Salesforce.com announces Salesforce1: During the Dreamforce conference in November, Salesforce.com announced Salesforce1, a new version of its development platform with a particular focus on mobile applications. Although partly a rebranding effort, Salesforce1 pulls together the company's original Force.com platform along with development tools from its Heroku and ExactTarget acquisitions.
It also provides coders with 10 times as many APIs (application programming interfaces) as before and a new mobile application that serves as a type of portal for not only Salesforce.com's software but also applications from third parties.
In a recent blog post, consultant and analyst Esteban Kolsky took a deep dive into the technical plumbing and strategic implications of Salesforce1, calling it a "well-developed concept with a lot of potential," albeit one only 60 or 70 percent complete. "It has the potential to change the way software vendors work with each other. It has the potential to change how organizations think about ecosystems, about systems of engagement, and about everything from personalization to revenue models," he wrote.
Shakeups at SAP: High-level executive changes at software vendors don't necessarily have an immediate impact on customers' day-to-day lives, but some key moves SAP made this year could over time.
In May, SAP shook up its development organization, putting responsibility for all products under the auspices of executive board member Vishal Sikka, who has been HANA's champion and is close to company co-founder Hasso Plattner. A streamlined development reporting structure could help SAP bring products to market more quickly, their ultimate success notwithstanding.
Then in July, SAP announced that co-CEO Bill McDermott would become sole CEO next year, after co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe departs the company. While SAP has had a single CEO in the past, McDermott will be the first American to hold such a role at the German vendor.
Also, the last sole SAP CEO, Leo Apotheker, had a rocky, short run at the top and was ousted within a year, only to later become Hewlett-Packard's CEO and subsequently lose that job rather quickly as well.
As sole CEO, McDermott will have to keep existing customers happy and attract new ones as SAP faces ever-stiffer competition from rivals such as Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, and Workday. The strategy he chooses will be one to watch.
Ellison makes up with Benioff, or did he? It was a watershed moment back in June: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Benioff holding a joint press conference announcing a partnership between their companies, and they were actually nice to one another.
The long-time rivals seemed to bury the hatchet as they announced Salesforce.com would recommit to using Oracle's software and hardware technology for the long term, and Oracle would work on integrating some of its products with Salesforce.com's.
Benioff, who once had a keynote he was scheduled to give at Oracle's OpenWorld suddenly cancelled by Ellison, went as far as inviting Ellison to attend Salesforce.com's own Dreamforce event, and Ellison accepted.
But Ellison was seemingly nowhere to be found at Dreamforce.