Feeds

Salesforce force feeds SaaS to the masses

Whoo oo oo ooo... Can you feel the force?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Dreamforce Chief executive Marc Benioff today kicked-off Salesforce.com's fifth, annual Dreamforce conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco by citing customer numbers, growing developer and partner channels, and increased revenues as proof that Salesforce.com will force its way onto the software industry's table.

Salesforce.com now has 900,000 subscribers spread across 35,300 organizations while individual deployments are growing, Benioff announced today. He flagged up Japan Post, Dell and Cisco Systems, with 45,000, 40,000 and 30,000 subscribers. With annual company revenue of more than $600m, Salesforce.com is now "on its way to $1bn run rate in the next fiscal year," he proclaimed.

According to Benioff, the Salesforce.com architecture and platform has become a development environment in its own right alongside Java and .NET. Meanwhile, the AppExchange market place, launched in September 2005 with 70 applications, is now home to 700 applications and used by 355 independent software vendors (ISVs).

Benioff announced services and partnerships to take Salesforce.com into new markets. Among these is Visualforce, an environment that cuts the tab-based Salesforce.com interface into components to enable developers to build their own interfaces while using the underlying Salesforce.com platform - including data models, integration, security and hosting. According to Salesforce.com, interfaces and services can be built to run on different devices, such as a PC, mobile phone, or on the embedded system in a car without needing to re-write the underlying application.

Visualforce is due for release in 2008 with a developer preview in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Benioff laid down the gauntlet to Microsoft, by claiming that ISVs could build services for devices such as tablet computers faster and easier with the data stored on the Salesforce.com platform for cross-platform access than they could using Windows or .NET, .

"Our vision is to become the first multi-application, multi-category SaaS company. We started as single application company - Salesforce automation - that's how we made our name," he said.

He highlighted companies building applications based entirely on Salesforce.com, in an apparent attempt to counter criticism that Salesforce.com is "just" CRM (customer relationship management). Business software specialist Coda Group was wheeled on to announce its hosted new, financial management software, Coda 2go.

Also unveiled today, was the Winter 07 release of Salesforce.com. Among the new features, Salesforce Content, for content management, and Salesforce Ideas it described as something that would allow online communities to "submit, discuss and promote ideas."

With so many different services, Benioff claimed his company has become a victim of its success. "A lot of these [services] are new to our customers. They don't know about our marketing technology, or indirect channel management capabilities... many of our customers don't know all the capabilities we have, which is shocking to us," he said.

Some of the oldest and best-known names, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, compete with Salesforce.com by providing both business applications and a platform - operating system or data store - that developers and partners can build on.

SAP, for instance, is this week expected to try to keep Salesforce.com in its shadow by announcing a name for its on demand business application service, codenamed A1S. But while it continues to outstrip Salesforce.com in revenue, its upstart rival has assembled a customer footprint of comparable size, and in quicker time, than SAP. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.