Benioff bashes anti-Salesforce Microsoft marketing

News 7 Dec, 2010

Marc Benioff said he plans to hit Microsoft where it hurts with some upcoming announcements.

Salesforce.com's head honcho, Marc Benioff, has bashed Microsoft for its aggressive sales tactics.

Benioff said he planned to fight Microsoft with some upcoming launches, after the Redmond giant launched an aggressive sales campaign designed to steal Salesforce.com customers.

Benioff also pointed to the fact Microsoft had launched a patent lawsuit against the strictly cloud firm, which was settled earlier this year.

“They [Microsoft] are trying everything they can to stop the cloud because they want to hold on to their monopoly,” Benioff said during a Q&A session at the company’s Dreamforce conference, attended by IT PRO.

“They’re monopolists... they don’t want their cash cows exploded.”

The day salesforce.com’s Dreamforce event kicked off, Microsoft launched a ‘Cloud CRM for Less’ offer in an attempt to lure customers away from Benioff’s firm and his old company Oracle.

In an open letter, Michael Park, corporate vice president for sales, marketing and operations at Microsoft Business Solutions, pledged to rebate companies up to $200 for each user who makes the switch over to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online from Salesforce.com between now and 30 June 2011.

Park even addressed customers attending Dreamforce, advising they asked themselves some questions about their use of Salesforce.com software.

One recommended query read: “Microsoft provides a financially backed 99.9 per cent uptime commitment for every Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customer; why does Salesforce.com only provide me with “commercially reasonable efforts” to keep my business running?”

Another said: “Microsoft works great with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office; why does Salesforce.com want me to start from scratch when it comes to productivity tools for my people?”

Around the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where IT PRO has been reporting on the Dreamforce conference, Microsoft employees were seen on Segways spreading the aggressive marketing message.

Oracle was busy advertising its CRM credits at the conference as well, with one banner claiming Larry Ellison’s firm was number one for CRM. Cars were also seen daubed in Oracle marketing messages.

Despite this, Benioff said he was still very fond of his old employer and his relationship with Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison was amicable.

“We have a great relationship with them and I don’t see us as a competitor with them. Some people do but I just don’t see it,” he claimed.

Many have claimed Salesforce.com has moved further into Oracle territory with the launch of Database.com.

“I don’t see Oracle as an enemy. I love Oracle,” Benioff added.

Benioff has not been averse to talking down competitors in the past. At the same event last year, he criticised SAP for its efforts in cloud computing.