Being Connected

Dreamforce 2013“The most inspiring week I have ever had.” This was told to me by one of my employees recently at the end of a conference we attended. We were at a cloud computing conference in San Francisco. Our reason for attending relates to new software we will be utilizing to further improve the customer experience we aspire to deliver. The conference drew over 130,000 business professionals from around the country and world. Some of the companies represented were the largest in the world. Others are at the opposite end of that spectrum, including Ferguson Roofing.

This four day conference was so inspirational due to the quality of keynote speakers, the energy of the group, the ridiculous concierge elements (every effort was made to eliminate logistical snafus) and the general vision of where cloud computing will take the human race. I find myself surprised at the excitement I had about the interconnectedness that technology is taking us. The growth of cloud computing, the connectivity of hardware and the vision of transparency among the global users can bind the human race like never before.

I was so surprised at this revelation because I am a chronically private person (yes, I get the irony of making that statement during a blog that will be posted on the World Wide Web). I believe the more we focus on other’s business, the less we can attend to our own.  Drama, gossip, over-sharing, hyper-exposure are like candy to a person on a diet – even the most disciplined will give in. Social media, mobile devices and ubiquitous Wi-Fi is just that candy. This makes it hard to be present in our own lives. I think we can all agree that it is difficult to be at our best without focus.

Despite my personal feelings, I was there to better prepare my business. Customer relation management software (CRM) can be a powerful tool to provide a better customer experience. During my time in San Fran, though, I started to appreciate the positive impact of global sharing. In my youth, I would refer to the collective consciousness.  I always felt this continuum of thought and awareness would be a powerful thing. We are nearly there with today’s technology. Of course, during our cyber travel to this point, it seems that most of our intellectual and fiber-optic bandwidth was spent on less than useful information shared in less than polite ways. My cynicism was washed away for a spell by the energy of this convention and the power of the vision. It was a glimmer into a connected world of shared intention, knowledge and opportunity. Once our humanity catches up with the pace of technology, we will truly see the next phase in the growth of our species.

Until that point, I will rest comfortably in knowing that our business is improving. Our customers will enjoy a better experience (although it is a damn fine experience now). I will reel in the infinity of cyber space and apply it to just St. Louis. As they say, the journey of a thousand cyber miles starts with the first step…