By Ian Gotts, Elements.Cloud
We’ve been customers of Salesforce since 2002 and spoke at the first London event which was 3 customers, Marc and just 120 delegates. The last 15 years have been an amazing ride; the growth in the number of clients, the expansion of the scope of the platform, and the amazing support for non-profits.
But if I were to pick out one aspect that makes Salesforce truly unique is the community and ecosystem. It started as a few evangelists, like us, and some ISVs building apps in Force.com. Back then, the support for the Salesforce Admin support was really very technically focused – code not clicks!! In the last 5 years we’ve seen a huge shift.
Now there is an huge opportunity for anyone, regardless of education or background, to build their career as a Salesforce Admin. And this is possible because of the support by the community which is unparalleled anywhere else in the tech world. Salesforce has made this possible with a highly configurable platform (clicks not code) and has primed the pump with Trailhead. But the peer to peer support is what makes the difference. That starts with Salesforce Admins supporting each other on the Success Community – but it goes beyond that.
The User Groups bring Salesforce Admins together to learn, laugh and connect. The User Groups are a vital part of the support network, and putting these events of this scale and quality require a huge amount of work for the organizers. Events like this put on by companies would have a full time events team. User Groups happen only through the passion and dedication of a few individuals who make time around their busy lives. It is not for financial gain, but because they care. Or because they are gluttons for punishment.
They need our support – as delegates, speakers, volunteers and sponsors.
As a sponsor there needs to be a justification for spending hard cash, which is hard as Elements.cloud is a free business analysis app; free for ever, for everyone So why are we sponsoring? We know that a small percentage of Salesforce customers who are large and highly regulated will pay for the Pro and Enterprise features. Everyone else gets to benefit from the amazing free app. So our sponsorship is taking a longer term view and helping to raise the profile of Elements.cloud.
Can we build a business case? No.
But deep down it just feels right. We are part of this amazing community and we need to be an active supporter. We can do that through sponsorship dollars. We can do that through presentations that are educational and not a thinly veiled sales pitch. We can do that by providing valuable content for free; our eBook on business analysis, and pre-built process maps (How to run a User Group Event, Exhibiting at an event, Sales Process, HR Onboarding, NPSP….)
We are excited to be supporting SouthEast Dreaming’ and other User Group events around the world. See you in Atlanta.