Bait me and I’ll bite. Say the word “surprise” and I’ll want to know what it is, immediately. Give me a reason to believe that something unexpected might happen, and I’m going to dig. It’s my nature. I’m a headhunter and a journalist, research and curiosity are in my blood.
I want to know exactly what File Storage, File Sharing, File Synchronization news Salesforce and Alfresco will be making this week. Will they be making announcements together or individually and independently (as Alfresco may have done today)? Both companies appear to be on deck to make cloud content collaboration announcements at Dreamforce.
Please note that, as of this writing, I have no inside information. Most of what I refer to has already been published on the web. “Information” that I pair together in the paragraphs to follow may or may not prove to be related. Everything else is pure speculation. A data scientist who is skilled in predictive analytics would certainly be nice to have around right now. That being said …
First a bit of backstory.
On the Salesforce Front
Last week, at TechCrunch Disrupt, Salesforce.com head honcho Marc Benioff dropped a bombshell on its platform partner Box.com. He announced that his company would be throwing its hat into the online File Storage, File Sharing world with its own version of Box. Its name? Chatterbox.
The announcement, made during a casual Fireside chat at TechCrunch Disrupt, sent shockwaves through the Enterprise SaaS world for two reasons: first because it potentially changes the cozy relationship between Salesforce (revenue US$ 2.266 billion with 2.1 million subscribers) and enterprise file storage and sharing leader Box (Box claims 10 million subscribers but this figure includes free non-enterprise subscriptions at the individual consumer level); and second because Benioff is an investor in Box.
Though we don’t know exactly how Chatterbox will work, there seems to be a consensus that the “box” part of Chatterbox refers to file storage and sharing and that “Chatter” refers to Salesforce.com’s trusted enterprise social/collaboration network, Chatter.
Benioff inferred that a more detailed announcement related to Chatterbox would be made this week at Salesforce.com’s annual user conference, Dreamforce. That being said, it doesn’t seem too far a leap to make to venture that Chatterbox will be a service that offers content storage, sharing and collaboration on the cloud, which may very well deem Box redundant to some Salesforce users.
What did Alfresco Just Announce and Is there More to Come?
On the Alfresco front, the Open Source Enterprise Content Management leader says on its own site that “we are using Dreamforce 2012 to ANNOUNCE and demo new technology that solves the content chaos problem in a way that no company has ever solved it before.”