As I walked into the Sheraton Hotel in NYC on this smoldering April day, I expected Salesforce.com's (News - Alert) Cloudforce 2 Tour event to feature buzz about the company's new 'Chatter' product.
What I walked into was nothing like I expected: dark room, with music blaring, screens everywhere relaying testimonials of the company's sure fire hit product. In addition, press crews striving for their one-on-one interviews with today's keynote presenter, Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff (News - Alert)were all over the place. It felt more like a red carpet that a industry conference - and I liked it.
The energy in this room is astounding for the amount of people who are all eager to hear Benioff speak about the new products the company announced this morning, not to mention - how Salesforce.com's Chatter is going to revolutionize sales agents productivity.
The presentation opened with testimonials about how Chatter is useful in everyday professional settings. The 1,300 people sitting with me, and 10,000 people listening in on the Webinar, listen to Benioff talk about the Chatter industry vision.
'For over 11 years, Salesforce.com has had a mission in this industry to be the cloud computing evangelist in this industry,' Benioff said, adding that collaboration is moving to the cloud.
With Twitter and Facebook (News - Alert) as social applications in the personal side, Salesforce.com has developed an exciting new user interface model to bring a social networking application directly to the enterprise environment.
'At the end of the day, it's all about multi-tendency, shared spaces, and that's what makes it so much faster and so much lower cost,' Benioff said of the Chatter product.
'We think it's these ideas - platform as a service - are why Salesforce.com has moved to become one of the fastest growing software companies in the world,' he added, with over 72,500 paying customers.
With Benioff talking to his immense and wide-eyed crowd, he breaks into the discussion of the future of cloud computing.
And, with something huge happening in this industry right now, namely moving from desktop Internet computing to mobile Internet computing, all of us in this industry are moving from 'cloud one to cloud two,' Benioff tells the crowd.
'Social networking users now surpass e-mail users,' he said, adding that this means communication is done more on a social networking mechanism and e-mail is currently being left behind.
'[The reason] is because it's a much easier way [to use] social networking,' Benioff said, adding that the way people access the Internet - through mobile - lends itself to more social networking apps, which therein lies the shift to Chatter.
But, more importantly, Benioff said, is that sales agents using Salesforce.com software want a interface that parallels the usability and feel of the personal social networking apps that they know and love.
'Why isn't all enterprise software like Facebook,' he told the crowd. 'It's really a compelling application; it's easier, its educational, you're learning all about these compelling concepts.'
Then he asked: 'What if you could learn the same thing about your company, your employees?'
And so, with Salesforce.com Chatter, sales agents have a Facebook-Twitter style interface that mirrors the social networking apps they already use, making the transition to this new cloud software as simple, and effective as possible.
Stay tuned for more breaking news coverage live from Salesforce.com's Cloudforce 2 Tour event.
Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly 'green' technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Kelly McGuire