Offloading Infrastructure Costs
Caine, who is an Apex Alliance partner, said he envisions offloading a lot of his own infrastructure costs by migrating to the Apex platform. Initially he expects to replace all his companys departmental spread sheetsattendance sheets done in Excel, contact lists, project status listsas well as access databases with Apex code and infrastructure.When I asked Caine why he would consider moving a lot of applications over to the Apex platformand host his infrastructure with Salesforcehe had a simple answer: to cut costs. He explained that many of the things he would consider moving over are today only available on his companys VPN, a situation that brings reliability and complexity issues. By migrating applications to Salesforces servers, he will be offloading infrastructure cost. Thats a key point that Salesforce is working to drive home to customers. "Apex lets you write and run code on our servers," said Benioff, during his Oct. 9 keynote address. "We spent a lot of money on infrastructure, on our data centers, and youre going to be able to run the code on our servers. Were talking about highly complex applications like inventory management, ERP and yield management. This is really going to empower our development community to create the next level." Satish Perikala, a Salesforce.com administrator with Seagate Technologies said that at the end of the day what Apex means for him is a lot less work. Salesforce provides peek at Winter 07 release. Click here to read more. "I think its amazing. With custom code there is a lot of limitation. If I can write anything, there is no limitation," said Perikala. "We were planning a lot of workarounds to Salesforce, but not now." "Youre going to see a lot of small businesses popping up," said Pegasus Gonzalez. "For someone in financial services [for example] to build in Apex and then share with others in AppExchange, its a win-win." All the hoo-ha aside, I thought Dan Foygel, the chief technology officer at EchoSign, a Salesforce partner, hit the nail on the head with all the enthusiasm around Apex. "Its a great idea to be able to do some of the higher level programming in Apex while Salesforce takes care of the lower level stuff," said Foygel, who is based in Palo Alto, Calif. "But its easy to be excited about something before people actually use it." Apex the programming language is expected sometime next year. The platform is available with Salesforce.coms Winter 07 release. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
"Once you leave all that behind, fast forward two years," said Caine. "The next layer is homegrown applications or off-the-shelf workflow applicationsemployee expense request systems, all that stuff will make its way in Salesforce."