Salesforce.com Delivers Social, Mobile Advancements at Dreamforce
CEO Mark Benioff touts transformative power of social media in business.
Posted Sep 20, 2012
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SAN FRANCISCO—Companies have fundamentally changed the way they work, market, sell, and collaborate, said Marc Benioff, CEO of SaaS software company Salesforce.com, during Wednesday's keynote presentation at the company's annual Dreamforce event.

Approximately 90,000 registered attendees were at the event.

The company, and its founder, who appeared determined not to be outdone by enterprise software giant Oracle's Larry Ellison, who will pull thousands to the same streets in San Francisco in just two weeks, led a two-and-one-half-hour keynote presentation that began with a performance by MC Hammer and continued with stories of customers such as Coca-Cola, GE, and Virgin America.

"We believe so strongly at Salesforce.com that our mission is to help our customers connect with their customers," Benioff said, as he outlined the transformative power of social media used both as an enterprise collaboration tool and as a means to communicate and service customers. "It's a product revolution, an employee revolution, a partner revolution…this nature of connecting with our customers in a whole new way gets down into our core."

One product launch, Chatter Communities for Service, plays on enterprise collaboration tool Chatter's power to connect internal employees by extending the usage to a marketing and customer service capacity. One client, gaming company Activision, uses Chatter Communities for Service to connect with its 50 million-gamer population. One of the hallmarks of the solution, Salesforce.com says, is its ability to bring together self-service and peer-to-peer service in a collaborative platform.

The debut of Salesforce Identity will give companies a "Facebook-like identity for the enterprise," the company says, which will act as an identity management tool with a single sign-on, allowing users to access and centrally manage every cloud app within Salesforce. A new Salesforce Touch Platform, precipitated by the proliferation of mobile devices in the enterprise, allows developers to bring native, hybrid, and HTML5 applications to any device.

"On the mobile front, it boils down to speed and agility," Linda Crawford, executive vice president of the Salesforce.com Sales Cloud, told CRM. "My mission is to bring more and more mobile apps into the hands of salespeople…and [the launch of] Touch, based on HTML5, allows IT to develop once and deploy anywhere."

Also getting the official rollout at Dreamforce was Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud, which is critical to enterprise performance, according to Benioff, who referenced research findings that indicate that "by 2017, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs" and that spending on social as a category could experience a 47 percent uptick, according to IDC. The Salesforce.com Marketing Cloud unifies social listening, engagement, advertising, workflow automation, and measurement, building off of Salesforce.com's acquisitions of social marketing companies like Buddy Media.

"Nothing touches social in our industry," Benioff emphasized. "Our customers say they're growing 48 percent faster than their competitors because of their [social, and collaborative] transformations."

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