Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, CRM

Agile Computing: Article

Cloud Computing Viewpoint: Is Salesforce For or Against Vendor Lock-in?

Marc Benioff's stance on cloud interoperability is...confusing

Reuven Cohen's "Elastic Vapor" Blog

It's been an interesting week for Salesforce.com Chief executive Marc Benioff. The Salesforce chief called for the creation of cloud interoperability standards for moving data between applications in rival clouds. Which on the surface appears to great step forward. Problem is he was very quick to contradict himself. Marc's stance on cloud interoperability is almost as confusing as trying to follow the recent back and forth between Hugh MacLeod, Nick Carr and Tim O'Reilly's wildly crazy epic on cloud monopolies.


It's been an interesting week for Salesforce.com Chief executive Marc Benioff. During a presentation at Salesforce Dreamforce delusion, sorry conference. The Salesforce chief called for the creation of cloud interoperability standards for moving data between applications in rival clouds. Which on the surface appears to great step forward. Problem is he was very quick to contradict himself.

During a followup, Benioff called platform lock an inevitable part of the industry and said vendors should be more honest. Customers know that when they pickSalesforce .com, they are making a "strategic relationship," he said. In that regard, it's no different to what's been happening for decades with Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM.

(So if IBM, Oracle and Microsoft were to jump from a bridge... I think we know where salesforce would be)

So Marc which is it? Are you for data portability and cloud interoperability or are you for vendor lock in? It would seem that for all intensive purposes he seems to favor the latter.

In a recent post by Zoho founder Sridhar Vembu. Sridhar paints a very worrysome picture. In his post he goes on to say: "Salesforce has repeatedly tried to block customers from migrating to Zoho CRM, by telling them (falsely) that they cannot take their data out of Salesforce until their contract duration is over. We have emails from customers recounting this."

This seem pretty odd for a guy promoting interoperability. Marc's stance on cloud interoperability is almost as confusing as trying to follow the recent back and forth between Hugh MacLeod, Nick Carr and Tim O'Reilly's wildly crazy epic on cloud monopolies. To sum things up, they went into some kind of deluded tangent on the definition of the network effect while attempting to draw parallels to the effect that one user of a cloud or service has on the value of that cloud to other users or something like that. (While I'm on my own tangent, the hype around Cloud Computing itself is the network effect in action.)

Back to the topic at hand, I think this quote from Marc Benioff is the most telling for Salesforces interoperability plans:

"Larry Ellison is my mentor. He is a tremendous leader in the industry. He still owns 5% of our company. Now that I've said that, he also studies the Art of War."

James Governor, response to Hugh MacLeod said it best. "Customers always vote with their feet, and they tend vote for something somewhat proprietary - see Salesforce APEX and iPhone apps for example. Experience always comes before open. Even supposed open standards dorks these days are rushing headlong into the walled garden of gorgeousness we like to call Apple Computers."

(Yup, myself included writing this on my Mac Book Pro, Os X)

My suggestion for people considering salesforce or any other cloud platform is to not only look at how easily you can get up and running, but to also consider how easily you can move or get your data back again. For cloud computing (aka internet based computing) to ultimately become a viable main stream computing option, I feel we have no choice but to embrace both data portability and cloud interoperability standards so that the entire industry may flourish.

And by the way, Marc Benioff, monopolies are so 1995.

More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...