I am looking forward to the fall user group meeting season. Name a company and they’re having an event for customers and/or analysts. I can easily count Salesforce, Oracle, Sage, RightNow, SAP and Microsoft having events before then end of the year and there are many smaller companies hosting them too. Personal commitments are preventing me from going to all of them but nonetheless the frequent flier miles will add up.
I heard a delicious rumor that Marc Benioff will be speaking at Oracle Open World. In fact, it’s more than a rumor but I will believe it when I see it. Of course, Benioff at Open World makes perfect sense, it’s as natural as HP being there but I know what you’re thinking. Why?
I think it’s a great example of that old word, “co-opetition”. On some levels you compete and on some levels there might be a vendor-client relationship. For example, Salesforce uses the Oracle database heavily and is one of a small group of companies on the planet that gives Oracle a heavy duty workout. No disrespect to others, but Salesforce occupies a unique place for while other companies might have more users in, say, an e-commerce setting, Salesforce operates a very different paradigm that we all know is becoming the center of the IT universe.
I am looking for big things from all the majors — announcements that I hope will propel our industry and the economy as a whole as we gear up to get out of this recession.
- Oracle has to deliver on some of the promises made during its acquisition phase a few years ago.
- Salesforce can easily announce some new initiatives in CRM and Cloud Computing.
- Sage announced recently an initiative in cloud computing and I am looking forward to details.
- RightNow made a play for HiveLive thus getting into social CRM and they’ll no doubt have more to say late in October.
- SAP has been quiet lately so it would be a natural for them to break out with an announcement in December in Boston.
- Finally, Microsoft is having an annual analyst event in November and I expect them to keep up the momentum of recent CRM announcements.
- On the next tier several companies are also planning smaller events and it will be interesting to see what they do too.
The smoke signals suggest an industry that is planning an early breakout from the recession. I wish them luck and hope their timing is on target.