While August and early September tends to be slow in the Valley, Salesforce.com has had a quite a big month. The CRM vendor posted strong earnings for the second quarter of 2009; just announced a new version of their fastest growing product, Service Cloud 2; rolled out a lightweight contact manager for small businesses; and opened up its Force.com platform to outside vendors. Today, Salesforce.com CEO and Founder Marc Benioff is taking the stage at an event in San Francisco to announce more news and speak about the company’s strategy, the Service Cloud 2 and the power of Twitter. Here are my notes from his presentation:
Benioff says that the Service Cloud has had “spectacular performance” in a difficult economy, which is one of the reasons Salesforce is focusing on continuous improvement. Benioff says that Salesforce is the “cloud computing evangelist” as the company tries to push for platforms and applications in the cloud. Benioff draws special attention to the SMBs as clients, which can run on the same software and platforms as large companies.
Benioff highlights the real-time cloud, saying that applications and platforms need to deliver this value. Real-time is crucial to Salesforce’s offerings and Benioff emphasizes that real-time is the future of the company’s products.
Addressing the capabilities of the Service Cloud, Benioff says that call center technology is outdated and can’t leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. According to Benioff, the customer can save “millions of dollars” by using the service cloud and its “next-generation” innovations.
Benioff really focused on the power of Twitter in the CRM, saying the microblogging network has “incredible capabilities” around the world. Twitter in itself, he says, is a tremendous knowledge base. Jason Goldman, a board member of Twitter, says that the Service Cloud 2 is taking conversations that take place on Twitter to another level. He says that the platform is one of the best examples he’s seen of using Twitter to help businesses.
Goldman emphasizes that Twitter is imperative to businesses in many ways, especially given its real-time nature. Building Twitter into building processes is what makes the Service Cloud 2 a powerful platform, says Goldman.
As I wrote yesterday, Salesforce is making an interesting play in the cloud, almost making the transition between the enterprise and the social web seamless. The Service Cloud 2’s integration with Facebook, Twitter, Google and the consumer internet is made possible because it is a cloud-based platform and Salesforce isn’t letting anyone forget this.