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From Law Graduate to Salesforce Admin - InspireEast 2018 Conference
Salesforce is renowned throughout the world for the community spirit amongst its user base; what Salesforce call the ‘Ohana’, this community hosts thousands of user groups throughout the world, and often set up unofficial gatherings for Salesforce professionals and business users. A new event, InspireEast, had its first event this year, and I was lucky enough to not only attend, but was asked to speak at the conference, too.
Salesforce in business
With well over 25 talks, breakout sessions, and demos throughout the day, Emma Henderson, our Business Systems Manager, and I tried to get to as many as we could. As well as the hands-on elements to the day, several of the talks focussed on the interaction between Salesforce and the business that uses it: from effective change management process to making Salesforce more accessible to your users, as well as talks on privacy and how to ensure the security and integrity of data within the platform.
What makes these events so useful is meeting with other professionals and talking about real-life problems and solutions that other businesses have experienced, as well as seeing the new innovations that Salesforce is working on in practice and having direct access to those that implemented these developments. It was great to see how businesses are using Salesforce’s Lightning platform, as well as their new powerful analytics tool, Salesforce Einstein.
The importance of inspiration
On top of the usual conference elements, there was an emphasis on inspiration (as the name of the event would suggest), and how companies like Salesforce manage a commitment to empowering their employees, as well as encouraging happiness in the workplace, through a simple but powerful model of philanthropy, with the keynote towards the end of the day delivered by Mark Orsborn (Salesforce's Director of IoT), and Henry Stewart (Chief Happiness Officer at Happy).
The transition from Law to Salesforce
In the afternoon, I gave a talk on my own transition into Salesforce, from graduating with a Law degree in 2015 to working with Opsview, and what I wish I could have told myself starting out in Salesforce. It was based on a LinkedIn article I had written earlier in the year, and I was keen to reiterate that, even coming from a non-technical background, Salesforce can open a lot of doors.
Because of the way Salesforce integrates with a business, Salesforce professionals get to work with colleagues and partners across the business, through finance, marketing, sales, support, and engineering, and often with colleagues throughout the world, which, can often be a humbling, eye-opening, and fun way to work!
After the talk, it was nice to have a discussion in the room about ‘where to begin’ with Salesforce, indeed, one of the key themes throughout the day was Trailhead, Salesforce’s training platform. Salesforce has created a free-to-use and brilliantly comprehensive training platform that covers every level of ability from novice business user to solution architect, and through hands-on application of knowledge and the gamification of the platform, it’s an incredible resource for Salesforce professionals and business users alike.
In an ever-connected world, events like this give businesses and individuals the chance to learn from one another, and that feels unusual for a software conference; some of the attendees may have been competitors, but throughout the day, there was a spirit of collaboration, education, and dare I say, inspiration, too.
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