Dreamforce 2012 has entered the history books. Salesforce.com's big, annual get-together in San Francisco rolled out a variety of new solutions that combine the company's overlapping fields of interest -- cloud, mobile and social.
This year's Dreamforce, the 10th Annual installment, saw its registration grow by a phenomenal 96 percent year-over-year, with 90,000 registrants and more than 100,000 watching live on Facebook. The in-person event ran Sept. 18-21 at San Francisco's Moscone Center.
Among the new releases: Salesforce.com's new Touch platform, which allows companies to write applications once, and then deploy them to multiple types of devices.
The new Salesforce Identity provides a single sign-on that offers what the company described as a "Facebook-like identity for the enterprise." It allows for a single sign-on that can be utilized across multiple cloud-based apps, eliminating the need for multiple sign-ons and enabling IT to push data to apps across multiple platforms in a single feed.
There's also the new Chatter Communities for Partners for connecting companies with their distributors, resellers, suppliers and others for securing deals, gaining access to sales tools and utilizing experts.
Chatter Communities for Service allows customers to connect with private communities of peer and company experts, and it integrates with Salesforce's Service Cloud to provide customer service.
Chatterbox offers secure file sharing between any devices, and there's a new Social Key via Salesforce's Data.com, enabling a company to utilize its data on customers for customer relationship building via social networks.
Marketing, Performance Management
The company said its new Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the first suite to combine social listening, content, engagement, advertising, workflow, automation and measurement. The Marketing Cloud is powered by two of Salesforce's recent acquisitions for social marketing , Buddy Media and Radian6.
The Marketing Cloud offers real-time social listening from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and blogs. It provides the ability to create and deploy social content using more than 50 applications, build communities of customer advocates, manage and execute social ad campaigns, and track campaign results.
Work.com, billed by the company as the world's first social performance management platform, is designed to motivate employees with real-time recognition, rewards, relevant performance reviews and continuous feedback. Rewards from this "human resources for the social era" service can be redeemed through Amazon, thanks to a new partnership with Salesforce, and a partnership with Workday HCM provides worker data for the service.
Also at Dreamforce, the cloud platform-as-a-service Heroku announced the launch of a new service for building and running Java applications in the cloud, creating and deploying new offerings at a fraction of the time previously required.
The New ECM
We asked Brad Shimmin, an analyst with Current Analysis who attended Dreamforce, if he could characterize this year's gathering.
He said that shows often "reflect the tenor of a company," and this year's Dreamforce did as well -- "a lot of openness, optimism, assuredness that what they are doing is the right thing for their company."
Shimmin said that, from his perspective of focusing on collaboration, it was clear that file-sharing has become central to enterprise collaboration, such as in Chatterbox. Although Salesforce "has had file support for quite a while," it hasn't been offering full synchronization and collaboration.
It's now clear, he said, that "the enterprise social network is the new enterprise content management system."
The other major focus Shimmin saw at Dreamforce was a greater emphasis on "line of business solutions, making business processes collaborative within the enterprise." He noted that Salesforce, "like a lot of vendors, began with specific solutions for given use cases," and, through solutions such as ones for marketing and HR, it is now looking to "verticalize" its offerings.