• The Year of the Social Enterprise: The Move from CRM to Enterprise Collaboration

    Marc Benioff is a technology innovator. But, he also knows how to give a good show, and he’s getting better at it every year.

    At this year’s Dreamforce event in San Francisco, 31,500+ attendees from all around the globe joined in to hear about the company’s new mantra – the Social Enterprise. And, although there was a strong showing of the company’s ISV developer community in attendance, over 2500 CXO level executives also joined from the who’s who of Fortune 1000 – Coca Cola, Burberry, Motorola, Toyota, Siemens, and American Express – demonstrating the coming of age of salesforce.com as a serious enterprise software platform.

    Last year’s show was heavily focused on major additions to the technology platform with the addition of Jigsaw, Heroku, and Database.com. Now, the SaaS leader’s collaboration offering, Chatter, has become the hub of its entire Social Enterprise value proposition. As they navigate their way from a CRM innovator to a serious enterprise software company, Benioff has needed a clear differentiator beyond having a great set of development tools and the Sales and Service Cloud models.

    Touting that the only way to really delight customers is to appeal to their social profile and ability to have mobile access to corporate data, salesforce.com leaders laid out a three-step implementation plan for getting corporations to act as social enterprises:

    1. Tap into your customers’ social profile

    2. Create an employee social network

    3. Extend to a customer and/or product social network

    This three-step customer journey to the Social Enterprise begs the question about the company’s sales and professional services teams’ ability to fulfill this vision. With expected growth rates of ~ 40% again this year, this customer revolution process will take manpower.

    But, with under 3,000 implementation partners globally, ~500 of which represent the majority of its implementation services skills, the company needs to seriously beef up its consulting partner network. George Hu, Executive Vice President, admitted, “We need a 100% increase in the number of certified partner individuals in order to hit our revenue and services delivery objectives.”

    With so many new things to sell, including Chatter Connect, Data.com, the winter release of the Sales Cloud, touch.salesforce.com, Heroku for Java and a new Social Enterprise License Agreement (which promises to offer every product for every employee with unlimited usage, at predictable prices), consulting partners and ISVs alike are listening.

    The company’s portfolio has never been more expansive or innovative. And, with over 100,000 customers and 35 billion transactions per quarter to leverage, this software innovator is the host to the largest “social” celebration our industry has ever seen.

    Beth Vanni, Vice President of Amazon Consulting, brings over 25 years of experience in technology sales and marketing to Amazon Consulting, with a specialty focus on partnering strategies and supporting operational plans. Beth has led groups in Marketing, Market Development, Business Development and Sales Operations, responsible for the functional areas of marketing communications, product marketing, program development and administration, promotional & incentive plan development, alliance management and worldwide sales operations.

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