Salesforce.com (News - Alert) has named JP Rangaswami, one of the tech industry’s most respected thought leaders and a passionate booster of open source technologies, to the newly created position of Chief Scientist.
Or as industry observer Rich Karpinski puts it, “JP Rangaswami, who led BT’s (News - Alert) move into the voice 2.0 market – architecting its acquisition of Ribbit.com and other moves – has cashed in his telecom chips and moved to cloud/Web services vendor Salesforce.com as its chief scientist.”
Company sources say Rangaswami will “help European customers think about innovative ways to use the real-time, mobile and social capabilities provided by Salesforce apps and the Force.com platform.”
According to TechCrunch, Rangaswami, whose background is in enterprise software, had stepped down from “a similar position at BT Group (News - Alert), after nearly five years with the company.”
Prior to joining BT, Rangaswami was global CIO at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, which he joined in 1997. He is chairman of School of Everything, an educational startup that teaches a range of socially focused topics via the Web. He is also a venture partner at Anthemis Group.
Industry observer Chris Kanaracus says Rangaswami’s appointment “does represent another effort by Salesforce.com to present itself as much more than the on-demand CRM (customer relationship management) software for which it is best known. Salesforce.com has partly succeeded in doing so, but the company's very name means it will be impossible to completely shed the CRM tag (News - Alert), said Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research.”
As Karpinski says, along with the Ribbit acquisition, he drove the API and SDK approach to telecom “deeper into BT” and recruited social networking technologists into the company.
“While those moves certainly paid benefits for BT, they failed to yield a blockbuster new service or application, and in the several years since the initial hype flared around voice 2.0 – driven in part by BT’s aggressive moves – the heat surrounding the sector has certainly cooled.”David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Patrick Barnard