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Salesforce Heretic » Thinking Outside the Box… The Whitebox….

December 9, 2006

Thinking Outside the Box… The Whitebox….

Filed under: The Heretic, Salesforce.com, The Soapbox — heretic @ 11:52 pm

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Occasionally I stumble upon polarizing issues, and then promptly beat them into submission on this blog. I’ve got some pet peeves (yes, I have stupidpeopleitis… therapy helps… a little…), and some easy targets (outages), and whatnot. I didn’t start this blog as a popularity contest… I’m quote happy being a ‘behind-the-scenes’ guy. Hard to believe, I know…. In the last few weeks I’ve been getting more and more emails and I was perusing some interesting ideas over on the idea exchange earlier today and it all came together:

If Salesforce.com is selling Customer Relationship Management software (it’s core business by any definition) they why do they constantly hinder the users efforts to maintain a good (clean) relationship by ‘branding’ all over the place?

Case in point - if you’re a Bandwidth.com customer, do you really care if Bandwidth.com uses Salesforce.com? Do you care of Cisco does? Does their use of Salesforce.com make Cisco’s routers more stable, Bandwidth.com’s VoIP service sound clearer? Should the fact that your company uses Salesforce.com change the way your customer should interact with you? For example:

Customer Email:

Your product is crap!

Company Reply:

Sorry you feel that way

— Powered by Salesforce.com —

Customer Reply:

Oh, you use Salesforce.com. I guess it’s ok thet your product set my house on fire, threw me off a balcony, and made me fall into a vat of acid. Sorry to bother you.

As you can see - it makes all the difference.

Salesforce.com: Is it really so hard to let your customers manage their relationships without throwing your name all over it? Back when you used (still use?) Sun servers all over your datacenter, Sun didn’t throw some branding message at the bottom of every email your sales people sent out… Why should you do that now?

If you want to talk about Software as a Service look for a moment at most hosting companies that rent servers (yes, Hardware as a Service, but I digress). You won’t find any one of the major players meddling in how their customers serve up webpages, emails, or most anything else on those servers, so why do you?

It’s time to take the SaaS model back to the ol’ OEM whitebox days. You got a network card in a white box with some random chip on it and there was no obvious branding, no flashy logos, you didn’t care who made it — it just worked. In many case you’d have to dig to find the manufacturer. SaaS should be no different.

License

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.


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3 Comments


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    This certainly is an issue with Marketers tasked with branding and managing all online customer interactions.

    Fortunately, this creates an opportunity for AppExchange vendors (like us) to fulfill the need for personalized customer interactions.

    Comment by
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    Mike Leach — December 11, 2006 @ 4:22 pm


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    On December 18, 2006, our Salesforce.com account was stolen. Someone used our identities and password to access the account, remove us as users, and Systems Administrators, as well as substitute other people. We filed a police report, Case #2006-02954, with the Suwanee, Georgia police department (770-945-8995). We contacted Salesforce.com notifying them that our account had been stolen. Their response was slow, but eventually Marc Benioff did make contact. A Mr. Kenneth Juster also responded and stated: “Just for your information the account has not been accessed or used since December 18 so there’s no indication that any harm has been done” – January 2, 2007, 4:57 PM, Voicemail to Jim Miller. Salesforce.com advertises that it has a “secure authentification system” in use. Our company is likely to go bankrupt without the assistance of Salesforce.com. We want to know what ethical, moral, and possibly legal basis Salesforce.com is withholding information. How many times does the account have to be stolen before, Mr. Juster will agree that harm has been done? We will never again use a web based CRM with this lack of security, lack of customer response, and a flippant disregard for business ethics, values, and morals.

    - Jim Miller
    President Affeldt Packaging Machinery, LLC

    Comment by
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    Jim Miller — January 7, 2007 @ 10:31 am


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    This is a non-issue.

    You can always edit your email signature in your settings… just remove the “Powered by Salesforce.com”.

    BTW…

    –Powered by Me–

    Comment by
    Deprecated: Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/warped/public_html/sfdc-heretic/wp-content/plugins/google-analyticator.php on line 272
    Ben — February 21, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

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