“The range of what they do now is broader,” he said.
But this emphasis on functionality and mobility creates a new challenge for Salesforce.com: identity management.
Parker Harris, Salesforce.com’s co-founder, told press and analysts that “as we tie together all these clouds, you have to kind of unify that through single sign-on.” He said the company continues to improve its identity-management solutions, taking a page from Google’s authentication process.
“The interface we built in ‘99 looks great on PCs and laptops, but just as how we looked to Amazon in the past [to develop our desktop interface], we’re looking to [companies like] Facebook and Twitter for mobile, so [all of your] customer data can be accessed from custom apps on your phone,” Benioff said.
Salesforce Identity, an identity-management product released in October, is part of the company’s effort to improve its identity-management processes. The ultimate goal is to give brands, enterprise customers, AppExchange partners and developers single access to all Salesforce.com products through the Salesforce1 platform.
Salesforce1 provides the underlying infrastructure for Salesforce solutions, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud and the company’s apps ecosystem. “The platform and messaging expands [Saleforce.com’s] addressable market while providing customers an entry point” into digital business, said Ray Wang, chairman and principal analyst at Constellation Research.
Current Salesforce.com customers are automatically upgraded to Salesforce1, and the rollout is expected to be complete in May.