Everywhere you look, organizations are shifting their software acquisition preferences and policies away from traditional, on-premises legacy applications to a new generation of on-demand, Software as a Service, or SaaS, solutions.
Although I was an early advocate of SaaS for the unprecedented, business advantages it offers, I’m becoming concerned that many leading SaaS vendors and their enterprise customers are taking actions that significantly compromise the fundamental value of SaaS.
As the old adage goes, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”
In the case of SaaS, a growing number of vendors and customers are demonstrating that they can’t get away from their old software habits and biases.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ latest perspectives in E-Commerce Times about how the SaaS industry could face a serious backlash if it lets this trend continue.
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There’s been a lot written recently about how artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation are going to displace millions of workers. However, these powerful new technologies already have spawned a surge in demand for a new wave of highly skilled consultants to help organizations capitalize on the added business opportunities resulting from the latest innovations.
Although the potential business benefits that can be derived from AI, ML and automation are obvious, attaining these benefits requires highly specialized skills that most organizations currently lack. Salesforce sees the demand for this unique set of consulting skills rising and has launched a new US$50 million SI (system integrator) Trailblazer Fund and SI Trailblazer Alliance Initiative to fill the void.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ latest perspectives in E-Commerce Times on the industry implications of the new Salesforce campaign and how it could spawn a … Read More »
One of the cornerstones of a successful software business has been to build as big a partner ecosystem as possible. In the world of the cloud, showcasing the partner ecosystem in an online marketplace also has become an imperative.
Salesforce.com has been in the vanguard of this trend. Since its inception in 2005, the AppExchange has grown to include more than 3,000 partner solutions that augment Salesforce’s growing portfolio of cloud services. AppExchange has strengthened significantly Salesforce’s position in the marketplace by cataloging the company’s rapidly expanding ecosystem of independent software vendor and consulting partners.
However, the tremendous success of the AppExchange has made it a bit overwhelming for customers to find and easily implement the right third-party solutions to best meet their needs.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ latest commentary in E-Commerce Times about how Salesforce’s new AppExchange Partner Program is seeking … Read More »
Even as Salesforce.com aggressively seeks to consolidate its position as the leader of cloud-based front-office applications via a series of acquisitions, it is possible that 2017 could be the year the company uses some of the same purchases to make a strategic move. Salesforce soon may become a major player in the back-office financial management and enterprise resource planning market as well.
Speculation that Salesforce might expand its offerings to address the back-office needs of its corporate customers has been plentiful for a long time. Salesforce’s success in reinventing the nature of front-office applications via the cloud has convinced CFOs that the time has come to adopt Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to solve their back-office requirements.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ perspectives in E-Commerce Times regarding how some of the recent Salesforce acquisitions include functional capabilities that cross over into the realm of back-office … Read More »
As Salesforce continues to expand beyond its sales and marketing roots, there are ample questions about how it will move into the next era and beyond its initial CRM beginnings. After a spate of Salesforce acquisitions over the past year, the company has extended well beyond CRM into e-commerce and customer experience, artificial intelligence and new collaboration tools.
The question going forward is how effectively the company will integrate its billion-dollar acquisitions into the Customer Success Platform and whether its efforts will make Salesforce wide-ranging enough to truly extend beyond sales and marketing into the more wide-ranging domain of customer experience.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ perspectives regarding how Salesforce intends to overcome these challenges and capitalize on the growing demand for Cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions in SearchSalesforce.com.
While the general public’s fascination with technology largely has been focused on the latest connected products unveiled at the recent CES conference in Las Vegas, many companies are trying to figure out where the real business opportunities lie in the long-awaited rise of the Internet of Things. One of the early proponents of IoT’s unprecedented potential was Salesforce.com, which promoted its own view of the concept in the form of the “Internet of the Customer,” or IoC.
Over the past three years, Salesforce has argued that creating connected products and services also can improve the customer experience, tighten the level of customer engagement, and create new business opportunities for the company. Since launching its IoC campaign and creating its IoT Cloud, Salesforce has been searching for the right formula to specifically meet the needs of its customers.
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Over the past two years, major vendors have braced for the oncoming wave of the internet of things. As recently as 2015, Salesforce launched its IoT Cloud — its application for managing IoT data — to much buzz and fanfare.
But since the launch of technologies like IoT Cloud, the idea of a connected world of products and services suffered from caveats, such as “it’s still early days.” But despite the buzz that accompanied Salesforce IoT Cloud and its debut, it’s hard to deny that technology played only a peripheral part at Dreamforce 2016. The shift reflects a combination of factors that have forced Salesforce to reconsider how it has positioned its IoT strategy and what it needs to do to deliver on its promises.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ perspectives in SearchSalesforce about the market implications of this shift in focus and … Read More »
SAP’s Beyond CRM initiative and Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud are going after customer data silos and trying to create a truly omnichannel picture. While most companies know they need to bring data silos together to improve customer experience, they are struggling with how to do so.
In response, some of the largest technology vendors are creating technologies that can bring together disparate pockets of customer data and give companies a more holistic view of their customers.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ views in SearchCRM about the escalating e-commerce battle that is reshaping the CRM marketplace and how marketing units operate.
Salesforce is betting big that the long-promised attributes of artificial intelligence are ready to go mainstream and can help fuel the company’s next chapter of unprecedented growth. With a spate of acquisitions during the past eight months and analytics tools built into its platform, Salesforce wants to bring new systems of intelligence to customers.
The company’s goal: to embed artificial intelligence (AI) into every aspect of its operations and offerings, under the name Einstein.
The vendor’s marketing team is already stoking its PR engine to create plenty of buzz around the idea of the new Salesforce AI platform powering a fresh generation of smart services that will challenge IBM’s Watson’s analytic capabilities. The steady stream of news reports, interviews with CEO Marc Benioff and behind-the-scenes briefings are helping to build anticipation for Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference in October.
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The recent Salesforce.com acquisition of Demandware is but one in a spate of buyouts this year. According to data from financial services firm UBS, the first half of 2016 has witnessed a frenzy of software acquisitions, with 22 in total, and there are no signs of a slowdown.
With the Demandware e-commerce technology purchase, Salesforce has positioned itself to do battle with other enterprise rivals, such as Oracle, SAP and IBM, all of which have filled out their offerings with e-commerce technologies. Technologies like Demandware are designed to unify the customer experience — regardless of the communication channel in which consumers initiate a transaction — and interact with other customer data repositories such as customer account information, marketing data and so on.
Click here to read THINKstrategies’ perspectives in TechTarget’s SearchSalesforce regarding the market implications of Salesforce’s acquisition of Demandware.