May The Force Be With You: 4 Takeaways From Cloudforce 2011

Salesforce Keynotes are quickly becoming legendary for their marketing polish. But if you read between the lines of the slick demos, there were four key takeaways from yesterday’s Cloudforce 2011 in New York.

We’re now in the world of “Cloud 2” thinks the SaaS industry is ready for a re-launch. “Cloud 2” is now the fundamental underpinning of’s application strategy. Expect future releases and announcements to be based on the idea that cloud platforms must be:

  • Open in their architecture, development language and API’s
  • Accessible on any mobile device
  • Social, with collaborative tools built right in
  • Easy to use, and allows people to subscribe to real-time information

Service Cloud 3 is even more social
Salesforce has been arguing for years that customer service starts by searching Google, asking friends on Facebook, and Tweeting for help on Twitter. Embracing this new reality, Salesforce is rolling-out a number of new social features. If implemented properly, these features will create a social media command center baked into the proven Service Cloud application.

  • Twitter integration, allowing you to search Twitter for questions, tags, and mentions. Then be routed directly to an agent for response.
  • Facebook integration, allowing customers to ask questions on your companies Facebook page. Again this question is routed directly to an agent for response.
  • A new agent console, and enhanced analytics to manage the increased data follow.
  • An intelligent knowledge base ensuring your support content gets to the customer.
  • FaceTime integration, meaning you can finally show the agent what’s wrong.
  • A partnership with Radian6, which will integrate its social media monitoring platform with Salesforce. Allowing you to respond to 80+ million blogs, and social media properties. is committed to building a powerful development platform
Simply put, Salesforce is committed to making an advanced development platform. In fact, an entire keynote at Dreamforce was dedicated to At Cloudforce, again showcased the ability to use the platform for rapid application development. Here are the key highlights:

  1. Every new Salesforce release now delivers countless enhancements for its developer community. Governor limit increases, Visualforce enhancements and Apex code evolution, is allowing you to do just about anything on the platform.
  2. Salesforce has been forming partnerships and going on a spending spree to deliver customers more development tools. Very soon, all Salesforce customers will have access to:
    • Siteforce. Based on the acquisition of Sitemasher, this will allow you to rapidly create websites.
    • VMforce. This partnership will allow Java developers to rapidly create applications.
    • Heroku. This acquisition will allow developers to create publicly facing websites on the Ruby development framework.
    • Based on the infrastructure, this will allow developers to interact with Salesforce using any standard database language.
  3. In order to reach out to it’s partner community, Salesforce is opening the platform to ISV partners to build advanced native applications through ISVforce. You should expect to see an explosion of fully integrated applications on the Appexchange (Salesforce has also dramatically lowered listing fees).

All this is sure to make Salesforce a platform for all of your CRM needs and beyond. Simply install apps with one click, or build them yourself.

Chatter is hear to stay
Chatter is a tool we’ve embraced here at Eloqua, and has been adopted by approximately 80,000 customers. Early success metrics has shown that if used properly, Chatter can make a significant impact. It was pointed out that approximately 6,000 companies have lowered internal email volume by chatter users, by an average of 30%.