Dreamforce heavy duty tweet #1
This is more than a Tweet and less than a full blog post. I decided to post from Dreamforce whenever I saw something interesting. I’ll still write a more elaborate piece when it’s over but I also wanted to ensure that I didn’t sit on any information. Also, since Mr. Greenberg is away on personal business this week, I thought he might enjoy reading this. How’s the cruise, Paul?
It’s early Monday morning out here and the conference hasn’t started yet though last night there was a well attended reception in the exhibits area. There are about ten rows of vendors and I estimate there could be well over 250 partners present. Though it’s early lots of PR has hit the wire already and one or two caught my interest—Zuora and SkyData.
Zuora has been out for a few months and it seems they are announcing additional products about every other month. Today’s PR said they were now a three product company:
- Z-Force 360: Makes all customer subscription, billing, and payment data visible within Salesforce.com for a 360-degree view of the customer and up-to-date metrics for subscription businesses.
- Z-Force Quotes: Enables sales teams to easily build customer-ready quotes based on a subscription product catalog. Approved quotes are automatically pushed into the billing system for end-to-end billing and subscription management.
- Z-Force E-Commerce: A fully integrated, shopping cart-like functionality for taking orders directly from websites, with minimal IT resources or involvement. Built using the new Force.com Sites capability of the Force.com platform, Z-Force is currently in private beta.
Company CEO and co-founder Tien Tzuo is an alum of Salesforce.com and the new product unsurprisingly is 100% based on the Force.com platform.
What I like about Zuora is the rapid innovation and, most importantly, the way Tien and his team have targeted a relatively untouched niche that serves one big pain that all SaaS vendors have. The private beta might strike many as pre-announcing but given Dreamforce is a once a year thing it seems to me the right thing to be doing.
Formed by some Siebel alumni including CEO Kevin Nix, SkyData is putting mobility on steroids by providing integration of Salesforce.com and other CRM applications with personal and business productivity sites. According to their press release:
“SkyData integrates personal and business networks ranging from Google and Yahoo! contacts, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Jigsaw business networks, lead enrichment systems such as Marketo, to CRM applications such as salesforce.com. SkyData supports salesforce.com’s Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited editions. The SkyData application runs on most RIM Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile USA and Sprint.
I am a big fan of anything that makes it more efficient for the sales person including the ability to access and use data while on the do. The less these people have to stop and open up their lap tops the more productive they’ll be.
According to Nix, SkyData will be providing the first 5000 users with a year of free Salesforce Mobile access. Free is a great price and ought to encourage a lot of people to try it out.
Ok, that’s it for now. Next stop, Marc’s keynote. Four years ago he had a George Bush impersonator address the crowd starting with the memorable line, “Marc, thanks for organizing this fund raiser.” I wonder what’s up Marc’s sleeve this time…