Claiming to have attracted more than 90,000 registered delegates, Salesforce.com’s DreamForce jamboree dominated central San Francisco last week.

Exuberant SFDC founder Mark Benioff asserted that the event is now the world’s biggest business conference.

Heavy hitters, such as GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt and Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts, were on the program.

Virgin supremo Richard Branson was also on stage to add his brand to the list of big names (IBM, HP, Kimberley Clark and Microsoft) that have abandoned Siebel in recent times.

The hour long “fireside chat” between Branson and Benioff was genuinely engaging. They traversed across a diverse range of topics, from management styles, to Branson’s early days, space travel and Keith Richards anecdotes.

Check it out here:

Benioff restated his view that the conventional, mega vendors, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft, are moving far too slowly away from their on-premise business models.

“You can see how they continue to resist multi-tenancy and shared systems and then they’re kind of moving to there, but they’re kind of not,” Beneioff said. “I think it’s really been a disservice to themselves what they’ve done, and to the whole industry.”

Indeed, Oracle was miffed that four streets around the Moscone convention centre were blocked off for the duration of the event versus three for Oracle’s Open World which will be held next month at the same venue.

Financial analysts may query SFDC’s sky high earnings-per-share ratio and their promotion of so-called non-GAAP earnings, but there is no doubt the company is moving forward at a rapid rate.

Forbes magazine recently rated SFDC as the world’s most innovative company for the 2nd year in the row and for the third year in succession CRM magazine ranked the platform as the CRM market’s leader.

In the meantime, back in Australia, business technology research firm, Ovum, has issued a report critical of the Australian Government’s “cloud last” policy.

Confirming Ovum’s view, the Victorian EPA (Environment Protection Authority) proudly announced recently that it has just gone live with the conventional on-premise SAP CRM platform.

I fully agree with the comment on Delimiter.com.au: “if you’re deploying a new CRM platform in 2012, you’d be crazy not to look at a SaaS option, when you consider the likely evolution of IT services over the next decade”.

Sorry, but the bureaucrats behind these policies are IT dinosaurs wasting our taxes. Maybe they should have gotten themselves on a Pacific flight across to DreamForce?

 

A strategic marketing executive with extensive experience delivering business results for Ansell Healthcare, Mercedes-Benz, consultancies and organisations in Australia, Asia and Europe. Leading-edge skills built around the fundamental principle that, in an era of rapid product and service commoditization, the customer experience matters and is a key driver of competitive advantage. Fully cognizant of the need to synchronize processes, business technology and people to ensure that brand promises are mirrored by reinforcing brand actions. Thrives in “can do”, values-driven organisations which are committed to consumer-focused innovation and making a difference by thinking strategically but acting pragmatically. An accomplished, collaborative business leader and communicator with excellent interpersonal and public speaking capabilities. Key strengths: • Building influence across the business • Harnessing emerging customer trends • Thriving on market and technology change • Differentiating the brand experience • Optimizing the marketing and media mix • Creating and nurturing high-performance teams and relationships Specialties Assets and transferable skills include leadership, strategy development, project management, technology utilization, business process improvement, performance metrics and public speaking. Email: mitchell_mackey@hotmail.com

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