As salesforce.com introduces with VMWare a potential "game-changer" when it comes to Java development, we present some excerpts from Chapter 19, the case study on salesforce.com in the upcoming book. BTW - this is from a version which is still undergoing final edits.
"Salesforce.com has gone from one success to the next. It started off showing that a single vendor could deliver software, data center, network, and other services in a single service-level agreement. It also demonstrated that enterprise technology need not be a fixed cost—it could be bought “by the drink.” Then it raised the bar for the industry by showing off those service levels transparently for all to see. It has since positioned its development platform (and the cloud infrastructure it is built on) as the tool for others to build on rather than investing in their own. Marc Benioff and his team have earned the right to be called polymaths for bringing so many disparate technologies together and continuing to develop them in many new directions."
"Centralized power and power to the people don’t usually mix. To contradict that truism, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com tells his audience, “We are democratizing technology.” Benioff explains how centralized investments are helping bring technology to the masses: “The infrastructure we have in our three data centers— can you imagine how much our 68,000 customers would have to invest in servers, routers, databases, monitoring tools, the ability to provision more capacity in minutes and so much more if they did it themselves?”
"During a customer panel at Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce conference in November 2009, at one end of the table sat a ball of color—D.A., of the indie band Chester French, with his bob of red hair and purple trousers. At the other end was Joe Drouin, chief executive of Kelly Services, which places 650,000 contract staff around the world, in a dark suit and white shirt. Quite a contrast in size of customer and dress code. That’s Benioff’s democracy in action."
"In an enterprise industry filled with conservative executives, Benioff stands out. It partly flows from the fact that Benioff (along with Steve Jobs of Apple) was one of the few industry executives who could see the powerful trend that is consumerization of technology (as we discussed in Chapter 4). And Benioff markets his company as if he were selling to consumers, not enterprises. The giant screen behind him makes George C. Scott’s flag at the beginning of the movie Patton look puny. He uses mood lighting to accent his talks. His oratory has been well trained by the likes of Tony Robbins, the motivational coach. He even has a mascot in the form of a button and a red line through the word “software.” The mascot, SaaSy, is a fan favorite at his conferences. He plays a mean air guitar and never tires of a photo op."
"In 2008, the product strategy leadership at Salesforce.com conducted an exercise to identify which software vendors would be good candidates to recruit to its Force.com platform to build its next-generation cloud computing applications. Conventional wisdom pointed to the emerging and new vendors, but Anshu Sharma, VP of product management, worked with an intern, Shai Alfandary, from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, to identify key criteria that would drive such platform adoption. Says Sharma: “Somewhat surprisingly, our analysis came back showing that it was existing software companies that had been around for a while with little to no cloud expertise and penetration and were on mature platforms for their on-premise solutions that would be most likely to derive
greatest benefit by essentially leapfrogging using Force.com.”