Most Passed on SAAS

By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2008-01-26 Print this article Print

Salesforce began to pitch its CampaignForce solution to the campaigns in late 2006, preaching its gospel of outsourcing to the Internet. "We thought to ourselves how easy CampaignForce would be to use in a campaign."

Most passed.

"They're wary of putting data on the Internet," Burton said. "They're just now awakening up to this potential." To date, Salesforce has signed up the Romney and Paul campaigns in addition to U.S. Sen. John Kerry and Representative Michael McCaul's re-election campaigns.

For Romney, the deep-pocketed veteran corporate executive, outsourcing was probably an easy decision, likely suggested by one of those IT consultants whispering the magic words: efficiencies and cost savings, particularly in a risky enterprise.

For Paul -- number one in the hearts, minds, pocketbooks and metrics of the online Republican set, and dead last in the real world -- employing out-of-the box solutions was no doubt born of necessity.

"The untold story is the business side of a campaign," Burton explained. "The Internet focus has so far been on the consumer."

CampaignForce works like's CRM (customer relationship management) solution, treating donors as customers and the staff serving as the sales team. All the services run on Salesforce's servers.

Working with partners, the company offers a wide array of mashups that provide personalized views of all campaign data through a Web browser dashboard.

"It's all basically Web APIs married to our enterprise model apps," Burton said. "It exposes the campaigns to the power of our tracking systems."

While the Republicans may ultimately suffer the same fate as the Democrats in the 2004 election, outsourcing the down-and-dirty IT tasks seems likely to make IT service models as fundamentally essential as social networking tools to campaign staffs.

For that, Republicans can claim victory no the matter the outcome of the polling.


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