Salesforce extends 'sympathy' to Microsoft on Office launch
Cloud vendor goes on elephant crusade
A senior EMEA director at Salesforce.com has claimed Microsoft Office "sucks productivity" just as the software giant gears up for the launch of its latest version this afternoon.
Tim Barker declared that Salesforce has no intention of moving into the productivity suite crowd currently occupied by Microsoft.
Barker, who is the firm’s product marketing boss for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, told The Register this morning that he wanted to offer his “sympathy” to Microsoft for its efforts to move more prominently into the cloud computing space.
“Office sucks productivity out of people,” he claimed, and pointed out that the lack of collaboration in the desktop version of Microsoft’s flagship software was bad for business in today’s Web2.0rrhea-obsessed world.
Barker opined that Microsoft had arrived late on the scene with its Office Web Apps, which the vendor will begin pumping out to businesses today.
He added that the company had also changed its tune on cloud computing by quietly moving away from talking up its software+services strategy, to what MS boss Steve Ballmer has recently described as “three screens and a cloud”.
According to Barker, that shift is acknowledgment by the software giant that cloud computing is where the party’s at for the tech industry, which he said was “a good thing” for everyone else, but possibly less so for Microsoft whose customers might accuse the company of abandoning its roots in an effort to compete with Google.
At the same time, Barker said Salesforce.com have no intention, at least for now, of pushing out its own business productivity suite to rival Office 2010.
The cloud vendor recently tied up an important deal with VMware offering a platform for Java developers to deploy their applications to the cloud without needing to buy or provision their own software or servers. All of which made us wonder if some form of collaboration was in the offing with VMWare’s recently acquired Zimbra tech, which offers an MS Office alternative to customers.
“We’re not looking at that space at all right now,” said Barker, who added that Salesforce.com had a tight relationship with Google Apps.
Instead, the Marc Benioff-run outfit is setting its sights on Chatter, which is a bit like Facebook for the business set and includes elements of social networking with worker profiles, status updates as well as connecting with other networks, and links to Salesforce.com products and Google docs, explained Barker.
Which sounds a bit like an outsourced intranet to us. Funnily enough, Barker likened Microsoft's Office Apps to an intranet-like product as well.
He argued that the success of Facebook and indeed Gmail was due in no small part to giving consumers free technology to “collaborate” with each other in the cloud. Microsoft, on the other hand, has missed a trick, turned up late and is now hoping to cash in from organisations that want to bring the Facebook model into business apps.
Of course, Microsoft would argue that Hotmail - its free email service - has been around for donkey's years serving up messages to its millions of users across the globe from what is very much a cloud-based model.
Barker wondered if Redmond might just be spreading itself a little too thinly with its latest sky-gazing ambitions, but MS could yet gatecrash the Google-Salesforce.com love-in.
Elephant in the
Elsewhere on planet Salesforce.com, the do-good wing of the company - Salesforce.com Foundation - has been plugging an online public petition to convince governments to support Asian elephant conservation.
The firm, in partnership with the Elephant Parade London, plonked a life-sized baby pachyderm sculpture inside a London Eye pod this morning to promote the cause.
This way to show your support, but please don't all stampede at once. ®
Lacking any kind of future Direction
The reality is that Microsoft, despite their billions and huge development capability, are a spent force. They're devoid of new ideas, a coherent strategy or an kind of relevant future in the consumer space - which will inevitably drive the business decisions of the future. It's happening to Nokia in the same way - Google and Apple's time has yet to arrive - despite their huge presence today they're set for even greater growth and relevance.
It's hardly surprising when you compare CEOs - Sergey, Larry, Steve Jobs on the once side - Steve Ballmer on the other. Creativity is hardly flowing down from above in Washington.
Balls to salesfarce
get with the open source crowd. Mix up Sugar CRM with a bit of Asterisk, bung in a pinch of Knowledgetree wrapped in parcel of Drupal / Joomla - loverly
Tim Barker or the author is either clueless or intentionally misleading
Without getting into details it is either intentionally misleading or simple ignorance to say:
“Office sucks productivity out of people,” he claimed, and pointed out that the lack of collaboration in the desktop version of Microsoft’s flagship software"
In addition to the "Desktop version" the "online" browser based versions of the Office apps (Word, Excel, etc..) offering collaboration services that can work as a small scale collabortive effort or tie into MOSS (Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server) which IS specifically engineer as a robust, scalable enterprise collaboration service.
After reading this article all i see is little pot-shots are MS.
"whose customers might accuse the company of abandoning its roots" - This comment is baffling. How exactly would a company founded on innovation and technology that succeeds through agile and often industry leading adaptation of the "cutting edge" be accused of abandoning those very roots by embracing direction like cloud computing?
The way this article reads has Barker as either a little insecure now that MS is developing solutions in the cloud space or a little jealous that that have the ability to come in a bit slower than Google but quickly ramp up to a position ahead of them.
Maybe talking about how Salesforce solution benefit the customer or how its going to restore that productivity that Office sucked out would have been a better way to waste space.