Monday, September 17, 2007

Event Report: SalesForce.com DreamForce 2007

(Image courtesy of SalesForce.com)

At this year's Dreamforce, Salesforce.com made 4 key announcements:

  • The Force.com platform - platform as a service for companies to deploy their own apps
  • Visualforce - a page based model design tool to deliver any User Interface-as-a-Service
  • An AppsExchange milestone- the vendor delivered its 700th live application
  • Salesforce Ideas- an online innovation community and support group
Of those announcements, The Force.com had the most impact as it now opened up the platform to not only its own partners, but also any customer who was looking for a SaaS platform to build on. Like the original AppsExchange announcement which targeted partners, the opening up of the platform to customers was equally innovative because it put key SaaS development tools in the hands of innovative customers to build their own "last-mile" solutions. The net:net - the reduction of complicated software development platforms.

The bottom line
SalesForce.com remains innovative in bringing a true solutions centric ecosystem to the end user. Customers today face so much frustration in waiting for a vendor to deliver key functionality. Opening up to partners via AppsExchange was innovative. Sharing the code with customers to develop is brilliant and put SalesForce.com one step ahead of any competitor in giving control back to the customer.

(The personal contents in this blog do not reflect the opinions, ideas, thoughts, points of view, and any other potential attribution of my current, past, or future employers.)
Copyrighted 2007 by R Wang. All rights reserved

4 comments:

John Ragsdale said...

Ray, sorry I missed you at Dreamforce! You seem more positive on the announcements than I am. Is finally allowing UI customization, but forcing HTML code as the method, that innovative?

R "Ray" Wang said...

Your point is valid, those tools are NOT innovative. What I see is the innovation that's coming from giving the customer tools to deliver their own innovations in the same platform as SFDC and its partners. Good tooling is what makes the difference and we may be 4 years away from custom development making a comeback on platforms like this!

Michael Ni said...

It will be very interesting to watch SFDC go through what we know are continuous struggles throughout the ERP/CRM space ... are we an application or platform, and what are the implications of what will be front and center. With a couple more years of "bully pulpit" as the SaaS poster child (before they are just one in many offering specific services online), I expect we will see Mark B make the shift to breadth and ubiquity, even as NetSuite and others tack towards integrated suites served up online. I'm sure someone inside is asking themselves how they can be on every desktop looking to take a page out of Lotus Notes.

jay paul said...

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