A very interesting week indeed. In particular a lot of news out of Salesforce.com and TripAdvisor.
- Salesforce.com had their Dreamforce event last week and there was no shortage of news. IDC #staranalyst Michael Fauscette summarizes the show, but I wanted to highlight 3 announcements of note:
- Salesforce Chatter goes Freemium. Perhaps one of the most important announcements from DreamForce. For those of you who don’t know about Chatter, it’s Salesforce.com’s social collaboration platform that can play a key role both in social CRM and service and support initiatives. The freemium offering should result in more companies testing the social enterprise waters with a number of them turning into paying customers for SFDC.
- Salesforce introduces a new XaaS – Database as a Service, named database.com. There are other emerging players in this space, but the interesting part of database.com is that it can be leveraged by a multitude of Cloud and mobile platforms (AWS, Azure, AppEngine, iOS or Android). If you want to learn more, Anshu Sharma, the guy behind Salesforce.com Force.com strategy explains the “Why, How and What”.
- One of the biggest challenges that the Force.com platform faced was not technical, but one of winning the hearts and minds of developers. Initially companies could only develop apps on the Force.com platform using their proprietary, Java-esque APEX language. Then earlier this year they launched support for Java with VMWare’s SpringSource team. Now they are trying to hit the developer G-spot with their acquisition of Heroku for $212M which brings over 100,000 Ruby developers into the Force.com fold.
- They say the NFL is a copy-cat league — that when one team is successful against another by using a certain strategy, you can be sure to see those elements in future opponents’ game plan. Well it looks like the approach applies in tech too. After seeing how Facebook fared by protecting its content from Google’s search engines, TripAdvisor has blocked its reviews from Google Places. Tnooz broke the story first. In a companion piece, Expedia believes Trip Advisor Media can be a Billion Dollar business. Well maybe that explains the Google Places deal a little better.
- First let me say that if you’re concerned about security in the Cloud, or in general, and you’re not reading Christopher Hoff’s blog, start now. In his most recent post he makes an important point that security is a shared responsibility between the Cloud (IaaS/PaaS) provider and the company who’s developing the app. There are no magic beans for security and you can’t abdicate responsibility to your provider.
- Google unveils the Nexus S, full of Gingerbread-y goodness that goes well with the holiday season. Sure would have been a lot more interesting if it weren’t tied to T-Mobile. Nice way to one-up the iPhone…take your marquis product to a worse carrier L
- I always like to highlight good news when I can. And this is certainly good news, not just for the $1.8B raised by tech start ups in Q3, but because it’s the continuation of trend. And that’s good news for everyone.
- Travel Tripper makes a case for an Open Source Hotel Industry Switch. An interesting post, but I had a couple of questions: 1) What’s in it for Pegasus to want to donate the code? And 2) Is there a large enough ecosystem of developers who would actively contribute to maintaining and enhancing the switch?
- What’s wrong with RIM’s Blackberry business? Many answers, but excellent analysis in this piece. It’s worth reading, not just for the insight about RIM, but because the concepts behind the analysis – how to spot trends that your platform is dying – is extremely valuable to every business person, regardless of the sector you’re in. Must read.
- Another blow to frictionless commerce. BA is now charging a fee for booking flights via travel agents while using a credit card. This now mirrors the practice when booking on BA.com. I wonder if Karl Rove is behind the move as the fee only applies to the two lowest classes of service (World Traveller and World Traveller Plus), so rich people get a pass. Beyond being a regressive tax, it’s hypocritical as the intent was to recoup fees imposed by credit card companies. But given that these fees are typically a percentage of the charge, the policy makes little sense. I guess they’d prefer it if I walked up to a counter with a sack of money.
- Google finally announces the long-awaited ChromeOS. While the reviews of the CR-48 prototype device have been less than stellar, the OS itself seems to have arrived to great acclaim. GigaOM breaks down the announcement.
- Very interesting back story on what happens when a flight gets cancelled.