traffic and converted into a park-like hangout and stage area between Moscone Center South and North, several blocks of San Fanciscos's SoMa district are firmly in the hands of "the force" these days. Almost every major hotel in a radius of several miles has its conference facilities fully booked throughout the week to host the more than 800 conference sessions. Following the Metallica gig at Dreamforce 2011, this year the Red Hot Chilli Peppers performed live at Civic Center Plaza on Wednesday night.
The overarching theme at the conference is "Business is Social" - companies need to communicate with their customers and employees on all channels. For me personally and from IPfolio's perspective, though, the greatest value of being in the middle of all this has been the deep insight into, and corroboration of, the tremendous ongoing investment that Salesforce is making into its platform technology, on which we have built IPfolio. Dozens of smart development teams are working hard on ambitious roadmaps to even further advance every aspect of the platform, ranging from ever-more sophisticated reporting and analytics to an amazing Touch interface for mobile applications and Dropbox-like cloud storage functionality, to name just a few.
At IPfolio, seeing and experiencing all this vibe and vision makes us proud to be part of something big, a revolution in how companies purchase, deploy and use business software. Will IP Management become social? We will see. Are we already making a difference, bringing fresh technology to an area of business software that has not seen much innovation in many years? Certainly.