Dreamforce 2011 Monday

Posted: August 26, 2011 in CRM

I am going to curate this story during my week in San Francisco to cover Dreamforce 2011 as well as the first Zuora User Group Meeting and the Cloud 9 User Meeting.

Sunday August 28

Weather is a factor for Dreamforce 2011.  Lots of us are coming from the east coast and there is a hurricane heading up the coast.  I WAS flying out on Sunday morning but changed my flight to Saturday at 6 am to try to miss the big winds.

Dreamforce is the biggie but there’s other stuff happening in part because other Salesforce partners are piggybacking on Dreamforce to hold their own customer meetings.  It’s a great thing for them and for customers — two birds with one stone and all that.
Previewing Dreamforce

People keep calling me to ask what Salesforce is going to announce and Dreamforce. My standard answer is, how would I know? I get briefings like a lot of analysts but in a situation like this you usually have to promise to hold the news until the company makes its announcements.
Monday is Zuora’s User Group meeting.  I expect they’ll talk about the subscription economy and their part in it.  I’ll be moderating a panel and trying to grab some video.  I’ll also write up my thoughts.
The Subscription Imperative Revisited

As often happens in evolutionary systems, availability precedes demand. That’s a complicated way to say that we build products then figure out what they’re good for. It’s not that innovators develop things willy-nilly, but no matter how well thought out an innovation is, the marketplace has the last word on its utility.
Tuesday is Cloud 9 User Day.  They’re holding a daylong user meeting at the W Hotel.  I am looking forward to attending and to hearing their ideas on revenue performance management (RPM) and sales forecasting.  I’ll have more after the event.
So this is Sunday.  Got here Saturday just ahead of Irene hitting the Boston area.  I’ve been around the city especially Moscone and this is a short video of what I’ve seen.
Monday August 29Last year at Dreamforce Microsoft made a big deal of introducing new pricing for their Dynamics CRM that made the dollars and cents competition with Salesforce look better.  I think it worked out to $39/user/month.  They are at it again.In a press release that came out this morning, the company announced an offer aimed at converting not just Salesforce but Oracle and SAP customers to Dynamics CRM.  The release said, “Microsoft is extending $150 (U.S.) cash per user seat for up to 500 user seats for each eligible customer.” I am not sure what extending means — Is it a discount? Cash back?  Why not just say so? Important link for some details www.cloudcrmforless.com.

There”s nothing wrong with a price war or offering a discount. I just find it strange that Microsoft — which has a good product in Dynamics CRM — leads with discounts.  How do you make money that way?
I would love to see — and I don”t think this has ever happened — vendors try to compete on functionality, fitness for a purpose or something other than price for once.  Leading with discounts needlessly cheapens your product and is akin to firing your last
bullet into the sky rather than taking aim.

Interestingly, I have not seen any posters or billboards with non-Salesforce messaging.  Last year, Microsoft and Oracle both
had signs on the walls of buildings.  So far it looks like Salesforce has bought up all the real estate.

Crude, but effective.

So, what did you think?

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