When Salesforce throws an event, expect it to be big.
Dreamforce hosted over 19,000 attendees at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center in November 2009. In the expo hall, hundreds of Salesforce.com partners demonstrated their wares leading up to the Appy Awards, where Salesforce.com annually recognizes the best apps of the year. However, they wanted to leave the judging of the "Best Partner App" to the audience.
The idea for the "audience choice" award came just a few weeks before the big show. There was little time to set up a conventional voting process that would have required lengthy and detailed planning with carriers and long-term commitments. Salesforce.com wanted something they could develop quickly and integrate into their existing work flow. "Just a few weeks before Dreamforce we decided to add an 'audience choice' category to the Salesforce.com Appy Awards ceremony," recalled Tom Wong, VP and Dreamforce chairman.
We got in touch with Twilio SMS, and within a matter of hours we had a voting system, tightly integrated with the Salesforce.com app we were using to manage the awards. We never had to worry about obtaining short codes, dealing with carriers, or long-term contracts. It just worked.
With Twilio's simple HTTP/XML based API, Salesforce.com engineers used the tools they were most familiar with, including the Apex programming language, Force databases, and more.
The entire application took only a few hours to build. The combination of Twilio's cloud communication service and the Force.com platform provided the scalability and reliability needed to launch for the event.
While walking the expo hall, Salesforce.com asked attendees to vote for their favorite apps by texting the booth number of their choices.
Powered by Twilio SMS and Force.com, the app received and tallied votes from the 19,000 Dreamforce participants and responded in real time with SMS confirmation messages.