Readers question whether Google has the enterprise cred to be the logical suitor for Salesforce.com.
The Wired One's e-mail inbox started clogging up within hours after The 451
Group's report calling for Google to buy Salesforce.com hit the Internet.
Readers and tipsters wanted to whisper in Spencer's furry ears their views on
the subject, both pro and con.
One reader echoed comments from several industry analysts, noting, "Google
doesn't get enterprise sales. Google is a good consumer company, but really
doesn't belong in the enterprise. And it shouldn't, else it would spread thin
like Microsoft stuck between Advertising & ERP."
Others took a less sanguine view. Reader Simon Gantley wrote that the
Google-Salesforce.com proposal was the dumbest idea since Time Warner bought AOL.
Ouch. "SF may make good sense to Google as a business partner, just as my
banker makes a good business partner, but it would be a miserable marriage for
all kinds of reasons."
Those reasons include Google's reliance on utility hardware and open-source
software. Meanwhile, Salesforce.com runs on Sun mainframes, Solaris, Oracle and
Another reason, said Gantley, is that Google is successfully taking over the
desktop from Microsoft with its own applications, while Salesforce.com is all
business apps and is failing to take share from companies such as SAP
and Oracle. Both points are sure to spark debate.
Finally, Gantley observed that Salesforce.com is barely making money and has
a huge cost structure to support, and that when Microsoft Dynamics is available
via SAAS (software as a service), Salesforce.com is going to be hemorrhaging
money. But the Sagacious Gato thinks this assertion is debatable. Microsoft has
yet to prove its SAAS mettle.
So, who would benefit from buying Salesforce.com if not Google? Another
reader suggested Oracle could benefit if it manages to completely digest its
PeopleSoft, Siebel and BEA purchases. However, Spencer is convinced that Oracle
is always ready to pull the trigger on a new acquisition and the word on the
street is that it will continue to spend billions more in its relentless buying
But that doesn't mean Salesforce.com is a likely target for an Oracle
buyout. The Clued-in Kitty can think of at least as many reasons against an
Oracle-Salesforce.com buyout as reasons in favor of such deal.
Anyway, during the first week of June, Oracle CEO
Larry Ellison was thinking of other things besides another corporate takeover.
He was on board his BMW Oracle Racing team's boat USA-17 participating in the
Audi MedCup regatta in Marseille, France, in the run up toward another chance
to take on the reigning America's Cup champion, the Swiss Alinghi team.
Meanwhile, Salesforce.com CEO Marc
Benioff shared some tasty tidbits with customers at a downtown New
York eatery named Butter. This time the Gastronomic
Gossip, who was among the guests, eschewed his usual choice of the grilled
haddock in favor of a rib eye steak washed down with a top-shelf Cabernet.
The abundance of treats had one guest wondering if the
downtime customers suffer during upgrades could be shortened if Salesforce.com
cut down on meal times. But Marc Benioff demurred, and purred that Salesforce
is aiming to reduce upgrade windows to under 15 minutes, or just enough time
for a post-dinner cat nap, which is exactly what the Portly Puss was ready for
when the party broke up.