liveblog of Marc Benioff: Salesforce.com/Boston

 
 
By Eric Lundquist  |  Posted 2008-04-22 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

10:00 Benioff (the father of cloud computing? The grand old man of the clouds? Can you describe someone as the grand old man of something about ten years old). He is on tour, made stop in New York but is now on the way to England, Middle East, Asia.

10:15 role we have in the industry is to be a driver. A catalyst for SaaS. First dig of the day at Oracle's etc. Moving into more of consumer type world like eBay, Google, etc. "We want this to become a huge industry" SaaS two critical things: how to build technology and how to deliver it. Multi-tenancy design can manage many different customers at the same time. Nick Carr is going to come in and talk about utility model.

10:21. Connection went down and just got it back. Benioff talking about having to write all the software to make sure SFrce always works. 150 million transactions daily according tho the chart. 4 billion transactions per month off the platform. three major updates per year. 60k custom apps built on the system. "This level of metadata is unparalled in the industry. We have multiple data centers. (Let's all chip in and buy Marc a new tie to go with his pinstripes). Delegate back down to customers, "Here is the platform." Reactive innovation, very different than old software model. "We watch what features you are using, what buttons you are pushing, etc."

10:26 Also a different model for corporate philantrhropy. 60 employees now working on this. $12 million in grants. 3,000 non profot organizations. Will do more than one billion in revenues.

In last quarter, more than 50% growth. Customers include Dell, Citi, Cisco. They (the big companies) could not get the enterprise software working either. Now taken Google apps technology and driving office productivity area. Built a set of business applications, now advertising, Can automate all business activities for $10 per user per month."Word's first multi-applicaiton, multi-category Saas company. Dell just rolled it out worldwide. Worked with Starbucks at building idea service. Not talking much today about application strategy Talking about the platform. Trying to do something really, really exciting. Platform as a service is the topic for today.

10:34 vision of platform as a service. Pick between software or cloud computing. Bifurcation of the industry is happening now. software developer path has been expensive, complex and risky. Marc goes through the whole list of the hassles of building enterprise apps. It is a long list and mostly correct. To Saas customers all the hassle is transparent. Marc is into his schtick about the hassle. "We're over it." he claims. Vista, it is kind of like it doesn't even know the internet is there. "There has got to be a better way. "you will see platform as a service happening over the next decade." Pay attention to Amazon, Google (big table) and what about Facebook -- it is a platform as a service. This platform as a service will be able to make a choice. Different ones tuned for different markets. We are more tuned for the enterprise market. The cloud is really all about empowering.

10:43..They can relate to this in Boston, But they can really relate in Bangalore, etc. Only need a browser. Slide states, reach every business, everywhere. The older tech companies, "time for them to go away." .Nets, BEAs, visual basics, lotus notes, websphere "Were great when it was time" Now need a new way. Talk now about our offering. they now do about 160 thousand SQL statements every second. How does it work? "All about our infrastructure."

Scalable pod architecture. Can choose which pod you are working on. See first three initials of url to see which pod you are on. trust.salesforce.com to check status. Now have new identity confirmation systems, two level. All audit history, tuning, backup. 2 billion api calls for customers per month. Integrations upgraded with zero effort.

10:50 You can run your code on our service.Apex code. Customers have written over a million lines of code. Our service is now programmatic. We will run your code. Merrill now has 25,000 users. Finally, not yet production, 60 or 90 days away, call it 90. visual Force. Build your own UI. Do it on your own. custom user interface.Any design and push those screens through the network to the device. Architcture can adapt to new devices. cisco has 30k users.

Mashups. Can take whole application out of system and put it in, say Eclipse and then put back in. Development as a service. Development tools and services for the cloud.

Offer packaging service, appexchange. 800 apps, 65k apps installed. Final piece is native apps built on our service -- strategic direction -- see more and more isvs use sfrce platform. customers have written 60k native apps.

10:57 This can be the future for the industry. Create, build and deploy native applications.

Benioff is done (whew), Now up Cheryl O'Connor, Worldwide CRM Strategy, Analog Devices.

--Hey, I know these guys. I covered them way back in my Electronic News days -- Analog Devices makes the motion controller in the Wii.

CTO of new ISV Nardinder Singh, Founder, Appirio. Was with corporate strategy at SAP. In business for 18 months. Had Dolby working on 3d and movies, need a framework or dashboard.

doby needed real time monitoring. each movie encoded to prevent pirating and is geared to a specific theater and specific screen. OK, so this looks like a pirate catcher. They have a montior system to nail unauthorized shows. Demo shows something not registered. Salesforce as a digital cop. Coding demo, moves to the salesforce ui from a custom one by changing showheader from true to false and back. Work on the business problem, not the infrastructure.

Appirio does not own a server in the company. What about database, We use the platform from salesforce so the database is abstracted. Salesforce lets us manage all the data.No flash, all salesforce.

11:11 Established ISV does accounting. Get accounting right on platform. CEO Jeremy Roche of Coda from London. 2,600 enterprise customers. Finance, accounting and ERP as a service. Original plan had them building own platform. Salesforce instead said they would give them their own infrastructure. Launch in May. On demand for finance and accounting on a platform. Showing a production demo. Run native on the platform

11:20. Now the event is into deep demo land. The best demos are in many ways the most boring. And an accounting application should be boring, simple and secure. This one falls into all those categories.

11:30. Steve Fisher, SVP of Platform. Benioff reflects he was a game developer.

Fisher is on now. Will build an application live.Building a recruiting application. OK, I'll just figure this one works. Going into commentary mode.

Commetary. Salesforce is a company that has outgrown its name. That is obvious, but the basic idea that a company can jettison its internal infrastructure for a hosted one is as compelling as ever. When I talk to CIOs, there is still a reluctance to shut down the old servers and marry into one company. Maybe the agreement with Google would help more if Google agreed to act as a backup to Salesforce. <\p>

In some ways, this infrastructure change is most appealing to either new companies or companies going through a big acquisition. A CEO or CIO would have to feel really confident before getting ready to toss out all the old for something new. Maybe if Delta does go ahead and acquire Northwest, that is a good opportunity for Salesforce.

The economy, or lack thereof. The final point of Salesforce is attractive from a financial point of view, but the journey might not be undertaken during a downturn. Could be better to hunkerdown for a couple months.

And one more question. These demos are great, but they come in a time when financial companies, some of the biggest IT buyers, remain looking dumbstruck and unable to even determine how deep a swamp they have wandered into from subprime debt, etc. Marc, what about a demo that shows how the financial companies can avoid the current mess next time around.?

11:47. Demo is over, Marc back on stage. Time for Nick Carr to come on stage. Nick's got a lot of miles from his end of IT story. Doing the rap about the big transformation. Saying economics is a bigger deal than the technology. Here we go into the past. 1851, Henry Burdon photo of big water wheel. Had to supply all the power. Biggest supplier of horseshoes and spikes. (I'm waiting for the big transition to the 20th century). Shows a photo of the collapse. The utility option came along. Power could be supplied over the network, Drove down the cost of power. All dismantled their machines and plugged into their own grid. (Reminds me of a history lecture in college at this point). Compares water wheels, etc. to what Oracle and SAP do today. As soon as you had alternative system, companies abandoned all in very, very short order. IT will go through a similar shift. Not to say, IT and electricity are similar at technology but are similar at economic level. Gain economies of scale if can centralize production. Electricity and IT, both can be supplied over a network and gain huge economies of scale. (Whoops, he messed up his slides, got them back on track now). Going through the mainframe era. Great advantage was it was very efficient. Mainframe ran at 80 or 90 percent of operation. Personal computer and picture of IT changes. Have a data center. All the complexity that used to be in mainframe became visible. (clock is clicking past noon, this event is getting long). Inefficient. HP labs did a study of efficieny of data centers, servers run at about 20 percent of capacity. network storage 65 percent waste. Greatest penalty is in labor line item. IT labor is biggest expense. 80 percent of labor goes to routine maintenance. Across all economy, nearly 50 percent of capital equipment goes to IT, for year 2000. By sharing, you can free up capital.

So, Carr is telling this techie audience that they are wasteful and unneeded. Not sure this message will go over all that well here.

Carr talking about utility company, Why now. Moore's Law, power of computing doubling every 18 months and Grove's Law says capacity of data communications networks doubles every century. Grove's Law has been repealed. Can be distributed over the network. Eric Schmidt predicted this at Sun. When Network becomes as fast as the processor, the computer hollows out and spreads over the network. Leading edge is on the consumer side. web 2.0 is cloud computing. Now in enterprise space. Even the dinosaurs, Microsoft, moving into utility model. Basic point. IT was built on the assumption of isolation. But is counter to the basic thrust of business is sharing and collaboration. Cloud computing offers different assumptionf or IT. Ending up. When electrical grid was built out, socket for current set off enormous outpouring of innovation. Similiar is utility computing grid is beginning of innovation.

12:16. All over. One last story from Marc. Had a call from Michael Dell. Had issues he needed to solve. Needed 15k salespeople automated. Channel automated. Final, was he wanted new technology break through myopia of own company. Ideatorm, give Dell your ideas.

Dell has rebuilt company using this technology. Had a similar call from Starbucks. goes to their version of the tech developed for Dell. All written on Salesforce platform. Did in 30 days. Also for own company at Salesforce ideas. Can deploy internally.

 
 
 
 
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