The morning keynote, entitled "The Social Enterprise Platform" particularly interested me because it was all about Force.com, Database.com and Heroku... or how the architecture of SFDC has been redesigned. The ukuleles were again playing to the sound of the tune White Sandy Beach Of Hawaii. Very refreshing.
Just like the presentations of Steve Jobs, Mark Benioff used an infinite number of superlatives of the words "amazing" and "spectacular".
He reminded us that this year's Dreamforce was the largest conference in the industry of new technologies ever held. It also provided an opportunity to talk about the joint initiative of Salesforce & the Medical Center University of California (UCSF), with the construction of the Benioff USCF Children's Hospital, a way to highlight the Salesforce Foundation and its donations.
As well as this, he gave a final reminder of the current transformation in IT - each decade requires a new IT platform. For Mark Benioff, for 2010-2020 this means Social, Mobile, Real Time and "Open". With an underlying theme: The Cloud.
How does SFDC resemble this platform? Through its association with Database.com, Force.com and Heroku. Database.com allows, among other things, to store the social profiles of your customers through a unified data model. Data.com supplies the data to Database.com. And what legitimizes Database.com, are the the 36 billion transactions per trimester recorded in SFDC, which need to be analyzed. What kind of pricing was mentioned? $10 / Month / company for 150,000 transactions (if I understood correctly).
While we are talking numbers, here's some data, this time concerning Appexchange, SFDC's online marketplace. In 2011, Appexchange boasted: 1250 apps, 500 million dollars, 1 million installs.
I enjoyed the presence on the stage of French Loic Lemeur for his application, Seesmic, and that of Tim Campos (the CTO of Facebook) who uses Force.com for the majority of Facebook's business applications (with an increasing rate of adoption for the migration of most of its apps to the Cloud) : at Facebook, CRM, repair ticketing, recruiting, etc. all use Force.com. Some very interesting "installed" or "on premise" applications at Facebook are: ERP, Tax, FP & A and BI ...! On a positive note, they are continually migrating as they go along (Tim, if you read this, I may have something for you).
In short, SFDC is emerging as the Cloud and social platform that facilitates the creation of social networking products / employees / customers. The circle is completed by SFDC.
When Eric Schmidt of Google took the stage, he discussed the IT revolution, the criticism towards the inertia of big IT players, politics, education, the U.S. economy, and a certain stoicism (Schmidt supposes that over 20% of young Americans will not find a job). When asked by Benioff why shelves are not manufactured in the US in order to generate employment, he answered: "because I am sorry to say that U.S. labor is no longer the best, and the quality may be higher in other countries."
Talking about his move to Google, Schmidt offered up one piece of advice: “Life is short, work with people you like.".
On September 2, I went to the Question/Answer session (an open exchange between M.Benioff & P.Harris, the other co-founder of SFDC). The duo work really well together, the exchanges between them were lively and it was a real pleasure to watch! At the heart of the conversation: a lot of demands for new functionality, (localization of the tool, lots of questions on reporting and analytics in general). A bonus question that challenged me: What would you change in the world if you could? M.Benioff's response: I would change the fatalism of E. Schmidt and I would give all possible employment to the young American workforce. SFDC is already made up of a 5000 people-strong team, and at the rate that they are growing, this could easily be possible!
So, Dreamforce '11 has come to an end. It was personally and professionally, a true experience. I hope to see you at next year's Dreamforce conference on September 18 2012, in San Francisco.
Bye Bye SaaSy, it was a pleasure to meet you :)
Here is the Marc Benioff and Eric Schmidt Keynote at Dreamforce 2011 official video: