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Thursday, September 20, 2012

IMHO: Dream Force vs MS World Partner Conference

I have not posted anything on my blog for a while but these two events above made me boiling, so here it is, my new post.

Note: I have not been at any of these famous conferences physically. Why bother increase CO2 emission when you can watch everything online? I hope you agree. Here is my small recap of what is happing in these crazy world of CRM technology.

First of all watching WPC was an easy task, just go to a Microsoft page and stream the video for free. DreamForce decided to charge for their amazing remote experience and the price was…. your "Like" on Facebook. Do you realize how much "Like" is worth nowadays? Now all my friends will know what I watch, and Facebook page will bombard me with ads on CRM theme. Unbelievably expensive! However, my curiosity won, so I clicked "Like".

Both events were happening on a 360 degree stage, which probably tells a lot about the size of these events. DreamForce gathered 90 000 attendees, around 350 partners, where Microsoft WPC was attended by 14 000 memebers, including 9 000 channel partners. I think SaleForce did a pretty got job of attracting attention, especially for a just one product venue. Well, they are selling a sales force product, they better be good at what they do.

Back to the venues. Two similar stages and two the most important speakers: SF CEO Marc Benioff vs MS CEO Steve Ballmer and here are two major points of their key notes in my mind:

SalesForce - Social revolution. Get into your customer's mind by using the most popular social platforms and drive your sales force from there.
Microsoft - Technology revolution. Integrate and extend software experience to other surfaces, and use it for a limitless collaboration and sharing.

Both directions are pretty impressive and make me excited. I know MS CRM is lacking that social flavor but trust me, Microsoft will catch up on this pretty soon. What is good about SalesForce, it is very flexible and adjusts well to the market demand, but their CRM product is pretty expensive and doesn't have seamless integration with Outlook or robust reporting like Microsoft CRM does. Also SalesForce doesn't provide the ability to go on-premise and getting all your data out can be pretty tough.

However, users love SalesForce interface, it is pretty intuitive and highly customizable. Microsoft can be a little confusing and limited in terms of customization, but a lot of work is being done. I expect great results in the nearest future, since a lot of changes have been made recently. For example, making MS CRM a multi browser application opened doors to such opportunities like tablets, and with a new Microsoft tablet coming out MS CRM future gets even more exciting. I can defiantly see a spike in CRM sales after a new tablet comes out.

Short term I think SaleForce wins, it has trendy features, cool looks, and everyone is talking about it, but long term I think Microsoft has more capacity to grow, due to already establish market for Microsoft products, plus introducing all new recent collaboration features makes me believe it will catch up with SalesForce pretty soon.

  * A little note about Microsoft; WPC was not CRM focused but we can defiantly see what the trend is and where the company is going with its products.

Clouded by Sale Force :)


  1. As one of the "lucky" folks who had my Co2 emissions paid for by my company to actually attend Dreamforce, I'll have to add that it *was* pretty powerful to be there in the live audience. The experience came with some neat surprises such as MC Hammer coming on stage. He even did a little jam about salesforce!

    I have not worked with MS CRM so I can't compare, but on the Salesforce side I was impressed by the number of new developments that are constantly coming out. Marc Benioff may only be touting the "social enterprise" but there are also powerful new capabilities around Mobile (with HTML 5) as well as as a development platform (the new Canvas technology to integrate your java or .net apps directly into salesforce).

    All in all a pretty overwhelming but great experience!

    And by the way if I want to re-live any of the big moments, I found a way to do so without having to "like" anything! Click the link below.


  2. Johannes,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I can imagine what it is like to be surrounded be people inspired and excited about new technology. It is like going to a technology church. Well, Cloud Force in New York was very informative, fun and well organized event, but, it is not a DreamForce. (I was jealous of a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert). I will defiantly check your links.