Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said he was going to be fast today at his company’s customer, press and analyst briefing in New York. This was, of course, the right approach for an audience of time starved New Yorkers.
Most of the presentation, a new one written by Marc himself and revised over what they tell me was a couple of weeks, was Benioff’s answer to multi-tenant critics and especially competitors who have been nipping at the heels of on-demand or SaaS computing for the last several years.
Benioff’s message was that multi-tenant is not a nice thing to have but essential. You can’t divorce mutlti-tenant from the benefits of low cost, scalable and highly deployable solutions. For example, some vendors have brought to market solutions that implement some of the gains from on-demand such as stateless computing and browser-based user interfaces. To make Benioff’s point, the company was happy to dive deep into new service and support ideas that access user acceptance from Facebook and now Twitter. The ideas might have been exposed at earlier Salesforce events but the detail provided today was new.
There was also a short discussion about the architecture, which was illuminating for some and over the top for others. Bottom line, the architecture is rather efficient, using fewer than 50 servers and ten databases across three data centers around the world.
I will have more to write about tomorrow but for now, I have to get back to note taking.