ABSI - far beyond system integration

On 28 September 2017     By Paul Ginsberg      Salesforce , Work-at-ABSI

Here at ABSI we have a strong belief in 6 core values:

  • We care
  • Ahead of the curve
  • Product focus
  • Value for money
  • Technical skills
  • Think with the customer

Nothing, to my mind, exemplifies these values more than Salesforce’s User Groups.  In this article, I hope to explain what these groups are, why it means so much to me, and what you could be missing out on!

What are Salesforce User Groups?

Salesforce has an extensive ecosystem of community/user groups but you may not have heard of them.  They exist both online and offline

Every month in towns and cities across most continents of the world, people come together to discuss all things Salesforce.  These aren’t Salesforce-organised events – there are no Account Executives or Product Managers here; these are events run by you (ok, or people like you). 

So what do you get?

  1. Training and education on aspects of the Salesforce system that interest you, including broader topics such as project management and data protection
  2. Real world feedback about tools and 3rd party apps that you might be curious about but you weren’t sure whether it was worth the time investment
  3. Networking with others in the industry
  4. Food and drinks
  5. Swag!
  6. BONUS OFFER: Opportunities to practice public speaking in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment (if you want)

So what does all this add up to? Great opportunities to share experience – you may be able to solve problems other people have had and, equally, they often have different perspectives on your own challenges.  It’s also fun, because often people actually can understand what you are talking about!

On a personal note, since I started attending User Groups my confidence has increased – it helps to realize that it’s not just me occasionally(!) battling Salesforce.  My knowledge has increased more than expected – I might come for one session, but in the other sessions I learn about things I didn’t know I should be interested in!  Even my friendship circle has expanded: I’ve met many wonderful people from around the globe, whom I wouldn’t have otherwise met.  The only thing that hasn’t improved is my waistline ☹

If you look at events.salesforceusergroups.com, you will discover a whole range of groups, from generalist to developer-focused, from Administrator to Women in Technology and even Marketing Cloud specialist groups. Developer user groups grew up along a slightly different path so are listed separately here.

For the Benelux region, there is a website highlighting all the main local ones: beneluxusergroups.com
TIP: By joining a user group you register to be informed about forthcoming events – you’re not signing up to actually attend.  You’ll get an invitation to each individual event as and when they are announced, and you can say whether you are able to come at that point.

ABSI & Salesforce User Groups: It’s a match!

User Groups encompass all of ABSI’s core values.
  • We care: community groups are all about supporting each other (partners, customers and ISVs in it together!).
  • Ahead of the curve: at community groups you get to hear the inside track on latest developments and get previews first!
  • Product focus: each User Group publishes its agenda well in advance so you can choose where you spend your time, and make sure it is worthwhile for you and the products you use.
  • Value for money: User Group events are always free.
  • Technical skills: continual learning in the Salesforce world is a must; here you can hobnob with the experts! MVPs even fly in to give the low-down on their specialities.
  • Think with the customer: the feedback User Group co-leaders get is that participants get the most benefit from hearing customer stories: what factored played into choosing Salesforce, certain architecture decisions or choices of apps; what went well and what didn’t; they are great for understanding the Salesforce journey from all perspectives.
 …so ABSI happily supports User Groups. ABSI likes to show support for the wider community by sponsoring individual User Group meetings by way of venues and food. More importantly, a number of staff have presented and two are user group co-leaders - your author co-leading the Amsterdam User Group, and Samuel de Rycke being a co-leader of the Belgium User Group.  Hopefully this reflects on our passion as well as our organisational abilities.

Want to know more?

Visit beneluxusergroups.com and sign up to your local user group now!