Dreamforce officially starts today with the main Keynotes starting tomorrow and once again, it’s literally a showcase as Salesforce continues to build out its product line on their ecosystem (as well as one giant party!).
Last week, the media had a field day with the Work.com, ChatterBox & Salesforce Identity “announcements” which were potential threats to Asana, Box, and Okta as true competitors. Marc Benioff has always been a self-promoter with his “we’ll see more of this at Dreamforce” punch line. And with over 90,000 registered guests at this year Dreamforce, people have embraced Cloud and Social Enterprise, or at least they are curious to find out!
Speculation has always been an interesting topic and since we are a day away from the Dreamforce keynote, let the stories begin. (Hey, the Olympics are over so we need some kind of competition to fuel our needs!) We should also see some Guerilla Marketing techniques by SugarCRM and Oracle but we’ll save that for another post!
The Marketing Cloud
People forget about the Buddy Media acquisition last summer, which was a higher dollar amount than Radian 6 or Herouku combined. Conversely, when you add up Buddy Media and Radian 6 acquisitions, it totals over $1B dollars.
We’ve been asking for years “When will Salesforce have a Marketing Automation component?” to their ecosystem, the now the time is ripe. We’ve also wondered when and if Marketo or Hubspot will be acquired!
So it doesn’t surprise me to see the Marketing Cloud finally being announced.
But how will Radian 6 and Buddy Media integrate?
What can it do? What can it automate? Will it ultimately lead to more sales?
If you are a CMO, this is one area to pay close attention. Today’s Marketing cloud is a mixture of art and science using a variety of tools, and the industry is young with hundreds of companies vying for your business. The industry reminds me of the Irving Berlin song, “Anything Goes”.
Front Office vs. Back Office
Work.com, the product formerly known as Rypple, was the first app announced at CloudForce London earlier this year with the customer Spotify as one of their testimonials.
Last year, we saw Kenandy and Concur highlighted at the Keynotes, which were built on top of Force.com. And let’s not forget FinancialForce and RemedyForce.
The trend we are seeing in respect to the Salesforce Back Office and ERP ecosystem is the ability for partners to integrate seamlessly as they are slowly building their Back Office empire, indirectly.
In the old days (though we’re talking 5 or 10 years ago), you had only “one throat to choke” by being dependent on one vendor for a one-stop-shopping. This no longer holds true in the modern cloud economy.
Social is the backbone, but Salesforce is building their dominance through the Front Office and the Back Office. Partnerships is key. Goggle Apps have been very successful with their Apps Marketplace, so why not AppExchange and Force.com?
To Buy or to Build?
With every enhancement on their product line, you have to wonder if it makes sense to acquire a company or to build it from ground up.
How is Chatterbox going to be implemented? Are they going to announce an acquisition?
With Chatterbox and its file storage and content management capabilities , you may never need to buy another server again, which I am sure puts smiles in Marc Benioff’s face. The again, I think Salesforce should build their own datacenter.
But sometimes it doesn’t make sense to buy out companies because integrating into the Salesforce ecosystem would be a huge rewrite of code. Hence one of the reasons why they didn’t buy Yammer, but Microsoft eventually did.
The application of social technology (I won’t call it social enterprise anymore) to conventional systems is the KEY SECRET to Salesforce success. For example, we are seeing that with Work.com, replacing the old way of doing HR and getting that annual review and pay raise!
This will be an interesting 3 days…