Bluewolf on state of Salesforce: Social enterprise needs to be defined

Summary:Bluewolf's latest report analyzes the state of the social enterprise leader, asking how to define that concept in the first place.

Bluewolf has released a new report on what the CRM consulting firm argues to be the "state of Salesforce.com," ahead of Dreamforce '12 in San Francisco next week.

Based on Bluewolf's findings it looks like the social enterprise is taking a little longer to take off than Salesforce might like.

That might be because no one seems to agree on a definition for "social enterprise." Bluewolf argued in the report that no single definition has really presented itself.

"Social means leveraging Twitter to some and using profits for social good to others," Bluewolf posited.

Bluewolf advised that this concept needs to be targeted more toward the department level rather than C-level executives as social is more "about helping their teams sell more, engage customers, and drive demand.

Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • Social: Only 24 percent of Salesforce customers replied that they're currently getting involved with social media overall (not just Chatter), with 44 percent responding that they are unsure or skeptical about social enterprise initiatives.
  • Spending: Approximately 60 percent said they plan to increase or maintain spend on Salesforce in 2013, but only 11 percent plan to decrease it.
  • Adoption: What's hot? Salesforce's Service and Sales Clouds. What's cold? Chatter.

Here's what Bluewolf had to say about Chatter's slower adoption rate:

Despite a strong launch, Chatter adoption has yet to explode. Given the potential business value that cross-enterprise collaboration offers and recent growing interest from Salesforce users we predict Chatter use to rapidly accelerate as companies iterate on their employee engagement strategies.

Right now, Bluewolf found that Salesforce customers are most concerned with efficiency and customer service as well as more support for mobile and internal collaboration services. But Bluewolf predicts that social media will also become a top priority soon.

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However, all of this might be hampered by what Bluewolf referred to as "the true cost of cloud." Bluewolf acknowledged that Salesforce.com has done a "huge favor" by removing self-hosted CRM license fees in hardware and staffing costs.

While that allows for Salesforce customers to focus more on executing their vision, Bluewolf warned that these customers might be unaware of and not budget for ongoing costs around innovation, resourcing, and training.

For reference, Bluewolf's report is based on a survey of 300 Salesforce customers, along with proprietary data from Bluewolf's own implementations with companies such as Pfizer, JetBlue, Cisco, Time Warner and Sony.

Images via Bluewolf

Topics: Salesforce.com, Cloud, Collaboration, Enterprise 2.0, Social Enterprise

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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