Q&A: Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com

An audience with one of the biggest cloud evangelists in the industry today, Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive of Salesforce.com.

the company's latest launch

Today we already have terabytes of information from our customers... around that entire system is built a sharing model and each user has the ability, right down to the field level, to say this user can only see this bit of data. That is the key. We didn't build that after Chatter, we built that first. Because of that sharing model as a place the filter comes from this...

How will you manage regulatory compliance across countries?

In terms of specific regulatory requirements on a country by country basis that is very much in the hands of each customer [to work out] the requirements of their country.

What is the deal you have with Facebook and Twitter?

We don't have any revenue deals with Facebook and Twitter, just a marketing partnership.

What is the size of the enterprise collaboration market?

We look at it as a market that is equivalent to the sales and services market [$2-4 billion], we think it could be larger but we will wait for the analysts to confirm that.

How much thought have you given to business processes having to change to take advantage of Chatter?

It has changed... its just that we don't know it. All the transactions were already happening and we are just illuminating them... that is the power of the model. I think a lot of what will [happen] is people will be smarter by using the app.

When using Facebook I get smarter. I know that someone likes this movie, went to the football... what if I knew as much about my own customers? I want that same level of detail and intimacy about my business and my products.

We have seen the revelation of how to collaborate. It is called Facebook. It is called Twitter. We are just collaborating around a lot of stuff that so far hasn't made us smarter in our business lives.

You talk a lot about the history in terms of David and Goliath. Are you the Goliath now?

We are 1/60 the size of the largest software company today so we still very much feel like the David. These companies, however, continue to launch their... status quo technologies. What we are trying to do is to show customers a new way.

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