Acknowledging that a vendor paid for your hotel and travel does not excuse shameless reporting. It just makes it pointless. I’d rather read a creative Salesforce.com ad than a re-written press release. Writing for the New York Times, here’s what Bernard Lunn had to say about Salesforce.com after his free trip to Dreamforce, the company’s user show. His points are in bold, mine are underneath.
1. They are ambitious.
Really? Find me a tech company that isn’t.
2. They have a good shot at meeting this ambition.
If the crumbling U.S. economy and worldwide recession don’t hold Salesforce.com back, nothing will.
3. They are a marketing machine with flair.
How sweet. Has Mr. Lunn met EMC or Cisco or Oracle or any other tech company with marketing machines the size of small planets? There’s plenty of flair, trust me. That’s not the problem.
4. Their biggest issue is maybe price.
5. They see today’s troubled economy as their moment to win big.
As does every underdog.
6. Their vendor ecosystem is making money and acting bullish.
Interesting. Which companies, exactly, are making money and acting bullish today?
7. They believe good software design matters to the core economics of cloud computing.
Good software design matters to everyone. No business or consumer service survives long term without it.
8. They know how to partner with big companies to make themselves look bigger.
Wheeling out Amazon, Google and Facebook to conservative enterprise IT buyers probably makes them nervous, not comfortable. How many outages has Gmail had in the past month? How many outages has Amazon S3 had since it launched? Bigger is not necessarily smarter.
9. They have focused research and development.
Care to share the roadmap?
10. They will need to be careful about usability issues?
He mentions that the Software as a Service (SaaS) world is “lock-in resistent with low switching costs” meaning users can move to other providers easily. I am pretty sure he has this entirely the wrong way around. From my understanding, it’s actually extremely difficult to move customer relationship management data out of Safeforce.com and into another SaaS provider should you be unhappy with the company’s service.