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DemandResults Debuts SEO for Salesforce App

Los Angeles — November 16, 2009 — DemandResults released its new Salesforce.com application, SEO for Salesforce.comDemandResults - Evidence-based marketing (Free Edition), for download on the Salesforce.com AppExchange site. The application is the first in a series of SEO Automation tools planned for 2010.

SEO for Salesforce.com works by integrating Google Analytics data into the Salesforce CRM, which allows companies to track both PPC and organic search data over the course of a sales cycle.

http://www.demandresults.com/blog/a-great-new-seo-tool-for-salesforce-users.html

DemandResults Launches New Force.com Application to Enhance CRM Data Completion

LOS ANGELES - May 21, 2009 - DemandResults, a leader in evidence-based marketing products and services, released Percent Complete for the Salesforce AppExchange today. PercentComplete allows users and administrators to see how complete information is for accounts, opportunities, contacts, cases or any other standard object.

Percent_complete4“The world’s best CRM is only as good as the quality of data that goes into it,” said DemandResults CEO Howard Brown, a two-time Salesforce Appy Award nominee. “The product is a response to frustration from Salesforce users that they weren’t allowed to submit data records unless they had data for all required fields. It was all or nothing. Percent Complete allows records that are still in progress, and gives CRM supervisors the dashboards and tools to make sure that data entered or modified by their staff is as complete as possible.”

Natively built in Force.com, the application enhances Salesforce’s native workflow process by calculating completion percentage figures in real-time, as data records are updated. After the easy single-click install, administrators can use Salesforce’s native validation rule features to easily assign percentage weight to specific data points. This insight helps administrators focus their efforts on upgrading data integrity where it is most needed. The app also works seamlessly with Salesforce’s native dashboards, reports, workflow and other standard features.

Scenario

A Salesforce user creating a new Account, Case, Partner Profile or Contact record is greeted with the Percent Complete messaging system at the top of the data screen. The administrator can choose which messages the Percent Complete application displays by designating which fields they are working on. As the user completes the contact data fields, Percent Complete updates the completion percentage in real-time as it tracks the contact user’s progress. After completing as many fields as possible, the user submits the data record. Users and Administrators can see their average completion of all designated areas of their organization’s account by checking the Percent Complete dashboards at any time.

Percent_Complete3Availability

Percent Complete is a free, 100% native application available from the Salesforce AppExchange

About the Force.com Platform and AppExchange

Force.com is the only proven Platform as a Service for building and running business applications in the cloud. The Force.com platform powers the Salesforce CRM applications, more than 800 ISV partner applications like those from CODA and Fujitsu, and more than 85,000 custom applications used by Salesforce.com’s 47,700 customers such as Japan Post, Kaiser Permanente, KONE and Sprint Nextel.

Force.com is the fastest platform for building and deploying complex business applications. Unlike a stack of disparate client/server hardware and software products, Force.com unifies the development and deployment model from the database to the device, allowing developers to easily assemble applications with clicks, components and code, and then instantly deploy them on Salesforce.com’s trusted global infrastructure. Customers and partners are using Force.com to build all kinds of business applications from supply chain management to compliance tracking, brand management, accounts receivable, claims processing applications and much more.

Applications built on the Force.com platform can be easily distributed to the entire SaaS community through the Force.com AppExchange marketplace.

About DemandResults

DemandResults is a leading evidence-based marketing agency located in Los Angeles, California. Evidence-based marketing combines proven marketing methodologies with intensive testing and a commitment to measuring marketing impact. The company’s products and services focus on social media marketing, Web site optimization, search engine marketing (SEM & SEO) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). DemandResults’ unique approach takes the guesswork out of tough creative and strategic decisions and delivers real, measurable results.

Salesforce.com today announced Summer ‘09

Summer ’09 will deliver new features across the Service Cloud, the Sales Cloud and the Force.com platform – delivering innovation to every department and every user. The real time cloud infrastructure enables salesforce.com to deliver approximately three major releases a year, ensuring that all of salesforce.com’s 55,400 customers can leverage the latest cloud computing innovations to grow their business.
Salesforce SASSY
“The power of salesforce.com’s real time cloud infrastructure is that it lets customers run their business, not their software,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO at salesforce.com. “Salesforce.com is the only company that can instantly and reliably provide the latest innovations to all of our customers, without the hassles of upgrades and maintenance. Summer ’09 proves the value of the cloud computing model for customers once again by bringing major product breakthroughs to everyone at no additional cost.”

“Like clockwork, Salesforce CRM and the Force.com platform just get better,” said Ed Romson of Plantronics. “It’s what separates the value of the cloud model from traditional software, and we love it. How often do you buy something that consistently gets better over time?”

“With Summer ‘09, salesforce.com is delivering the Salesforce to Salesforce revolution to the Service Cloud. Now, in just a few clicks, companies can share case information in real-time with their partners, maintaining the validity of their own business processes while ensuring that customers receive the best service, regardless of which company they contact first,” said Sheryl Kingstone, Yankee Group.

Service Cloud: Join the Conversation with the Leader in Customer Service The Service Cloud transforms customer service through the power of cloud computing, and brings together industry leading cloud computing platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter with traditional contact center channels like phone, email and chat to capture every conversation and leverage every community expert in the cloud. Some of the new features that will be introduced for the Service Cloud with Summer ‘09 include:

•Real Time Partner Collaboration: For the first time, customer service agents will be able to collaborate in real-time with third party service partners on a single version of every case - ensuring that everyone has access to the same information. Companies gain a competitive edge by delivering a consistent and measurable service experience to every customer, regardless of the channel the customer chooses.

•Case Workflow Optimization: With Summer ‘09, customer service agents will be able to automatically trigger an email alert to the appropriate person based on a change in the comments section of a case. Now, companies can respond even faster to customer requests and issues.

•Community Management Tools: Online communities have grown in popularity, so much so that many companies have multiple communities to serve a diverse set of audiences. Summer ‘09 will provide companies with the robust set of tools they need to scale as the size and number of online communities grow.

Sales Cloud: The World’s Most Complete Sales Application The Sales Cloud is the world’s most complete and popular sales application on the market today. In the Sales Cloud, sales professionals are driving more sales, generating more leads, and helping sales people increase productivity. In fact, a recent customer satisfaction survey of more than 3,000 global salesforce.com customers found that business executives surveyed are growing their businesses using Salesforce CRM, with a reported 52 percent increase in lead volume, 27 percent increase in win rates, and 30 percent increase in customer retention. Summer ‘09 will deliver new features to the Sales Cloud focused on helping companies close more deals and grow their business including:

•Visual Charting: Sales reps and managers will be able to leverage more powerful analytic tools with the release of Summer ‘09, including new displays, colors and two entirely new chart types. Being able to access this information in real-time and in a host of customizable displays, will enable companies to make quicker and more well informed business decisions.

•Triggered Emails: With Summer ‘09, a sales rep will be able to set up an automated email alert based on prospect behavior, and create custom campaign fields to manage marketing offers and campaigns more effectively. Companies will be able to generate more leads by creating these sophisticated marketing campaigns.

•Deal Team Management: Colleagues that sales reps bring in to assist in closing a deal will now have access to the deal information in the opportunities tab with Summer ‘09. When the right people have access to the opportunity’s information, companies can close more deals and grow their business.

Your Cloud: Build and Run your Custom Apps on the Force.com Platform The Force.com platform lets customers and partners build and run enterprise applications in salesforce.com’s real time cloud, without the need for complex infrastructure. The introduction of Summer ‘09 makes it even easier to build and run custom applications on Force.com. New features will include:

•Workflow Visualizer: As company approvals and procedures get more complex, Summer ‘09 simplifies the process by making it completely visual, interactive and easy-to-use. Companies can now map their business processes through a visual representation, which will make managing complex workflows simple.

•Visualforce for Dashboards: Visualforce for Dashboards will allow developers to leverage Visualforce to create rich, customized dashboards and help pages for the first time.

•Advanced Application Tracking: With Summer ‘09, salesforce.com partners can now manage and upgrade custom applications, while maintaining backwards compatibility, just like salesforce.com.

The Only Enterprise Solution Built on Real-Time Cloud Infrastructure Salesforce CRM and the Force.com platform are the only enterprise solutions built and run on a real-time cloud infrastructure, which represents the most economical way to run a business. With a real-time infrastructure, upgrades can be delivered instantly and all data processed immediately without any batch processing. Customers also get real-time visibility into the status of the system’s high performing reliability, speed, and security.

Pricing and Availability Salesforce.com’s Summer ‘09 release is currently scheduled to be available to all 55,400 salesforce.com customers in June 2009.

Cloud Computing Savings - Real or Imaginary?

The venerable management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, released a thought-provoking analysis yesterday on cloud computing economics. The piece has generated a fair bit of attention because it’s been taken to mean that migration to cloud platforms is actually more expensive than what large companies currently spend on their own datacenters.

As usual, the problem is not in the analysis or the research but in the question that is being asked. The question that the McKinsey analysis answers is about the comparative economics between running your datacenter on your own hardware vs. running it on Amazon’s hardware (offered as a service). We aren’t going to question their analysis or numbers (we’ll leave that to experts like Vinnie Mirchandani), but we also don’t think this really answers the question about what cloud platforms can do for a business.

Cloud platforms exist at three levels
Salesforce-13
At the lowest level, infrastructure-as-a-service is purely computational power for rent, which is what services like EC2 offer. It abstracts the physical infrastructure but you still need to do the work of mounting a database and an app server on the infrastructure, building and maintaining your app, etc. Therefore, the only savings are those that come from the delta between how efficient your datacenters are vs. those that Amazon runs. As you talk about large, well-managed datacenters that are operating at scale, it’s plausible that savings are not significant.

It’s at the next level, Platform as a Service, and beyond, that we start to see significant savings. Once you move up the stack to PaaS, there are significant savings because you no longer need to run a datacenter (physical or virtual as in the Amazon case) or maintain infrastructure software (database and app servers). Within our 150+ customers, we see savings of over 30% on operating costs and 2-3x improvements in time-to-market when building on cloud platforms. For example, for a publishing client, we built a custom application that automated the entire publishing process in less than 6 months. Their estimate for doing this using on-premise platforms was over 3 years. In terms of ongoing cost/productivity improvements, they have estimated a 50-75% reduction in the time and effort it takes to add new products. Additionally, since the application is built on the Force.com platform, upgrades are seamless and the platform gets better over time, all for no additional cost.

At the highest level of the stack, the benefits get multiplied further, since you get all the benefits of PaaS, plus you get freed from 22% maintenance and costly (to implement) upgrades every 3-5 years. The savings have been well documented: 25-40% in terms of implementation costs (by freeing yourself from the clutches of the dreaded Globals SIs) and operating cost savings, e.g.,50%+ savings running your mail on Google vs. Exchange.

Cloud platforms provide savings at each layer of the stack, and McKinsey’s analysis focuses on just the lowest levels of the stack, thus missing most of the savings potential.
Salesforce - 12
We have seen the benefits of cloud platforms first-hand at over 150 customers, including companies like Avago, Genentech, Japan Post, Qualcomm, Starbucks and Dolby. Once customers experience the benefits of cloud platforms - quantifiable savings, rapid time to value and innovation that drives the business, they seldom want to go back. This is why 90%+ of customers plan to increase their spending on cloud platforms. In these economic times, there is no greater vote of confidence for cloud platforms than that!

Balakrishna Narasimhan - Appirio

Salesforce has a record quarter

Salesforce LogoSalesforce.com reaches record quarterly revenues of $290 million despite the recession, and marks more than $1 billion in revenue for the entire year, according to financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 31. The cloud computing CRM specialist posted net profits of $13.75 million for its fourth quarter and revenues of $1.077 billion for the full fiscal year.

Salesforce.com saw a 34 percent jump in revenue to $290 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 31.

The cloud-based CRM specialist announced results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full fiscal year on Feb. 25, noting the $290 million represented record quarterly revenues for the company. Subscription and support revenues were $266 million, an increase of 35 percent over the same period last year. And professional services and other revenues were $23.5 million, an increase of 15 percent over the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile, the company posted net profits of $13.75 million for its fourth quarter and revenues of $1.077 billion for the full fiscal year.

“Salesforce.com is proud to be the first billion dollar cloud computing company,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com, in a statement. “At a time when capital is precious, big-ticket software purchases just don’t make sense.”

Salesforce.com officials also said the amount of net paying customers the company has rose approximately 3,600 during the fourth quarter and approximately 14,400 during the year to finish at approximately 55,400. Net paying subscribers rose to greater than 1.5 million, an increase of approximately 400,000 from the prior fiscal year end.

The positive quarterly results help bear out Salesforce.com’s contention that the departure of former president and chief strategy officer, Steve Cakebread, and others would have no impact on the company. Indeed, Salesforce.com officials say with the recession, companies that deliver SAAS (software as a service) will tend to do better than pure software companies because SAAS providers eliminate hefty infrastructure and maintenance costs.

In addition, Salesforce.com officials said revenue for the company’s first fiscal quarter is projected to be in the range of approximately $304 million to approximately $305 million. Salesforce.com also updated the full year revenue guidance it provided on Nov. 20, 2008, with revenue now expected to be approximately $1.3 billion to approximately $1.33 billion.

Moreover, Salesforce.com officials said the company handled more than 12 billion transactions in the fourth quarter alone. There were 100,000 custom applications built on Force.com, there are 166 native applications available via the Force.com AppExchange, and there are 124,000 Force.com developers.

In addition, Salesforce.com launched Force.com Sites, which led to the launch of 1,500 sites, 130 million hits and 15 million total page views. The company also launched the Service Cloud, enabling customer service organizations to join and manage customer service conversations in the cloud.

Facebook Toolkit

We’re going to be extending the current postings for the Force for Facebook Toolkit with a few sample postings. First, I’m going to just reiterate some of the steps in the installation process.

After you’ve installed the toolkit, identify an existing project (with Force.com nature) in your Eclipse environment where’d you like the toolkit to be added. Change your perspective to the SVN Repository Exploring perspective. Select Export from the context menu of the src folder in the Force4Facebook trunk.

Salesforce Toolkit

Click the Browse button in the dialog window that opens and navigate to the project’s main directory in your Eclipse folder (child directory of Workspace, usually). Click the Choose button. Here’s the underwhelming part. Eclipse appears to do absolutely nothing here. The screen just returns to the default SVN perspective. However, in the background, your source files were copied to the project directory and the Force.com nature of the project auto-saved them back to your SFDC org (assuming it’s an org that allows that). Switch perspectives back to Force.com to verify that the classes are present. Look for more tips and tricks on the Force for Facebook toolkit in future posts.

Kyle Roche - Appirio

Force.com Sites

The announcement at Dreamforce 2008 of Force.com Sites was huge. Yes, it does allow organizations with minimal IT staff to consolidate their Salesforce.com instance along with their public-facing web presence.
Force.com Site

But even cooler than that, it allows that same public-facing web presence to show content directly out of your Salesforce org! Of course, you could just pull “content” out of your org, but the power of Sites is being able to pull real-time data…without authenticating! Enough with the marketing pitch…what does that mean to you? The ability to read and write data in your org as a public user is huge. For example, you can present real-time dashboard-type data about the number of accounts you are servicing, an up-to-date product and pricing list, hot news items, or the latest campaign details. This kind of data would typically need to be extracted from Salesforce, digested, and reposted to your external site…a process that, including reviews and upload cycles, could take days or more. Now it’s all instant!

OK, so Sites is a great tool. Here are some gotchas and areas to double check before publish your Sites site:

Ensure that you are not showing too much data

—The ability to show real-time production data is a huge benefit, but it is also a huge liability. Ensure that the Public Sites User is locked down and only has access to the objects you want to publish.

Be sure all the correct switches are flipped

—Nothing is more frustrating than going live with a dud site! The public setting on your controllers, images, and static resources needs to be True. The Cache and Expires parameters on your tag need to be appropriately set so users avoid stale data. Hint: the Expires parameter is in seconds. Set it appropriately. These parameters might seem useless (after all, why not always pull the latest data?) but they can be cost savers since Sites is priced on number of page views. If you can prevent users from costing you a page view every time they hit their back buttons, I’m sure your CFO would appreciate it!

Sites is built on standard Visualforce pages with Apex controllers. This means that test methods and coverage limits must be met before deploying.

Beg, borrow, and steal from your current webmaster all of his/her stylesheets, javascript, and images so your Sites pages are seamless from any static pages.

Furthermore, ensure that you have pointed your Sites URL at your domain. For example, out of the box, your Sites URL will be something like yournamehere.na1.force.com. To present a truly seamless look and feel (in case your users glance up at the URL), work with Salesforce and your web host to have the CNAME record point at your “friendly” URL.

Finally, polish up your error pages. When you enable Sites, you get several standard error pages for such typical errors as a 404 (page not found) and 501 (server error). Be sure to apply the same stylings to these pages as you did to the rest of your Sites implementation to make it look super-slick even when a user hits a boo-boo.

Sites isn’t generally available for all orgs at the time of this writing. Be sure to hit this link to ask for Sites in your org. The general guesstimate for availability is summer 2009. Have fun and be safe!

Salesforce and Google App Engine

With several connections between the two companies’ services already announced, Salesforce (NYSE: CRM).com and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) have decided to take their relationship to the next level. The two said Monday that they’ll be connecting Google App Engine with Salesforce’s Force.com Web application platform.
Salesforce Google App Engine

Google App Engine apps will now be able to connect to Salesforce data, while Salesforce users will get the ability to develop Web apps in Python and take advantage of Google’s authentication services. For example, cloud application development and integration startup Appirio worked with Harrah’s to create a proof-of-concept Web app mashing together a slot machine game that uses Google App Engine with a site for VIP guests that’s hosted by Force.com sites.

More Internet InsightsWhite PapersGoogle Insights: A Social Baraometer For The Digital Age Get more from Your Web Analytics: Creating an Integrated View of your Online Customer Videos

E.M. “Max” Maximilien, of IBM (NYSE: IBM) Research, describes Swashup, a tool to help developers quickly build mashups with Ruby on Rails and deploy them to cloud services like Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Web Services. The new app simply combines the two applications, and imagines that the new slot machine app could be used as a chance for VIP guests to potentially win awards like free Elton John tickets. Since the system is connected to Salesforce CRM, guests could be able to pick those prizes up as soon as they arrive at the hotel and Harrah’s could track how well guests respond to the games.
Superficially, Force.com and Google App Engine may seem to be competitors, but Google App Engine has focused more on consumer and traditional Web applications, while Force.com has primarily focused on Salesforce CRM-attached business apps. “This partnership brings the best of both worlds together,” Salesforce VP of platform marketing Adam Gross said in an interview.

In a blog post, Google also suggested a few example applications that could take advantage of Google App Engine and Salesforce: a large-scale consumer Web application that offers personalized experiences for customers, and an online marketing app that “generates leads directly.”

The new deal ramps up an already broad partnership between Google and Salesforce. Starting in 2003, the two companies started working together on philanthropic efforts. Three years later, the two companies announced the integration of Google AdWords and Salesforce CRM; more than 10,000 customers use Salesforce for Google App Engine today. A flood of work since then has led to Salesforce for Google Apps, Force.com for Google Data APIs, and open social network initiative OpenSocial. Five of the top 10 most popular apps on Salesforce’s AppExchange Web app directory are related to Google in some way.

Salesforce has recently expanded its partnership base far beyond Google. Last month at the company’s Dreamforce conference, Salesforce announced partnerships with Facebook and Amazon. Force.com applications can now be built with Amazon S3 for permanent storage capabilities, while the Salesforce-Facebook connection has driven Appirio to build an app to facilitate employee job referrals by matching its employees’ Facebook friends with job openings at Appirio.

Gross said customers should expect more partnerships going forward. “There are going to be multiple clouds and they need to be easily and well connected,” he said. “A lot about what we’re learning about collectively are what are the features we need to build into our platforms to work together better.” He said that even traditional software vendors — whom Salesforce has consistently detracted — look to be potential partners going forward as they invest more and more in the cloud.

“Salesforce.com is good BECAUSE it’s SaaS”

Lawson CEO: “Traditional software is like cocaine — you’re hooked”

Salesforce

In a mind-numbing interview with ZDnet, Harry Debes, CEO of ERP vendor Lawson Software, demonstrates why the traditional enterprise software market is overdue for disruption. Debes’ remarks show how little care and understanding legacy on-premise vendors have for their customers, and how poorly suited they are to help businesses address today’s challenges. Is this really how traditional software executives view their customers?

Ordinarily, we’d ignore the musings of an executive whose company has destroyed massive shareholder value over the last 7 years - Lawson shares have lost nearly half their value since its IPO. But Debes’ lack of awareness of the trends surrounding his market and the reality of what customers experience rivals that of telegraph executives trying to understand the implications of phones. Actually, Debes’ cluelessness more brings to mind the infamous image of those cigarette CEOs telling the U.S. Congress that their products don’t harm customers.

So here they are - Exhibits A, B, C, D, E, and F for why we founded Appirio, straight from the mouth of Lawson CEO Harry Debes:

“It isn’t about locking people in. People lock themselves in. Traditional software is like cocaine — you’re hooked. It’s too difficult and expensive to switch providers once you’ve invested in one. If it were easier to jump ship, a lot of people would’ve hit the eject button on SAP a long time ago.” In a moment of candor, the best comparison to on-premise software the Lawson CEO can think of is cocaine. Enough said. We’d laugh, until we’d remember what a painful drain this is on the productivity of real customers. The notion of lock-in was a central theme of why Appirio’s first blog entry back in 2006 argued that every company must have an on-demand strategy.

“Getting signed up as a SaaS customer is fast, but getting out is just as fast.” Switching costs are lower for SaaS applications. This key feature has fueled the massive customer interest in SaaS. But the biggest application switching costs have more to do with business change than what you’re paying the vendor. Companies adapt their business processes based on what their software can do. The idea that SaaS vendors will see their customers switch month-to-month, chasing lower prices, is ridiculous. Vendors keep customers by demonstrating value. This may be a foreign concept to Debes, but the cornerstone of stable relationships in any field, business or personal, is mutual benefit to both parties - not addiction.

The reality is that Salesforce.com has much higher than average customer retention: 94% of its customers say they’d refer the company to a colleague, 74% of its customers say they have already done so. These figures are twice what most on-premise software vendors are seeing. SaaS solutions tend to be good because they have to be, to keep customers. On premise software can afford to treat customers as addicts - at least for the short-term, until the customers kick the habit for good.

“The success of Salesforce.com, in my opinion, has to do with their product being good, not because it’s SaaS.”

Salesforce.com is good BECAUSE it’s SaaS. You can’t separate the two! Consider the plight of a beleaguered Lawson product manager, trying to figure out how to improve the product. Invite a few customers into a lab and watch them work? Spend a day at a customer’s office asking questions? Maybe they can peruse error reports “phoned home” by software to headquarters. The product manager then struggles to translate this anecodotal feedback into requirements, and plan the next release - which likely isn’t for a year or two, since massive upgrade costs mean customers can’t handle more frequent updates.

This process is a key bottleneck to the rate of innovation for on-premise software. It’s nearly impossible to know if certain changes will make the product better or worse. The result - bloatware, as product managers add features based on what’s going to look good on a feature sheet, without really knowing what customers will actually use.

Now look at the happy life of a SaaS product manager. After launching a new feature, they get immediate, direct feedback on real-life usage patterns. They see what works and what doesn’t. They can even launch two versions of a feature to see which works better. Their development teams can fix problems instantly, without having to issue patches or service packs. In reality, early users of Salesforce.com would have had a hard time calling it a “good” CRM package when it was first released. But today, it is great. The rapid rate of improvement is a direct result of the SaaS model.

“SaaS is just a financing option for the customer… This is something I’ve lived through three times: first it was called ’service bureaux’, then ‘application service providers’, now ‘SaaS’. But it’s pretty much the same thing.” Sorry, Mr. Debes, but you’re wrong. SaaS is far more than a “financing option,” and it’s fundamentally different from the models that preceded it.

* Economies of scale: The TCO benefits of SaaS go beyond the initial pricing model. There are real cost profile differences between a customer versus a vendor owning IT infrastructure. The benefits scale as SaaS grows. Google offers an online productivity suite for free, because the incremental cost to Google is near zero. Microsoft couldn’t change this equation even if it gave Exchange and Sharepoint away for free, because a customer would still have to invest in the infrastructure required to run these on-premise applications.
* Multi-tenancy: The ASP “hosting” model was based on single tenancy - a separate copy of the server for each customer. By contrast, putting all customers onto the same code base gives the vendor economies of scale and allows them to deliver rapid innovation because they build on a single platform. Traditional software vendors wrestle with the nightmare of managing, enhancing, and testing multiple versions of their software, then porting everything to various hardware and OS stacks. Multi-tenancy virtually eliminates the single biggest cost to the customer in all of enterprise software - the dreaded upgrade. Salesforce.com and Google have released dozens of major releases without ever forcing their customer to re-implement, re-test or re-set their business processes.

“When the sunk costs have been fully depreciated, customers effectively run the software for free.” Yeah, right. This is a shocking lie - unless Debes and on-premise software companies want to stop collecting maintenance payments from customers. Tell on-premise customers who have had their maintenance fees raised without warning, or had a running product suddenly characterized as “end of life” because their vendor was hungry for an upgrade, that they’re running software for “free.” The even greater cost is the lack of business flexibility these rigid systems empart on their customers.

“People will realise the hype about SaaS companies has been overblown within the next two years….then, the rest of the SaaS industry will collapse. The hype is based on one company in the software industry having modest success… People are stupid.”

So customers like Flextronics (200,000 SaaS users), Japan Post (45,000 SaaS users), and Wachovia (55,000 SaaS users) are stupid?

McKinsey reports that three-quarters of software buyers say they are “favorably disposed to adopting SaaS platforms” for software development and deployment, and that they will dedicate 19% of their total software budget to applications delivered as services this year. Are they stupid?

How about Silicon Valley venture capitalists? When’s the last time you’ve seen them fund an on-premise software company? Are they all stupid?

Let’s reflect for a moment on who is actually “stupid.” Over the past five years, Salesforce.com shareholders have tripled their money, while Lawson shareholders have watched their shares under-perform the market. After reading Mr. Debes’ interview, many may come to their senses and bring in a CEO who doesn’t see himself as a cocaine dealer. After Debes remarks, the most interesting open question is who will file the first lawsuit, his shareholders or his customers…
Ryan Nicols from Appirio

Dreamfactory offers a new set of utlities for Salesforce users

DreamFactory Utilities for AppExchange is now available for all Salesforce users. ‘Utilities’ is designed specifically for Salesforce system admins and integrators to make their lives, and the lives of other users a whole lot easier.

Utilities includes three essentials apps:

• SnapShot – save hours of time on meta data manipulation
1. Take an Object SnapShot and visually browse the schema of any Salesforce ORG, including standard objects, custom objects, fields, picklists and more
2. Take a Profile SnapShot and visually browse the user profile information of any Salesforce ORG, including Field Level Security, Object Permissions, Record Types, etc.

• Monarch – move your data anywhere, share it with anyone
1. Moves and merges data, allows users to securely move, share data with others, or port it to QuickBase, Cisco Connect or an Excel sheet for extended collaboration
2. Backing up data is costly on Salesforce – with Monarch users can move data over to Amazon, where it can be stored a lot less expensively

• Tabletop -Browse, visualize and drill down on data sets. Create as many views as you want and selectively share these views with other departments, partners and customers

The Salesforce Education department has licensed SnapShot and DreamFactory Utilities as part of its training program for new customers, and Salesforce’s internal Global Professional Services is using SnapShot as a pilot program currently.