Marc Benioff Talks Up Salesforce.com’s Strategy for the Mobile Arena

2/27/13Follow @jpruth

On Tuesday, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff dropped by the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York to talk about the ways his company plans to evolve, particularly through mobile platforms.

“It feels like a huge wave of innovation is coming,” he said, regarding the overall surge of connected mobile devices and touch screen interfaces in the consumer electronics market. Benioff spoke during a daylong event that highlighted ways San Francisco-based Salesforce plans to give its clients more cloud-based services that draw upon the growing ubiquity of social media, smartphones, and tablets in the populace.

Earlier in the day Salesforce announced the release of Service Cloud Mobile, a way for companies to use the Service Cloud platform to offer customer service across mobile and other devices. For example, companies can use the platform through the cloud to connect with their customers’ gadgets for co-browsing of websites, chat, and other customer relation services. Service Cloud is already used by entities such as public transport corporation New Jersey Transit, conglomerate General Electric, and restaurant chain Chipotle.

This is part of an effort by Salesforce to prove how its platforms can be used to increasingly connect with a mobile device-loving public. Salesforce previously announced Salesforce Touch, which brings Salesforce Sales Cloud to mobile devices. The new Service Cloud Mobile platform includes features such as cloud communities and mobile chat that are available now, while the Web co-browsing function is expected to be available in the latter half of the year.

Tuesday’s event included examples of how Salesforce is injecting itself deeper in the connected world. Companies can use its platforms, for example, to launch marketing campaigns on social networks and mobile apps. President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign used Salesforce’s technology to monitor social media and make real-time decisions on how to interact with voters.

During his keynote, Benioff listed a few trends in technology that are influencing his company’s future plans. Geolocation in mobile devices, big data, and analytics are bringing about changes, he said, to the way companies connect with their customers. He said some retailers are already learning more about their customers’ tastes through social media and mobile devices, which may help sales staff offer goods curated to shoppers’ desires.

According to Benioff, this combination of mobile technology and cloud services is creating new ecosystems for doing business. “Every company needs to think of themselves as an ecosystem,” he said.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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  • http://twitter.com/chrisvls Chris van Loben Sels

    Great piece. Marc is right, there’s a huge opportunity to build great mobile experiences on the Salesforce platform.

    We’re building a great mobile app for salespeople using it. Take a look at http://selligy.com.