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Salesforce.com's vision of the social enterprise has been heavily hyped in the weeks leading up to Dreamforce 2011. And on Thursday, Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff lifted the curtain on what he and Salesforce call the crossroads between social, mobile and open cloud to transform business models.
"Salesforce.com was born cloud. We were born cloud in 1998. But we have been reborn social," Benioff said.
According to Benioff, social networks are dominating the Web, with 22 percent of Internet time spent on social networks and applications, and social networks surpassing e-mail with 1.1 billion users.
"This social revolution is really unlike any other paradigm we've experienced," he said, adding that mobile, too, is pushing the new trends in what Benioff called the "post PC era" that is seeing the old guard bow out and retool their strategies.
"HP just threw their hat in the ring on PCs and said 'We're out' … Smartphones and tablets are taking over," he said.
With a heavy focus on making CRM more like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and shaking the data-heavy stigma of business software, Benioff said Salesforce is looking to make business social. Whether that's clicking "like" on a Facebook status update, retweeting a poignant tweet on Twitter or any number of social media capabilities, the B-to-B world needs to adjust to the models that have enticed consumers.
The goal, he said, is a business environment where information comes to the user, not in which the user seeks it out. And intelligence filters out the clutter and unnecessary filler, to only deliver what's important and pertinent.