Darn, I missed it: Salesforce.com is opening itself up to Facebook. Or is it the other way around? I had received a belated invite to attend SFDC’s Dreamforce from Marc Benioff, but too much real work prevented me from attending. So I had to read the press releases and my fellow bloggers’ reports on the show, and, of course, they covered and uncovered and upholstered the news of the FB/SFDC alliance. Here’s my take.
First, I have to set the record straight. We are not “seeing social meet CRM and the enterprise for the first time,” as Benioff suggested in his press release on the deal. Oracle definitely showed CRM and social and the enterprise in a big way at its Open World conference last September, and should get all of the credit for “first time” bragging rights.
Second, I’m really having to stretch to understand why Benioff picked Facebook. SAP’s investment in LinkedIn seems to make so much more sense. After all, my inbox is flooded with LinkedIn requests (mostly from people I’m already in touch with, which is one of the reasons I so far have deigned to join LinkedIn), proof positive that the business community, at least the high tech community, thinks LinkedIn is the social site of choice.
Facebook, which COO Sheryl Sandberg claims has 300,000 business pages already, is still largely the playground of kids like my niece, who really has even less business playing around with CRM apps than she does posting bikini-clad pictures on her Facebook page. I think there is some potential for Facebook to grow up as its core audience grows, but right now I look at it mostly as a place where teenagers and tweens play games that make parents and uncles a little nervous or a little “whatever”, and we old farts wander around wondering what it is we’re really doing in the kid’s section of the Internet playground.
A final comment, apparently SFDC’s new marketing mantra is love, according to Venture Beat. Apparently it’s all you need. Apparently I’m having trouble with this concept, so it’s time to go write on someone’s wall or snoop on my niece and her friends again. Meanwhile, social meets CRM meets the enterprise already had its first mover, and, from what I can tell, it’s still awaiting its second.