In today’s keynote and as reported recently, salesforce.com released the capability to create and run web based apps available to those outside of your company. There were a ton of cool demonstrations shown today and we built many of them (Harrah‘s, Facebook). We’ll highlight those in our Dreamforce Central Blog, but we want to focus on a more subtle point – the rate of innovation and the pace at which it impacts customers.
1. The high rate of innovation of salesforce.com (and other cloud providers) – Two years ago it was Apex code, that allowed real business logic; last year it was Visual Force, that allowed full control over the user experience; this year they announce salesforce sites; allowing you take your apps and expose part or all of them to web users. No enterprise software vendor has come close to matching this pace over the same period of time.
2. The rate at which innovations actually impact customers – In typical on-premise software, even cool new things will require a generation to get into the hands of customers. Already 11 million of Apex Code and more than 50,000 Visual Force pages have been written by salesforce.com customers. We have used both with more than 50 enterprise customers in mission critical apps.
The fact that these two factors can occur while reducing overall IT costs at first glance seems like black magic. But this is in fact the ultimate testament to how different cloud computing is from old world and how far Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and others have to come. You can get started with trying out salesforce and getting started with a trial of all of this in 60 seconds.
How long will it take the others to match that? We have always been fans of cloud computing, but even I sit back stunned at how far the gap is between the old world and the new