Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan

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
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Apptio fuels digital business transformation. Technology leaders use Apptio's machine learning to analyze and plan their technology spend so they can invest in products that increase the speed of business and deliver innovation. With Apptio, they translate raw costs, utilization, and billing data into business-centric views that help their organization optimize spending, plan strategically, and drive digital strategy that funds growth of the business. Technology leaders can gather instant recomm...
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get tailored market studies; and more.
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...