03 May Salesforce Maturing?
The announcement of Site.com, a cloud based content management system, and Salesforce Rypple, a Salesforce and Chatter integrated version of its December acquisition, which provides a social approach to employee evaluation, signals that Salesforce.com has significant plans outside of its core CRM market.
Its foundation is another key Cloudforce theme: the ‘Social Enterprise’, which builds on the success that Salesforce has had with its ‘Facebook for the enterprise’ application, Chatter, and takes it beyond its traditional CRM roots into other areas of the organisation.
While Salesforce’s initial successes may have been with small and mid-sized businesses, the company has for some while been successful in challenging the likes of SAP and Oracle in the market for enterprise systems. Judging by the range of high profile companies that presented alongside Marc Benioff, large enterprises are becoming a more important focus.
Their strategy now involves the embrace of the IT department – given that so much of Salesforce’s success has come as a result of enabling a generation of sales and marketing managers to use their software as a service model to bypass them.
The mentality of Salesforce appears to be different. Less combative, more part of the establishment. The rapprochement with the IT department, the partnership with Infor and seeming acceptance that Salesforce will need to successfully coexist with other major back-end systems providers like SAP, is showing signs of Salesforce stepping back and deciding to mature and expand as a company.
Whether its dominant position in cloud and social are sufficient to significantly extend its reach in the enterprise only time will tell, but given their mastery of both strategy and execution – witness the speed in acquiring, integrating and reframing Rypple and Assistly it seems unlikely that they have put a foot in the wrong direction.