During their Dreamforce conference last week, Salesforce.com announced that they were abandoning their ‘social enterprise’ push; in its place will be a new phrase for us to get used to – ‘Internet of Customers’. Not only is it refreshing to hear a company admit they may have got it wrong, they go one step further in their openness with Rachel King emphasising that “… even Salesforce.com didn’t exactly understand what it meant…” by the term ‘social enterprise’.
Their new phrase, ‘Internet of Customers’ denotes the bringing together of two key trends: the Internet of Things and Mobility, with many highlighting their partnerships with Evernote and Dropbox, as well as their emphasis on their AppExchange platform, as driving forces in this latest move.
However, this latest move by a company that seems to have lost its way a little has been met with scepticism this week; ‘if that term is too vague, it’s hard to argue Internet of Customers is an upgrade,’ being a Fierce criticism.
Even Barb Darrow characterised their mobility push as: “… a bit like putting lipstick on a chicken – an attempt to assume mobile cred long after it should have embraced mobile devices better than it has.”
Unfortunately, Salesforce.com is currently an unprofitable customer relationship management application – the company anticipates a loss of 42 cents/share for their current fiscal year, although revenues are expected to have increased at least 30% on last year – and many wonder if it is using the demand for mobility and mobile platforms as a form of catch-up in the marketplace.
By Allie Philpin