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Dreamforce '15 begins tomorrow and runs through Friday at the Moscone Center in San Franscso. The purported 100,000 plus will be there, I'm sure, though some may be diguised as depressed Giants fans.
But this year I'm closer to buying into the Salesforce vision, and I don't mean by that all the celebs who will gather there or Marc Benioff's vision for the world.
Rather, I mean the strength of the business logic surrounding Salesforce. I see no major player gaining ground on CRM in the cloud, except perhaps Amazon Web Services, which is a different type of fish. And the Cloud, most agree, is becoming the established standard in computing.
And I'm not just talking about Salesforce, but its partner companies, many of whom garnered huge investments this year, often led by Salesforce itself, a change in direction for them. And most of the partners that I'm aware of are generating real revenues selling to BtoB companies, and are less likely to suffer if the bubble bursts.
This year more of the talk will be about live non-CRM products.
And Salesforce has finally freed its Heroku platform to provide a true alternative for big data users who were cramped by the Force.com (read: Oracle DBMS) environment.
Bloomberg reported in July that Salesforce was specifically trying to attract M&A interest from Microsoft and SAP, though I don't know whether that was a rumor-spreading effort by Benioff to prime the pump. Then a month later Benioff pulled out his best Trumpism, declaring that Bill McDermott was "scared of Salesforce", a characterization that I doubt many who know McDermott would buy.
Of course, if Benioff is correct about Salesforce growing faster than SAP, he should just wait a while. Salesforce's current market cap is $47 billion versus $80 billion for SAP. If things keep going Benioff's way, soon he could negotiate a merger of equals.
I'll be covering it all with a special eye on the Philly-area companies that make news at Dreamforce as I did last year. I find that more companies in the area getting drawn into the Salesforce ecosystem, in some cases only because their customers are leading the way.
If you have any relevant content, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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