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The Daily Cloud: Force.com to assist with yet another IT thing you hate

Salesforce.com has announced the Visual Process Manager, an exciting new way to manage the painful albatross known as business processes.

All the cloud news that's fit to spin!

Salesforce.com makes managing dumb rules easier
Once again proving the wisdom of making complicated and painful things very smooth and shiny, Salesforce.com and Force.com have announced Visual Process Manager, a point-and-click service for creating and managing that barrel of laughs known as business processes.

Everyone reading this just winced in mental agony when they saw those words, as nothing helps productive and enthusiastic workers more than giving them a set of dumb rules to follow to get anything done.

Salesforce.com is pitching the service as a way to point and click your way through creating call center scripts, service bibles, development guidelines and so on, a kind of "Visio for your hell desk job."

Ariel Kelman, vice president of platform product marketing at Salesforce.com, said the technology came from Informavores, purchased by the acquisition-happy Software as a Service (SaaS) giant last year.

The price starts at $50 per user per month for the Enterprise edition, which seems steep until you realize there are only a few people in any organization with the power to ruin your day so conclusively by changing the way you have to do EVERYTHING.

Salesforce.com's strategy to make life easier for those people will probably pan out, since the product, as demonstrated to SearchCloudComputing.com, is a very different beast than standard business process management (BPM) and workflow tools. You winced again, didn't you! Admit it. Also, Salesforce.com has presumably used Visual Process Manager to make a terrific support script for itself, like a snake eating its own tail.

Kelman said the service is all part of Salesforce.com's master plan to soak up every end-user interaction with a computer and host it for them.

"What we're really trying to do is move every app to the cloud," he said.

Obama finally enacts change…in IT
After months of backtalk against President Obama, it seems that his administration has finally brought about change. Unfortunately, for those clamoring for health care reform and troop withdrawal in the Middle East, the change is in IT. It seems that Federal CIO Vivek Kundra's commitment to cloud computing may become a reality after all.

With the federal government looking to cut back on its massive glut of data centers, the latest federal budget mandates that after evaluation in 2010, cloud computing solutions will be deployed across the government. IT shops and consultants working in the space say that "rank and file feds are becoming resigned that clouds are in their future." Change -- it's so much more fun just to talk about...

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