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Salesforce News & Analysis

Tech Execs to Indiana: Discrimination is Bad for Business

Credit Marc Benioff for making the first move. As soon as Indiana passed the RFRA (Religious Freedom and Restoration Act), which for all practical purposes, serves as a license to discriminate, particularly against LGBT people, the Salesforce CEO took to Twitter.

Think Digital Marketing Technology: Think ... Microsoft?

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When the topic of conversation turns to digital marketing technology, would you expect Microsoft to come up as a leading vendor?

The latest survey by ChangeWave Research, a service of 451 Research, gives some insight into this, as well as other interesting business software spending tidbits – and some of the data might surprise you.

For starters, 28 percent of the 1,044 software buyers surveyed identified Microsoft as a digital marketing technology vendor they currently use or plan to use in the next six months – a finding unchanged from the previous survey taken last July.

Matt Mullen, senior analyst for social business at 451 Research, told us why.

Cisco to Salesforce: Can You Handle Our New CRM Solution?

In the clearest sign to date about the blurry line between a communications service provider and a customer service software firm, Cisco today announced a sweeping reform of its Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) product.  

The company, better known for its network switches and routers, is repositioning UCCE from a call center management service to a customer relationship management platform. 

Beginning in June, Cisco will offer what it plans to call a Context Service.  It’s a cloud-based platform for enterprises to share sales-related data.

Salesforce Thinks You Can Serve Customers Better with an Apple Watch

On the day Apple tried to persuade its followers to invest in a $10,000 18k Apple Watch, Salesforce turned the conversation back to reality.

The cloud-based customer relationship management provider launched an initiative to reach its customers through their Apple Watches — even the entry level $399 model. Salesforce is capitalizing on a version of its Analytics Cloud service that it claims to have scaled down only in display size.

“Professionals are going to use this in the service of customer engagement,” Adam Seligman, Salesforce’s vice president for developer relations, told CMSWire. “They’re going to use that small screen right on their wrists to get amazing insights about their customers — live analytics against all of their customer information. It’s mind-boggling, right on your wrist."

Heads-Up Salesforce, SugarCRM Just Raised Its Data and Mobile Game

Maybe it’s out of respect for Salesforce’s 16th anniversary that the executives at SugarCRM kept their lips zipped over the weekend. But today they’re talking.

This morning the CRM startup officially announced that it has acquired mobile app maker Stitch.

It's the thinking behind the acquisition, rather than the acquisition itself, that should make Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff think hard.

How Salesforce Builds Its Ecosystem, 1 Company at a Time

John Somorjai was the corporate counsel at Oracle 18 years ago when an opening popped up in the corporate development group. He's never looked back.

Starting as a manager, he found he had a knack for spotting good companies and cutting deals. Within 18 months, he was named the group's senior director.

For the past decade, he's been at Salesforce.com, where he's now executive vice president for corporate development and Salesforce Ventures, the company's investment arm. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 100 enterprise cloud companies since its inception in 2009, including Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Evernote, Gainsight, Apttus, HubSpot and recently, SteelBrick.

"We have a great advantage of being on the corporate side. You really understand the trends of the independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrator (SI) partners who are building an ecosystem," Somorjai told CMSWire yesterday.

We asked him to share some of the strategy about the company's investments and to peek into the future of the marketing technology vendors out there today. 

Docurated Content Cloud Brings Sales, Marketing Together

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The discord between sales and marketing is alive and well, but a new solution is trying to put the two on the same page through relevant content. The right content can be the difference between making or breaking a sale. And while a number of technologies can deliver using manual input, Docurated released a solution this week which it claims can do so automatically.

According to Alex Gorbanksy, CEO of Docurated, Content Cloud sits in Salesforce and uses content input from existing repositories to automatically offer sales people -- even those who are mobile -- the right content to close the best deals.

Why Salesforce Analytics Cloud May Be a Big Deal

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One of the big myths around business analytics, at this point in time, is that it's democratized. That the average business user can grab a dataset, ask questions around it, and glean the insights needed to take informed action on the spur of the moment, regardless of where they are and what kind of screen they‘re staring at.

The next time someone tells you this, say “show me.” Odds are that you’ll discover that when they say “average,” it doesn’t include most of us. And that “democratized” refers to a wider variety of data workers, meaning that they don’t necessarily have to be data scientists, statistical whizzes or know how to work with R, but it’s a pretty good bet that terms like “data profiling,” "data modeling” and Analytics will show up on their resumes more often than “exceeded quota.” 

Neuralytix Finds Users Split on Salesforce Analytics Cloud

Analytics is one of the biggest buzzwords in the business world today — the cornerstone of corporate insights and actions.

Bernard Marr, a United Kingdom-based authority on analytics, said, "Advances in information technology and a complete datafication of our world now mean we have (or will have very soon) data and insights on everything." In fact, he boasted, analytics has the power to transform any industry, including business, sports, healthcare and government. So how broad is industry adoption?

Neuralytix, an IT market research and consulting firm based in Mountain View, Calif., recently surveyed members of the Salesforce Power Users Group about their projected use of one anaytics platform to find out. When asked about their projected use of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud in the next 12 months, 55 percent of those surveyed said they had no plans to use it.

But 42.5 percent said they were planning to start and about 3 percent of users said they were already using it.

Salesforce Makes Another Bet on E-Commerce

Hoping to extend its presence in e-commerce, Salesforce has invested millions of dollars in SteelBrick — the cloud software giant's second bet on the fast-growing Configure Price Quote (CPQ) market this week.

SteelBrick said today San Francisco-based Salesforce joined its $18 million Series B funding round, which was led by Shasta VenturesEmergence Capital and company managers also participated in the round.

SteelBrick CEO Godard Abel told CMSWire the investment shows that Salesforce is moving beyond its traditional customer relationship management (CRM) functions.

Salesforce Arms Apttus with $41M

When it comes to venture investments, Salesforce backs its allies. Case in point: The San Francisco-based cloud software company today led a $41 million investment round for Apttus, which makes Quote-to-Cash software on the Salesforce1 platform.

The latest investment followed first-round funding of $37 million in September 2013 that Salesforce led. K1 Capital and Iconiq Capital also invested in both rounds.

The Salesforce Wave Rolls Past Its First 100 Days

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When Salesforce announced its Wave analytics platform with a splash at Dreamforce, it wasn't even available. Critics said it cost too much or that even after two years of development, it was too little too late.

Some analysts, like Boris Evelson at Forrester Research, praised it for its "seamless integration" and agile NoSQL DBMS. "But," he added in his blog, "while we feel that Wave is a cool product for specific use cases ... there's lot of room for improvement before Wave can take its place among general purpose large enterprise BI platforms."

"The UI is there, but can it really leverage big data? Does it matter?," asked CMSWire writer Virginia Backaitis. She quoted several industry sources who offered mixed reviews.

Put the Tech Back into Tech Shows

CMSWire Op-Ed

It was sometime after Neil Young, Ariana Huffington and Al Gore had finished their bits on the Dreamforce stage. The speaker now was Eckhart Tolle, the most spiritually influential person in the world. But I wasn't feeling it.

I surfaced from the windowless basement of the Moscone Convention Center and found a cool gray October morning had turned into a warm, sunny afternoon. Hundreds of conference attendees lounged around an artificial-turf park on top of San Francisco's Howard Street. I watched two techies play ping-pong as Tolle's voice boomed from a nearby jumbotron.

That's when it hit me: In the world of big tech shows, the "show" now overshadows the "tech."

Salesforce Offers a Peek at the State of Marketing

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It's a big world of marketing technology, as we reported earlier this week.

It's an even bigger world of people that marketers are trying to connect with through those technologies. The more marketers know about those people and where they get information, the better.

"Everybody is dealing with the rapid evolution of marketing," said Jeff Rohrs, vice president of marketing insights at Salesforce, which this week released the Salesforce Marketing Cloud 2015 State of Marketing Report, its annual flagship research report based on data from more than 5,000 global marketers. "... The good news is we've never had more ways to connect with consumers. The bad news is we've never had more ways to connect with consumers."

Salesforce Connects to SharePoint with Universal File Sharing

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After more than a year in development — and the inking of a strategic partnership between two companies that never had a lot of nice things to say to each other before last May — Salesforce.com announced the release of Salesforce Files Connect.

The new centralized, universal file-sharing solution offers access to SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2010 and 2013. It will add access to OneDrive for Business in February before moving on to connect with other services.

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