How plans to stay high in the clouds co-founder Parker Harris discusses key product growth areas for the company, the challenges of innovating, and the future of development

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Where do you see the biggest growth opportunities? You talked about marketing, automation, analytics, SMB with the Sage partnership recently announced and then verticalization was mentioned. Where do you see the biggest opportunities here?

Harris: We're not done in salesforce automation. We have a lot of market share, but there's still a lot to do and you can see that with some small startups, some of which we've acquired. We acquired a company called RelateIQ, a fabulous little company that's doing data science to help you understand who you should be contacting, who are the hot leads.

In service, there are two things happening. One is a lot of old technology is basically needing to be turned over and that happens pretty much every decade. It's time to look at all those old systems and that's an opportunity.

Also, the reason to do customer service has changed. It's not that we need to save money, or we need to deflect calls, or support is too expensive. Often, when we're selling our service offering, it is the head of marketing saying: 'We need to service our customers better.' If that customer is not happy, then all of a sudden they are on social media and that affects the brand and the head of marketing cares a lot about that. The head of sales might care about it also. I think that in service there is a lot of space.

Marketing automation is a highly fragmented market right now, as you know. We see huge growth there. I think we're just beginning. We traditionally have sold a lot to B2B companies, [but] with the ExactTarget acquisition we're working with a lot of the consumer brands, Coca-Cola being one of the five best customers that we have. We're expanding out. I think that's probably our fastest growing product line right now, but also that's a lot of work for us. We've got to be smart and continue to focus on the right areas there and make sure it's deeply integrated with our CRM because, again, that's our advantage -- not that it's a stand-alone marketing product, but the fact that you can market and use your CRM data and service data to collaborate with.

Analytics is a new area. We have an incredible trove of data. It's not our data, it's our customers' data. We have really good core analytics, but when you want to do more advanced analytics and you want to make it really mobile and social and you want to do more trend analysis, we'll get into data science more and more to give you more value in the data you have and augment it with other data that's really focused on CRM analytics. That's where we will stay rooted.

Analytics Cloud is the fastest product I've seen, from essentially beta pilot, Dreamforce and customers were buying it. Wow, that's really fast. EMC is using it. Who are some other customers, early pilots? Verizon, I think is using it, GE. These customers can buy any analytics. Why are they buying it? Because it's deeply integrated with Salesforce and because it has this amazing UI and it's combined with this new data store, a search index data store, fully, deeply integrated, which makes it able to do amazing things at scale even on your mobile device.

If you think about when we started Salesforce, it was essentially like mainframe computing. You're in a browser, the browser is its own terminal, you go to the cloud, the cloud is the mainframe, crank everything, give it back. What we have on our phones now in terms of computing power is phenomenal. How can we start to use the computing power on your desktop, on your laptop, on your mobile device along with the cloud to create amazing solutions, especially with analytics? To do that you need a brand new way of thinking about the technology.

Do you see the growth going forward still centered on people within the sales and marketing organization or do you start to branch out to other buyer sets?

Harris: I think where we're headed is we're talking more and more to the CEO. It's not so much going adjacent to the heads of HR and other departments. The CEOs are the ones, and that's what I meant by the transformation. They're seeing the success that we're making, they're hearing the stories of other customers and they're seeing their customer base change so they're coming to us saying 'help us rethink this.' It might end up touching other departments, it might not. Our goal is not to sell another packaged software to another department. Rather, [we think in terms of] how do we create an integrated strategy for a corporation to change how they're connecting with their customers? That's always been our goal.

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