Talent Hub is proud to introduce the fourteenth episode of the Talent Hub TV series in podcast format. Here, Talent Hub Director, Ben Duncombe sits down for ‘on the sofa’ chats with inspirational Salesforce professionals to learn more about their fascinating stories and market insight.
This month’s guest, Salesforce Evangelist, Patrick Bulacz, joins Ben on the sofa to share his own Salesforce journey, which is particularly fascinating due to his early entry into the ecosystem in the Australian market. We take a trip down memory lane to look back at where it all started, the major players at the time, and how the market has evolved since then.
Patrick shares his thoughts on the future of the platform and his insight into the history of the Salesforce Partner landscape here in Australia, and what excites him about what comes next.
Listen here, or if you prefer to read, the entire transcript is below:
Ben: Welcome to Talent Hub TV Episode 14, we’re here with Patrick Bulacz today and I’ve got a whole host of questions for you, so thank you for coming along.
Patrick: No drama, thank you for having me.
Ben: Patrick, tell us a bit about your career before Salesforce?
Patrick: My career before Salesforce, was predominantly non-existent, no I had my own business which I was a web developer and designer back in, you know, this is going back 12 plus years when you could do everything, and people went, “okay, you’re somewhat creative, the internet’s new, you can put a website up” those sorts of things, and that was fresh out of University effectively. On the side I worked for SBS, I had a radio show.
Ben: No way! So this is all natural to you?
Patrick: Ah, absolutely the camera loves me, no I’ve got a face for radio. Yeah, I had a radio show with a radio station which was like a youth radio station called Alchemy. We did like, world number one’s around the world, it was silly but, we had a little digital presence with that brand as well. I did a bit of that, and then yeah, my web stuff on the side and effectively, kind of played in that space. And then if your leading question is ‘how did I get into the ecosystem’, eventually, I met someone who happened to work at an SI, and he asked me to do some design contracting for them, and some website redesign, and a little bit of work around some of their marketing campaigns, e-newsletters, things like that.
Ben: Were they Salesforce marketing campaigns?
Patrick: They happened to be, they were for an SI and their capabilities, and eventually it turned into Salesforce marketing campaigns, but that was Sqware Peg, so Sqware Peg was my foot in and Shawn Stilwell, Susan, who yeah, husband and wife team, a very small business, Will Scully-Power at the time, yeah we had a great team and a great bunch of people.
Ben: Your title was Creative Director?
Patrick: I was a Creative Director, yeah I came on, I started doing the contracting and they said, “hey, we actually need someone to do Creative” and I went, “sure, why not” I mean I’d dabbled in design, I wouldn’t call myself a Designer by no means, because design is very subjective, but when it came to kind of corporate design affairs and designing for the types of campaigns we were doing, where it was lead generation around technology needs, and then through some of the work that Will wanted to be doing within there, which we called agency on demand, which was trying to run more marketing centric type programs on top of the Salesforce platform, so it was things like driving direct mail to digital, PURLs, personalised URLs, sending out email newsletters and getting live dashboard feedback as to who’s filling in a lead form, who’s RSVPing to an event, whatever it might be, and we did that with just some little microsites that we would build, we would post on ASB webserver, we’d talk directly to Salesforce API and be able to write that back into Salesforce and that was kind of the evolution of, I mean this is before Marketing Cloud, before Marketo, before anything, this was how I guess it was done. I mean, all credit to Will, he was pioneering that kind of level of thought and definitely ahead of the curve as Salesforce has always been at least three or four years ahead of this market and so bringing some of those concepts in, and this is also before Apex, Visualforce, any of the programmatic languages that Salesforce offers now, Lightning, nothing available it was just a pure API, speak to the Salesforce back-end and then you know, service that data and your webpage. So, we did that and I helped through that, and that was my title, but eventually, it just grew and helping with those sorts of marketing led programs, and became an Eloqua partner.
Ben: So, this was still Sqware Peg?
Patrick: This was still Sqware Peg. So, learning through that Marketing Cloud ecosphere, Exact Target partner, Marketo partner, through that, and eventually yeah, eventually breaking out and doing my own thing.
Ben: So, in the Salesforce world, when you were hands-on, what kind of roles have you performed? Through all my roles? Yes, like a summary of.
Patrick: A summary of – well, Creative Director.
Ben: That was the good one.
Patrick: And then once it became me on my own, and a shout out to Ryan Hallman, he’s killing it right now with Litify, a start up in New York, but when Ryan and I went and worked together, and worked through Hallman Consulting and we just purely like, this was at a stage when Salesforce was looking for people with enough knowledge about the product in the market. And they were looking for sub-contractors, we happened to get one of our first gigs with a cool client that happened to sell like Tony Robbins tickets and that was through Glenn Elliot, he’s another guy killing it in the start-up space right now at Practifi. We worked with him on this customer. It was the tipping – it was Apex and Visualforce had just come out, or we had the beta release, so we developed a whole website shopping cart, mechanism, drag and drop for internal staff, to drag and drop what the seating plan was for when Tony Robbins would be there. And it was, yeah learning a brand new language from scratch. Learning Salesforce from scratch, learning the whole concept of Apex and the governor limits, and all of the limits from scratch. And that was kind of fun, that was a really, really cool time. And so that was my first, like out on our own, role, where I was helping with the creative piece, helping the design an API core or something like that, and effectively I mean we were, for lack of a better term, full stack Salesforce consultants. Where you knew the back-end and code and aspects of that, and Visualforce and the front-end components and then you also knew, you know, how to load data, how to extract data from other systems, how to, you know, how to correlate that effectively, normalize, create a database schemer within Salesforce that made sense, you know, create the right layouts for customers, make sure it’s got a user friendly appeal, train them, roll out, I mean these were small things, this was the early days of Salesforce, and you do it soup to nuts effectively, and so we called ourselves, yeah I guess, Consultants, but we were like engineers, developers, I’m remiss to call myself an actual Dev or an Engineer because there are, like design, there are people way better than me at coding and development. But Salesforce had constraints, and if you’re happy to work within those constraints then it was easy enough to get a handle on and then you learn like, the best ways to do it, and I think learning from the ground up was a good base to have going forward, so that was kind of consulting, and then beyond that, when Ryan and I merged with the Velteo team, and I stayed on as a stakeholder to manage the delivery team, then effectively I transitioned to more of a kind of Pro Serve Director and we set up our methodology, we set up our teams, our pods and our hubs of different specialties, you know, we created our own leaders within that organisation of different facets of the technology and yeah, that was good, that was successful, and then eventually selling that off to Bluewolf and through Bluewolf then taking a number of roles, effectively, helping the transition team, I worked in a global role focussing purely on mobile in the Salesforce ecosystem, based on a product that we developed when we were at Velteo which was more of a field sales enabler on a mobile device, so we used that IP and we extended it out a little bit more, we offered it as a ‘celebrator’ to customers to take on, and so that was running mobile globally for Bluewolf and then eventually that was kind of a whirlwind role where I just travelled a lot, I don’t think I saw the guys in the office a lot, and then they went through a few leadership changes during the transition and eventually when I came back I settled to a CTO of APAC role, just really helping strategic customers and accounts on what their Salesforce direction might be, working with the Ignite teams at Salesforce on just more buzzwords, ‘blue-sky thinking’ around what can I do with this platform? Where can I go? A little bit more of the fluffy stuff of ‘you could be here, that’s aspirational, how do we get there?’ Just kind of managing those discussions and a little pathway together. And then yeah, beyond that, working in a start-up as an ISV Partner, helping other groups become partners, yeah that’s been my life in the ecosystem, you can’t escape it.
Ben: And you’re I mean, you must have been one of the first in the market here, having been on board with Sqware Peg.
Patrick: Oh absolutely, I mean Sqware Peg, credit to them, they were the first, the main first partner in the market space, you know, every year you see the partner space, and this sounds like a massive ad, but I love Shawn, I love what they did, they were great, but yeah, I mean out of all the groups that were out there they were always, you know, a partner, paid for their sponsorship, at any of the tour events, before they were called World Tour events, before they were, Cloud Forces or whatever they were, they would always be at the stands, on the front foot, and talking to customers, which was exactly what Salesforce wanted right? Their mantra was, and effectively still is, you know, bring us leads, do your own BDM, you know, we need an extended sales team through our partner network, so help us. And yeah, they did, and so that was, that was definitely on the forefront of what was going on there. And then it stayed fairly small for a few years, a fair few years before, before sort of 2012. And when we teamed up with Velteo, a bunch of the guys from Salesforce Pro Services left, and started Quattro and they did their thing and that’s where, I think that was the kind of tipping point for more and more partners sort of spreading out in the ecosystem. Before that, there was only a few names here and there.
Ben: So you’ve seen a lot of change with the platform, what products have really got your interest right now?
Patrick: Products right now…I am a Communities fan boy, just because I come from that web space, I mean it doesn’t do amazingly well, customers I think try and tackle it a bit too easily. Back in the day when it was Customer Portal, and Partner Portal and those sorts of things, there was always really cool stories and then really bad stories, and I think it’s still the same way and they’ve tried to, you know, polish that product as much as they can but there are still some cool mechanisms that you can use that authentication scheme that they got through there to extend out to customers, which is, was, the end goal, you know, Salesforce is big product, how do I get it in a B2C marketplace, without acquiring, and then eventually they did acquire and that was you know, that was the first portal, mechanism that you could use to do that. So in that space, I’m a fan boy but I think I look more about you know what’s coming down the line, in terms of getting myself excited nowadays. Core products and the Marketing Cloud products are what they are. I think the cool things that are coming down the line are more about listening to that customer conversation. I think the latest acquisition earlier in May with Bonobo AI which can kind of analyse and give insights into completely unstructured data, that’s fascinating. Being able to hear a conversation that’s not, well, it might be pointed at your brand, but is in the way that we are having a conversation with each other and gaining some glisten of insight from that, and be it for using it in a call centre, so that you know, let’s say you’re this omni channel call centre, how do I prioritise what I’m hearing without someone actually filling out a form “this high priority” or without some looking at it, saying ‘let’s prioritise that’, or without hitting a keyword that I’ve put in a workflow or something, you know, being able to digest that conversation and go, and then take a whole bunch of unstructured data sources, compile it, say, “this person’s reached out to us over a number of channels, here we are, this is the sentiment of what they’re saying, you know, we need to push this down the line.” And that’s a really simple use case, in that perspective, but I think that technology and I don’t know what they’re going to do with it, and how they’re going to integrate it, whether it is in the Service Cloud space, or what, I think that’s exciting. I think Salesforce maybe kind of missed the boat a little bit a while ago, where SAP acquired Qualtrics, which is, I mean, a glorified survey platform, but they have some really cool mechanisms for having a conversation with customers whether it be, when you’re putting your thumb up or your thumb down in Netflix, or you know, if you’re browsing too long in Netflix and then you get a “hey, are these titles relevant to you?” and you know, you only get asked that question if you’ve been browsing too long and not if you’ve been asked another question previously, but taking that unstructured data and what that platform does to crush it up and give some insight to either product development or you know, service development, whatever it might be, I think that’s powerful and I think Salesforce maybe they’re going to use Bonobo and something else to try and catch up to that space, but I think that’s fascinating, like the closer we can get to just natural language processing in technology will be amazing.
Ben: For sure.
Patrick: Rather than going, “hey, Siri”. True story, I was in a meeting the other day with a customer, and I sometimes slur my speech, as this video will atest to, and sometimes I talk too fast, but my phone was on the table, and Siri started just playing a song. It must have thought I said “hey Siri, play whatever”.
Ben: No way.
Patrick: I don’t know how it got there but it just started playing this song, I don’t have the history enabled on my Siri to see what must have, so yeah, the better that they can listen. “They”. The computers. Yeah, that’ll be a really good time.
Ben: So this is quite a broad question, but what’s your take on the current market, the partner landscape?
Patrick: Current partner landscape. I think it’s interesting, it’s driven a lot by the way Salesforce want their partners to be now, and a lot of that is the verticalising a lot more, which is tough, in this marketplace to become a specific partner in one vertical and only focus on that vertical can be tough, I personally don’t believe there’s enough pipeline in one specific vertical, or you know, however they do it, maybe two or three, it’s tough to just focus in that space.
Ben: Yeah because you see a lot of people that say “this is our specialism”, but then they wouldn’t turn away work in another area if it came up.
Patrick: No, every partner plays “the game”, and goes, ‘yeah, we’re verticalising in’ I don’t know, ‘in factory, retail, and distribution’. In reality, they’re like, “any work you’ve got, we’ll take it, we do it all”. I think for partners it’s more important to have Cloud competency, like Service Cloud, or Community Cloud, or like product specific areas, where we know that inside out, and there are certain intricacies in certain areas that a lot of the partners that had grown up in the other space, will quite happily tell you that when it comes to Marketing Cloud, they’re not as familiar because it’s an adjunct business, it’s not something that they focused on from the ground up, core has generally been people’s business and you see that now, like you see these agencies coming in, you saw the Amicus guys come in you see these people come in from a digital marketing space that are focussing in that area, which makes more sense because they speak the language and they learn the tools, it takes them a while to learn the tools because it’s not familiar for them, whereas the traditional SI space don’t know the language, so then they maybe know the tool, or could learn the tool really well, but then don’t focus, so you’re getting more, like I mean, over the years we’ve been getting more cross-pollination, but I think it’s more of the partners to be yeah, core Cloud competency than anything. So I guess my opinion on the partner ecosystem is, outside of playing that game of going, “I’ve got an industry focus, and we’ve got teams that do X, Y and Z, because Salesforce is such a, I mean it’s in the title, they’re a sales beast. And with them being a sales beast comes them wanting to utilise partners as an extended sales pitch. And that’s really where the culture has bred and I think that becomes tough for customers, I feel for customers because often you don’t know if you are getting an unbiased opinion when it comes to what’s either being recommended, or whether it’s the right approach or whatever it might be, because it’s a, you know, there’s no kind of, there’s no regulator keeping everyone honest or anything like that. And it’s an intangible solution, it’s software, I’m not building you a coffee table and asking if you want it in gold, silver or bronze, it’s a Solution Architect or an Enterprise Architect or a Program Architect and they have an idea on how to crack this nut and how to solve it and one person’s idea could be the Rolls Royce of ideas, and one person’s idea could be, you know, the Volkswagen of ideas and it’s hard to scale that. So I think it’s, I feel for customers let’s say that. When it comes to my opinion on the partner landscape, I feel for customers. That’s my one sentence.
Ben: That leads me on nicely to my next question. If a customer is looking to start a Salesforce journey, they’re moving away from something else or let’s think of it like a decent sized company, not a startup, so they’re not just going to have an off the shelf implementation, what’s your advice?
Patrick: Look, for customers my advice is always, and I think Salesforce would resonate this too, is build your core competency. Like back in the old days of I.T customers, would work on a stack, they’d be a java house, they’d be a dot net house, so they’d have core skill sets and Salesforce is big enough and enterprise enough now, it has enough products in there for you to be a Salesforce house. If someone asks you, what kind of development team do you run? We run a Salesforce house. There’s no shame in saying that. I think engineers and developers might go, “I don’t want to tie myself to a proprietary software” and learn, get locked in, but they’re not going anywhere, it’s core critical business systems now, and some customers sometimes I think need to bite the bullet and go, I can’t keep going out to partners, or I can but for some more strategic plans or for some plans that we’ve developed internally as ideas. I think some customers do it really well right, like the G.E’s of the world that have these great Centre of Excellences internally, they have core competency teams, around different Clouds, they have development teams internally, and they are generally the things that are, and customers that are being showcased at Dreamforce, and grandstanded all around in different displays and are always in the case studies, of course, because they have drunk, as we would say in the ecosystem, enough Kool Aid and they’ve realised we’ve got a significant investment in this product and this platform and this ecosystem, why wouldn’t we invest in our people understanding it, and the ins and outs of it and bettering it and making it better for our customers, so I think yeah I hope that answers your question.
Ben: Yeah, I think we are seeing more customers now saying “well we do need to build an in-house team, we can’t heavily rely on just a partner”, and also because there’s turnover in that partner world, so you might think you’ve got an Architect from a partner for a foreseeable period of time, but they get an offer from another company paying a bit more money and now all of the IP goes with them.
Patrick: Absolutely. And it stills surprises me how often customers will come and talk to me and say exactly that scenario. We had a whole bunch of IP with a consultant, they’ve moved on, they’ve relied on partners for maybe a significant piece of work and now they’re like “well we’re stuck with that previous partner because we have some retainer or whatever, the core people have left and now we’re like, where do we go? Now we’re a little stuck, how do I approach this?” And I understand, not every customer can afford a full in-house team but there are ways to cut and slice the budget, make sure that you at least account for a little bit of your investment and ensure that you have somebody in-house that has a little bit of the context and the history and treats it like a core critical business system that, you know, you can keep the lights on yourself. You want to be able to keep the lights on yourself. You know, like if the power goes out in my house, I know that there’s the main switchboard and I can go and check if that’s been flicked, right? Just basic little things like that, in the concept of adding workflows and fields and creating reports, like that’s the stuff that I think the Trailhead things that Salesforce bring out, I think that level of skillset is great, and should be you know, rolled out more and more internally to customers. But customers need to buy into it as well. And some customers are like, “yeah I’ve got people to do that for me”. No, you can’t make this investment without thinking well if I’m buying a car, I need to learn how to drive it. And I do think it’s going to be interesting now because we are seeing more customers building these in-house teams, but then we’re also seeing more partners offering a managed service offering. So how that uptake comes off, like are companies going to go, “actually, it’s easier for me to use this managed service and use someone in the Philippines.” It will be interesting to see how it does work. Like Bluewolf have had that kind of managed service for a while. I mean everyone’s got a different name for it. Managed service and everyone has, I mean, it makes sense, as a customer to buy in that fashion, generally you’re going to get some level of discount for buying hours in bulk in advance. It’s tough for Partners, to manage that obviously, because they’re either managing two separate teams or a combined pool of resources, on the same budget, and you know, offering my one guy that I’m paying X amount at a discount rate now because a customer’s bought ahead. They’re their own operational gains that they deal with and that’s fine, and we’ve dealt with before I think it’s those managed services make sense but you, it’s like getting Salesforce support which I don’t know what, Salesforce reps generally murmuring, you know they’ll groan because they’re incentivised to sell it, but at the end of the day, customers don’t love it right, and you only love it if you know, it’s the kind of support that you get if you know how to ask the question to get the help. Like, you need to know how to ask that help in the right way to get the right support. And that’s what these managed services, they deal with that gap right, and say, “hey you don’t know how to ask the question, just tell us in layman’s terms what your problem is, and we’ll kind of solution”, right, that customer support from Salesforce is really only beneficial if you’ve got your own team, if you understand the problem, and you can articulate it, in a way that a Salesforce person will understand, and be able to execute on, right. And that is that almost that weird Solution Architect-y brain set or mindset of understanding the business process and the technology and what it can do. And maybe even if you can’t do it on the technology, understanding what you want, and then having someone else execute on it. But yeah, I think we’ve kind of gone off on a bit of a tangent but yeah, the managed service space is going to be an interesting space, I think more and more customers working out how they enable their own teams, whether they do just have an offshore employee or something, I think it definitely just makes sense to have people on the ground working it out. And then liaising with your vendors appropriately.
Ben: Yeah, but having people on the ground is a struggle because the shortage of talent is definitely a real problem.
Ben: How do you see that playing out?
Patrick: I think that’s, to be honest, I think that’s Salesforce’s responsibility. Or they can call me, I’ll help them. I think Salesforce’s responsibility in the marketplace is definitely to educate the customers more and more, you know they do, I think they do a decent job, they can do better. And they can help customers, but it is tough for them, understandably because they work with partners and they’re already competing with partners themselves, having their own PS team, so then also to then go and self-enable partners is just like buying everybody’s lunch and stealing it right. So I know it’s a tough space for them, and I know the customer success groups at Salesforce, they do great work. I think, it’s really enforcing that level of education to customers and almost being a little bit more stringent around being able to sell them a product as bad as that sounds, “no we won’t sell you this product and have you implement it until you know, X amount of your team learn this concept” right, because if they don’t, it just becomes more tech debt, it fails, you know, the project could fail if they rely too much on a partner to deliver it, the customer doesn’t know enough about it, they don’t know how to articulate to one another or someone else that comes on later who inherits it, what’s gone wrong, it turns into a re-implementation, and these are the headaches that customers are dealing with, so I think there’s a certain onus on Salesforce I believe, as almost a semi regulator in this wild west with the sheriff and all that, to come in and make sure that the customers are enabled effectively. And yeah, Trailhead, I think Trailhead is the right step, it’s just getting it above that admin level of skillset right, getting it to that next level of skillset where you, maybe you learn a little bit of the historical aspects of why some of these parts of the platform are the way they are, why knowledge is such a weird data structure, it’s because they acquired a company and then took ages to integrate it and with the main stack, why files is so cumbersome and it’s not as easy as just one object to commit to, to attaching a file right there. Like little basic things, that people go “huh?” and get confused about, I think understanding the context, maybe the acquisition history, the Marketing Cloud piece with Exact Target, understanding how those things became part of this large platform and offering, would help a lot of people to think “ah, I understand now.” The same way like a Volkswagon or a Porsche Cayenne right? Understanding that your chassis is the same as your Touareg and knowing the components of that, what’s similar, what’s not. What’s different, do I have to learn a new niche skill because of that or not? Because you know, you can learn, you can get stuck into Salesforce core world, and then you can move to Marketing Cloud and it’s very different. And a customer can get easily confused and just not go “but I thought it was all Salesforce?”
Ben: All one platform right?
Patrick: “Clicks not code. What the hell is going on?” So I think there’s an onus there, I mean generally, that’s, customers that I work with, it’s trying to bridge a bit of that gap, that understanding is core. I think the more you know, knowledge is power in this industry, if you know more about what you’re buying, why you’re buying it, and where it fits right I think that’s a powerful way to have leverage price wise, solution wise, timeframe wise, yeah, in lots of ways and then being able to strategically cut and slice your road map of adopting this ecosystem properly.
Ben: Almost daily we’ll speak to someone that has an aspiration of starting their own business, a consulting business, it could be a product business. What’s your advice for anyone that actually wants to go and do something like that?
Patrick: To be their own partner effectively?
Ben: It could be a partner, it could be a product company, like it’s something starting in the Salesforce ecosystem though.
Patrick: Right, I mean Salesforce’s ecosystem is pretty good, there’s plenty of resources out there to go and learn on your own and get across it. I think when rubber hits the road, in being a business owner, and getting you know, pipeline generated and those sorts of things, that’s where you know, you’re getting into more of their understanding how their sales cycles work, understanding what their reps are incentivised by, and understanding which reps and which areas of the market you want to focus in. Are you an SMB partner, are you a mid-market partner, are you an enterprise solution, where do you fit? Those sorts of things, strategically are important to know, obviously like core, very good understanding of the product, helps. I don’t think I’ve ever met a rep that doesn’t want to bring a smart person in the room with them from a partner ecosystem perspective that understands the solution and what they’re talking about, to the customer, even though maybe from management’s perspective, they’re looking to the partner ecosystem to just help them secure the licences, but really that comes from bringing knowledgeable people in the room that know the product, know the ecosystem, know some context, and can help guide a customer along a journey. So I guess advice is, yeah, get deep in, I mean Trailhead is a default first spot for everybody. I don’t know where you’re coming from, right. If you’re not coming from a technical background, I would absolutely just do some introductory GA course into some technical spin, because I think there is, you know, Salesforce is a business solution, developed by engineers. You know, Parker Harris is not a management consultant, or a business leader, even though he is co-founder, he is a CTO, he’s a tech head and he developed this platform with his team, as an engineer and you can see that in the product, you can see the way the data is structured, and there has been a logical sense of thought going into it and not having that level of soft skill before you jump into being a partner or a consultant or having a product, yeah it can hold you back I think.
Ben: You have been out of Bluewolf for a few years now, what’s your main focus, where are you adding most value now?
Patrick: Adding most value, do I add value? I mean, working with customers that call me from time to time, and ask me about what they’re trying to do with the Salesforce ecosystem, I have my own book of private clients. Outside of that, I still have this kind of closet passion of the Field Sales space and work with partners in how to solve that problem for customers. Field Service Lightning came out a while ago, and we had a product at Velteo called Nomad and it was for that industry and it was supposed to solve that problem of, and even though, we have a view that that industry is dying to an extent, you know, heads are being cut, there aren’t as many dollars to be able to put into Field Sales representatives or industry, how do I digitise that space? How do I make it more efficient for the people that I do have? So I’m still quite passionate in helping organisations in that space and there’s a number of options to go for in that space I believe, and yeah, I worked with a few different organisations on providing solutions, but realistically I keep my head in the Salesforce ecosystem, I help, I find myself more and more helping other people like in your previous question, that either want to become partners or want to start a product and they just need some help on how to go through the ringer with Salesforce, or they need some help on what kind of skillsets they might need internally. For those organisations, as well, I would definitely say, if you’re coming from a space and now you want to jump on the Salesforce gravy train, there’s an investment to be made, it’s not instant flow of work and pipeline and all that kind of stuff, I think there’s effort that goes into it and so just a forewarning to everybody that you know, put the effort in, I spent a lot of my own hard dollars going down those paths as well, and you learn but I think you’ve just got to be prepared to eat that a little bit, and eventually you know, you build up a good core clientele, you know, there’s that book ‘The Trusted Advisor’, and it’s for a full-stack consultant in the Salesforce space, you know, that’s your end goal ultimately you want to help your customer realise an expensive asset as best they can, so if you think of a where you’re training people to drive their Ferrari as fast as they can right, and they want to drive it as fast as they can and so, you want to help them go along that path, whether that’s helping them select the right partner, the right product, the right suite of App store products, whatever it might be, which is not always a great idea, selecting a bunch of AppExchange products, but I think that’s where I’m at.
Ben: And we’ve spoken about previous acquisitions, so I’m going to ask you to predict now, nothing that we already know about from a further acquisition or where can Salesforce take the product that we don’t already know it’s going?
Patrick: I think, the latest acquisition and I kind of touched on it with the throwback to Qualtrics and SAP’s acquisition of Qualtrics, I mean Salesforce have a survey tool, it’s there, it’s something. I think working, there is a gap in that space, the Bonobo AI allows them to crunch that data potentially in some mechanism, of that unstructured conversation, it’s the mechanism to be able to have that conversation right, and, you know, there’s companies like Campaign Monitor, which I think Salesforce has invested in anyway, Get Feedback, I think those sorts of tools that can do it in a little bit of a less brutal way than just going “here’s a survey” you know, if I look at Qualtrics SVKs for being able to implement these sorts of soft surveys into mobile applications, into web transactions, as well as offering mechanisms to have those sorts of conversations, whether it be focus groups that they skill up internally and then they start talking about products and product awareness and those sorts of things and crunch that information. I think Salesforce have the opportunity to take some of their products, mash it up and get ahead of the curve in that, I guess, analysing the conversation or deconstructing the conversation. Because there is a little bit of clutter, not to use a Salesforce product term, but there’s a lot of chatter out there about brands, and it’s, I think it’s just this nut that every brand has been trying to crack. You know, how do I monitor that conversation, that sentiment, and not so much, push it in a certain direction, or push an agenda, but at least have an open conversation, understand where do our priorities sit, what are people buzzing about from all the different mechanisms that people are able to have communications with brands now.
Ben: Well, thank you very much. If people do want to reach out to you, are you a social media guy, what’s the best way for people to reach out?
Patrick: LinkedIn’s easiest, you can throw me a ping on LinkedIn.
Ben: Busy guy, it might take a while.
Patrick: No, you can tag me, yeah LinkedIn’s probably the easiest, my name on Instagram you can hit me up, it’s probably just photos of me and my son.
Ben: Thank you so much for coming on, I’ve really enjoyed the chat and I’m sure the audience will have too.
Thank you for watching, and stay tuned for Episode 15, coming soon. Make sure you’re following Patrick on LinkedIn and feel free to reach out to him with any questions regarding the topics covered in the podcast episode.
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