Technology people must love the Rolling Stones. Bill Gates of Microsoft used the song “Start me up” for their Windows 95 launch because of the infamous “Windows start” button.
Today, the Salesforce.com song was clearly “Get off my Cloud”.
If you were standing outside of the Moscone Center, SugarCRM were handing out books “Behind the Smoke Screen” where their song could have been “Can’t Get no Satisfaction”.
The four clouds in the Salesforce enterprise are Sales, Service, Custom (to be discussed in Thursday’s Keynote), and the new Chatter Collaboration.
Let’s forget about the hype or selling job of Mr. Benioff and look at the benefits of each of the clouds presented.
Service Cloud 2
The Service Cloud 2 comprises of several tools, including knowledge base, the Call Center, email & chat, customer portals, communities, Google Search, social networks.
Twitter and Facebook now integrates into the Service Cloud 2. In the past, you needed several windows or browsers open to have your information pipelined into one.
Salesforce Answers is very similar to Facebook Answers (from a Fan Page) with the answers tab where you can vote or “like” at the click of a button. Thus the customer can decide for themselves which solution is right for them.
For the next generation of customer service or the service desk, knowledge is no longer locked in the company.
The Shift in Customer Support
Instead of customers calling or emailing a company for support, either (1) the customer finds their own way to find the answer, or (2) the company goes out to find unhappy users in the social networks and resolves them to fruition.
All of a sudden, companies now care what people are saying about them. That’s the power of going viral in today’s social network. It’s that powerful.
Sales Cloud 2
The success of consumer web tools has now shifted to the business world where the Sales Cloud 2 takes the best ideas and transforms it.
Several analogies were presented including ebay Quotes, Evite email and calendaring (and the new Salesforce for Outlook), iTunes Genius (i.e. the guide or playbook to win more deals), Mobile apps, web analytics (charting and report builder – real time with dashboards), Flickr (shared data), and finally Twitter (for tracking conversations)
The cloud scheduler now integrates with Outlook, Gmail, and Lotus Notes.
Like the Service Cloud, you now have a collection of tools to be more productive, and ultimately, make more sales.
When managing content in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about file servers and email clogging. This can include any document whether it’s a word, spreadsheet, PDF, PowerPoint, photo or video file.
With a robust integrated content library, I can see this as the death of SharePoint. (My only concern is the performance, as that was a hot topic in the Backstage Pass “A Look Inside the Force.com Infrastructure” breakout session)
Benioff proclaimed users are productive in their personal lives (via email, instant messaging or social networks), but not in the business world. In the Salesforce model of content, apps and people, content and apps were clearly missing or separated.
And thus Salesforce Chatter was born keeping the content, apps and people model all under one umbrella.
His take home message was: Follow your own employees, along with your content and apps. Yes, your content and apps will talk to you. Just like SharePoint when someone uploads a newer version of a workgroup document.
Add some Business Intelligence (BI) to that mix and you have a great business tool.
If you missed the opening keynote, you can watch the entire 7 parts are available on Salesforce TV – YouTube.