Preceded by flashing colored lights and a brief video about the business Web, salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff took the stage during a luncheon press conference to announce the alliance with Google around AdWord integrations, which I covered in this post. The only news of the day was Benioff announcing that salesforce.com would adopt Google Gears as the "heart of disconnected operation over time."
With clanging of forks, knives and plates, Benioff shed some light on further partnering with Google. "We are bringing the two platforms together," Benioff said. Salesforce.com will include Google API functionality, such as AdWords, in the Apex platform so that developers can build new applications with Google's services. Salesforce.com will also extend the Apex APIs within Google, which could operate on Google's ad servers.
Benioff's believes that combining technologies such as Google Gears and Adobe's Apollo cross-platform framework with the salesforce platform will present a challenge to Microsoft.
Benioff discussed the synergy, common values and symmetrical nature of the relationship between the two companies. "They look like us, but coming from consumer side, and us from the business side." He later told me,"If any partnership has great opportunity, this is the one."
Salesforce.com and Google working together is not new. The two companies have worked together already, Benioff said, including Google One Box, Google Docs & Spreadsheets integrated with Salesforce SOA, and the previous generation of salesforce and AdWords.
Benioff then waxed poetic about what he called the common set of values between the companies, covering technology (Internet services), business models (subscriptions and ads) and a shared philanthropy model (one percent of equity, profit and employee time in a non-profit), which Benioff introduced to Google.
Google has given away $150 million in AdWords to non-profits over the last four years, and salesforce has given out more than $50 million in grants.
Rubbing shoulders with Google is clearly good for salesforce.com's self image and pursuit of displacing Microsoft. The evangelist Benioff described the distribution synergy as making every salesforce user a Google user.
"We want all saleforce users to be AdWords entrepreneurs....We want to create millions of new AdWords customers--that's our dream at salesforce," Benioff said.
And Google thanks you.
The two companies will do more events, send out more press releases as the relationship evolves. "We have a lot of ideas and energy, and we want to manifest it in the physical domain," Benioff said.
Sheryl Sandberg, vice president of Global Online Sales & Operations at Google, was asked what Google tracks in AdWords during the Q&A. "We do not track and compile user behavior through advertising," Sandberg explained. AdWords customers can track the effectiveness of their ad spend themselves through Google Analytics, and Google doesn't look at that data, she said. She declined to answer any questions about DoubleClick, since the deal has not been consummated.
Given today's lovefest, you can expect integration between the two companies to continue, but not exclusively.