ABSI - far beyond system integration

On 26 February 2018     By Paul Ginsberg      Salesforce

London’s Calling is Europe's largest Salesforce community-led Salesforce event, bristling with demos of the latest features, real-world stories of implementations good and bad, and tips on how to stretch yourself to make you a better Salesforce Trailblazer.  
8.30am, 16th February and the hoards start arriving on mass, including 6 from ABSI. There’s a record 400 attendees (up from 280 at the original event in 2016, and around 340 last year). Upon arrival, everyone gets a guide book (although details have been available online for the last few weeks) and a lovely T-shirt. Then downstairs for tea and coffee. Mainly coffee.  

London's calling 2018 - Salesforce community - welcome

After a welcome speech, it’s on with the show. Proving that nothing in the Salesforce universe stays the same for long, the schedule was transformed for this year. Rather than lots of similar-length sessions (40 minutes if memory serves), the session lengths varied from 25 minutes to a full hour in length. This allowed attendees to do everything from gaining a taste of a subject or a really high level overview, to getting lots of details and being fully immersed (along with their laptops). 

Something to take away from every session 

There were 45 sessions in total. I chose a smorgasbord: from implementing CPQ, to comparing the differences between Pardot and Marketing Cloud, to the self-explanatory “Strangle the Stakeholder: The customer is not always right”. Perhaps one of the most beneficial things was discussing the sessions with others afterwards, and hearing about their use-cases.  

Here’s an example: One person I spoke to found that she could now move her org from Classic to Lightning by using Lightning Components. Her issue had been that there’s a 35-strong lookup field limit on a Lightning page. Bizarre usage (how many lookups?!), but now she’s going to use the Winter 18 feature to dynamic visibility (to show or hide components); simplifying the page layout for the end-user without losing any data. We weren’t expecting that leap from a session about Quick Actions!  

Other sessions turned on-the-spot into workshops, enabling attendees to get the most out of the day and practice what they were learning about straight away.  

Demojam - from GDPR to Einstein Analytics 

Just before a rather wonderful lunch, there was the Demojam, showcasing 12 different apps, each in 3 minutes or less, to a packed auditorium. Here we got a taster of what each app offered, making it a great way to hear about the latest features and how these off-the-shelf solutions may benefit our businesses. 

Amongst a hotly contested field, old-school voice comms and GDPR featured strongly. Elements.Cloud showcased their GDPR process mapping, NewVoiceMedia amazed with their use of Einstein Analytics, Ortoo enhanced Salesforce with skillset-based routing and Ebsta (see image below), as ever, highlighted their email-integration expertise with their new GDPR features.

London's calling 2018 - Salesforce community - ebsta

Aircall was the worthy winner, as voted for by the audience, showing how they could provision a brand new telephone line and have it fully integrated into Salesforce within 3 minutes! 

The advantage of seeing such a diverse array of products was that it energises the a great way to think out of the box, and from a different perspective than one’s day-to-day working environment. 

The keynote

Late in the afternoon we heard from Dr Sue Black OBE who gave an inspirational talk on “From life on benefits to an OBE, if I can do it so can you”. Nothing is impossible, and she’s definitely helping others too, spreading the word via #techmums. I have to give a shout-out to the London’s Calling team, for making sure that we don’t stay in our own little Salesforce universe, that we hear about what’s going on in the wider world, and how we can contribute too.  

Stepping back, there were some other wonderful aspects to the day, with the diversity of topics on offer, a sense of fun in the air, and people coming along from all corners of the globe (Australia to the US, Bulgaria to the Czech Republic, and our very own Sahan from Sri Lanka showing "how to Create Dynamic and Real-time Charts for Printable Reports" (see video below or presentation on slideshare), because they wanted to learn, meet new people and expand their horizons. 

It must be said, as is often the case with these events, the people that I met were as interesting as the sessions themselves, and that’s quite a high mark to meet! I’ll also take this opportunity to thank the awesome organising team (all volunteers) for all their hard work, that has paid off handsomely. You’re amazing! 

What next? / Salesforce community led events 2019

London’s Calling will be back in a year (more or less), but the big news of the day was saved to the very end. If London is too far, you can be attending Yeurdreamin in Benelux in April 2019! Follow @Yeudreamin to hear about all the latest developments over the next year. 

London's calling 2018 - Salesforce community - Yeurdreaming team

Other, worldwide, London’s Calling-style events can be found here (including DreamOle in Spain in April) and, of course, there are plenty of user group events throughout the year too.  

P.S. Most sessions from the day will be available on the London’s Calling website within the next week!