The Mother of all Marketing Shticks

The Mother of all Marketing Shticks

Summary: Marc Benioff continues to flesh out his vision of on-demand computing. It's easy to mistake Marc's showmanship for hype, but salesforce's fundamental value proposition continues to become reality.

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TOPICS: Enterprise 2.0
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Marc Benioff continues to flesh out his vision of on-demand computing. It's easy to mistake Marc's showmanship for hype, but salesforce's fundamental value proposition continues to become reality. From its humble beginnings as "The Death of Software" and Benioff's proclamation of harnessing the power of Web services, salesforce.com has grown to actually use the technologies it championed since the faintest stirrings of the SOA paradigm.

What Marc calls an on-demand operating system is now in place, a good thing given the meltdown that occured last month on the service. More significantly, developers now have full sandbox replication tools and users finally have a working offline edition. Never one to leave a viral trend alone, Marc and SVP and GM, applications George Hu demoed a nifty Google Maps mashup, sort of a Web 2.0 disintermediating of Excel and Project.

Marc even appears to understand the fundamental value, if not yet the disruptive quality, of RSS and "social production," where creating and provisioning apps should be "as easy as creating blogs." But again, what separates Marc from the boys is that no matter how clever and Barnumesque his commandeering of buzztrends are, history continues to show that eventually these themes will manifest themselves as actual services, and well before others who are now beginning to turn their ships to meet the new tide.

benioff1062.jpg 

Photo: Dan Farber 

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.

Topic: Enterprise 2.0

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  • Right place - wrong time

    SOA is certainly a good bet for the future, as it optimizes the way business does business. But at this time there are formidable barriers:

    1. Big Computer companies won't offer it - it cuts into their proprietary solutions.

    2. SalesFarce is too small for large corporations (like Company "F") to use. They require one-throat to choke and long-term stability, and SalesFarce is just too small to guarentee it.
    Roger Ramjet
    • Maybe

      Roger,

      Agree completely with your point 1. The big comercial companies seem unable to make the switch from making money with open standards to making money from open standards. They never will as long as they have to support those big corporate pyramid structures for those fat-salaried EVPs to sit on (sic).

      Totally disagree with you on point 2. Even though there are still some old fashioned CIOs who like to 'slope shoulders' the moment something goes wrong, the newer generatation are a throwback to the early days of ICT. They know that getting your hands dirty means winning the glory when things go right. It also means being in control. Never mind a throat to choke, give me someone who knows what's happening and can give me some idea of what's happening to my ICT so that I can communicate that across the business.

      Open Source is built, lock stock and barrel, on this new professional direction.

      SOA, paradoxically, also builds on this new requirement for transparency. Whereas the Open Source CIO knows the routes and stops for every bit and byte the SOA CIO knows the route and transformations of every business processes data streams. The OS guy knows when the problem will be fixed, and how. The SOA guy knows when the supplier will fix their problem, what the business impact will be, whether a business continuity plan will be invoked, and why the supplier will fix it in good time (no, not because their contract is up for renewel - because problem handling is in the contract already)
      Stephen Wheeler
  • THINSIA IS THE FUTURE

    well said, steve,
    AppExchange, we call it THINSIA, makes life easier.
    We think that, as you can see with Salesforce.com,
    marketing is not enough to sell information technologie in the near future.
    Eventualy, people will chose for KISS, keep it simple, secure.
    Easy access to all your apps is what is needed, independent of place.
    rsassen@...