Over the past several years, salesforce.com’s annual user conference Dreamforce has become a highly anticipated and entertaining end-of-the-year fixture for enterprise applications market observers. Well, Dreamforce 2011 was somewhat different as it took place in late August and early September 2011, but the vibrant feel of the event was no different. Indeed, in these prolonged times of bad economic news with businesses and government cutting spending across the board, one could again enjoy the unusually high attendance (45,000, for what it’s worth) and upbeat and “never a dull moment” atmosphere of the multi-day event, courtesy of salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff and his executive team.
While Dreamforce 2009 was mostly about the continued growth of the vendor and the unveiling of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s quickly maturing social platform and collaboration cloud (covered in my mid-2010 blog series), the overall Dreamforce 2010 theme was cloud proliferation as well as salesforce.com’s further diversification and expansion in new frontiers (see my blog series for more details).
Dreamforce 2011 continued with the cloud proliferation theme (with new clouds such as Data.com and Heroku for Java), in addition to the theme of continued growth: salesforce.com is the first cloud company to exceed US$2.1.billion run rate and over 100,000 customers (ironically knocking on the door of the “evil empires” elite club). There have also been some acquisitions since Dreamforce 2010, most notably DimDim and Radian6. Post-Dreamforce 2011, salesforce.com has already acquired Assistly, a customer service social software startup in the lower end of the market.
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my attendance of Dreamforce 2010, salesforce.com’s annual user conference, which has over the past several years become a highly anticipated and entertaining end-of-the-year fixture for enterprise applications market observers. My post concluded that while Dreamforce 2009 was mostly about continued growth of the cloud computing trailblazer and unveiling of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s nascent social platform and collaboration cloud (as duly covered by my blog series), the overall Dreamforce 2010 theme was cloud proliferation (and salesforce.com’s further diversification).
In his blog post, Louis Columbus states that at the center of Dreamforce 2010 was the transformation of salesforce.com into an enterprise cloud platform provider, starting with endorsing open application programming interfaces (APIs) including REST (Representational State Transfer), which its developer community had reportedly been requesting for over a year. Moreover, after realizing the proprietary nature of its Force.com cloud platform (and its Apex code), salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and his co-founder Parker Harris have recently decided to decouple Force.com into a more open application layer, for platform as a service (PaaS) purposes and a database layer for providing infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
Dreamforce, salesforce.com’s annual user conference, has over the past several years become a highly anticipated and entertaining end-of-the-year fixture for the enterprise applications market observers (surprisingly, Dreamforce 2011 will take place in late August, and let’s see how that new timing will feel). Namely, in these prolonged times of bad economic news and businesses recoiling across the board, one could always enjoy the unusually high attendance and upbeat and “never a dull moment” atmosphere of the multi-day event, courtesy of salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff and his executive team.
While Dreamforce 2009 was mostly about the continued growth of the vendor and the unveiling of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s nascent social platform and collaboration cloud (as duly covered by my blog series), the overall Dreamforce 2010 theme was the cloud proliferation (and salesforce.com’s further diversification). Needless to say, this was in addition to the theme of continued growth.
One of the major takeaway messages from salesforce.com’s recent Dreamforce 2010 conference was the company’s diversification within the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) space. Namely, during their keynote presentations, the company’s executives admitted publicly to the Force.com platform’s proprietary nature (i.e., the non-mainstream Apex language), which made them decide recently to decouple the application development layer from the database layer in the cloud (the latter called database.com).
The application layer has been further broken down into several cloud-based application building flavors. To that end, there are the following application development environments that cater to different user constituencies and developer language preferences:
The first part (Part II) of this blog series described the opportunities for software as a service (SaaS) or on-demand applications, especially in the current difficult economic milieu. Part IIa then analyzed the top five SaaS assumptions (misconceptions) recently outlined by Gartner.
Before any vendor can embark onto delivering a SaaS offering, it must thoroughly consider a number of harrowing SaaS technology choices and their implications. Thus, Part IIa also analyzed the decision’s impact on the functional footprint (scope) of the future SaaS product, after which the aspiring SaaS vendor must identify gaps within its in-house skill sets and define how to fill them.
This part continues with the other major remaining technical considerations before any vendor can embark on delivery of a SaaS offering. Read the rest of this entry »
The end of 2007, at least in the space that I cover, has certainly been “the most wonderful time of the year” for one vendor - NetSuite. True, prior to that, Deltek had a decent initial public offering (IPO) , and possibly even more important, a stellar Q3 2007 quarterly report thereafter.
However, on December 20, 2007 NetSuite Inc., a vendor of on-demand, integrated business management application suites for small and medium-sized businesses [evaluate this product], opened for trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “N” (NYSE: N) after its more than successful IPO in which it raised $161.2 million. Various bloggers have duly covered the well-orchestrated IPO Dutch auction proceedings, such as AccManPro, BloggingStocks and ZDnet to name only a few. Read the rest of this entry »
Generally, I would venture to say any website that uses a little more interactive and dynamic technology (i.e. not just publishing “flat” HyperText Markup Language [HTML] pages) and supports some kind of online commerce, community, or other value-added activity that is enabled by the network would have Web 2.0 traits. But, is it still more buzzword than anything else, and is it being used to put “lipstick on a lot of pigs” even now?
Or, is Web 2.0 a genuine set of technologies that can even provide the “richness” of traditional desktop applications (read Microsoft Office) to the Web-based applications, without all the price and/or performance pitfalls/traps that are often associated with Office Business Applications (OBA)? At least we need to keep a close eye on how the next generation of office workers are using social networking sites/communities like Tagging, Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messenger (IM), etc., as they can give us a clue how effective collaboration should be driven into next generation of enterprise applications (of course, provided the security and privacy standards have been met). Read the rest of this entry »