Renny Monaghan, the Vice President of Marketing for Salesforce.com Canada, said that founder Marc Benioff watched the Internet develop and wondered "why not for the enterprise?" 13 years ago.
With those acquisitions, salesforce.com will be able to expand far beyond their roots as a customer relationship management company into one that promotes the socialization and mobilization of the enterprise. At Cloudforce 2012 in Toronto, the word “software” was crossed out and replaced with “cloud” as technology shifts in general from software to cloud-based solutions. The company believes that the biggest change in the next five years will be how companies use social media.
In a testimonial video of the iconic British luxury retailer Burberry, CEO Angela Ahrendts said on connecting social media and enterprise networks: “If you don’t do that, I don’t know where your business will be in five years.”
There was also an interesting case study from Salesforce and Rossignol, a mountain hardgoods and softgoods manufacturer. The integration of the social enterprise allows the company to manage ski performance in real-time and recommend solutions to improve people’s skiing equipment on the slopes. You can view a video here.
Co-CEO Daniel Debow said that Rypple will allow for the amplification of employee behaviour. Employees can get real-time feedback versus weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly reviews. They’ll be able to get meaningful recognition and it can ensure that everyone is focused on a key objective within. Performance and incentive management has always been a tricky problem for managers and was one of the most asked questions in the Marketing section on LinkedIn when I did many months of research on the industry.
Salesforce has over 6,000 Canadian companies embracing the social enterprise. With their acquisitions they are extending the social enterprise across different functions of business beyond CRM. For example, if a large company uses SAP and Oracle, Salesforce also wants companies to be able to integrate that into their platform.
And since social media is so big, real-time, and complicated for large companies to manage, the company also acquired Radian6 to help companies ease that burden. They also have Chatter integrated into the social enterprise platform which works as an enterprise social network much like Yammer. It should then come as no surprise that given the fabulous reviews on Chatter by many that Yammer was recently acquired for $1.2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal, as Microsoft tries to keep its hold on the enterprise space.
For small and large corporations alike it can be very difficult to manage all those social and enterprise networks, so bridging them all together is a step towards efficiency and productivity.
Productivity is something that Roger Martin and James Milway in a book called “Canada: What It Is, What It Can Be" out of The Rotman School of Management say is critical to help Canada move forward as we work harder than our United States counterparts but are not as productive with our time. These sentiments were also echoed by Cisco which is also focusing on helping small and medium sized businesses become more productive with their BYOD solutions.
They say just a 5% increase in productivity could help Canadians double their standard of living every 14 years. Solutions like salesforce.com and Cisco’s will help free up innovation and creativity time for IT professionals. Further, Ray Wang of Constellation Research at a recent event in Toronto that celebrated the launch of Pareto Dialogue's eValue Social Media ROI Suite said that B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) is dead. P2P (peer-to-peer) is the new reality.
Salesforce.com is also growing its workforce by 50% in Canada and will surpass the 1,000 employee milestone at the end of their hiring spree. They are hiring across many disciplines.
And as for the success of Canadian middleware? Radian6 CEO Marcel LeBrun was quick to dismiss that middleware companies keep getting acquired because they are from Canada. Rather, it was because of the exceptional quality of the products and services offered and that it doesn’t matter where in the world something comes from.