December 31, 2007
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is First Coffee's Second Favorite Album from 2007, not necessarily an album released in 2007, but what First Coffee reckons was his second most-played album of the year… envelope please… Tom Waits' Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (2006).
A fairly stunning collection of outtakes, studio orphans and cuts that for whatever reason never made it on an album. You could slice this up into two or three albums, each of which would rank in the top half of all Waits albums. There's so much good stuff here moaning about what was left out is a minor quibble.
And First Coffee's Second Favorite Book Read in 2007 is State of Fear by Michael Crichton (2004). Along with Crichton's accomplished plot craftsmanship, always interesting and always credible, he completely -- completely -- destroys the anthropogenic global warming pseudo-religion. The great advantage of fiction over expository writing is that you can show, instead of tell, truth, and Crichton does so, showing -- fully, scientifically and unanswerably -- that this whole idea that humans are causing global warming is a load of hot air.
Rummaging through the First Coffee files for 2007, we find we've spent quite a bit of time with media recluse Marc Benioff and his Salesforce.com…
In January we did an interview with Rich Caballero, the call center czar at Salesforce.com, on the occasion of Salesforce.com announcing it wanted to enter the call center arena.
"Today, call centers are the primary way that companies develop and sustain long term relationships with their customers, and therefore are a key component of any CRM strategy," Caballero told First Coffee. "The success of on demand technology in CRM is now expanding to all segments of the software market," he said. "In fact Gartner has predicted that by 2011, 25 percent of new business software will be delivered by SaaS. Service delivery operations are taking notice and want to see how they can leverage on demand technology to improve customer service… Service centers are being asked to resolve harder problems with less money, while maintaining a personalized touch."
Then later in January we reported that Salesforce.com unveiled Winter '07, the upgrade to its CRM: "All components and applications created with Apex code and the Apex on-demand platform will be able to be shared via Salesforce's AppExchange directory, enabling all the innovation that Apex unleashes to benefit the entire on-demand community," Marc Benioff said.
Also during 2007, Salesforce.com won Five Million Dollars in Australian Lotto. To have the funds transferred to their account, it seemed, all they had to do was provide a customer information password.
In February, Salesforce.com announced that, for the second year in a row, it was named among the nation's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" by The CRO, a membership organization for Corporate Responsibility Officers.
The list ranks companies according to shareholders, community, governance, diversity, employees, environment, human rights and product, to identify organizations that excel at serving a variety of stakeholders well. Salesforce.com and its Salesforce Foundation ranked number 11.
In April HitachiSoft said they would begin offering the SaaSWare SynchroMax service, linking scheduler functions from Hitachi, Ltd.'s Groupmax groupware software with Salesforce. The launch of this service, Hitachi officials said, marked the company's first foray into integrating Salesforce with various applications using SaaSWare.
Also in April, Adobe Systems and Salesforce.com announced the availability of the Adobe Flex Toolkit for Apex, described by Adobe officials as "a set of programming tools that combines the capabilities of Flex and Salesforce.com's Apex platform" to enable new Internet business applications. In May BPT Partners, a vendor of CRM Certification training and education and industry research led by the estimable Paul Greenberg, announced Salesforce.com as the winner of its 2007 Steppin' Out Award.
"Salesforce.com is one of the most innovative companies in the customer centric space," noted the aforesaid Greenberg, Chief Customer Officer of BPT and author of the best-selling CRM at the Speed of Light, a book frequently compared to the works of early 20th century American humorist S.J. Perelman for its use of definite articles, nouns and the striking combination of dark print on white pages.
Then in mid-May we reported "interesting news," that Google and Salesforce.com could be joining up here to fight off Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal, which noted that official confirmation or announcement still wasn't confirmed, said the two firms were "discussing an alliance that could help them compete more effectively with Microsoft." The companies are "still hashing out details of a potential partnership," but one possible outcome, speculated whoever the insiders were the WSJ talked to, is a "Web-based offering that integrates some of Google's online services such as email and instant-messaging with those of Salesforce.com."
Also in May, Salesforce.com was named one of the world's most ethical companies by Ethisphere magazine, a national publication "dedicated to illuminating the correlation between ethics and profit," according to publication officials. The list of fewer than 100 companies were recognized for their "strong leadership in ethics and compliance, advancement of industry discourse on social and ethical issues, and positive engagement in the communities in which they operate."
Displaying its range, in July Salesforce.com deployed Salesforce Enterprise Edition to Melbourne-based Australian Football League Club, The Western Bulldogs. The move came as part of an overhaul of the Club's business operations in order to transform the sporting organization into "one of the most sustainable and profitable businesses in the AFL industry," according to Bruce Kaider, general manager business development and strategy at the Western Bulldogs.
In August the on-demand CRM vendor has announced that the company's multi-tenant service handled more than 100 million transactions on July 26, 2007, the most it has ever managed in a single day. Champagne and canapés all around. The 100,072,460 transactions, defined as page views plus API calls, are seen as "compelling evidence of customer adoption and use of Salesforce.com's on-demand platform and applications as well as third-party applications available via the AppExchange" by company officials.
In September the company unveiled Salesforce Winter '08, which expanded Salesforce from four to six major application product lines with two new applications -- Salesforce Content and Salesforce Ideas. Salesforce.com officials said "the 24th generation of Salesforce will… use the Force.com platform to bring Web 2.0 community-based technologies to the entire suite of Salesforce CRM applications."
In October Bay Partners, a Silicon Valley-based early stage venture capital firm and Salesforce.com announced the official launch of a new program designed to "fund companies building business applications on Salesforce.com's Force.com platform," according to Bay officials.
Also in October Salesforce.com received two top honors at the Business Software Satisfaction Awards, namely Best Small Business CRM Software and the Best On-Demand CRM Software awards.
Then in November Salesforce.com reported a 74 percent increase in net income for the third quarter, aided by a 48 percent surge in revenues. The on-demand CRM vendor reported GAAP net income of $6.52 million or $0.05 per share, compared to net income of $339,000, or $0.00 per share in the same quarter last year. Total revenues for the quarter rose 48 percent to $192.8 million from $130.1 million in the comparable quarter a year ago. Wall Street analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $190.6 million for the quarter.
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