Salesforce.com (SFDC) is spending over $250 million for Heroku that has revenue likely under $10 million (adoption momentum notwithstanding since most of the adoption is of the free version of the service). Some question the wisdom of such expensive buy. However — such challenge is short-sited.
SFDC is not fighting to get a few $$. They are fighting to be recognized as a leading platform provider for cloud computing.
SFDC has faced two problems in the past:
- Proprietary nature of APEX/Force
- Perception of most prospects that they are a CRM vendor, not a platform vendor
In 2011 they are addressing both issues:
- Delivering Database.com is clearly separate from CRM and very interesting in the platform space – they are bound to be noted as having gone beyond just apps now
- Delivering Java (VMForce) and Ruby (Heroku) will give developers SFDC multi-tenant database with standard programming. I would not be surprised if they would look at Zend or Caucho next to add a PHP stack.
The casualty of this path seems to be Apex/Force. However – not so fast:
- Most of force.com is now called database.com (only 4GL development tools remain as a separate Force.com offering not overlapping with database.com.
- Apex code (the proprietary highly-optimized language) is now referred to as database.com stored procedures. A brilliant move – all stored procedures are always proprietary and always highly optimized for data access. These stored procedures are also highly optimized for multi-tenancy – a unique feature no one will match for some time.
I believe SFDC is executing on a sophisticated vision to transition form a proprietary cloud platform to an open cloud platform without losing its users or its differentiation.
Brilliant strategy. If paired with brilliant execution — Dreamforce 2010 will be an inflection point in SFDC story — form a successful niche player to a software industry leader.
Read Complimentary Relevant Research
Predicts 2017: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is changing the way in which organizations innovate and communicate their processes, products and services. Practical...
View Relevant Webinars
Bring Your Own: come gestire dispositivi e app in modo sicuro?
Il trend del Bring Your Own continua a crescere, impattando sempre piu' il modo in cui le aziende devono implementare le proprie strategie...
Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.