BusinessWeek has a nice article on Keith Block, Salesforce President
“He’s asking software designers to build more products aimed at specific industries, and he’s developed a more rigid, aggressive sales strategy meant to answer any question a big client could have.”
The opportunity to expand the wallet share has long been there. In SAP Nation, I wrote
“The recent wave of cloud challengers — Workday, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, ServiceNow, Plex Systems, Kenandy, Kinaxis and others — are merely nibbling around the edges of SAP. Few have launched a full frontal assault. I have been told that several SAP customers have called and pleaded with these cloud players to expand their functional footprint.”
That’s true as well of Oracle and other enterprise software customers. Salesforce has, however, in the last few years counted more on partners like FinancialForce to develop functionality using its platform. It has expanded its own marketing and other clouds mostly through acquisitions. To meet Keith’s goals, I believe it will need to accelerate its own application development.
The portfolio expansion will be timely as they have hired Vala Afshar as Chief Digital Evangelist. He is an excellent hire, but needs a much bigger product portfolio.
As I wrote last month in Digital Myopia
This is an important reminder at a time when every consultant and tech vendor is talking Digital Transformation. Unfortunately, most of them focus on specific areas like social marketing or digital back office processes. That’s clearly needed but will have little impact unless companies make their products, services and business models digital. That in turn leads to a rethink of manufacturing – in my estimate, 20% of BOMs for smart products are now influenced more by Silicon Valley than by traditional industry suppliers. It may mean turning to contract manufacturers and design agencies the tech industry has used for a while now. It also leads to rethinking global supply chains.
I look forward to the product expansion at Salesforce. And maybe a name change? Or even better, lots of new products for the next few years, then a Google/Alphabet type move!