Benioff calls time on Oracle OpenWorld

Benioff calls time on Oracle OpenWorld

Summary: This year's OpenWorld will probably be Salesforce's last, its chief executive Marc Benioff has said.After Salesforce's keynote was cancelled by Oracle at the last minute on Tuesday Benioff called a snap press conference on Wednesday where he told reporters that it looks as though Salesforce's OpenWorld run will come to an end.

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This year's OpenWorld will probably be Salesforce's last, its chief executive Marc Benioff has said.

After Salesforce's keynote was cancelled by Oracle at the last minute on Tuesday Benioff called a snap press conference on Wednesday where he told reporters that it looks as though Salesforce's OpenWorld run will come to an end.

"This was probably our swansong," he said, in a press question-and-answer session after his packed keynote on Wednesday morning in the restaurant of the St Regis Hotel. "I think at this point because Dreamforce is bigger than Oracle OpenWorld and is a bigger venue and a more exciting conference, I think that we don't need Oracle OpenWorld to get our message out in the same way we did in the past."

The admission caps off a dramatic 24 hours for the company in which Benioff saw his Wednesday keynote scrapped at the last minute following criticisms he made of Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison's keynote on Sunday. According to Benioff he published disparaging comments on his Facebook page.

"Due to the overwhelming attendance at Oracle OpenWorld we had to make several session changes," Oracle said in a statement on Wednesday. "The Salesforce.com Executive Solution Session was moved to Thursday at 8:00am in the Novellus Theatre."

Oracle hosts a major party for all attendees on Wednesday night with an open bar and huge musical acts. It goes on until the early hours. ZDNet UK understands that the likelihood of a good turnout at eight in the morning on Thursday was minimal.

Benioff criticised Oracle for their handling of the matter. "This is a new world and we're going to see some new things and I don't think the command and control off with their head... tactic is [right]," he said. "CEOs today need to understand something — you might think you have command and control but there'll always be a way around it... we saw it in the Middle East and we're seeing it at Wall Street today and I think you saw it at the conference yesterday."

Benioff said that it was Salesforce's technology that made it possible to organise a new keynote and location so quickly. He said it would not have been possible two or three years ago.

However, when it came to the actual topic of his keynote, it was derivative of past ones with Benioff admitting to journalists that the subject matter — how social communication can transform business — was a rehash of what he told attendees at Salesforce's Dreamforce conference earlier this year.

Were it not for the coverage generated by the cancellation "no one would've cared what I had to say today," he said.

Topic: Storage

Jack Clark

About Jack Clark

Currently a reporter for ZDNet UK, I previously worked as a technology researcher and reporter for a London-based news agency.

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