Salesforce.com put on another impressive Dreamforce show this week at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. We’ve been doing the show now for three years and it continues to grow fast. Last year had 17,000 attendees and this year there were 30,000. That’s impressive growth, especially at scale. Some of the key takeways from the show for me include:
- The cloud is becoming more and more pervasive with salesforce.com leading the way
- Salesforce.com Chatter is now freemium whereby companies can use it for free and then pay a premium if they need more advanced functionality. I think Chatter is nice but won’t be the game changer that transforms salesforce.com, as they claim it will.
- Salesforce.com launched database.com as a database-in-the-cloud service (side note: imagine how expensive that domain name was — I’m guessing at least $1 million). I don’t think database.com will be successful as long as the per user pricing model remains. The other big challenge it has is lack of drivers and code to make it work seamlessly in popular languages like PHP, Ruby, and Python.
- Salesforce.com bought Heroku for upwards of $250 million and finally has a credible strategy to significantly expand beyond their traditional user base and per seat pricing. It’s going to take many years to see if this acquisition was worthwhile but my guess is that if they can get the corporate culture alignment right it’ll prove to be brilliant.
Salesforce.com is one of the best sales and marketing machines in the world and the show didn’t disappoint.