More than 10,000 marketing and sales professionals gathered at the Jacob K. Javits Center in NewYork City for the annual Cloudforce event from Salesforce.com. At this year’s installment, executives from organizations including Estee Lauder, General Electric and Toyota shared how they’re making moves from disparate sales and marketing departments, to inherently social and integrated organizations.
During his keynote presentation, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com spotlighted the growing need for organizations to connect with prospects — and employees — using social media. In fact, more companies across verticals are recognizing the benefits of becoming social enterprises: 70% of businesses have adopted social media, and there is an expected 47% increase in annual spending for social networking during 2012, Benioff shared. Furthermore, 150 million conversations are taking place on social networks every day. And with that, Benioff asked attendees: “Are you and your company going through the social revoluton?”
“It’s not just about the concept of why and how we’re connecting,” Benioff said. “It gets down to individual connection with each and every customer, employee and partner, and the fundamental shift of trust in the business. Businesses have to accept a new level of trust and transparency that they have never seen before. Things are becoming more open and we’re seeing a whole new level of collaboration and alignment across organizations. This next generation of leadership is rising up and the leaders will be focusing on this core value of trust.”
By utilizing social tools and technologies, organizations can transform multiple aspects of their business including the way they: sell, service, market, collaborate, work and innovate, Benioff advised. To keep pace with the continual growth of social-driven enterprises, Salesforce.com announced a variety of new solutions, including Salesforce Touch, a fully mobile sales application designed for sales teams to have the power of the platform through tablets and smartphones.
Introducing Chatter Communities
Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, President of the Commercial/SMB Business Unit at Salesforce.com also unveiled Chatter Communities for Partners, the company’s newest product, geared towards channel-centric organizations and their customers. Chatter Communities was designed to help Salesforce.com users build private, branded community sites for products and services. Salesforce Communities was designed to combine social networking features such as profiles, real-time feeds, trending topics and influence measurement, along with business information and tools accessible in Salesforce.com. The new offering will be available in a limited pilot during winter 2013.
“Chatter Communities for Partners allows organizations to sell as a team with channel partners, resellers and distributors,” Koplow-McAdams said. “This is a next-generation portal experience where partners become a part of a live channel community. Think about [the tool] as a Facebook community that’s more private — and your partners are a part of it.”
The Economic Opportunity For Salesforce.com Partners
In terms of Salesforce.com’s partner community, the company is moving in strides with currently more than 1,700 apps on its AppExchange, which “is growing very quickly,” according to Mike Rosenbaum, VP of AppExchange and Partner Programs at Salesforce.com. “We have a mobile/social platform: We can only do so much and focus on a certain number of areas,” he said. “By opening our platform up to ISVs around the world, they can bring that innovation to our platform.” Rosenbaum added that AppExchange partners are anticipated to rake in approximately $700 million in total annual profit.
System Integrators partnering with Salesforce.com also are on a pathway to success, according to profit projections from George Hu, COO of Salesforce.com. “At the SI side, we’re seeing partners do nine-digit practices on Salesforce.com and growing on a path towards $1 billion-plus,” Hu said. “We want to create an economic opportunity for the partners in our ecosystem, because this also is a measure of our success and overall influence on the cloud community.”
Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.