Rumors are already swirling over trends, technologies, and perspectives poised to change the customer success dynamic at this year’s Dreamforce. It’s always a marquee event for technology insiders, experts, and stakeholders featuring big names, announcements, and projections. I’m convinced that this year will not disappoint in all three areas. Here’s a snapshot of the things, conversations, and people I hope to encounter at the show with ServiceMax colleagues, partners, and friends.

Technology to Check Out

It’s an exciting time in enterprise software AND hardware. Machines and people who were not able to connect before can do so now with enterprise applications running on a cloud or mobile platform and streaming to smart devices of all kinds. These new connections are driving a new vision for field service management — moving from reactive to predictive and eventually proactive. As machines grow rapidly smarter they will provide strategic, actionable feedback to technicians. Technicians can now use tablets, smartphones, and connected wearables to provide real-time service to customers, both in the field and remotely, with the help of cloud-linked applications. The consistent impact of increased connectivity is serious efficiency for service providers and visible results for their customers.

Specifically, I’m pumped to explore technology featured during the show by exhibitors from our partners at leading companies like PTC and GE to freshly emerging startups looking to tackle modern field service needs. As for us, we’ll be showing off the ServiceMax platform throughout the week so be sure to sign up for your personal demo.

Trends to Watch

I’m most interested to see what attendees and pioneering presenters alike have to say about advancements in machine-to-machine and predictive maintenance technology. We’ve been actively working on incorporating early industry feedback from advancements in both areas into our field service management offerings. We’re still in the early days of linking legacy field service operations to the cloud and mobile applications, but it will be intriguing to hear Dreamforce podium and floor conversations around whether the emergence of the IoT is a boon or bust – especially for the field service industry. At ServiceMax, we’re totally bought in to its potential for field service management AND field service management’s emerging role as a killer app for the IoT.

People To See

The ServiceMax team (booth N1120 located in the North Hall) and our partners, customers, competitors will be at Dreamforce. Our packed, chaotic, and awesome itinerary promises to provide several opportunities throughout the conference (and on the sidelines) to hear from experts on the front lines of innovation and peeks into the future of field service technology. The full list of keynotes, sessions, and opportunities is here, but I can’t help but pick a few favorites:

  • We already stated this is a ‘can’t miss opportunity’, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will deliver a keynote on cloud technology. Specifically, I’m keen to see what he says about Microsoft’s massive enterprise SaaS growth since the last Dreamforce, and emerging trends touching field service and other increasingly cloud-reliant industries.
  • Let’s face it, while the planned fireside chat with Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Uber’s Travis Kalanik will likely stay away from field service, it will be interesting to absorb their perspectives from opposite ends of the on-demand cloud economy. Especially, as we continue to build out our real-time and predictive applications to enable customers to provide on-demand field service.
  • Many of our partners, including Accenture, Appirio, Cloud Sherpas, Jitterbit, Twilio and Drawloop – to name a few – will be on the show floor and sharing tech-empowered field service and maintenance success stories.
  • ServiceMax is hosting a live demo at Moscone’s Partner Theater North 1 on ‘How The Internet of Things Is Transforming Field Service’ Tuesday, September 15th and Steve Nava of Luminex, Michael Majerus of Enphase, and Kevin Rusin of McKinley Equipment will be discussing their respective IOT-driven service strategies during a session we are sponsoring  on Thursday, September 17th in the Metreon Theater. I hope you can make it for both sessions!

I hope to see you at Dreamforce. In the meantime, follow us @ServiceMax for information about sessions, platform demos, booth activities, events, our #ThankATech series, and promotions!