Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) Jan. 16 said it has hired former U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra as its new executive vice president of emerging markets, snapping up the cloud-computing connoisseur fresh off of his teaching fellowship with the Kennedy School and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Kundra oversaw more than $80 billion in technology investments as U.S. CIO. He spearheaded the country's mission to get federal agencies to migrate their computing infrastructure from local software to computing solutions hosted by software makers and provisioned to employees through a Web browser.
As the CTO for the District of Columbia in 2008, Kundra inked a contract worth $500,000 a year to give 38,000 government employees Google Apps as an alternative to Microsoft Office.
Two years later, under the "Cloud First" policy Kundra created as U.S. CIO, the General Services Administration migrated to Google Apps after using IBM (NYSE:IBM) Lotus Notes on-premise software for years.
Kundra now takes his cloud-oriented mindset to Salesforce.com, which has spent the last decade-plus creating cloud-computing software and is a leader in the emerging, so-called social enterprise. In this model, enterprise applications are imbued with social tools to enhance collaboration between employees, customers and partners.
"Vivek Kundra is an amazing technology visionary who opened the eyes of millions to the transformational power of cloud computing," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com. "His disruptive leadership is just what the industry needs to accelerate the social enterprise."
As his title and experience indicate, Kundra will help develop Salesforce.com's strategy to serve Web-based enterprise applications to governments in other markets, such as the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.
Salesforce.com ended 2011 on a high note with the launch of its social marketing cloud social-media suite and the acquisition of human resource management software maker Rypple.
Salesforce.com isn't alone in its mission; it faces competition from staunch, yet old-school enterprise software makers.
SAP and Oracle also made socially-oriented cloud-computing noise last year, with the former acquiring SuccessFactors and the latter picking up Right Now Technologies.