Salesforce.com's Social Enterprise Emphasizes 'Customer' In CRM
Salesforce.com cofounder Parker Harris discusses why the company has moved past its Cloud 2 mantra, with acquisitions like Heroku and Radian6 enabling even tighter customer relationships for the enterprise.
We invited Salesforce.com cofounder and head of development, Parker Harris, onto InformationWeek's Valley View last week. Harris, who started the company with CEO Marc Benioff, was beaming a megawatt smile, and why not? Salesforce's recent financial results (growing revenue at some 37%, with an annual run rate of $2.5 billion) depict happy times, and the company has made some eye-opening moves with its acquisitions of Radian6, Heroku, and Rypple, all of which hint at broader ambitions.
Twelve months ago, Harris was talking about Cloud 2, but now he calls it "so last year." Salesforce.com's Force platform now promises to be more open, thanks to the Heroku acquisition, he said. But more than that, Salesforce sees enterprise customers on Facebook, Twitter, and, in general, the Web, and if the company is really about enabling the customer relationship, Salesforce needs to provide the tools to extend traditional CRM (imagine calling SaaS-based CRM "traditional," but at this point it's far more of a given) to all of the places where customers engage. Harris wouldn't yet label this Cloud 3, but he did talk about the social enterprise, and how social media technology is bringing down the traditional walls surrounding the enterprise.
In the video embedded below, Harris discusses all of this, and the influence that Facebook's success had on the thinking at Salesforce.com, and how mobility is impacting its thinking right now.
We also discussed how the company's success drives new efforts from the likes of SAP and Oracle--both of whom have gotten with the cloud program of late, with SAP making some claims on becoming the number two player in software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. But there's a difference between hosting applications in the cloud and having applications that are written from the ground up to be cloud-based applications. Harris believes that the Salesforce model (a multi-tenancy model) has more scale. While he thinks it's great that Oracle and SAP are helping expand the market, he doesn't seem very concerned about those companies as competitors.
Fritz Nelson is the editorial director for InformationWeek and the Executive Producer of TechWebTV. Fritz writes about startups and established companies alike, but likes to exploit multiple forms of media into his writing.
Follow Fritz Nelson and InformationWeek on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+:
The Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings together industry thought leaders to explore the latest innovations in enterprise social software, analytics, and big data tools and technologies. Learn how your business can harness these tools to improve internal business processes and create operational efficiencies. It happens in Boston, June 18-21. Register today!
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Digital Transformation Myths & TruthsTransformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.