Dreamforce 2011: Salesforce.com ‘reborn’ as social provider

Benioff says the firm has been reborn as a socially-focused vendor, not just a cloud company.

Salesforce

Salesforce.com chief executive (CEO) Marc Benioff kicked off Dreamforce 2011 event by stating his company has been "reborn" as a social provider.

Social has been the key term of the event so far and Salesforce.com hammered home the message during the opening keynote.

"We were born cloud, but we have been reborn socially," Benioff said.

"Our vision of Salesforce has changed."

The social revolution

Benioff claimed the 2010s would be the decade of the social revolution, as highlighted by the revolutions across Arab nations.

"How do we know there is a social revolution? Have you seen the news? The Arab Spring, the fall of dictators?" Benioff said.

We are creating social enterprises... All of us need to change, we need to evolve.

"There were no signs that said thank you Microsoft, there were no signs saying thank you IBM. They were saying thank you Facebook."

Benioff warned of a "Corporate Spring" whereby CEOs could be deposed if they don't serve customers well.

"It's more important to listen than ever before," the CEO added.

To avoid such a deposition, companies need to become "social enterprises," according to Benioff.

He outlined a three-step plan for creating the social enterprise, which Salesforce.com will supplement with the services it has been working on since the last Dreamforce in 2010.

Step one is in the database space by gathering all the necessary info on customers. Step two is creating a social network amongst employees to help with collaboration. The final step is to create social networks which incorporate customers.

"We are creating social enterprises... All of us need to change, we need to evolve," Benioff added.

"This is the future of enterprise software."

We'll have all the news from Dreamforce 2011, showing how Salesforce.com is planning to support companies in their transition to becoming a social enterprise.'

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