Late Friday, I posted the final segment of my Jan 23rd interview with salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff (pictured). Follow the links below to read the interview in full. In it, you'll learn why Salesforce.com developed AppExchange and what Benioff believes the platform could achieve. You'll also learn some of the do's and don'ts of the on-demand model, as well as why every company should invest in corporate philanthropy.
- Customers want integration, customization
Right from the start, customers demanded integration, so Salesforce.com gave them an API. Then they demanded customization, which meant a complete reworking of the architecture. Now they want 'enterprise mashups'.
- The duality of AppExchange
AppExchange lets users save their custom applications and mashups to directories where they can share them with others. Although that may pull the company in new directions, the initial motivation is to make the core salesforce.com CRM application better.
- AppExchange is our second killer app
AppExchange could reach every employee in a company, whereas CRM will only ever reach a percentage.
- Making AppExchange work for developers
AppExchange will evolve in response to how people are using it. There will be OEM versions. Salesforce will add a system for collecting subscription payments.
- Where ASPs (and Larry Ellison) got it wrong
Nothing beats listening to customers and making sure they're successful. Getting the software right is crucial, too — it takes a lot of dedicated coding to do on-demand well.
- Why philanthropy is good for us
About salesforce.com's corporate philanthropy program, which donates 1% each of equity, profits and staff time to community service projects — and why Benioff flew to Davos to promote it to world business leaders.