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Salesforce.com's Benioff lays out future strategies

Chris Kanaracus | Sept. 2, 2013
Benioff: Salesforce.com will focus on vertical markets, marketing software and an expanded partnership with SAP.

"We're able to take their huge investment in SAP back-office and put on a customer-facing capability that they badly needed but SAP was not able to deliver for them," he said. "I believe there's a lot of SAP customers that are in a similar position."

Benioff also alluded to Salesforce.com putting its software on top of implementations of HANA, SAP's in-memory database.

Targeting ExactTarget: Earlier this year, Salesforce.com acquired marketing software vendor ExactTarget, dropping $2.5 billion on the deal in its largest-ever purchase. Marketing will become a $1 billion annual revenue stream for Salesforce.com, Benioff has said.

Work is underway to make that prediction a reality, according to Benioff.

For one thing, ExactTarget has had a "rather boutique" sales organization, he said. For Salesforce.com to get the most out of ExactTarget, sales representatives need to act as if "there is no difference between selling the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, the Sales Cloud, the Service Cloud, or the Platform," Benioff said.

Combining the marketing products sales teams is "one of the most important things that I work on every day," Benioff added.

Over time, customers can expect a "comprehensive application" encompassing ExactTarget as well as Salesforce.com's Radian6 social analytics product and its Buddy Media and Social.com advertising platforms, Benioff said.

Deluge at Dreamforce: Salesforce.com's Dreamforce event in San Francisco this November will be its biggest yet. More than 120,000 are registered to attend it so far, according to Benioff. Last year, the total was around 90,000.

While Salesforce.com has offered keynote and expo passes at no charge, which certainly helps inflate those numbers, the year-over-year growth is nonetheless significant.

 

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