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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Salesforce.com Propels Into Next Orbit

Marc Benioff calls the new release of salesforce.com as “business web”, essentially SaaS + Web 2.0. This is an evolution from the no software punchline which used to characterize salesforce.com positioning earlier. He says,"The AppExchange is nothing short of a revolutionary platform for doing business on the Web. One only has to look at the impressive AppExchange partner listing to clearly see the computer industry shifting to the on-demand model. The AppExchange and our on-demand partners represent billions of dollars in company resources devoted to managing and sharing business information on demand. The exceptional power, ease of use, and quick integration and implementation of on-demand solutions continue to drive this revolution forward, from its roots in CRM across the rest of the enterprise. With its ability to leverage the creativity of our entire extended community of success, The Business Web truly is The End of Software". Some of Benioff’s words look quite interesting:

- The concept of the Web is social production. It's not just limited to open source–with standard platforms we can harness the power of social production
- It should be just as easy as publishing blogs.
- Customers are encouraged to push their apps into the AppExchange.While it is the case still that this is not a social web – in that leveraging of salesforce.com is non disputable and pushing into Appexchange is not exactly independent of salesforce.com.

Key customers:

- ADP with 6,700 subscribers,
- Merrill Lynch with over 5,000,
- Cisco over 4,500 etc
Steve Gilmor captures it best : Marc is technology's Marilyn Monroe, too pretty to be taken seriously but impossible to ignore. And just as her beauty resonated with a profoundly disruptive comic sensibility, so too does Marc's intuitive grasp of the opportunities of the network let him continue to sell first and then deliver on the promise. It's a high-wire act, but one that both depends on and leverages the loosely coupled nature of the multinodal synergistic nature of the Web 2.0 alliance–Google, Skype, iTunes all interoperating over salesforce' AppExchange.
With Adobe, Business objects, Crystal reports as part of the ecosystem, salesforce.com is definitely getting better and better. All that it needs now are good wins, avoiding negative publicity on outages, half-a-dozen solid live implementations with demonstrable integration and TCO ( Not an easy task though). That should help it propel forward real quick.

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