Marc Benioff Strikes Back

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
CEO
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Marc Benioff Strikes Back

I love Marc Benioff’s messages to the industry. He never fails to blast his competition who in this case is virtually the entire software industry. Take a look at this paragraph for example:

Meanwhile, leaders of legacy platforms are undeterred in their belief that the answer for software that didn’t deliver on its promise is yet more software. We understand that this evening Oracle will announce its Fusion stack of large application after application. This is software’s “Shady Pines” with a fresh coat of paint, but it doesn’t mask the fact that this paradigm is headed into retirement. Oracle’s coalition of the unwilling- a combination of applications from companies that resisted merging-has a monumental task ahead of it.

I have posted the entire e-mail from Benioff who as usual makes some good points ina  colorful and certainly non-boring way. I wish all CEOs sent me e-mails like this… It mould make life here at TMC that much more interesting.

In the interest of balance, you will likely want to read Bob Liu’s recent article on the company as well.

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Friends,

Welcome to The Business Web™. It’s another chapter in “The End of Software.”

As I said at Dreamforce in September, www.AppExchange.com is the most exciting and important product I have ever worked on. The AppExchange embodies the power of social production (made popular through open source, blogs, Wiki, and other Internet systems) in attacking the traditional monolithic enterprise software applications dominated today by vendors with 1990 architectures. Social production architectures embrace a few simple truths: Dependency on those cumbersome and inefficient behemoths can be lethal to productivity and innovation, there is always a better answer out there in the global community, and only the most open and democratic systems will enable the discovery and distribution of that better answer.

You can watch the webcast replay of the January 17th AppExchange launch here: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=141811&eventID=1192764

It’s an idea that has caught the attention of the mainstream media. I was stunned to see New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria discuss the concept on a recent episode of “Foreign Exchange.” See for yourself by visiting the show’s Web site (http://foreignexchange.tv/index.php) and viewing “Last Week’s Show” with Thomas Friedman. It’s a fascinating half hour with comments on salesforce.com about 17 minutes into the show.
 
Still, this utopian vision needs a secure, reliable, scalable platform to provide today’s businesses with the stability they need. That’s where the AppExchange comes in with the tools, databases, and directories for generating secure, scalable, and reliable applications delivered on the world’s most robust on-demand platform. Who would have thought that in 2006 we could have application “mash-ups” that can run businesses like the ones in the AppExchange from technology companies such as Google, Adobe, Skype, Esker, and hundreds of others? These applications were not born in conference rooms, emerging after years of negotiation and planning. Instead, open Web services standards have allowed users to invent new, unique applications that go far beyond the original intentions of the creators of their components. This is The Business Web™-the creativity of social production in action, and a most compelling example of The End of Software.

For business anywhere in the world, of any size, this means instant results. Just log on and get everything you need. No software or hardware to buy. No one to hire. For any area of your business. Whether you are in the U.S., China, India, or even Japan (http://www.salesforce.com/jp/appexchange). Directories of AppExchange applications will emerge around the world offered by a wide variety of suppliers of intellectual capital, written in the language and currency of your choice.
 
For our customers, the opportunities are amazing.

Large companies are adopting the dream as their own. We have thousands of users at name-brand companies, including ADP, Cisco, Merrill Lynch, Honeywell, Aon, Sprint/Nextel, AOL, and many others. The AppExchange and The Business Web it makes possible is great for small and medium-sized companies, but it will reach even our largest deployments, such as ADP, with its more than 6,000 users. The power of the AppExchange platform is that it is one of the only ones to reach companies of all sizes, by using the same concept of democratization made popular by utilities themselves.
 
Partners see the benefit right away.

We are providing much greater business value by democratizing software development and distribution in the way we democratized applications themselves to create The Business Web. We are seeing a variety of new companies emerge as well to support this platform. http://www.dreamfactory.com, http://www.remend.com, http://www.bluewolfgroup.com, and even http://www.crmorbit.com in Chennai, India all are building apps for the AppExchange. You will see more than of 160 of these applications on the AppExchange today. Creating this next-generation ecosystem is the most important thing we will do in the next several years.

Meanwhile, leaders of legacy platforms are undeterred in their belief that the answer for software that didn’t deliver on its promise is yet more software. We understand that this evening Oracle will announce its Fusion stack of large application after application. This is software’s “Shady Pines” with a fresh coat of paint, but it doesn’t mask the fact that this paradigm is headed into retirement. Oracle’s coalition of the unwilling- a combination of applications from companies that resisted merging-has a monumental task ahead of it.

The contrasts between our model and that of the legacy enterprise software industry have never been so pronounced. I hope it’s as exciting to cover these developments as it is to bring them to market.

Aloha,
Marc



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