Force.com and Standing on Tall Shoulders Cloud Computing

Force.com overview (©2010 by Salesforce.com. Reprinted by permission).

Force.com overview (©2010 by Salesforce.com. Reprinted by permission)

Some of the same types of applications that originally fueled the time-sharing boom in the late 1960s and early 1970s are now leading the explosive growth of cloud computing, but with some important differences.

Salesforce.com is perhaps the most advanced and successful of all SaaS cloud vendors; it provides the most widely used sales management service. Salesforce.com is successful not just because it has thoroughly integrated its applications with those of Google (others are doing that also), but because it has followed Google’s lead in making its applications available at the APIlevel with Force.com, greatly reducing the time and cost of developing new and unique applications that go far beyond Salesforce.com’s roots in customer relationship management.

Force.com overview (©2010 by Salesforce.com. Reprinted by permission).

Force.com overview (©2010 by Salesforce.com. Reprinted by permission).

Ariel Kelman of Salesforce.com provided me with the following example of the power of using Force.com.Let’s say a salesperson wants to share a candidate list with an outsiderecruiter but not give the recruiter full access to the application.The salesperson can e-mail the recruiter a Google spreadsheetfrom Google Docs.

As the salesperson makes changes in Force.com through the Google Data APIs, it will update the candidate list on the spreadsheet. So, the recruiter can see those changes and interact with those changes.

“We can read and write information between our database and Google Docs,” Kelman confirmed, and continued:

What we’re trying to do is make it easier for developers to buildapplications that run in the cloud, and as all of these cloud computingplatforms proliferate, the more that vendors can do to allowdevelopers to have access to the different computing platforms, theeasier it becomes.In effect, it’s no different than what Microsoft did when it partneredwith SAP and Business Objects in business intelligence . . . back in theday to bolster its on-premises software functionality.

Another example of using Force.com to quickly develop an application is ServoTerra, which has built and deployed an asset planning application and B2B trading exchange built entirely on the Force.com platform and the new Force.com Sitescapability. ServoTerra provides IT asset disposal solutions, including SaaS asset life cycle planning, virtual consignment, and environmental compliance tracking, enabling companies to achieve a 35 percent higher return on average than other models. Significantly, ServoTerra teamed with Appirio a cloud solution provider and leader in Force.com development; they designed, developed, and deployed a hardware asset planning application and B2B marketplace solution in less than 12 weeks. Obviously, Force.com provided them with tall shoulders to stand on.


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