Keeping Customers Happy

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-05-19 Print this article Print


What does Benioff see as his highest priorities now, as and its sidekicks (the development platform for ISVs), Service Cloud and move through 2011 and into 2012? "No. 1, we're focused on keeping our customers happy," Benioff said. "We're delivering half a billion transactions a day to our customers. Last quarter we delivered something like 30 billion transactions.

"That means the database is more important than ever. That's why we've launched, a proven database for more than a decade. Our customers are looking to us more and more to lower their database costs. You'll hear more about that soon."

One of the customers that's happy with is the Waypoint Real Estate Group in Oakland, Calif., a startup that buys foreclosed homes and re-leases or rents them-often back to the former owners. CTO Ali Nazar told eWEEK that though he could have built his company's intricate system of property-tracking and financial applications another way, he could not have done it with the speed and cost efficiency he achieved with

"When we started, I spent about $250,000 and four months building our CRM application," Nazar said. "When I started using Salesforce for an additional part of the system, I realized I could have built the entire system on Salesforce. Now we use it for most of what we do."

What's Next?

So what's next? "Every company is going to have an enterprise social network," Benioff said. "Chatter [an internal, secure Facebook-like service for enterprise networks] is really a stream of information that can be captured by proprietary UIs like ours, but we want to have it available as a REST [representational state transfer] API, so that every social network can participate in Chatter.

"Chatter now has over 80,000 paying customers, which makes it by far the largest enterprise social network in the world. Companies like Symantec and BMC are using it because you can see people working and collaborating in a new way."

Chatter now is starting to be used in supply chains, with enterprises sharing certain types of nonproprietary information with their partners and resellers, Benioff said. "They're starting to use Chatter in everything," he added. "Vendors, suppliers, partners, customers-they all will begin to participate in these feeds.

"For example, we have a private version of Chatter for all the customers who attended DreamForce ['s annual conference], which is a big laboratory for us. You can learn a lot about us by using it."


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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