So it’s all over the news today. Google and Salesforce.com have integrated Google Apps with Salesforce.com CRM software. For the Times story see here. The reason for the deal, says Marc Benioff (at right, riding frigtard machine), is that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” And of course folks like reality-averse Henry Blodget are once again beating the drum about Microsoft being disrupted and how this spells doom for the Borg and this is just huge momentous earth-shattering news.
Really? Because my first reaction was, Who gives a shit? Nobody uses Google Apps. So if I’m a Salesforce user, what’s the good news here? That now I can have low-cost access to apps that I’ve already had access to for nothing and I haven’t wanted them? What’s next from Benioff? A major integration alliance with Lotus Symphony? Why not get WordPerfect and dBase IV and Borland Quattro and build a total software powerhouse dream team? Then the Borg would be doomed for sure!
The problem with Benioff is that for all his talk about the future, and the “end of software,” he’s got a bad case of McNealy-itis. That is, he keeps fighting the battles of the last decade, over and over and over again. Meanwhile the Borg has already written off Office. They’ll milk it for a few more years but they can see the value going to zero. (They’ll never admit that, but they have. Trust me. I’ve got spies close to Ballmer.) Another problem Benioff has is that his business can’t scale. CRM is nice but let’s face it, it’s CRM. It is what it is. It ain’t ever gonna be something that everyone uses. Like an iPod.
Worse yet, Benioff himself is getting disrupted by little guys like SugarCRM. You know why? Because Benioff, ironically, has built his business around a bloated, overly expensive, outdated business model, a model that comes straight out of the late Nineties — he’s running his own data center, and he’s using Sun servers and Oracle software. It’s like “Back to the Future.” Meanwhile the rest of the world has leapt ahead onto Intel architecture and Linux. For Benioff to survive into the era of the cloud he’ll have to rip up his entire architecture and rebuild it. Yeah. It’s like that. He’s stuck. And he knows it. He’s not doing cloud computing. He’s doing what we all already recognize was a precursor to the cloud. But, um, yeah. Good luck with that “Kill the Borg” strategy.