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Column: Salesforce.com loses money but masks it well

MINYANVILLE

MINYANVILLE Credit: MINYANVILLE

Enterprise software is not a sexy business. They say you can put lipstick on a pig, but good luck gussying up terms like “customer relationship management” and “enterprise resource planning."

The digestive functions of large corporations are important, and everyone benefits when they go smoothly; but usually, the less said about them the better.

So it’s odd that Salesforce.com’s annual conference has grown into such a big deal; the most recent one attracted more than 130,000 visitors.

It’s even stranger that Dreamforce has become so hip. This year it featured Alec Baldwin and Green Day -- bad-boy actors and bad-boy bands. There were supermodels and prime ministers. There was a dress code.

Chalk it up to salesmanship. Last year’s theme was "the Social Enterprise,” a concept that appealed to everyone but Salesforce’s clients.

This year’s campaign slogan was “the Internet of Customers.” Subject matter included mobile devices, Big Data, gender bias in the workplace -- anything but customer relationship management.

Which is to say that Dreamforce was all lipstick, no pig.

Full story at Minyanville.

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