Arik Hesseldahl from New Enterprise department of All Things Digital has a great interview with Parker Harris, the Executive Vice President for Technology of Salesforce.com, and one of the company’s four founders.
With the recent earthquake in Japan, my initial thoughts about the company was the new data center. Of course, the well being of the citizens was my first concern.
Here is a partial Q&A from the article. For the entire article, please go to All Things Digital.
NewEnterprise: Everyone is talking about what’s been happening in Japan. You have a data center under construction there. Has there been any effect on your plans?
Harris: No. The data center is in Tokyo so it’s outside of the area directly impacted by the earthquake. We chose the location not only for the earthquake-proof nature of the building, but also for access to diesel generators, which have proven pretty important given the power situation. There’s been no interruption at all in what we’re doing.
NE: So what are your pain points, what are you dealing with this year? Judging by your growth I’m guessing the list is long.
Harris: The big one is around trust, reliability, availability and scalability as we grow. I would say it’s not the biggest pain point that we have because we’ve been focused on it for so long. We did have a period several years ago when we had a lot of issues. I think a lot of major services go through that: eBay, Google and Twitter are all examples. I think that’s because none of them are the same. They all grow organically as the customers and technology grow. Chatter is a big focus now.
NE: Speaking of Chatter, how did the Super Bowl ad for Chatter.com work out?
Harris: The Super Bowl was an interesting challenge because we had to make sure we could handle the load of Super Bowl traffic. We have an interesting relationship with Will.I.Am. He’s a friend of Marc’s. They started in this odd place where he wants to get into technology and wants to expand his brand. And Marc started talking to him about collaboration. And it was kind of a crazy idea. It was kind of a consumer play with the Super Bowl. Chatter.com is kind of a pro-sumer product where we want individuals to use it. We didn’t really think people sitting on the couch drinking beer would use it right away. But we knew it would attract some attention, but the after effect of discussion around the ad, the YouTube video of the making of the ad, and all the talk around it had a good effect. It got me ready to make sure I had a Web site that could handle a lot of traffic. We partnered with Akamai to cache a lot of the static content. We did a lot of testing of the sign-up process during spikes and peak loads.
>> For the entire article, please go to All Things Digital.