Gates sets sights on Salesforce.com, other service offerings

Gates sets sights on Salesforce.com, other service offerings

Summary: In characterizing salesforce.com as a company that he sees as a Microsoft rival, one that that he looks at "intensely" to understand the keys to its success, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates once again appears to be making adjustments at the helm of his huge ship.

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TOPICS: Salesforce.com
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In characterizing salesforce.com as a company that he sees as a Microsoft rival, one that that he looks at "intensely" to understand the keys to its success, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates once again appears to be making adjustments at the helm of his huge ship. This time, perhaps to the detriment of the shrink-wrap strategy on which Microsoft's fortunes were built, in the direction of delivering software as a service, often referred to as the Application Service Provider or "ASP" model. Unlike the company's last big fundamental architectural shift to both offer and better integrate its products into the Internet, one where all of Microsoft's forces had to be marshalled in order to turn the ship on a dime (OK, maybe it was a quarter), Microsoft may have done a better job of anticipating the demand for ASP-delivered software and planning for it than it did in anticipating the Internet revolution. According to a report by News.com's Ina Fried, Microsoft's thinking on this issue started nearly a decade ago and, over the years, the company has devoted more and more resources to realizing that vision.

All that said, while Microsoft has the luxury of cash as well as some experience in the area of running services (e.g.: various MSN services as well as Hotmail), the odds appear to be against large software companies when it comes to changing their

Topic: Salesforce.com

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  • Just you wait!

    THAT'S Dollar Bill's best (and ONLY) line! You can set your sights on something, but delivering is something QUITE different. I suppose that RIGHT AFTER LONGSHOT, M$ will get RIGHT to work on this initiative!

    As I said before, in the SOA space, you do EVERYTHING on the web - and thus it makes no difference what OS your client PC is running. M$ will bastardize this idea, and have some sort of "hook" on the client side before you can run their SOA stuff. Some people will buy it, but most will not. There are less of Barnum's People in business then outside of it . . .
    Roger Ramjet
  • One thing you can count on.

    When Bill personally takes a hand in a new project you know it is a winner.

    MS has been so good for the computer market you can bet this will be another great product!
    TechType
    • Mike Cox

      and his sales rep must have paid you a visit!
      Roger Ramjet
  • Software is dead? What a moron.

    These guys kill me with their flippant summations of the nuts and bolts that make the world go round. Benioff is no visonary. Neither was Ellison when he stole the relational database from IBM to start Oracle. The reason that Salesforce.com is successful has nothing to do with whether it is an ASP or co-located. It has to do with their support and training and their ability to get the users, SALES PEOPLE, to buy into using the system to do their jobs more effectively. If software is dead, then what the heck is running on those huge server farms at Salesforce.com. Moron.
    ruffchaz
    • Known Fact: When you get rich you lose touch with reality!

      These clowns only want to hold onto their riches..!

      Like Ebbers..!
      Xunil_Sierutuf
  • Netsuite is more than Quickbooks

    I've been a Netsuite user from the days when it was $4.99 per month (2000-2001). While those days are long gone I disagree wholeheartedly with your comparison of Netsuite to Quickbooks (on a 1-10 in functionality Netsuite is a 9 and Quickbooks is a 2). Salesforce.Com may make sense for some users that are not willing to switch to a new accounting system, but for a company starting from scratch or willing to make the ?correct? investment in converting to "one system" there is no better system than Netsuite. With Netsuite, a lead is generated, notes, cases, etc. are captured against the lead, and when a sale is made the lead becomes a customer and all associated records (emails, cases, etc.) remain with that customer. There's no need to re enter all the customer information into a new system.

    I run 6 retail stores and a limousine service with Netsuite. When I first looked at upgrading our existing accounting system I focused on Great Plains. I called Netsuite during the holidays and spoke with Evan Goldberg (founder) about the direction they were going in. My instincts told me to trust the guy, and they were right. Evan promised that over the next 18 months their system would be at a point where it could handle most of my needs. I made the switch that week, and 18 months later the system met most of my needs as promised. Now, from anywhere in the world with an internet connection I can logon to my Netsuite dashboard and get a customized picture of my business. In fact, I'm thinking of opening another retail store. If I do, I can have another location set up in Netsuite in 30 seconds. Then, the new location just turns on their PC and logs into their newly created account and all customer history and inventory is available to them.

    Reporting has improved dramatically. I've been able to customize reports that in seconds show me profitability by location all on one screen.

    Anyway, I can go and on, but I've got a business to run. As you can see, I'm impressed with the Netsuite product and wanted to take the time to share "some" of my experiences with others. There just is not a better product out there.
    chriscorcoran
    • yeah I saw this. This kind of service is the future.

      Salesforce is more limited software, but I guess
      that could be extended.
      Does anyone know of web based MRP/MRP2 systems
      for manufacturing. (hooking into the CRM, ERP
      side of it)? (I've found one or two through
      google, I was just wondering what other folks
      have tried.
      I'd say there is going to be MASSIVE competition
      in this area, with PHP stuff about. I think MRP
      and so on will become very very cheap.
      I can't see where the money is for Microsoft.
      They'd probably come in, replace Salesforce's
      Linux servers with Microsoft ones (for whatever
      reason ... tax, apparent increased sales volume
      etc). and a lot of the folks who worked there to
      do linux, leave.
      Anyway, I'm glad I didn't hook up with microsoft,
      since I think they'd make a change like that
      above for political reasons, not giving a second
      thought to the customers who might get downtime
      for no improvement and increased rolled up energy
      costs.
      In Hotmail, MIcrosoft installed at least 3 times
      as many Windows servers as there were prior to
      aquisition, and for no customer benefit (and
      certainly an ecological worsening).

      I can imagine they would restrict import/export
      formats someways over the current situation.
      hipparchus2000
  • The Googles and the Amazons are the models to watch...

    While the ASP models have been incubating and fine-tuned over the years, I don't see them as the dawning models.

    The models of the Amazons and the Googles which use web services and xml to waltz through the web, choreographing flexible services in their wake, and are the architectures that will gradually consume and subsume increasing mind- and pockebook share!
    These are the companies whose architectures are going to keep the Redmondians awake! I am not counting out these Redmondians however, cause to me they epitomize the pursuit of the "joy of knowledge". Watch the Redmondians respond with a service model that will meld the best from both the Salesforce.com (business services) and the Google (utility services) models.
    techknow@...
  • The Googles and the Amazons are the models to watch...

    While the ASP models have been incubating and fine-tuned over the years, I don't see them as the dawning models.

    The models of the Amazons and the Googles which use web services and xml to waltz through the web, choreographing flexible services in their wake, are the architectures that will gradually consume and subsume increasing mind- and pockebook share!
    These are the companies whose architectures are going to keep the Redmondians awake! I am not counting out these Redmondians however, cause to me they epitomize the pursuit of the "joy of knowledge". Watch the Redmondians respond with a service model that will meld the best from both the Salesforce.com (business services) and the Google (utility services) models.
    techknow@...
  • Very Good! Push more users to an Open System!

    Funny man wants to hold on to his illegal monopoly!
    Xunil_Sierutuf