Benioff's charitable pitch

weekly roundup CEO Marc Benioff's visit was decidedly the highlight on Singapore's IT industry calendar this week.

weekly roundup CEO Marc Benioff's visit was decidedly the highlight on Singapore's IT industry calendar this week.

More than 1,000 people thronged a packed hall to hear what this year's IDA Distinguished Infocomm speaker had to say.

The l'enfant terrible of the software industry was clearly a hit with the audience who didn't miss a single cue. They laughed as he took jibes at Microsoft, and the entralled audience clapped enthusiastically after he was done espousing the idea of selling software as a service.

While he could have spent the entire hour-and-a-half pitching subscriptions, Benioff cleverly used his art of persuasion to talk about something else close to his heart: philanthropy.

The author of Compassionate Capitalism mooted his 1:1:1 model, which is to contribute 1 percent of the company equity, 1 percent of total profits, and 1 percent of Salesforce employees' paid time, or volunteerism, to the Salesforce Foundation. The foundation benefits charities such as the United Nations Food Bank, the Katrina Relief, the Special Olympics, and the American Red Cross.

Benioff, who is taking a leaf from the practices of corporations such as Coca Cola, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft and Timberland, told the audience: "We believe that model for being leaders of our community is critical, because we don't believe you can be a leader in your industry without being a leader in your community."

He also added that his "friends at Google", founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, this week announced on Wired News that they have also adopted the 1:1:1 model, which translates to US$1 billion--or 1 percent the market cap of Google--1 percent of their time, and 1 percent of their profits.

Benioff also said he is working on a second book, which will be out on Sept. 1, called The Business is Changing the World. The new book will focus on two things: the new technology model, which includes software as a service, and the new community model for businesses.

For more news this week, find out the real reason why Benioff couldn't resist taking a dig at Microsoft, and why on earth Sun has supersized its new blade server. Also, check out what Microsoft says it won't do and what CIOs say they must do.


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