Oy veh! Dreamforce hasn’t opened its doors officially but there’s plenty of howling going on outside. Yesterday, I reported that Microsoft had set up an ersatz truth squad for the event and today SugarCRM joined the act. As I did yesterday, I reprint the entirety of the email I got below.
I don’t think the way to rise above a competitor is to quote him or her extensively as SugarCRM does here, but I acknowledge that some of this is just my New England roots showing. I recall some rather cheesy stunts by Salesforce in the early days like giving out Krispy Kremes in LA outside the Siebel user group meeting or driving a little van around the streets of Canes (France) with the No Software logo on it at the European version of the same.
Seems like the whole industry is on pins and needles as Marc Benioff prepares to take the stage this morning. The competition is looking for a way to stem a tsunami and users want more, more, more.
A couple of years ago in New England we had a football team that had a perfect regular season (thanks, Giants!). During that run the Patriots were beating other teams by what almost looked like college basketball scores. Some people were alarmed about the Pat’s lack of sporting etiquette for some of the lopsided scoring but the discussion settled down when some sage person said, and I am paraphrasing here — We’re professionals. If we don’t want the Patriots to score so much, it’s our job to stop them.
The same thing applies here, the competition saw this coming for the last decade and they all took their time reacting to the disruption that is SaaS and Cloud Computing. If you want to stop Salesforce, make a better product. Forget the cute book ideas and truth squads.
Marc Benioff has a few zingers for SugarCRM in his new book “Behind the Cloud”:
“We knew that we had truly emerged as the market leader in the eyes of the industry when we arrived at Dreamforce 2006 to find that a handful of employees from a small CRM company had set up a mock protest outside the convention center. I’m not really sure what they were protesting, and it was a small, low-budget, and poorly executed rip-off of the types of tactics we had invented, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that we knew not to get ruffled.” – Page 65 of “Behind the Cloud”
We are sorry we disappointed Marc during our previous visit to Dreamforce. He even challenged us to “step up the innovation”:
“We did not want this company to get free PR on our coattails! Ignoring this escapade worked well. A blogger asked a Dreamforce attendee if she had seen what was going on outside when she arrived, and she replied that it must have been some kind of Salesforce.com stunt. (Note: if you are going to compete with someone at his or her own game, always remember to step up the innovation.)” – Page 65 of “Behind the Cloud” by Marc Benioff
If you insist Marc. In continuing its long love affair with the industry’s most down-to-earth CEO and our commitment to staging “small, low-budget, and poorly executed rip-off [tactics]”, SugarCRM is currently distributing 1,000 copies of “Behind the Smokescreen: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Still Manages to Sell 1999 technology 10 years later” at Dreamforce today. You can get your hard copy on the sidewalks outside Moscone (look for the people dressed as big books;). Or you can read the eBook here: www.sugarcrm.com/smokescreen With an endorsement from North Korean leader Kim Jong II (“A great guide for any entrepreneur, CEO, or Head of State looking to promote openness and freedom”), Behind the Smokescreen is a response to the magical Salesforce.com marketing that has transformed the company’s service from .com ASP to On-Demand SaaS to Cloud Computing without being apple to run its service on Amazon EC2 ,Microsoft Azure or other cloud services. To celebrate the release of the book, SugarCRM is offering a free data migration for Salesforce.com users through the end of the year. Registrants will have a chance to win a free Motorola Droid. SugarCRM hopes that the publication of this book “step[s] up the innovation”. Please contact me if you would like more details. Or you can contact me on Wednesday through Christine McKeown of Schwartz Communications at (510) 501-7333 Regards, Martin Schneider “There is a Japanese belief that business is temporal, whereas relationships are eternal. That’s true, One day you compete. The next day you partner. One day someone is your subordinate; the next day he or she may be your superior. At its finest, business is friendly competition, just like a game of tennis.” – Page 39 of “Behind the Cloud”