EVENT COVERAGE: Cloudforce 2011
Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com, during the keynote speech at Cloudforce 2011
@ Royal Festival Hall
Cloudforce 2011 by salesforce.com
LOCATION: Royal Festival Hall
14th – 15th September 2011
- Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com
- Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry
- Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Inc.
- Miguel Milano, President of EMEA at salesforce.com
- Kraig Swensrud, CMO at salesforce.com
Cloudforce, taking place at the Royal Festival Hall in London, was an event dedicated to The Social Enterprise – or the ability for organisations to move to a world that is mobile, social and open, and to streamline all their business activities into a living, breathing infrastructure online.
The event was organised by salesforce.com, an enterprise cloud computing company originally founded in 1999 as a company specialising on Software as a Service (SaaS) functionality. The company filed for an IPO in June 2004 and now delivers a full range of products using a subscription model.
The keynote speech was given by salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, who said it was his aim to make everyone in the room as inspired and excited about The Social Enterprise as he was. The speech was roughly divided into two parts, the first of which focused on emerging social and technological trends that are catapulting the world towards a more social and open environment.
In essence, Benioff showed that we are living in an increasingly social world:
- 22 percent of all web use is on social networks
- Mobile applications are now used more than web browsers
- Facebook users spend an average of four hours a month browsing the site
The second part of the keynote used case studies and examples to show how companies using cloud computing platforms can join customers – who have already moved into a social and open world – and deliver the service they have come to expect.
There are already signs this is happening: 51 percent of tablets purchased in 2011 were for employee use.
Benioff encouraged companies to bring themselves in line with the increasingly social and open world in four main ways:
- Create a social customer profile – keep track of more than a customer’s name and address. Find out what they like, what they do, and you’ll be able to more efficiently deliver services and products to them
- Create an employee social network – give employees the chance to work together, innovate together and solve company problems in a cost-effective and efficient way
- Create a customer social network – allow staff to more easily engage with customers through the customer’s medium of choice
- Create a product social network – centralise product information in one place so that expertise – from employees, consumers, independent reviews – can come together around the product
- salesforce.com CMO Kraig Swensrud demoed a range of the company’s products and showed how these objectives could be achieved using the salesforce.com platform.
Q&A with Michael Dell
Marc Benioff also sat down with Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Inc., to discuss Michael’s views on where the technology industry is heading. Some of Michael’s insights included:
- Although sales of tablet PCs and smartphones are growing, the client PC market is not dead. There are 1.5bn computers in the world and this is set to grow to 2bn.
- There are three key parts to the industry: hardware, software and services, and this is not likely to change.
Michael said that the biggest question companies should be asking is: how do I delight my customers in new ways?
When he first started Dell, he encouraged his customers to send him ‘Dear Michael’ letters with suggestions and improvements for the company. But this is impossible for large companies; social media is the way customers make suggestions now, and companies must find a way to collate, analyse and respond to this data in an efficient way.
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