Feeds

Salesforce boss Benioff pushes cloud

Pours scorn on Microsoft, bear hugs Sir Stelios

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Salesforce.com boss Marc Benioff yesterday robustly elaborated on the firm's plans to push yet more services on to the cloud with the official launch of Visualforce.

Speaking at the company's Dreamforce event at the Barbican centre in London, Benioff took the opportunity in front of a crowd of some 2,000 European partners and customers, to outline his Web 3.0 vision.

He said Salesforce.com is no longer just a purveyor of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology, it's now gunning for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) too.

Benioff said that as part of its "evolving" vision the firm has taken existing collaborative services used by "pioneering" online companies such as Google and Amazon and plumped them up by using the power of cloud computing and services.

Visualforce, which is expected to land in the next 60 days, is a new tool that will play a leading role in the company's PaaS biz product line. Customers can build custom user interfaces for apps running on the Salesforce.com hosted infrastructure.

Up to now Salesforce.com has been best known for its SaaS customer relationship management (CRM) applications aimed squarely at businesses.

But following on from last month's Silicon Valley love-in with Google in which its CRM platform was integrated with Google Apps, Benioff is clearly on a mission to push everything up into the cloud.

He also took the opportunity yesterday to take several digs at Microsoft by, perhaps prematurely, declaring that application development platforms were dead in the water.

“We have been told or brain-washed or hypnotised – you pick the word which is right for you – to go down the infrastructure route... Those days are over," he said. "The world has changed."

Of course Microsoft, which has recently been punting its software-plus-service biz model with the launch of a preview of Live Mesh last month, might soon be in a position to agree with Benioff's claims. The reality in the meantime, however, is that it continues to flog the majority of its offerings on the increasingly quaint-looking compact disc.

EasyJet chairman and founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou was also wheeled out at the event as a high-profile Salesforce.com customer. Watching Benioff and Stelios chew the fat on stage was a bit like seeing two bears playfully pawing each other.

Benioff asked Stelios to explain how Salesforce.com has transformed the way Easyjet runs its business. The cheap airline boss couldn't really nail it in an eloquent fashion, but instead he jumped on what for many is the main concern about pushing everything up on to the cloud.

"All our intellectual property rests with you. I hope you're robust," he said. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
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
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
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
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
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
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.