is making a killing with its cloud-based CRM solutions, but the latest threat from software giant Microsoft could end up spoiling the party
Thankfully so (for sales teams), that stage in technology evolution hasn’t arrived yet – the stage when you can program a computer system to do your sales functions. However, the solutions being offered by promise a major transformation in the way marketing is done in today’s enterprise.

And their weapon for this is cloud computing, highly hyped and much less understood today’s technology world. Gartner calls it a phenomenon that could be as influential as e-business itself. Daryl Plummer, Managing VP and Gartner Fellow, comments, “During the past 15 years, a continuing trend toward IT industrialization has grown in popularity as IT services delivered via hardware, software & people are becoming repeatable and usable by a wide range of customers and service providers.” Commoditisation of software is compelling a number of IT companies to launch cloud computing offerings. Jeremy Cooper, Regional VP, Marketing, Asia Pacific, comments, “These companies (that are announcing plans for cloud computing) are looking to stay relevant. has an overarching positioning statement to define its offerings – Success, not software. It offers its customers the benefit of moving their IT infrastructure off premise to the cloud. Lee Thomson, Senior VP, Corporate Sales, Asia Pacific,, comments to 4Ps B&M, “Think about it like the iTunes. There are a lot of songs available, people pick and select the ones that they want to have access to.” Similarly, offers customers their chosen applications after proper accreditation on its cloud. Some applications are from Salesforce and some are from third party vendors. This brings down IT costs, enhances productivity and provides easy scalability, as Salesforce charges them on a per subscriber basis. Forrester did a study commissioned by Salesforce for the latter’s customers and concluded that “risk adjusted ROI for the customer organization is 727% with a near- immediate breakeven point after deployment.”

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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